Gas fireplaces are fantastically easy to operate. You flip a switch, and the fire ignites — except when it doesn’t. From time to time, your gas fireplace or gas heating stove might not light as it should, or it might act up and make odd noises or generate odors. While a service call might be necessary, there are some ways to troubleshoot problems with your gas fireplace.
When your gas fireplace won’t light
If your gas fireplace isn’t turning on, the best thing to do is to start with the simplest solution. Check your breaker box to see if the breaker that controls your gas fireplace has been flipped. If you find that you’re constantly blowing a fuse with your fireplace, you might want to check that the voltage running to the fireplace is adequate. If the breaker’s not a problem, check the gas valve to make sure that fuel is flowing into your fireplace.
When your pilot light is out
Pilot lights are common problems with gas appliances. A gust of wind can blow out your pilot light. If you’re chimney is uncapped, wind can regularly make its way down your chimney to blow out the pilot light. If the pilot light is out, you should be able to relight it following the instructions in your gas fireplace’s manual.
When your pilot light won’t stay lit
If you’re able to ignite your pilot light but the flame flickers back out, a faulty thermocouple could be to blame. The thermocouple is a small piece of metal that helps regulate the flow of gas to the fireplace. If the piece is damaged or out of place, it can cause your pilot light to repeatedly blow out. To determine if the thermocouple is bad, turn your appliance’s gas valve to pilot and press the “override” button. Hold the button for at least 30 seconds. If the pilot repeatedly does not light with this problem, the thermocouple could be to blame.
When your burner won’t stay lit
If your fireplace seems to light just fine but the flames quickly go out, the solution is usually a simple one. The tiny holes that help fuel the flames from the burner are likely clogged. A thorough cleaning of the appliance usually will solve the problem. You can blow debris out of the holes with a can of compressed air, or use a soft-bristled paint brush to clear dust and debris from the fireplace and logs.
When your fireplace smells, makes an odd noise or creates an excess of soot
There are some problems that indicate that it’s time to call a professional technician to service your gas fireplace or stove. A burning odor or a foul odor could signal that there’s a malfunction in the appliance or a blockage in the chimney. Load noises or the rapid buildup of soot in the fireplace could indicate that air flow to the appliance is a problem. You can attempt to adjust the flame yourself, but you are best to call a professional to determine if the problem is more than superficial.
If troubleshooting hasn’t solved your gas fireplace woes, call Fluesbrothers Chimney Service to schedule an appointment today! We can inspect your gas fireplace or stove and help permanently solve your fireplace problems.