While many hardscape and landscape contractors are planning spring cleanups and new construction projects, we recommend that you add spring fire pit maintenance to your lists. Like any appliance, routine maintenance ensures that fire pits are safe and trouble-free. Plus, seasonal maintenance provides contractors with recurring revenue opportunities.
Hearth Products Controls recommends that a professional -- one who is certified in the U.S. by the National Fireplace Institute -- service gas fire pits annually.
Prior to starting a gas fire pit for the first time in the spring, here are a few things to do and check to ensure the fire pit is ready for service:
- Make sure the fire pit is clear and free of combustible materials, gasoline, or other flammable vapors and liquids.
- Check the fire pit enclosure vents and clear them of debris to allow proper venting.
- Remove any debris in the fire pit and remove the media for a thorough cleaning of the fire pit insert.
- In some areas of the country, spiders or insects have been known to build nests and/or lay eggs in the venturi holes of the air mixer for LP units. This can cause fuel to fill the fire feature cavity and result in personal injury and property damage. Periodic inspection and cleaning of the air mixer by a qualified service technician is required to make sure your fire pit performs properly. Figure 1.1 shows the location of the orifice for cleaning.
- Check the burner to see if it needs cleaning. Use a soft brush to remove any dust, spider webs, and loose particles from the base, logs and fire ring.
- Remove the blowout box lid and clean the thermocouple, being careful to not damage the element.
inspect the pilot to see that between 3/8 and ½ inch of the thermocouple is
covered by the pilot flame, Figure 1.2
- Reapply media see, Figure 1.4.
- Finally, check the gas lines and connections for any leaks in the system. Ensure all people are a safe distance from the fire pit before test lighting.
These simple tips can add up to having a safe and trouble-free season around the fire pit!