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  • Gas Fireplace Troubleshooting: Advice & What To Do


  • December 1, 2022

    What can you do when your gas fireplace is on the fritz? Although most models are practically bulletproof, they do malfunction and perform less than optimally from time to time. When this happens, you need to know how to troubleshoot it so you can get it back to its former condition. 

    Gas fireplaces are fairly common features in many modern homes, and also quite a few traditional residences. Although they come as standard in many newer housing units, more and more homeowners are switching to these models for their many benefits.

    Benefits of Gas Fireplaces

    What advantages do gas fireplaces have over traditional wood burning models? For one thing, they are cleaner burning, with little of the soot and ashes that have plagued fireplace owners for generations. 

    They are also more energy-efficient than wood burning fireplaces, heating up interior spaces much more quickly and more thoroughly than their traditional counterparts. 

    Finally, gas fireplaces are very low maintenance, requiring only occasional TLC to function at peak capacity. Think about how little maintenance you need to perform on your gas stove. In most cases, all you need to do is clean the burner and it will continue to produce that characteristic clean blue flame. 

    Gas fireplaces are pretty much the same way. Just clear away the minimal soot buildup from the burner and you can pretty much expect it to work as normal without further effort. 

    When Troubleshooting Your Gas Fireplace Becomes Necessary 

    That being said, there may be times when your gas fireplace will perform less than optimally. For whatever reason, you might have to dig in and do some troubleshooting to get it back to its former self. 

    In more extreme cases, you may need to call in a professional to take a look at your fireplace. But before you do that, there are some steps you can take that might fix the problem quickly and easily at no cost. Here are some troubleshooting measures you can perform on your gas fireplace if it won’t turn on:  

    Inspect the Pilot Light

    The pilot light is one of the fireplace’s most important components. If it goes out, the fireplace will not turn on. This could be caused by a powerful downdraft, a broken fuel line, or soot and dust buildup. Check your user manual for instructions on how to light the pilot light to get your fireplace working again.

    Reset the Circuit Breaker

    Most gas fireplaces have electronic ignition systems that contain a fuse. In some cases, a power surge could trip the circuit breaker and keep the gas from igniting. Check the circuit breaker to see if it is in the “off” position. If it is, turn it back on and your fireplace should start up as normal.

    Check the Gas Valve 

    Many issues with gas fireplaces refusing to turn on are as simple as the gas valve being shut off. This prevents the gas from flowing into the fireplace. You can remedy this by checking to see that the gas valve is set to “open” or in the “on” position.

    Inspect the Tank and Gas Line

    Sometimes, the propane tank may be empty or the natural gas line isn’t delivering fuel to the fireplace. Check to see if the tank’s valve is open and if there is still gas in it. If your fireplace is fed by a natural gas line, check to see that the main shutoff valve is on. If everything seems to be in order but the fireplace still doesn’t work, your gas service might be shut off by the utility company while performing repairs. 

    Adjust the Thermocouple 

    Another crucial component of the fireplace is the thermocouple. This electrical sensor is typically situated between the valve and the pilot light. Its main function is to turn on the fireplace depending on how your thermostat is set

    If your fireplace is a more recent model, it might have a thermopile instead of a thermocouple. Both components perform pretty much the same function. Sometimes, the fix could be as simple as adjusting your thermostat to a higher setting. 

    If your fireplace still doesn’t work after turning up the thermostat, try tightening or readjusting the thermocouple. It may sometimes be knocked loose or out of position, in which case you will have to screw it back on tightly or reposition it. If your fireplace still doesn’t turn on, you may have to replace the thermocouple or thermopile.

    After you have tried all these steps and your gas fireplace still isn’t giving you joy, it may be time to have you gas fireplace serviced. Call a professional to inspect it and give you a quote for repair. A qualified repair technician should get your fireplace back in working order quickly.

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