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How To Light A Gas Fireplace?

By Lawrence Macmillan August 15, 2021

There is no better way to spend a cold winter night than by cuddling up on the couch with a warm blanket and a milky drink. Arguably, the only thing that could make this scenario even cozier is the addition of a hot and crackling fire. And with the advent of gas fireplaces, lighting a fire can be a relatively simple and breezy task. 

Once upon a time, lighting a fire was a long and exhausting process - one that involved collecting vast amounts of firewood to build up the initial spark. Maintaining a fire was not an easy task, but in our modern world lighting a fire can be just as easy as turning on a switch.

In our following guide, we have outlined the various types of gas fireplace you may encounter - and how you can light them to their full potential. These methods are fast and easy and they will ensure that you create a beautiful fire that will keep you warm and toasty during the cold winter months. 

Preparing Your Fireplace

Preparing Your Fireplace

Before you attempt to light your gas fireplace, you should always make sure that you are familiar with the unit you are working with. To help you in your inspection, we have outlined some key elements that we believe should always be considered when using your gas fireplace. 

Locate The Control Panel

Every gas fireplace will be constructed with a control panel, which is used to control the amount of gas flowing through the structure. Control panels will usually be integrated into the fireplace’s design, which means they will usually be hidden behind a decorative panel or grate. Once you have located your control panel, then you can consider other elements of your gas fireplace. 

Remove The Front Cover

If your gas fireplace uses a key to engage the flow of gas, then this means it will also come with a front cover. Before you light your fireplace, you will need to remove this cover and set it aside. By removing the cover, you will be granted access to the burner, which will allow you to light your gas fire. 

Turn Off The Pilot Knob

When you locate your control panel, you should check to see if the pilot knob is in the “Off” position. If it isn’t then you should turn it off and allow it to rest for five minutes before turning it back on. By doing this, you will remove any excess gas that may have been lingering in the fireplace, reducing any dangers you may have encountered. 

Open The Chimney Vent

No matter what type of gas fireplace you own, you should always open the chimney vent before lighting a fire. This will allow the smoke to escape up into the chimney, providing safe ventilation while you warm yourself. This same rule applies to wood-burning fireplaces, which are known to create more smoke. 

Using A Fireplace Key

Some of you may be the owner of a more vintage fireplace, and this could mean that your control panel will take the form of a small, cylindrical tube. This tube is called a valve and is traditionally located to the left or right of the fireplace and it can only be accessed using a special tool called a fireplace key (otherwise known as a hex key). 

This particular type of gas fireplace will also require you to light it using a match or lighter, as they do not have the technology to spark their own fire. If you own a key-operated fireplace, then follow the instructions that we have outlined below and you will have a crackling fire in minutes. 

  • Place the key into the valve but don’t turn it.
  • Use a long lighter to access the burner and pull the trigger so that it emits its flame. You may need some assistance if the burner is difficult to reach. (Alternatively, you can use a long match if you do not own a lighter).
  • Turn the key in the valve to open the flow of gas. When you do this you should be able to hear the hiss of the gas as it enters the burner. 
  • The gas should ignite immediately upon contact with the match or lighter, this will ignite your pilot light. 
  • Replace the front cover then sit back and relax. 
  • If the heat is too much or too little, then you can use the key to change the flow of gas and therefore the size of the flames. 

We recommend that you always store the key in a secure place near the fireplace. Otherwise, you could lose it and the fireplace will be rendered useless. 

Using A Control Panel

Many fireplace owners these days will own more modern models, which tend to use control panels instead of gas valves. A gas fireplace control panel will usually contain a control dial and an igniter switch or pilot knob. Most control dials will have options such as “On”, “Off” and “Pilot”. 

If you possess a control panel-operated gas fireplace, then you can follow the instructions down below. Control panels are easy to operate, and by following our guide you will have a roaring fire in no time at all. 

  • To begin you must turn the knob from “Off” to “Pilot”
  • Then you must press the pilot knob, which will begin the flow of gas into the system. 
  • As the gas fills the fireplace, you should be pressing the igniter once every few seconds until it lights. This process can take a few turns before it eventually ignites, this depends on how long the fire was last used. 
  • Once the pilot has been lit, you will need to hold down the pilot button for about 15-30 seconds. By doing this you can ensure that the flame will remain lit after you have released your finger from the button. 
  • Release the dial from the pilot position and turn it to “On” if the flame remains lit. 
  • Once this is done, you can adjust the size of the flames using the “High/Low” settings. 
  • Reattach the cover over the control panel and then enjoy your fire! 

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