How to Repair a Gas Fire Pit
How to inspect and fix your gas fire pit.
An hour or less
IntroductionJust when you think you can relax in front of your fire pit, it doesn't light. Sometimes the fix is easier than you think.
- Combination wrench set
- 0000 steel wool
- Gas leak detector
Project step-by-step (8)
Turn Off Fuel Supply
- Always turn off the fuel supply before working on your fire pit.
- If your fire pit is fueled by propane, close the valve on the tank and disconnect the fuel line from the tank before working on the appliance.
- Check the fuel level on the tank; it may be empty. Even low fuel levels can make the flame sputter and easily go out.
- Always slowly open the tank valve first before trying to lite the fire pit.
- If you open the valve on the fire pit before the tank valve, a safety check valve in the tank may engage, causing the fuel flow to stop.
- Check if you have a spark at the ignitor.
- Some ignitors operate on batteries. Unscrew the ignitor button or open the ignitor compartment and check for a battery.
- Replace the battery with a new one, making sure the polarity on the battery is correctly installed.
- Check the wire between the ignitor switch and the ignitor. Be sure it is properly connected.
- Clean the ignitor terminal with steel wool or a soft bristle wire brush, being careful not to bend it.
- If you smell gas when the flame is not lit, you may have a leak. Turn off the gas valve immediately.
- Inspect the supply line for cracks or breaks.
- Use a gas leak detector liquid to find leaks in the supply line, valve or fittings.
- Apply a liberal amount of gas leak detector liquid to the supply line, valve or fittings.
- Slowly turn on the gas valve a half turn. If you see bubbles, you’ve found your leak. Turn off the gas valve immediately.
- Replace any damaged lines or faulty valves, and tighten the fittings where bubbles were present.
- Repeat this procedure until there are no gas bubbles found.
Dirty Burner Ports
- Check burner ports and the fuel orifice for blockages and keep them clean.
- Remove all the lava rocks, then vacuum or blow out the burner ports.
- Some fire pits have a thermocouple which senses the heat from the pilot light flame. That signals the gas valve to stay open when the pilot is on.
- Tighten all connections at the thermocouple and gas valve. (Do not overtighten.)
- The thermocouple could be faulty. If so, it's time to call an expert technician.
- You have plenty of flames, but now it makes a whistling sound.
- Bends in the flexible lines may cause a whistling sound.
- The wrong size regulator on the supply line can result in too much gas supply and may cause a whistling sound.
- Keep the owners manual for your fire pit easily accessible to reference the model and part numbers.
- Most manufacturers offer replacement parts. Or check with appliance parts stores like Dey Distributing.
Originally Published: October 18, 2020