How to Troubleshoot a Propane Fire Pit!

If you own a gas fire pit, you need to know how to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with it. How do I fix my propane fire pit?How do I clean it out? How can I get parts for my Propane Fire Pit? These are all legitimate concerns that individuals express when they don’t know what to do in these situations. This blog post will walk through the best practices and steps to take when fixing your Propane Fire Pit!

Symptoms of a Faulty Propane Fire Pit

Imagine you have gathered your friends and family around your propane fire pit to enjoy a warm evening. But the fire pit does not turn on! Or, your fire pit keeps flickering and giving low fire. So, how do you stop things like these from happening in front of your guests? Well, first, you have to begin troubleshooting by identifying the symptoms of the faulty propane fire pit early. 

  • Here are symptoms your propane fire pit is having trouble: 
  • The fire pit burner does not light up. 
  • The burner lights up. But when you let go of the switch, it turns off. 
  • The firepit produces low fire and warmth.
  • A foul smell of gas coming from the fire pit.
  • A fire pit makes a whooshing sound.
  • The flames of the fire pit suddenly go off and keep flickering. 
  • The control or valve of the fire pit is loose or broken.
  • The supply pipe is partially inflated and has a snag. 

If you see your propane fire pit showing the above symptoms, you should address them soon. Fixing these problems is easy. However, you can also take professional help. 

Diagnosing Propane Fire Pits!

Circle Gas Fire Pit
Circle Gas Fire Pit

Before you learn how to fix your propane fire pit issues, you should know details about the problems. There are some common problems related to propane fire pits, and you should know about them to solve them. 

⮚ Clogged Fire Pit

When was the last occasion you cleaned your propane fire pit burner? Your fire pit will not ignite and stay lit if it has blockages with dirt and debris in the components. It may also get clogged by small parts of fire mediums like lava rocks and fire glasses. 

Even insects can get into the burner and clog it. Hence, it either blocks the fire or makes the flames inconsistent. When you turn off the fire pit, let it cool down properly. Then clean the burner. Your fire pit will burn steadily and produce sufficient heat. To prevent this problem from happening, cover your fire pit after use. 

⮚ Low Flame

Low flame in a propane gas fire pit can be because of a few reasons. The safety mechanism often limits the gas flow when it detects gas leaks and excessive gas flow. The regulator of the gas tank controls the gas to prevent any danger. As a result, your fire pit produces a low flame. 

The other reasons for low flame are: 

  • Your fire pit is leaking gas.
  • The supply pipe is partially inflated or has a snag.
  • Damage to the control valve.

Most of the time, you can solve the problem of low flame by yourself. But if you are not sure about your mechanical skills, seek professional help. 

⮚ Flickering

Is your propane fire pit flickering out even if there is now strong wind? Then the propane fire pit may have a few problems in different parts to stay lit. The shimmering can happen because of faulty valves or thermocouple connection problems.  

The gas line may also get air inside, which causes the fire to flicker from time to time. Your propane fire pit will ignite, but it will turn off or flicker. So, press and hold on to the control valve of the fire pit for 10 to 30 seconds. It enables the thermocouple to heat the pilot and keep it operating for a long time. 

But if you have a problem with the control valve and the thermocouple, the fire pit will not consistently perform. 

Steps to Fix -Propane Fire Pit

LPG Tank
Propane LPG Tank photo by https://www.twenty20.com/photos/

When your fire pit is malfunctioning, do not get panicked. Most of the time, it is easy to fix propane fire DIY. Follow these simple steps to fix the problems we just discussed.  

Shut off the gas supply to the home or business; first of all, make sure to turn off the gas supply of the fire pit. No matter what problem you face, it is wise to detach the fire pit from the fuel source lines immediately. If you have a propane fire pit, close the valve of the propane tank

Then disconnect the fuel connection of the pit from the gas tank. If you have a natural gas-fueled fire pit, detach it from the gas line.

Fill up the Tank

You are not getting low fire from the pit because the fire tank is empty, not full enough. It is as simple as that. So, check the fuel in the propane tank. If it is low, refill or replace the tank. 

When you want to light your fire pit, first, turn on the valve of the tank. After that, open the fire pit valve. If you turn on the fire pit valve first, the safety valve of the tank may stop the gas supply. 

Activators and Ignitors

Your fire pit ignitor should spark to create fire. Most of the propane fire pits these days operate on batteries. To locate the batteries, you have to unscrew its button or open the compartment. 

Disconnect the existing battery and swap it with a new one, ensuring to conserve the precise polarity of the battery. Also, check the wire of the ignitor switch is connected to the ignitor. Cleaning the ignitor terminal will also help improve its performance. Using a ball of steel wool or bristle brush, gently clean the ignitor.

Is there gas in the Hose?

Do you smell gas in the house? Your indoor propane fire pit can be the cause of the propane smell. See if gas is leaking from it. Close the gas valve and remove flammable things from the spot. 

Next, check the propane supply line. Gas may come out from the cracks of the supply pipe. Apply gas leak checking liquid on valve, pipes and fittings to find out leaks. Turn on the gas valve half around slowly. If you see bubbles from the liquid applied part, the leak is there. 

You must replace the faulty parts and make sure to install new features safely. If the fittings have bubbles, tighten them well. Keep checking for leaks until you find all of them.  

Clean the Stoves and Ovens 

Your fire bit burner can get clogged. Hence, you get no or low fire. So, keep the fire pit stove or burner clean. Remove the lava rocks or fire glasses from the propane fire pit. Then brush off the dirt. 

You can use a vacuum cleaner for more effective results. Once the burner is clean, your fire pit should produce fire like it used to do. 

Thermocouple

You may find everything is fine with the burners and gas tank, even though the fire pit is not igniting. The thermocouple of your fire pit may be at fault in this case. It monitors the heat from the pilot light, and when the pilot light flame is on, the thermocouple signals the gas valve to stay open. 

So, secure the thermocouple connections with the gas. The connection should not be too rigid or underly loose. Consult with an expert if you cannot fix the thermocouple. 

Producing a Whistling Noise

You may not have any issue with the fire. But now, it may make too much whooshing sound. It indicates there is an excess of gas flowing out of the burner. Bend the gas line to control excess gas. An unfitting regulator can also cause too much gas supply. Make sure the regulator is not too small for the fire pit. 

How Can I Get Parts For My Propane Fire Pit?

Now, you have troubleshot your propane fire pit and tried to fix it. If you are lucky, you may not have to change any parts of your fire pit. But sometimes, you cannot help replace some of the damaged parts of the fire pit. So, where do you get propane fire pit parts? 

Always check with the manufacturer of the fire pit for replacement parts. You can visit their stores or check their websites for parts of your propane fire pits. You can also choose any parts from any company that matches your fire pit. If you have a handmade fire pit, ask the constructor where you can get replacements.  

Buying different propane fire pit parts online is the easiest way to get them delivered to your doorstep. You can check popular e-commerce websites like propane fire pit thermocouples, pipes, wires, regulators valves, burners, and other parts.

Some of the best sites to get fire pit parts are:

You can also get different parts of propane fire tanks such as valves, regulators, and pipes from a local shop of burners and stoves. However, make sure the parts you are buying fit your propane fire pit perfectly.  

How to Connect Propane to Fire Pit?

Gas Fire Pit & Red Wine
Gas Fire Pit & Red Wine photo by https://www.twenty20.com/

In a typical case, the fire of the propane fire pit will stop burning when the propane tank gets empty. So, you have to replace the tank or refill it. In both cases, you must remove the propane tank from the fire pit and reconnect it after filling the gas. 

You can change the propane fire tank by yourself with no problem. Remove the propane tank safely from the fire pit. Before that, turn off the gas valve. Now, follow these steps: 

Step 1- Get/ Refill the Propane Tank.

Buy a new propane gas tank or refill the old empty one from an authorized dealer only. This is important for your safety; authorized dealers follow all safety protocols while filling an empty gas tank. You should completely seal off the gas valve of the new propane tank. Never use an open propane gas tank. 

Step 2- Check the Valve 

As I mentioned, the gas valve should be sealed, and you must securely turn it off. When you install the tank, remove the plastic seal or cap of the gas tank. 

Tighten all connections with a wrench, taking an incredibly close look at the thermocouple and gas valve.

Step 3- Connect with the Hose.

Your propane fire pit’s hose and its regulator should be clean. Also, make sure the hose pipe has no leaks. You need to attach a clean regulator to the propane tank. Connect the hose and the tank via the regulator. Use your hands to ensure, secure and tight connection.  

Bends inflexible lines, excessive gas supply, and insufficient sizing are the foremost reasons for inadequate burner output.

Step 4- Connecting to Your Fire Pit

If you use an internal propane fire tank, open the propane tank compartment under the fire pit. Then place it on the tank ring for a secure connection. Push the fire pit to check it shakes. It should not move. So, put it on the spot firmly. 

Step 5- Check the Connection 

You may want to make sure the propane tank is safely connected to the fire pit. For that, you need a liquid gas leak checker, or you can use homemade soap and water solution.

First, you need to turn on the gas valve of the propane tank. Then use a spray bottle to apply the liquid gas leak checker on the propane tank surface, tank regulator and hose valve. Wait for a while to allow the gas to flow through the hose. 

If you see bubbles are forming on these parts, it means there are leaks. So, turn the valve clockwise and secure it. Then check the other connections and secure them in place tightly. 

How Do You Clean & Maintain A Propane Fire Pit?

Soap & Water
soap & water to clean the fire pit photo by https://www.twenty20.com/photos/

Cleaning and maintaining a propane fire pit is necessary to ensure its durability and safe use. Too often, people ignore simple daily care if fire pits which eventually cause severe damage. So, here’s everything you require to do to operate a fire pit in excellent condition:

Clean The Fire Pit Before And After Use

Clean the propane fire pit before and after using it. When you clean it, disconnect from the propane gas tank for safety reasons. 

Cleaning is essential before you store the fire pit. Storing a dirty fire pit could cause it to rust. And clean the dust and debris from the fire pit again when you get them out of storage for use. Always check the ventilation and exhaust system to clean after use.

Shut Off The Gas Valve Or Outlet

After use:

  1. Do not forget to seal off the gas valve.
  2. When not using the fire pit, remove the fuel tank and store it in a well-ventilated space.
  3. Consult with the local authority to learn more about safely keeping gas tanks. 

Get A Cover For Your Fire Pit

You should have a cover for your propane fire pit. Both outdoor rain and excessive sun heat are bad for the propane fire pit. 

Rain will damage the burner ports and wet the lava rock or other fire medium. On the other hand, the excessive heat of the sunlight can damage the gas pipes and crack them. So, use a cover to protect your backyard fire pit. 

Use High Quality And Safe Products To Clean Propane Fire Pit

Use homemade soapy water to clean the fire pit and also inspect for leaks. You may also use a gas leak detector to find leaks and cracks on fire pit connections. Klein ToolsCamco, and Rectorseal are some of the best brands for gas leak detectors. 

If you want to buy cleaners for a propane fire pit, check the following products: 

When you clean the fire pit, especially the fire pit burner and any metal parts, use a soft bristle brush to clean them. You can also use damp cloths to wipe off grease and oil from the fire pit. To wash the gas fire pit, never use hot water. 

Arrange Check-Call Up the Professionals 

Apart from regular cleaning and maintenance, you should get your fire pit burners, pipes and valves professionals to inspect regularly. You can search for fire pit services nearby or check online. 

Some companies even give you a free estimate of their service charge based on your description, saving you money and time. They clean, install and repair fire pits guaranteeing your safety. 

These are some of the best fire pit service providers in the USA, Europe and New Zealand are: 

If you are looking for Fireplace Services and Installers in New Zealand, you can visit Houzz for professional and certified fireplace service companies and people.  

Woodland Direct is one of the most prominent distributors and dealers of fire pits, outdoor barbecues, and accessories for backyard events. They existed long before Google was ever conceived. What to do if your Fire-gear Thermocouple Manual Sense System won’t stay lit and how to repair it from the see-through fire pit are all covered in the video below.

Woodland Direct Inc. (2019, June 25). Troubleshooting the Firegear TMS System [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1j6Oi31eko&t=46s

Final Thoughts

A propane fire pit is an excellent source of warmth for the family and light for your backyard abode. However, to ensure your safety when using the fire pit, follow instructions from manufacturers carefully.

Nonetheless, if you are not at peace with the gas source and prefer something more eco-sustainable, explore electric or bioethanol fire pits as an alternative.

Thank you for reading this article on How to Troubleshoot Propane Fire Pits! I hope it helps.

Source of Information

G. (2021b, October 8). How To Connect Propane Tank To Fire Pit. Gas Ask. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://gasask.com/how-to-connect-propane-tank-to-fire-pit/

How to Clean and Maintain Your Outdoor Propane Fire Pit in Bridgeport, CT. (2020, January 3). Unilock. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://unilock.com/articles/how-to-clean-and-maintain-your-outdoor-propane-fire-pit-in-bridgeport-ct/

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. (n.d.). Consumer Guarantees Act | Consumer Protection. Https://Www.Consumerprotection.Govt.Nz. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.consumerprotection.govt.nz

Quick and Easy 5 minute Appliance Fixes. (2020, July 28). FIRE-TABLE WON’T LIGHT – FAST EASY FIX [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvBV8_90xew&t=113s

Family Handyman. (2020, October 17). How to Fix a Gas Fire Pit [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq8RbJ946Mg

The Outdoor GreatRoom Company. (2021, January 7). Burner Sparks But Flame Will Not Light Troubleshooting [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVRUPFjZEFY&t=22s

Flame Won’t Stay Lit Troubleshooting. (2021, January 7). Flame Won’t Stay Lit Troubleshooting [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03Qwa6bC6u8

6 thoughts on “How to Troubleshoot a Propane Fire Pit!”

  1. I have a propane fire pit that has faithfully worked for us for many years. However, in these past days I have found it Flickering and with low flame. Thank you very much because you covered these two aspects in your post. I will go work on the fire pit and tell you if I was able to solve the issues.

    Reply
    • I hope so since I just changed a pipe in my fire pit, and the flame was smooth again. Make a list of the faults and non-issues within the fire pit, and you’ll have a better idea of how to solve them and get that flame up to spec again.

      Reply
  2. When you don’t have access to wood, a propane fire pit is an excellent addition to your outdoor living space. Using a propane fire pit is simple, safe, and convenient, and if you’ve got the know-how, I’d even advocate building one yourself. However, when they run into issues, it’s a tremendous bummer. Most problems with a fire pit that won’t remain lit can be solved with relatively simple fixes. Now that I’ve read this post, I can better understand the footage’s problems with pipes, gas lines, and other such devices within my propane fire pit.

    Reply
    • Emmanuel, thank you very much for your continued support of my website. Yes, Woodland Direct’s video is one in a million when it comes to being helpful. You can trust them because they’ve been in business for a long time and have a great deal of experience in the field of fire pits.

      Reply
  3. I was looking for an information guide about trying to fix my gas fire pit before investing in a new fire pit and that is how came upon your detailed guide. Found your guide to be very helpful and easy to understand, just soon stops raining going to work on my fire pit with your guide. I have shared it with my friends and family through social media. 

    Reply
    • Thank you very much, Jannette. I’m delighted you found it informative, and I’m confident you’ll identify the core of the problem for the fire pit using this advice. Also, remember that you can buy components for gas lines and cylinders, gauges, and even the burner if it’s less than a new one. If there is a flame problem with a gas fireplace, I will not throw away the unit or the container.

      Best wishes and take care.

      Reply

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