Gas Fireplace Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

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A gas fireplace is expected to last between 10-15 years. Still, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be bumps along the way. As with any home appliance, you’re bound to occasionally encounter cleaning and maintenance issues that you must resolve.

Here, we’re going to talk about gas fireplace troubleshooting and the situations that you need to be prepared for. Read on to learn how to resolve your specific fireplace-related issue so that you can get cozy again.

Lack of Cleaning and Maintenance

Wood-burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces require different types of maintenance from one another. However, gas fireplaces are far more convenient because you don’t need to sweep out ashes after every use. Annual cleanings are the minimum maintenance requirement.

Make sure that you proactively stop any potential issues with routine service. You want to get someone certified to scrub out all the debris that could cause problems when trying to start the fireplace.

Burner Failure from Grime

If you do get behind on your annual cleanings, it isn’t going to break your fireplace. However, it is going to impact the way that your burner works. This is especially true if you have pets because animal dander and hair are sucked up to the chimney when the fireplace is on.

The hair then goes up into the burner and causes it to fail. This can also present problems for people with allergies since the pet hair burns.

If you suspect this problem, get a thorough professional cleaning for your fireplace. It’s a simple solution that will catch you up on routine cleanings anyway.

Dead Fireplace Batteries

Sometimes your fireplace won’t start despite a completely well-maintained and working ignition. This is often because the batteries are dead.

Many people don’t realize that there are not one, but two sets of batteries that make a gas fireplace run. The batteries in the remote control connect to the batteries in the receiver.

If it won’t turn on, an easy fix is simply changing both sets of batteries. This resolves the issue quickly in most cases.

Pilot Light Problems

One of the most common gas fireplace problems is that the pilot light won’t turn on. This small part is in the ignition system, and its purpose is to create a small flame that light the larger burner’s main flames. The fireplace won’t work if it doesn’t flip on.

In some cases, the pilot light will turn on but won’t be blue. This means that it isn’t hot enough to light the flame.

If your fireplace won’t turn on, open the vent and look to see whether there is a small blue flame inside. If there’s not, get a lighter and try to relight it. This will solve the problem easily in many cases.

If the fireplace still won’t ignite, you may have a more serious issue to work out.

Find the gas meter and drain the pipe holding the moisture. Clean it out. If the fireplace still doesn’t work, check the thermocouple and thermopile to make sure that they’re not malfunctioning.

Make sure the tubing and wires are in the right places and are properly secured. If they are and the fireplace still won’t turn on, you may need to replace parts or have it fixed professionally.

You Smell Something Strange

Gas fireplaces almost always have a faint smell. This is completely normal. You’ll probably recognize the odor from your gas heater or stovetop.

If your fireplace is new, it also may have additional smells when you turn it on. Burning paint and factory chemical odors are normal for a couple of days. These smells are temporary and will go away within a couple of days.

However, if anything smells even remotely like rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak. This is an extremely serious problem and means that you should evacuate your home and call 911.

Murky or Cloudy Glass

Many high-end homeowners opt for gas fireplaces because of the mixed aesthetic. The crackle and dancing flame is a traditional fireplace staple, but they also are behind modern-looking glass. Unfortunately, this glass occasionally fogs up and clouds your view of the flame.

When this happens, it means that hard minerals have dried up on the gas. There’s nothing actually wrong with your fireplace, but you’ll need to clean the glass with a specialized cleaner. Contact a technician that understands what cleaning supplies to use for the best results.

Air in the Gas Line

Some people note problems when they go back to their fireplace after not using it for a long stretch of time. The most common is that the fireplace or logs seem broken.

They almost never are – instead, you probably just have some air in your gas line. You need to bleed the line for the fireplace to work again.

Go over to the pilot button or knob and hold it down for 5-10 seconds. The air should expel from the line and clear the pathway for gas to get to the unit.

Beyond Gas Fireplace Troubleshooting

While gas fireplaces are made to last, they’re going to need a bit of maintenance and care. Now that you have some of the top gas fireplace troubleshooting tips for luxury homeowners, it’s time to get started.

Dreifuss is committed to helping you install a new gas fireplace in your home if you need a replacement. We also are happy to help you with cleaning and maintenance tips. Contact us to inquire about your specific issue – we’re excited to give you an answer that solves your problem.

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