Common Gas Fireplace Issues (& Solutions)

by | Aug 25, 2023 | Gas Fireplace Repair

feet in plaid slipper propped up by a coffee mug in front of a fireplaceHave you ever gone to put something in your refrigerator only to discover that it isn’t working? Maybe you’ve gone to retrieve your clothes from the dryer only to find them still damp? No one enjoys finding out that the appliance they were relying on suddenly needs fixing.

The same is true for your gas fireplace. You come to the end of a long day, pour a hot beverage, grab your favorite book, and switch on your fireplace only to realize that something isn’t right – and it’s not providing the same warmth and ambiance that you’ve come to expect.

What Are Common Gas Fireplace Problems?

The truth is that all appliances need regular maintenance – and sometimes a little troubleshooting, as well, to keep them providing you with the joys and conveniences of modern life. If left unchecked, some of the failures of those appliances can create potential dangers. This is especially true with your gas fireplace which is why it’s especially important to make sure that you’re keeping it well maintained and in working condition.

At Mr. Smokestack we take the safety of our beloved clients very seriously. Read on to see some common problems gas fireplaces can cause, the dangers those problems pose, and how you can get to the bottom of them quickly and effectively.

🔥 Pilot Light Issues

Perhaps the most common issues in gas fireplaces happen when the pilot light just won’t ignite or stay lit.

Why is this dangerous?

An unlit pilot light can lead to multiple other problems with your gas fireplace system, some of which can be dangerous. One of these problems is a lack of heat. One of the major advantages of having a gas fireplace is the speed and effectiveness of heating your space. If the pilot light isn’t lit, you’ll have a hard time experiencing that.

A more dangerous effect of an unlit pilot light is the potential for natural gas building up within the home. This creates a dangerous environment in which even a tiny spark could cause a fire or explosion.

What are solutions?

  • One of the first things you can do to address an unlit pilot light is clean up the area around it. Debris, dirt, and dust can obstruct the pilot light making it difficult to light and stay lit.
  • Another thing to check on is the gas supply. If the valve got bumped and is no longer fully open, it could be choking the flame and not giving it enough fuel to survive.
  • Once the area around your pilot light is clean and you are sure the gas valve is open, check the thermocouple. This little device detects whether the pilot light is on or not – and if it isn’t working it may be shutting off your gas supply as a safety measure.

🔥 Burner Problems

If your burners are malfunctioning, you’ll notice that the flames are inconsistent and weak. This is an indication that you are experiencing inefficient combustion, which leads to poor heat output.

Why is this dangerous?

When the gas is inefficiently burning it can produce carbon monoxide. This invisible and odorless gas can be fatal if allowed to collect into high concentrations. Even small amounts can cause headaches, nausea, and many flu-like symptoms that are often ignored. Last year over 100,000 people were hospitalized because of carbon monoxide poisoning while over 420 people died because of it.

What are solutions?

a lit wide gas fireplace with a blame frameIf those statistics are a little frightening don’t worry. There are some very easy things that you can do to make sure you are safe.

  • First, make sure you are regularly cleaning the burner and its components. Keep them free of dirt and debris that can build up over time.
  • Next, make sure that you adjust the flames to the level you want. Your flames should be mostly blue with a yellow tip. If they are mostly yellow and orange you may need to adjust your flames’ height, so that they’re burning more efficiently.

At Mr. Smokestack, we specialize in fireplace maintenance, cleaning, and servicing. We would love to help you make sure you’re getting the most out of your entire system. 

🔥 Gas Odors

Because it’s a gas appliance, you’re at risk of gas odors – which indicate a gas leak.

Why is this dangerous?

If you smell gas it is important to take action right away. Natural gas contains an additive that will allow you to smell it so that you can call for help immediately. When you smell a gas-like odor, such as a rotten egg smell, it means that it is leaking into your home, which greatly elevates the risk of a fire or explosion.

What are solutions?

  • The first thing you need to do is turn off the gas valve.
  • Open windows and doors to ventilate the home.
  • Do not turn on electrical appliances and never light any open flame.
  • From outside your home, call 911 and your gas provider. 

Trust Us for Gas Fireplace Repair

Mr. Smokestack wants you to know the great enjoyment that comes from having a well-working fireplace in your home. We also want you to enjoy it safely. The very best way to avoid problems and breakdowns with your gas fireplace is by scheduling annual chimney inspections and maintenance with our technicians.

We are experts at spotting potential issues and addressing them before they become problems. Call or request an appointment online today.

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