Gas fire pits are an ideal solution for homeowners who are searching for a clean, cozy, and convenient way to upgrade their outdoor retreats.
While gas fire pits don't require as much maintenance as wood burning units, it’s still important to inspect and clean them regularly.
Dirt, debris, leaves, soot, and residue can accumulate inside your gas fire pit, especially during the cold winter months when you aren’t using it often. If its essential components become clogged with debris, your gas fire pit won’t function properly and can become a safety hazard.
It’s crucial to hire an NFI certified professional or local licensed contractor to do a thorough cleaning and inspection of your gas fire pit at least once a year. A professional will be able to disassemble the components, if needed, and put them back together again correctly.
Below, we’ve listed a few simple steps you can follow in between inspections to make sure your gas fire pit stays in top condition for as long as possible.
STEP 1: ENSURE YOUR GAS FIRE PIT BURNS CLEAN
One of the most important things to note about your gas fire pit is that it can only be fueled by Natural Gas or Propane. No matter which model you purchase, it’s not safe to use any other kind of fuel in a gas fire pit.
Avoid throwing leaves, paper, plastic, or any other materials into the fire. Melted plastic is extremely difficult to remove and will ruin your fire pit’s finish. Burning plastic materials can also release toxic fumes into the air, posing a health risk to you and your guests.
While it may be tempting to roast marshmallows over the open flames, it isn’t safe to cook food over your gas fire pit. Falling scraps and sticky residue can damage the burner system, resulting in an expensive replacement.
Do not use any kind of accelerant to ignite the fire, including gasoline, lighter fluid, or other volatile liquids. Not only will these toxic substances degrade the appearance of your fire feature over time, but they can also lead to uncontrollable fires.
STEP 2: PROTECT YOUR GAS FIRE PIT WITH A COVER
When you aren’t using your gas fire pit, the best way to preserve its finish and performance is by covering it with a fitted, weatherproof cover, especially if it’s equipped with an electronic ignition system, which contains essential components that cannot be exposed to moisture.
A well-fitting cover will protect your fire pit from harsh weather and prevents leaves, debris, water, and dirt from collecting inside the burner system and around the base.
Make sure to allow your gas fire pit to cool down completely before covering it up.
STEP 3: CLEAN YOUR GAS FIRE PIT REGULARLY
To keep your gas fire pit in top condition throughout the year, you’ll need to wipe down the exterior every couple of weeks, especially if you use it often and notice a buildup of dirt or residue.
Make sure the burner system and enclosure have cooled completely, and your gas supply is turned off, or your Propane tank is disconnected.
Do not rinse your fire pit down with water immediately after extinguishing the flames as the severe temperature change can damage the burner or crack the finish.
Be sure to follow the cleaning instructions outlined in the maintenance section of your installation manual.
Generally, you can use a soft, damp cloth and mild, soapy water to clean the surface of your gas fire pit. Avoid using harsh chemicals and cleaning agents, unless approved by the manufacturer.
As you clean, inspect any visible parts and be proactive about rust and cracking. If you have a natural stone or concrete gas fire pit and notice any cracks in the exterior, you’ll need to seal them to prevent further deterioration.
If the damage is severe and interferes with safe operation, you’ll need to order replacement parts and have them installed by a professional before using your gas fire pit again.
STEP 4: INSPECT YOUR BURNER SYSTEM
Before turning your gas supply back on or reconnecting your Propane tank, carefully inspect your burner system.
Follow the cleaning instructions outlined in your installation manual to remove any soot or dirt that has accumulated around the burner and fire media.
You’ll also need to ensure the vent openings located in your fire pit enclosure are clear of dirt and debris.
Once you’re done cleaning the burner, media, and venting, turn your gas supply back on or reconnect your Propane tank.
If you hear any strange noises once you ignite the fire, shut off your gas supply immediately and call a gas professional to diagnose and solve the issue.
STEP 5: TEST YOUR GAS LINE
It’s a good idea to periodically test your gas line for leaks. To do so, shut your gas supply off and fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and dish soap.
Spray the mixture onto your gas line and slowly turn the gas back on, watching for bubbles.
If you smell sulfur, quickly shut off the gas supply and call a professional to inspect and repair your gas line.
STEP 6: SCHEDULE AN ANNUAL INSPECTION
While regularly cleaning, inspecting, and covering your gas fire pit at home helps keep it in great working condition, you’ll also need to hire a professional to inspect and clean the enclosure, gas lines, and burner system at least once a year to ensure everything is functioning safely.
Reach out to a local NFI certified professional or licensed general contractor who has experience servicing and cleaning gas fire features to schedule your annual inspection.
Any maintenance, troubleshooting, and repairs will need to be done by a qualified technician with the skills and training necessary to remove and reassemble your gas fire pit components safely.
A gas professional will also be able to inspect the venting system on your fire pit enclosure to eliminate any risk of dangerous gas buildup.
DOWNLOAD YOUR GAS FIRE PIT MAINTENANCE GUIDE
To help you maintain your gas fire pit at home, we've created a printable e-book you can download and reference in between inspections!
Discover the components of a gas fire pit, how they work together, and what ignition options are available.
Check out our top five gas fire pits to find a look that suits your outdoor space.
Keep your fire features in top condition throughout the winter months with this simple checklist.