Troubleshooting Gas Fireplaces – Won’t Light?

So, are you in the mood for chestnuts roasting on an open fire? You go to get your gas fireplace running…but the fireplace won’t light? Failing fireplaces may ignite your anger, but don’t get too upset just yet. We want to help you have a great experience with your fireplace.

So, here are a few things experts recommend you can try to get your gas fireplace working again:

1. Pilot light systems are the most common reason gas fireplaces fail to light, so check the main gas valve to make sure the gas is turned on. It should usually run parallel to the gas line when it is on.

2. If the gas is on, and the pilot hasn’t been lit in a couple of months, you may need to purge the air out of the pilot tubing. To do this, hold the pilot button down for about one to three minutes while the air bleeds out.
Spiders and other insects often lay nests inside pilot tubings in rural areas.

3. If gas is coming out of the pilot, but it still won’t light, the spark igniter could be the problem. Look for and clear out any debris between the igniter and thermocouple.

4. The pilot lights, but not staying lit, indicates that the thermocouple is worn out or bad.

5. Another quick fix to try, is blowing compressed air into the pilot area, waiting a couple minutes, then trying again — just like you did with your video game system in the ’90s.

Other issues include loose connections, defective valves or bad modules in electric ignition units, according to experts.

The newer electric systems are more sensitive, and require the consumer to figure out if the issue lies in the electronic ignition or pilot. Sometimes those units have a battery backup system and can be switched to battery mode. However, diagnosis methods remain about the same.

How much you choose to investigate your fireplace problem is dependent on your experience with gas appliances. We feel that you are better safe than sorry. A small repair can become much more costly if you don’t know what you are doing. If you’ve attempted all the troubleshooting methods that you feel comfortable with (or you don’t want to mess with any of it yourself), it’s time to call in an expert.

We here at First Choice Chimney are here to help you: 817-791-4606