I just bought a house with a gas fireplace. A hex type key is required
to turn the gas knob on which is to the left of the fireplace( i don't
think there is a pilot flame). The previous owner did not leave the
key which i thing i can get at a hardware store.
What is the correct and safe procedure to light the fireplace once i
get the key.
1. Determine if you have a gas log starter or a true gas fireplace.
The log starter that I had in my condo had no safety equipment
(automatic shut off) other then the manual key valve. If you have a
log starter, you must observe the safety precautions.
Gas log fireplaces ( with the fake logs) may or may not have an
automatic or manual ignition, a pilot light, and automatic shut-off
equipment in case the flame goes out. Look for a controller with
buttons on it inside the fireplace. It should have instructions
printed on it. Some of these are even electric.
A log starter is just a gas pipe with burner holes in it.
2. Open the flue vent. There should be a lever or a chain or a
handle inside the fireplace for this. Make sure there are no
obstructions in the flue such as blockages, bird nests, etc. You
should feel a slight draft of cold are above the flue vent if it is
3. Open the combustion air inlet (if you have one). This allows
fresh air from the outside to feed the fire. This can be a little
sliding door or a lever on the side, back, or bottom for the
4. Turn the gas on about halfway with the key. You sure hear and
small gas. Don't wait too long before lighting it. If for ANY
reason it doesn't light, shut off the gas.
5. When the fire is going good. Always close the screen or the glass
In my opinion, those butane wand charcoal lighters work best, but you
can also use a rolled up newspaper with matches if you are careful.
Get a good fire going with your logs and then turn-off the gas
starter. Make sure it is solidly off - remove the key - keep out of
reach of children
The previous owners has fake logs in the fire place. I think it is a
Hearth fireplace but will double check when i get home. So with fake
logs i don't need to have a gas starter log? Also the screen is a
metal net attached and drawn across the fireplace horizontally
Many of the older, even just a few years older logs do not have a pilot
light or ignition system. This is especially true of the ones that utilize a
sand base to create a real fire look.
Pick up some fireplace matches. They have a bout a 12" stick.Make sure the
damper is open. Light the match hold it close to the logs or sand and slowly
open the gas valve. Second safe approach is to light a match or small scrap
of paper lay it on the sand and slowly open the gas valve.
BTW consider this recreation. As a general rule they produce very little
heat for the gas consumed.
The metal net serves as a firescreen if you are burning real wood. With gas
logs you can leave them open. Though there is always a very small chance a
bit of soot may float off the logs. In theory the firescreen would catch
As long as you have a damper there is no real reason to add glass doors.
Burning the fireplace with the doors closed will result in no heat gain at
all. Closing them when not burning is no more effective than closing the
The instruction call for the sand/pebbles to be placed over the 10 inch
burner pipe to create the effect. However my concern is the
sand/small stones getting into the burner holes. Won't that be a
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