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Gas Fireplace Troubleshooting

Are you having trouble with your gas fireplace? A gas fireplace contains several different parts including an electronic ignition system, thermocouple or thermopile, burner, and ceramic logs that make it possible for your gas fireplace to automatically maintain the desired temperature. However, when one or more of these parts fail or if there is an interruption in your electric or gas service, it could prevent your gas fireplace from working properly. The following guide will help you troubleshoot common gas fireplace problems.

gas fireplace maintenance, hudson nyGas Fireplace Won’t Ignite

If your gas fireplace won’t ignite, the fix is often as simple as flipping the circuit breaker. Most gas fireplaces have an electronic ignition system that ignites the flames. Power surges are common. When it does occur, the circuit breaker to your gas fireplace will flip off, preventing your fireplace from starting until you turn it back on. Go to the main fuse box and flip the circuit breaker back on if it is in the off position.

The Pilot Won’t Light

A strong draft or drafty chimney can blow out the pilot light in the fireplace and make it difficult for it to stay lit. Check the vent cap and ensure it is secure. Replace it if it is damaged or missing. Then, follow your manufacturer’s instructions for lighting the pilot. If it still won’t light check that the main gas valve in your fireplace is in the ON position. Your propane gas tank may be empty or there may have been an interruption in your natural gas service. Check to make sure there is gas in the tank. If you have natural gas, verify that the main safety valve is in the ON position. If the pilot still won’t light, there may be an issue with the spark igniter. Clean any debris between the igniter and thermocouple. If your pilot lights, but won’t stay on, the thermocouple may need replacement. Contact a qualified gas fireplace repair technician for assistance with troubleshooting.

The Gas Burner Flame Is Low or Won’t Go On

When the gas burner flame won’t go on, try raising the thermostat setting for the fireplace. The thermostat may be set to a temperature that is lower than the indoor temperature. Although propane and natural gas are cleaner-burning fuels, residues from the gas, soot, and dust can clog the burner ports resulting in low or no flame activity. It is best to hire a certified service technician like Hudson Valley Chimney to disassemble and clean the burner.

Sooty Build-Up in the Gas Fireplace

Noticing an excessive accumulation of soot in the fireplace, doors, and gas logs is typically due to clogged burner ports or improperly positioned logs. It causes incomplete combustion which produces excessive soot and reduces its heating efficiency. A thorough cleaning should alleviate the sooty build-up issue. Schedule a routine cleaning and maintenance service with a certified chimney technician.

Bad Odors

Smelling bad odors coming from your gas fireplace is often a sign that your chimney or vent needs cleaning. However, if it smells like rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak. Exit your home and contact the gas company immediately. The build-up of soot, gas residues and other debris can also make your fireplace smelly. It could also be due to small animals and pests that have entered or became trapped in the flue due to a damaged or missing vent cap. These critters and debris can also block the flue vent. It’s a potentially hazardous issue because it restricts the venting of toxic fumes, increasing the risk of exposure to dangerous carbon monoxide gas.

While gas fireplaces are lower maintenance than their wood-burning cousins, annual chimney inspections and periodic cleaning are still necessary. Even ventless gas fireplaces should be inspected and cleaned every year.  The bad odors will dissipate after you hire a Certified Chimney Sweep® to inspect and clean the chimney.

gas fireplace inspection, esopus nyGas Fireplace Maintenance & Repair

Annual gas fireplace inspections and cleaning can help prevent premature failures, reduce repairs, and prolong the life expectancy of your heating appliance. If you’re having problems with your gas fireplace, contact Hudson Valley Chimney for expert service and repair. We proudly serve the entire Hudson Valley, NY, region.

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