Regardless of where you live, a glowing fire is a perfect remedy for a chilly evening. We now have many options that we can select from to warm up our homes quickly. You can retrofit an existing wood fireplace or install a stand-alone gas or propane fireplace.
Whether you chose a gas or propane fireplace, both are easy to use, provide warmth, and will mesmerize you with their dancing flames. Read on for more information about gas and propane fireplaces and their pilot lights.
Do All Gas Fireplaces have a Pilot Light?
Gas fireplaces are now made with either an electric ignition or a pilot light. The term gas is typically used to mean either natural gas or propane. The two gases burn differently, so the burner in your fireplace must be specifically made for whichever option you choose.
Most newer models of gas fireplaces are equipped with electric ignition. With this option, many have battery backup in case you lose your power.
Traditionally, gas fireplaces, inserts, or stoves were manufactured with a pilot light. A pilot light is the ignition source for the fireplace. This small flame is kept alight with a steady stream of gas. Pilot lights do not require electricity, so if you lose power, you are all set.
With a conventional standing pilot light, your fireplace is always ready to start. However, this means a steady flow of natural gas or propane, keeping the pilot light lit. Over time, this can become costly.
Looking into the difference in the cost of an electric ignition or pilot light is worth your time.
Why does a Gas Fireplace need a Pilot Light?
Your fireplace is kept ignited by the pilot light. A small, steady stream of gas is released to keep the pilot light on. When you turn on your fireplace, gas is released to the main burner. What the pilot light does to ignite the gas, which provides heat.
Serving as the energy source, the pilot light is necessary to open and close gas valves in your fireplace.
Usually, it is safe to leave the pilot light on all the time. However, it does cost money to have the gas flowing continually to keep it lit. It would be best if you calculated that cost to the benefits of keeping the pilot lit.
One benefit to your fireplace of leaving the pilot lit is it prevents insects from creating a nest in your fireplace. Their webs and debris can clog the pilot light and tubing. This can then compromise other elements in your stove.
Leaving the pilot lit also prevents a build-up of moisture. Dampness in a fireplace can cause corrosion.
Where is the Pilot Light on a Gas Fireplace?
Most gas or propane fireplaces have a decorative cover. Remove the decorative cover. Once you have taken off the facing of the gas fireplace, you should see the gas controls. Within the controls, as part of the ignition system, will be your pilot light.
The pilot light in a gas fireplace is part of the pilot assembly. Located behind and below the logs in the firebox, usually in the bottom center of your fireplace, is where you will find the pilot light.
Typically, the gas controls are at the bottom of the unit, near the floor. Inside the control panel, look for written instructions. These will often have a diagram, which will clarify where the pilot light is in your particular fireplace.
To locate your pilot light, look behind a metal rod called a thermocouple. Your pilot light will be right there. The thermocouple is a safety device. It is part of the ignition system of your fireplace, just like the pilot light.
What do you do when your Pilot Light goes Out?
Your pilot light is a flame fed by an ongoing steady stream of gas. So if your pilot light goes out, you need to make sure that gas is not be emitted into your house. Most times, pilot light goes out is because there is a problem with the gas flow. In this case, no gas will be released into your home.
Most gas fireplaces have safety measures in place to prevent gas from flowing into your home. As a precaution, you do want to turn off the gas feed before you relight your pilot. Adding this safety step will let any gas remaining to dissipate before you reignite your pilot light.
When the pilot light goes out, you will need to relight your pilot light.
The stove needs to be shut off at the power switch or thermostat. Manually switch off the gas feed before relighting the pilot. You want all the residual gas that might be in your lines to dissipate before you ignite the pilot.
If the pilot does not light, double-check the gas feed to your fireplace. Suppose this is flowing as it should check the gas feed to your house. Call the gas provider to see if they feel a technician should be sent to your home.
If you smell gas, immediately shut off the gas feed to your fireplace and call your gas provider.
How to Light a Gas Fireplace?
Take the glass unit off the fireplace. This is a step to follow as part of your safety protocol. The gas build-up will be avoided in case the pilot is hard to light.
To light a gas fireplace, you will need to locate your pilot light. Your first step is to access the inside of the gas fireplace or insert. To do this, you need to take off the decorative cover. Your pilot light will be located at the bottom of the fireplace with the gas controls. These are usually near the floor.
Look for the valve that turns off the gas. Turn that handle parallel to the gas pipes. This will opens the gas. If the valve is not there, look behind the fireplace. If the gas valve is behind the fireplace, turn it on there.
Now you need to find the knob that controls the gas. Above that knob, there will be a red or black button. Press the button; sometimes, you will need to press the button twice. This will let you check for a spark.
If you do not see a button, you will need to ignite your pilot light manually.
Next, turn the gas control valve until the word PILOT lines up with marks on the control rim. Push the button in at the same time you push the starter. Do this until the pilot lights.
When the pilot is lit, turn the gas control valve until ON lines up the hash marks on the outer edge of the control.
Replace the glass and its decorative cover. Enjoy the heat!
Check out this video to help you visualize the components of your fireplace.
Pilot Lights and Gas Fireplaces
Safely enjoying your gas fireplace takes a few steps to understand its components. A key element of most gas fireplaces is the pilot light. This small flame will ensure you have a warm and inviting fire to add warmth to any cool evening.
Get your mug of hot chocolate and favorite movie queued, turn on your fireplace and relax.