WHY DOES IT MATTER WHAT KIND OF BURNER YOU HAVE?
If you're looking for a distinct flame pattern, an high heat output, or maximum fuel efficiency, then it's important to weigh your burner options.
Some burners are designed to produce natural, campfire-like flames using minimal fuel, while others are equipped with powerful jets for billowing flames and intense heat. The right burner for your fire pit will also depend on what kind of fuel you're using — Natural Gas or Propane — and how you'd like to control the fire.
WHAT IS A BURNER?
The holes are punched or drilled across the burner's surface, which allows the gas to exit in a way that creates a realistic looking fire.
HOW DOES A BURNER WORK?
When the gas intake valve is opened, gas will flow from the source through the burner and out of the burner's holes to the surface.
Most burner systems can be hooked up to a Natural Gas line or a Propane tank — either a standard, 20-lb. tank or a large, permanent tank on your property.
In most cases, if a Propane tank is used, an air mixer must be installed with your burner system to introduce more air to the fuel before combustion. Propane is such a rich gas that without the air mixer, it will generate excess soot and result in a poor flame presentation.
WHICH FUEL TYPE IS RIGHT FOR MY PROJECT?
If you're installing a permanent gas line, it's very important that you avoid using corrugated pipe. Corrugated pipe is considered lower quality and can be easily damaged. It also causes excessive whistling, which cannot be remedied.
If considerations aren't made for the pipe size and burner capacity (BTU's) prior to purchase, you could end up with low flames and poor burner performance.
Whether you're using an existing gas line or plan on installing a new gas line, your plumber will need to know the BTU capacity of the burner to make sure the line can supply the adequate amount of gas needed for the burner to work optimally.
If the existing gas line can't, then the plumber may need to modify it in order to accommodate the new supply.
WHAT SIZE SHOULD MY GAS LINE BE?
The clearance requirements will determine how close you can place your fire pit to a combustible surface or combustible materials, such as an overhang and nearby trees.
If you're considering using an automatic ignition system with your gas fire pit, then you may need to have an electrical line run to the fire pit area.
Some automatic ignitions are battery operated and won't require a permanent source of electricity, but most automatic ignitions, like AWEIS (All Weather Electronic Ignition System) systems, require a permanent power source and special considerations prior to installation.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ELECTRONIC IGNITIONS
WHAT IS A BURNER PAN?
Some burners have a pan attached to them, while others require the pan to be purchased separately.
Pans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and either sit on top of the fire pit or are recessed into it.
They are typically made out of stainless steel or aluminum since these materials can withstand constant exposure to intense heat, and resist rust and corrosion.
Any fire pit that uses Propane will need to have a pan under the burner. Fire pits that run on Natural Gas don't require a pan, but they are beneficial.
For installation, you'll need to ensure that there's at least 2-3 inches of clearance from the edge of the burner area to the finishing materials.
This clearance allows for the regular expansion and contraction of the pan as it heats and cools. It also prevents your finishing material from cracking due to high heat exposure.
Water can pool in the pan and flood the burner through its holes without proper drainage. To prevent this from happening, pans will typically have drainage holes. If water does get into the burner, then it can leak into the gas line.
HOW MANY BURNER OPTIONS ARE THERE?
Burners come in many different shapes, sizes, styles, and unique configurations. They can have a single ring or multiple rings and can be customized to fit almost any desired flame presentation.
HOW DO YOU CONTROL THE BURNER?
There are a few different ignition systems for burners and ways to control the gas flow. Ignition systems include match lit (manual), automatic, and push button.
The gas flow can be controlled by a key valve, control knob, remote control, switch, or even with your smart device through modern Bluetooth controls.
HOW TO PICK OUT A BURNER
- Determine the size and shape of the fire pit that will fit in your outdoor space
- Determine the heat output, flame size, and presentation you want
- Choose your fuel type — Natural Gas or Propane
- Determine which ignition system will be the best fit for you — manual, push-button, or electronic
- Pick out your favorite media (gas logs, lava rock, fire glass, etc.)
- Select a few burners that fit the size and shape of your fire pit
- Read the manufacturer requirements and consult the owner's manual to make sure the burners are compatible with your chosen fuel type, media, heat output, and flame presentation
- Narrow down the list until you've found the best burner to suit your needs
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE DIFFERENT BURNER TYPES
- For the safest option, look for a burner that is UL approved and CSA tested. This will ensure the burner has undergone rigorous testing to verify it's a reliable and safe heating appliance
- Read the owner's manual thoroughly before installing or using the burner
- Follow the recommendations in the installation manual for the proper amount of media to use
- If there is a spark ignition in your fire pit, don't cover it with the media. Leave enough space around it so it can light properly
- Clean out the ignition and burner area regularly to prevent bugs, dirt, and debris from building up
- Have your gas line, gas connections, fittings, burner, and fire pit inspected annually by a licensed gas professional to make sure they are in good working order