Backyard propane fire pits are unique in that they provide fantastic warmth and atmosphere, allowing your family and friends to enjoy an evening of laughter and fun.
However, propane-fueled fire pits, like traditional fire pits, can occasionally misfire, causing frustration when you’re all ready for a lovely evening with close friends and family after dark.
Below, we’ll show you how to troubleshoot the most frequent propane fire pit problems so you can stay on top of things if your fire pit stops working – some of the difficulties are easier to remedy than you think.
Propane fire pit problems, their origins, and how to fix them step-by-step
Here are some of the most common propane fire pit issues that may be resolved by following basic troubleshooting steps and perhaps avoiding a costly repair fee.
Clogged propane fire pit
The last thing you want on a lovely summer evening with your family and friends is for your gas fire pit to stop burning like it always has.
However, this frequently occurs when the burner ports become blocked with dirt, reducing the burner’s efficacy—it will plainly not burn properly.
What you should do is:
It’s not difficult to get rid of the clog.
Take the following steps:
1. Disconnect the burner system from the unit (from the pit).
2. Submerge it in an appropriate cleaning solution; while it rests, the residue should dissolve in the cleaner (allow it to sit for 30 minutes or so).
3. Remove the burner (from the solution bottle) and dry it entirely.
4. Reinstall it in your fire pit and reconnect it to the propane lines.
And that’s it!
Low-flame propane fire pit
Another common issue is little, inconvenient flames: you light it, and instead of warm, huge flames, the unit creates flames that are less than enthusiastic.
Now, the lack of roaring flames could be due to something as simple as a misaligned gas pressure reading or broken equipment, necessitating replacements.
It could also be the result of having too much fire media on top of your burner, such as lava rock, fire glass, or another medium (it restricts the height of the flame).
A gas leak is another possibility
• Make that the current gas pressure reading (at the fire place switch) is within normal limits. If necessary, adjust the pressure by turning the regulator 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise to decrease or raise the pressure.
• Remove anything that could get in the way of the burner and the fire media.
• Double-check that all of the fittings around the entire arrangement are securely fastened. If not, correctly tighten them—the goal is to eliminate any leakage.
If nothing else works, hire a professional to assist you find the leak (and fix it). He’ll also look for any advanced flaws that could be the source of the low flame.
The fire in my propane fire pit won’t stay lit.
The second issue we’d want to bring up is the problem with the fire pit not staying lit.
Look for dust in the thermocouple area and pilot light if your fire pit lights up but only stays lit for 5 to 15 minutes before switching off (unless you, of course, hold the knob in place).
The failure could also be caused by a loose thermocouple line, which happens from time to time.
If there’s too much paint behind the thermocouple nut on the unit, it might not stay lit.
Boulders dropping on the little metallic cage (with round holes) found after emptying the rocks you put into the fire pit is another source of lighting problems.
The boulders may have gotten caught between the built-in pair of wires, obstructing the space between them, which is required as a safety measure to keep the propane fire running.
Procedure for troubleshooting
If you suspect it’s dirt, try blowing the offending particles out of the two places with a can of pressurized air (with a tube).
Furthermore, tighten the thermocouple line by opening the door and inspecting the line with the white sleeve. Continue by hand tightening the brass fitting that goes into the valve just behind the primary control knob.
Oh, and double-check and tighten all the nuts; be careful not to overtighten to avoid twisting or cracking the copper line.
After that, clean any paint residue from the underside of the thermocouple nut.
Clearing the rocks that have fallen into the cage should be your first priority. After that, unscrew the cage and clean it.
That’s not all: make sure the glass around the rectangular box/cage is clean as well (where applicable).
Try all of the aforementioned solutions; once you’ve released the pilot/starter, your fire pit will most likely stay lit.
How to increase the heat output of a propane fire pit
If your fire pit isn’t providing enough heat on a cold night, try the following suggestions before investing in more heaters or upgrading to a larger unit:
Set up a reflector.
By placing a reflector directly above the fire, you may maximize radiant heat (convective heat is lost upward).
Installing a suitable-sized sheet of metal above the fire, for example, can considerably boost the heat.
Larger lava rock bits should be used.
Over the flames, you can stack them in an inverted pyramid formation (but not too high due to the risk of tumbling down).
As the convective heat rises, it will be channeled via the rocks, which will heat them up.
As a result, more heat spreads out all sides of the fire, making those sitting around it warmer.
Ensure that the vitals are in good working order.
If your fire pit isn’t in good shape, you’re not going to get a lot of heat.
As a result, clear any debris from the burner that may be obstructing the openings. To remove clogs, the pipes should also be cleansed with compressed air.
The flame may improve as a result, bringing you one step closer to more warmth.
Frequently Asked Questions about Propane Fire Pits
What’s the deal with my propane fire pit going out all the time?
As previously said, the cause could be:
• Dust in the pilot light/thermocouple area.
• Thermocouple line is loose.
• Excess paint under the thermocouple nut on the unit.
• Rocks slamming into delicate sections like the tiny metallic cage.
As previously stated, troubleshoot your fire pit and it will most likely begin to stay lit.
If there’s one thing we’d want to stress, it’s the need of calling in a contractor when necessary — trying repairs that should be left to the pros is simply endangering your investment.
Aside from that, make every effort to enjoy the pit!