Backyard fire features add beauty and warmth to any landscape project, there are design factors to consider before including a fire feature into your project. Gas type, shape, size ignition type and location (clearance) of feature are the main checklist to think through before purchasing your fire pit.
Fire pits add beauty and warmth to any landscape design, while adding a fire pit is not the same amount of construction as undergoing that dream add-on to your house, there are still some things that need addressed. Like any construction project there will be permits and inspections, make sure you follow the clearances specified outlined in the instructions or you will not pass the inspection.
Gas Type and BTU's
Not all gas is the same and this affects the construction and parts in your fire pit, for instance, all Liquid Propane (LP) fire pits require vents to ensure that (LP) gas does not build up in the fire pit area. Make sure you verify what gas is on the property the fire pit is going to be placed, Natural Gas (NG) or Propane, this will affect the how you run your lines. Although natural gas is very common, all HPC certified fire features are available in propane applications as well. All gas lines, natural or propane, must be sized properly to ensure proper volume and pressure is delivered to the unit thus resulting in desired flame pattern and flame height. All of HPC's fire features are NOT certified or RECOMMENDED to be supplied by 20LB LP tank (BBQ tank).
We recommend having a certified plumber run either your Natural Gas or Propane line to the site of the pit. Only a certified plumber can accurately size your lines to ensure that the correct BTU's are being delivered. Without being on-site and seeing the project first hand our technicians cannot answer these questions accurately due to the factors that could cause variables.
As you run gas line over a distance the amount of BTU's can dramatically fall causing the fire pit to not receive the correct amount of gas and distorting the flame, or make the fire pit inoperable. This becomes VERY important if you have multiple gas features, grills, torches, swimming pools etc. running off of the same gas line. For safety and convenience you will also want to locate a gas shutoff valve near the fire pit.
Electric (if applicable)
When selecting a fire pit we have several models that require electrical, knowing the circuit is important to selecting the proper voltage. Having a trained electrician set this up is highly recommended as the fire pits need to be ran on their own circuit. If not correctly hooked up the components could short out making repairs a necessary to have your fire pit work again. The fire pits also require an electrical shut off switch on the exterior of the pit or adjacent wall for emergency shutdown and maintenance. Verification of 110VAC 1 amp or 24VAC 4 amp service is required for correct installation.
Ventilation and drainage in your fire pit is key to ensuring proper working conditions and safety. Vents can act as secondary drainage, they are also the main factor in keeping the electronics cool and undamaged. The fire pit cannot be installed below the grade of the ground. If this is done it will void all certifications and warranty of the product because the enclosure will not be able to properly drain when installed. This can also make the enclosure impossible to properly vent causing issues.
Clearance is important on so many factors, heat and combustible materials are the two main. If you are choosing a fire pit that requires electricity, keeping the electrical components from being damaged by heat will ensure your fire pit will be in working order anytime you want to turn it on. Combustible materials are sometime not thought about before designing the fire pit, When you have an inspection there will be guidelines that the inspector has to fallow. If there are any combustible materials near the fire pit, they will fail you on the construction. Please think about all of these issues before designing and purchasing your fire pit, it will make installation a breeze,
There are recommended sizes and install methods that are guidelines, but rest assure as long as the following is addressed you will be able to do any design you wish; Drainage, Ventilation, Clearance and Combustibles.
Remember to read the instructions to the fire pit you are installing to ensure none of these issues arise during construction. If there are any more questions or concerns please look into our support page.