Strike a match and produce a blaze, invite a few friends and settle in for a good night under the stars. Who doesn’t enjoy sharing stories around the warmth of an open flame? It’s just one of the reasons backyard fire pits have become so popular. For this article’s purposes, we’re going to focus on how to light a gas fire pit!
First Things First: Which Gas To Choose?
Before we learn how to light our fire pit, let’s decide which gas we want to fuel it.
Liquid propane is considered a green fuel. It burns cleanly without producing any toxicity into the environment. It produces little to no harmful toxins and is excellent if you’re trying to lower your carbon footprint. It is unlikely to cause any harm, even if it develops a leak. Store your propane tank outside, at least 10 feet away from your heating source.
Natural gas is a mixture of several different gases. Considered one of the cleanest fuels, it does produce greenhouse gases into the environment that may be harmful. Provided to your home directly through a gas line, it is cheaper and very convenient. Talk to a professional about a gas line out to your natural gas fire pit.
Regardless of what type of fuel your fire pit uses, you must ensure that you get the flame going before you turn the gas on. It might sound back-to-front, but if you don’t get ignition first, the gas will circulate around the logs and ignite with a bang and possibly with a leaping blaze resulting in the very real potential for a burn. A gas fire pit doesn’t have a pilot light. It needs to be lit from scratch each time. Some models have a piezoelectric spark generator, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll want a wand lighter or a match.
Ignition And Burner Systems
Many ignition and burner systems come fully assembled and ready for a professional to install. Once the connection is complete, the operation and maintenance are quite simple. A push-button ignition system contains control components with a battery-operated valve box.
Step 1 – Press the control knob to begin the flow of pilot gas. At the same time, press the ignition button to generate a spark.
Step 2 – Release the spark button after the pilot ignition has occurred then release the valve control knob after about 20 seconds.
Step 3 – Turn the control knob counterclockwise to light the main burner.
Step 4 – Blaze height can be adjusted by turning the control knob. If the loss of fire occurs, the system will turn off the gas flow.
Step 5 – Simply turning the knob to the off position will shut down the burner and cease gas flow.
When choosing your burner, make sure it fits with your ignition system. Too small and it may result in unsafe back pressure of liquid propane, while one that is too large may result in a feeble flame.
Whether your fire pit has a piezoelectric generator or not, you need to turn the control to off before opening the gas valve on your fuel supply. The control switch is usually in a clearly marked location, behind an access door or panel on the front of the fire pit. The gas on some models is controlled by a clearly visible rod with a knob on the end.
Models With Piezoelectric Starters
Step 1 – Press in the piezoelectric starter button. It’s usually red and situated next to the control knob. You should hear a series of clicking sounds to indicate sparks being generated.
Step 2 – Push in the control knob and turn it to the on position while you keep the spark generator button depressed. Release the spark button as soon as the fire lights, but keep holding the control knob.
Step 3 – Continue depressing the knob for 30 to 45 seconds to give the thermocouple time to warm up, Release the knob. If the fire goes out, repeat the ignition procedure, but now, hold in the knob a little longer.
Models Without Piezoelectric Starters
Step 1 – Light a wand lighter and hold it near the top of the fire pit’s center. It is usually best to insert it into a crevice to keep it out of the wind.
Step 2 – Turn the control to the on position and remove the lighter as soon as the flames begin burning.
Step 3 – Adjust the control to regulate the height of the flames.
Stainless Steel Burner Pipe
The stainless steel burner pipe is a super easy, effective way to get your fire up and running within seconds, even if your wood is slightly damp. This method eliminates the need for tinder and kindling. You will need to have a dedicated fuel line running to your fire pit, equipped with a safety switch and accompanying key for simple turn on/shut off operation. Your fire pit will also need a log grate to cradle the firewood above the log lighter. This allows for appropriate oxygen flow, which further promotes a safe ignition and cleaner burn.
Step 1 – Stack your firewood on the log grate in your fire pit. Remember to keep the gas off while performing this step.
Step 2 – Once you’re ready to light your fire, slowly turn the valve key. Fuel will enter the log lighter and begin emitting through the precision drill portholes.
Step 3 – With a long-stemmed lighter, or match, placed just under the center of the device, ignite a fire.
Step 4 – Remember to shut off the gas and remove your key as soon as your wood is burning.
The stainless steel burner pipe must be used in accordance with your local fire codes. Fuel line installation can be tricky, so call in a certified professional.
Electronic Fire Pit
Designed with all the safety convenience features in mind, this innovative way of lighting a fire in your backyard gas pit fire is probably one of the easiest methods. This remote-controlled ignition system is the way to go if you prefer a gas-burning feature in your outdoor living space. Remember to check with your local fire safety codes regarding gas features before considering the addition of a natural or propane fire pit.
Step 1 – Use the remote control to turn the system on.
Step 2 – An initial safety check is conducted before beginning the flow of gas. Within just 5 seconds, the hot surface igniter begins to glow, igniting the pilot flame.
Step 3 – Once the system detects the pilot flame, the gas flowing into the main burner is ignited.
Step 4 – Use the remote control to turn the system off.
Fire sensing technology continually monitors the blaze status and internal temperatures/voltage. If the flame extinguishes for any reason, the system will turn off all gas flow before automatically attempting a restart.
Follow the safety instructions and enjoy a little warmth on a chilly night in your backyard.