How to Get Bigger Flames in a Gas Fire Pit￼
There’s no feeling like cozying up with a good book and a beverage in front of a warm glowing fireplace. It’s even better if you have a gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces are energy-efficient, environmental-friendly, and easy to operate. They are not only functional but also stylish.
However, one of the most common questions homeowners ask is how to increase the flame height of their gas fire pits.
The best way to get bigger flames in your gas fire pit is by first identifying the reason for the low flame. This could be blocked vents, closed shutters, dirty burners, or low gas pressure. From this, the solution could be as simple as cleaning the fireplace, while others may require you to contact your fireplace installer.
Our article will discuss in detail the reasons for small flames in a gas fire pit and how to fix the problem.
Why is my gas fireplace flame so small?
A small flame on your gas fireplace produces less heat and is less aesthetic. Therefore, identifying the source of the issue is essential to determine the solution. Several reasons might cause a small gas fireplace flame; they include:
An obstructed vent will likely cause a small flame in your vented gas fireplace. Vented gas fireplaces have vents that bring air in from outside the home to generate heat and dispose of waste through the vent.
So, vented fireplaces don’t use the air inside the home to make a fire. Meaning any obstruction in the vents will prevent sufficient air from being supplied for proper combustion of the gas, resulting in smaller flames.
The issue could be due to a damaged vent, or something lodged in the vent, such as snow.
Low gas pressure
Gas fireplaces require gas to operate, so if the gas pressure in the fireplace is not adequate, the flames will not be big. This could be due to a blocked gas line, defective regulator, loose gas line connection, faulty gas valve, or another issue with the gas source.
Gas fireplaces also have an inner pipe that drains gas out of the fireplace to create negative pressure. As a result, fresh air from the outer pipe flows into the fireplace. Damage or blockage to the inner pipe will reduce air exhaustion out of the fireplace and airflow into the fireplace. Therefore, causing a low flame.
Although gas fireplaces do not produce as much waste as wood-burning fireplaces, soot can still accumulate over time and block the burners. Dust, lint, and debris from the house can also clog the burner and cause low flames.
Incorrect gas connection
Suppose you have other gas appliances, such as a gas furnace, dryer, or stove. In that case, the amount of gas going to the fireplace could decrease if you simultaneously operate one or more of these appliances.
Also, the wrong gas connection to the burner can affect the size of the flames. So you have to take note of the type of gas your fireplace uses, brand name, and model number.
How do I increase the flame on my gas logs?
After understanding all the reasons that could be causing a small flame on your gas fireplace, you can start troubleshooting the issue. The following are easy solutions that will increase your gas log flame without special tools and expertise.
Things you’ll need
- Small broom
- Soft cloth
- Compressed air
- A small, thin wire
- Replacement silica sand or vermiculite
Check the pressure
- First, you need to monitor the gas pressure in the vent pipe using a manometer. Then, switch off the gas to the fireplace and find the taps marked “in” and “out” near the gas valve.
- Loosen the inlet screw but don’t remove it. Then fix the end of the manometer’s tube firmly over the inlet tap.
- Turn on the gas and observe the pressure reading. The ideal natural gas pressure should be 5-7 inches or the pressure rating indicated in the user manual.
- Turn off the gas, tighten the screw and repeat the same procedure on the outlet tap. The ideal reading should be 3.5 inches.
- If the gas pressure isn’t ideal, turn the regulator by 90 degrees using a flathead screwdriver. So turn the regulator clockwise to increase pressure and counterclockwise to decrease the pressure. Retest the pressure until it corresponds to the ideal gas pressure.
- If the flames are still low, continue with troubleshooting.
Reposition the logs
- If your gas fireplace uses ceramic logs, turn off the burners and take a picture of the log placement.
- The gas log placement must follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the fireplace to burn correctly.
- Flame obstruction happens when the burner’s flames come into contact with the ceramic logs. So if the log placement disrupts the flame pattern, it can affect the combustion of the gas.
- The solution is to look at your user manual and ensure the logs are in their specific positions.
Clean the fireplace
- Cleaning your gas fireplace regularly will reduce the build-up of dirt, debris, and soot on the mechanisms which generate flames.
- Before cleaning, ensure the gas switch is off, and the logs have cooled down.
- Sweep out the silica sand or vermiculite covering the burners to expose the burners for cleaning.
- Use a soft cloth to wipe soot and dirt off the burners. Then use a vacuum around the fireplace to remove dust, lint, animal hairs, and debris.
Open the air vent and shutter.
- When the air vent and shutter are closed or almost closed, it limits the amount of air circulating inside the fireplace, which supports proper combustion for full flames.
- So try opening the air vent door and shutter for proper ventilation, increasing the flame.
- However, don’t open the vent too wide. It will allow too much air into the fireplace and gradually produce red and bigger flames.
Clear the blockages
- First, check the burner orifices for any clogging. Then use compressed air to remove anything that could be blocking the flames.
- Insert a thin wire into all the openings to dislodge the blockages, then blow air through the burners and small holes in the pilot and pilot assembly.
- Check if the vents are blocked. Ensure the opening on the outside of the vent is clear. Also, check the vent opening inside the fireplace is correctly set up and clear.
Use the right products to cover the gas burners.
- Use silica sand over the burners in natural gas logs and fire glass fireplaces, but use vermiculite in propane gas fireplaces.
- Using silica sand with a propane gas fireplace will inhibit the amount of propane gas that rises to the surface, thus reducing the size of the flames.
Check the gas line
- Inspect the gas line connecting the burner to the gas valve inside the fireplace. If the line is flexible, ensure there are no damages or kinks.
- Kinks and breaks could reduce the amount of gas reaching the burner, resulting in a low flame. Straighten the line or replace it if necessary.
Contact gas service
- If none of the above solutions work, an installation problem could prevent the high flames. Try contacting your fireplace installer or gas service to ensure you have the proper gas line installed. This is because a propane fireplace will not burn properly on natural gas and vice versa.
- Manufacturers size burner orifices according to the gas type. They will also ensure the gas is coming in at the right pressure to run the fireplace correctly when other appliances are operating.
The ideal height of the gas fireplace flame should be about 3.5 inches. Always try to regulate your flame to this height.
Check this too: Do Burn Bans Include Fire Pits?
Caution: If you notice the smell of sulfur or rotten eggs while troubleshooting your fireplace, it’s a sign of a gas leak. You should turn off all heat sources, switch off the fireplace, open the windows and call emergency services to fix the leak.
How to regulate your propane fire pit flame size
To get the proper heat from your propane fire pit, you must adjust it correctly. So if your propane fire pit flame is too small, read the following instructions to learn how to make them bigger.
- Find the gas control knob which regulates the amount of gas going into the fire pit. The knob is usually black and is marked “pilot.”
- Turn the control knob to the pilot setting to light the pilot flame in the fire pit.
- Turn the control knob and push it in to allow the gas to flow into the pilot light. Then, with the control knob depressed, press the spark-ignition button or use a match to ignite the pilot light.
- Let go of the control knob and let the flame burn for one minute. Maintain the control knob at the lowest flame setting.
- After one minute, locate the switch marked “ON” and turn the dial to the “ON” settings to ignite the burner. Then observe the flame height and color.
- To regulate the propane fire pit flame size, use the control knob according to the height of the flame. Turn the knob clockwise to make bigger flames on a gas pit, and turn it counterclockwise to decrease the flame height.
- After a few minutes, the propane fire pit flame should change from blue to yellow with red tips. So if it remains blue, there’s excess airflow into the fire pit, and you’ll need to adjust the color.
- You can make the gas fire pit yellow by slightly closing the air shutter. Depending on your fire pit model, you may close the air shutter manually or use an automatic control button.
- Make sure to switch off the fire pit and allow it to cool down before manually closing the air shutter. Then, adjust the air shutter until you get the appropriate fire pit flame size and color.
It’s important to keep the flames of your gas fireplace at the right height. If the flames are too low, you won’t get adequate heat from the fireplace. Fortunately, with the help of our guide above, you should be able to identify the source of the low flame and increase the flame size. However, in case the issue persists, don’t hesitate to call an expert.