Every home appliance experiences some issues over time and a gas fireplace is no different. The good news is, catching issues early and keeping up with regular maintenance will have your fireplace working for decades – ideally without major expense.
Of course, if these issues are ignored and if maintenance is forgotten about, what started as a minor and inexpensive concern can spiral into a dangerous and expensive affair.
Fortunately, we here at Integrity Chimney are experts at spotting gas fireplace issues early and keeping your system up and running at its best. Here are some of the most common problems that arise in gas fireplaces, how you can spot the source of the problem, and what you can do about it before it becomes a real burn on your wallet.
The Faulty Pilot Light Problem
The pilot light is the tiny, continuous flame that ignites the main burner. If you’re having trouble getting your fireplace started, the pilot light might be the culprit. It can go out due to a draft, a faulty thermocouple, or wear and tear over time. If you notice your pilot light is out or that it is having trouble staying lit, then you have a faulty pilot light.
What You Should Do
- Clean the Pilot Assembly: Over time, the pilot assembly can accumulate dirt and dust. It is always good to start by cleaning up problem areas. It’s quick, easy, you already have the tools, and it doesn’t cost you anything. Turn off the gas, let the fireplace cool, and use a soft brush to clean the area around the pilot light and thermocouple.
- Check for Drafts: Sometimes slight drafts can blow through a room unnoticed. If the right doors or windows are open, these drafts can prevent a pilot light from staying lit. Make sure the room is properly vented, the space around the pilot light is clear, and that any drafts in the room are directed away from the fireplace.
- Check the Thermocouple: The thermocouple is a safety device that detects the pilot flame. If it’s faulty, it won’t allow the gas valve to stay open as a safety measure for you and your home. Replacing the thermocouple is a necessary part of gas fireplace safety. Our techs at Integrity Chimney are experienced and knowledgeable in thermocouple replacement – we can get you back up and running in no time.
The No-Ignition Problem
There is nothing more frustrating than when you need that cozy fire, only to have nothing happen when you try to start it. The ignition system isn’t exactly complex, but there are a few things that can get in the way of your fireplace enjoyment. Fortunately, there are also things you can do to address the issue without great expense.
What You Should Do
- Clean the Burner and Orifices: Dirty burners or blocked gas outlets can prevent gas from flowing the way it should. Without fuel to burn, there is no way to ignite your fireplace. As always, a little cleaning can go a long way. Turn off the gas, remove the burners, and clean them thoroughly. Wire brushes work great to get all the nooks and crannies.
- Check the Gas Supply: Ensure your gas valve is in the “on” position. This seems like a no-brainer, but you might be surprised how many times we’ve received calls only to realize that someone bumped or turned the valve to the off position. Turn the valve on and then give things a few minutes to make sure that your gas has time to reach the fireplace.
- Inspect the Ignition System: Some components within the system, such as the spark ignitor or hot surface ignitor, may be malfunctioning. You can try cleaning these up, but it might be time to replace them. The quickest and easiest way to solve this problem is with professional help – and who better to call than our experts at Integrity Chimney? We have the tools, training, and experience necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
The Weird Smell Problem
Nobody wants to relax in front of a fire that smells like rotten eggs. In fact, a gas fireplace shouldn’t smell like anything. If you do smell strange odors emanating from your fireplace, there is a chance you have a gas leak. Natural gas doesn’t have an odor by itself, but gas companies put an additive in it to alert you that it is present.
If you smell it, it’s a problem and it could quickly become a dangerous one. Even if you suspect a gas leak, it’s time to take action.
- Evacuate Immediately: This is a problem that won’t be fixed with cleaning. This problem is enough of a danger to you and your home that your best course of action is to leave your home and leave your doors open as you leave. Do not flip light switches or turn any appliances on/off before you leave.
- Call 911 and the Gas Company: Once you are clear of the home, call the appropriate authorities and your utility company so they can turn your gas off safely.
- Call Integrity Chimney: After your home is safe, our techs can help to find the source of the leak and work with you to get your gas fireplace back up and running safely. The safety and well-being of our community is important to us. We want you to continue enjoying your fireplace with ease and peace of mind.
Avoid Gas Fireplace Issues By Working With Us
The best way to avoid fireplace issues is to give them regular maintenance and inspections. Our techs at Integrity Chimney can help you spot issues before they start and keep things working the way they were intended.
Schedule an appointment with us online to keep your fireplace working and your wallet happy. You can also give us a call at 570-221-4113. We can’t wait to speak with you!