How to Operate a Gas Fireplace Safely

Without a doubt, fireplaces add warmth and coziness to any home. While starting a traditional wood fireplace requires some skill and a fair amount of cleaning, a gas fireplace is easy to start and maintain. Below, we go over how to start the various types of gas fireplaces and what to do if yours won’t start. 

Starting a Gas Fireplace Using a Control Panel

Many modern gas fireplaces have a control panel cleverly hidden behind a screen or cover. These control panels are easy to understand and use.

Step 1: Remove the cover over the control panel

Step 2: Locate the knob labeled “On,” “Off,” and “Pilot.” 

Step 3: Make sure the gas is turned on at the gas shutoff valve.

Step 4: Turn the control knob to “Pilot” and push the knob in to start the gas flowing.

Step 5: Press the red ignition switch once every second until the fireplace lights. 

Step 6: Continue to hold the control knob down for at least 30 seconds to ensure the flames stay lit. 

Step 7: Release the knob. If the fireplace stays lit, turn the knob to the “On” position and replace the cover over the control panel. 

Starting a Keyed Gas Fireplace

Some gas fireplaces require a key to start the gas flowing. Here’s how to start a keyed gas fireplace. 

Step 1: Remove the cover to access the burner.

Step 2: Locate the keyhole on the fireplace. It might be located on the floor in front of the fireplace as well. 

Step 3: Insert the key until it locks into place.

Step 4: Light a long-handled lighter and place it next to the burner. 

Step 5: Turn the key counterclockwise to start the flow of gas and light the pilot.

Step 6: Rotate the key to adjust the height of the flame. 

How to Start a Gas Fireplace with an Electric Ignition

Some gas fireplaces have electric ignitions. This could be an on-off switch on the wall or a handheld remote. To turn this type of gas fireplace on, you simply push the “on” button or flip the switch to the “on” position. Keep in mind that if the electricity is out, you won’t be able to light an electric ignition gas fireplace. 

Gas Fireplace Won’t Start? Here’s What to Do

Gas fireplaces are subject to a handful of issues that could make them not start easily. For example, if your gas fireplace has an electric ignition and won’t start, a blown breaker could be to blame. For gas fireplaces that use a remote start, failure to start might mean the remote’s batteries need to be replaced. A lack of gas flow may also be to blame, so check that the gas shutoff valve is turned on (if yours has one) and check for blockages in the gas line. If you can’t find any reason for your gas fireplace to start, call in a professional for diagnosis and repair.