A gas fireplace brings a better ambiance to your house and produces heat and warmth during the cold season. However, this item can often be neglected during summer, hence, the malfunction. If you have the same dilemma, we provide you with a thoroughly researched post regarding this matter.
When a gas fireplace does not light after summer, it usually is because of the following:
- An issue with the thermocouple.
- A problem with the thermopile.
- Incorrect gas pressure.
- Bad gas valve
- Faulty pilot light because it has not been used for some time.
A faulty gas fireplace can cause considerable inconvenience during the cold season. Read on as we get to the bottom of this dilemma and know the possible fixes.
How To Fix A Gas Fireplace That Doesn't Light
A gas fireplace is essential in houses located in cold areas. It not only produces heat and warmth during the cold season but also creates comfort for those living in that house. It is also energy-efficient and less messy than a traditional wood fireplace.
If your gas fireplace suddenly does not work, especially after not using it for some time, it could be due to a faulty pilot light or incorrect gas pressure.
To further elaborate on the matter, here's a list that details why your gas fireplace isn't lighting after summer and how to fix it.
Problem With Thermocouple
A thermocouple serves as the sensor that is used to measure the temperature of the gas fireplace. It assists the pilot light in ensuring that there is enough heat and that the fireplace is safe.
It is essential to consider which type of thermocouple you need and examine where you will use the same. Check the thermocouple first when something goes wrong with your gas fireplace.
Usually, thermocouple problems arise when there is a loose screw or issues with the positioning due to a long-duration misuse. If this is the case, you can adjust the bolts, reposition them, or buy a new one that preferably fits your fireplace.
Problem With Thermopile
Thermopile in a gas heater serves as the converter mechanic from thermal energy to electric energy or vice versa. Thermocouples and thermopiles can be used interchangeably in gas fireplaces. But, the latter is usually used in modern fireplace designs.
Thermopiles are great for non-contact temperature settings because, as said earlier, they convert object heat to electrical. It is a possible factor in your fireplace problem because it is one of the elements in a fireplace that provides warmth.
To check if something is wrong with this part, you can use a multimeter to determine if the thermopile is within the required voltage. However, remember that in testing or replacing a thermopile, you must have already ruled out other possible reasons behind your gas fireplace not lighting after summer.
Incorrect Gas Pressure
Aside from having problems with your thermopile and thermocouple, incorrect gas pressure can also cause your fireplace not to light. It usually happens whenever you have been using your gas fireplace since time immemorial, but you fail to check it from time to time.
Gas pressure should be just about the right amount for the fireplace to be of use. In fixing this issue, it is highly suggested that you call a professional because, after all, you are dealing with fire, so safety must be your priority.
Bad Gas Valve
The gas valve is the neutralizer or controller of gas inflow to the fireplace. Whenever your gas valve starts to malfunction, it could either be because the valve is too old or it is damaged.
To troubleshoot this, you should consider doing the following:
- See if the pilot light is working; if not, look for a manufacturer's manual and carefully follow the procedure instructed there. Make sure you try to relight the pilot light for the main valve to have enough power to stay open.
- Check if the thermocouple or thermopile has enough voltage to keep the safety valve open. Don't forget to check it to ensure the other safety mechanisms receive the same pressure.
Faulty Pilot light
A pilot light is a blue flame that serves as an ignition source and ensures you don't have to turn on the furnace from time to time manually. It is suggested that during the summer season, you should turn off the pilot light to save energy and allow your furnace to rest for some time.
However, dust can build up when the fireplace is not used during the summer, affecting the pilot light's ability to function. If turning it off can't be avoided, then you can do the following:
- Turn off the gas in the main valve for safety reasons.
- Make sure to remove the furnace's access door.
- Look for the pilot knob where the On/Off/Pilot button is located.
- Light the pilot flame while you reset the switch.
- Wait for some time as the pilot light stays on, then release the button.
Here is an article on Broken Gas Fireplace Log – What To Do?
Proper Maintenance of Gas Fireplace
By now, you probably know that when a gas fireplace isn't used for a considerable amount of time, it can cause many problems. To avoid any issues, learn to properly take care of your gas fireplace, especially during and after summertime.
Below are some tips on the care and maintenance of your fireplace every season.
Regular Cleaning Of The Fireplace And Logs
By setting a clean-up schedule, you will be doing yourself and your fireplace a big favor. To do this properly, follow these steps:
- First, disassemble the fireplace by turning off the pilot light and the gas valve.
- Remove the glass panel of the fireplace to have access to the interior.
- Clean the glass and rid it of any residue.
- Clean the interior using a vacuum to remove the accumulated dust.
- Clean the fireplace's surroundings and the decorative stones if you have any.
- As for the logs, you must make sure that you remove them and clean them outdoors.
Regular Inspection By A Professional
Having your fireplace inspected from time to time can make a big difference in its longevity. Aside from cleaning your fireplace by yourself, it would help if you also considered hiring someone.
Experienced technicians are capable of cleaning even the furthest corner of your fireplace. It will also help diagnose early potential damages, which will help you save considerable money.
Never Delay Repairs
Have your fireplace checked annually by a professional and follow any suggestions. Never delay or prolong repairs to save money because your fireplace might not be able to comply with safety standards and become a hazard.
Necessary Accessories For A Gas Fireplace
Proper maintenance also requires suitable accessories for a fireplace. Below are some suggested accessories that you can consider having for your gas fireplace.
- Ash Bucket: It is used to collect ashes and embers, and the bottom of the bucket has an insulator-like wood to prevent it from burning.
- Fire Starter: Sometimes, having a pilot light is not enough. With that in mind, you should also consider buying some sawdust or pieces of wood.
- Smoke guard: That helps prevent excess smoke from entering the room.
- Firewood rocks: It's a stand that stores wood through different seasons.
- Moisture meters: You should measure your fireplace's moisture and adjust the temperature when needed.
Pros And Cons Of A Gas Fireplace
For those considering buying a gas fireplace, we have provided you with a thorough research list of pros and cons to give you a gist of what to expect.
- A gas fireplace is cheaper than an electric one.
- It has fewer safety risks because its mechanic is more natural.
- It is convenient to use, especially for those who have a pilot light.
- You can hire a professional technician to inspect and clean it.
- It is low maintenance.
- It has different venting options and is versatile.
- There is no wood aroma, and it is costly to fuel.
- It has a smaller flame and is less picturesque.
- Most often than not, the position of the logs can't be changed.
- A sealed glass is required to avoid having excess smoke in your room.
Check out this post on How To Insulate Fireplace Not In Use for more reliable insight.
Your gas fireplace's light does not turn on after not being used during summer because of defects and damages to the mechanics resulting from not being in use for some time.
Luckily, fixes for these issues are easily accessible, and hiring a professional technician is easy. Just make sure to take note of ways to maintain your fireplace correctly, and you'll be good to go.