Gas Fireplace Frequently Asked Questions

Are gas fireplaces safe?

On the whole, gas fireplaces are safe - but they’re still a gas appliance. That means they produce carbon monoxide, which can be a risk if there is a leak.

And a leak isn’t always easy to detect. To keep you, your family and all occupants of your home safe from this risk, ensure you invest in a carbon monoxide detector. Here is a video on how to properly use carbon monoxide detectors.

Where is the pilot light on my gas fireplace?

To find the pilot light, one must first find the control panel.

This can usually be found in your product manual, but since you’re already here, we can tell you that it’s usually hidden behind the front screen of the fireplace.

(We recommend you give that manual a read, just as a general rule).


Why won't my pilot light turn on?

First, check the batteries in the remote as well as the receiver in the bottom of the unit (if applicable). Next, check that the valve switch is in the ON position for manual start-up and that the valve is completely closed.

If things look like they should be in working order, but the pilot light still won’t turn on, this could be a valve or thermocouple issue and a service call should be scheduled.

The pilot light is fine and gas is coming out of it, but the fireplace still isn’t lighting. What gives?

You might be looking at an issue with the spark igniter. Check and clean any junk or debris that you find between the igniter and the thermocouple (we promise we aren’t making that word up - check the manual!)

The pilot light and burner both light, but will not remain lit. Why?

This may be a problem with the thermocouple – typically, a thermocouple has the lifespan of 10-12 years, so if you're working with an older unit then it may be time to replace.

Another possibility - the thermostat may not be at a high enough temperature for the fireplace to engage or the fireplace may not be getting enough fresh air, therefore suffocating itself.

If it is really cold out, suggest turning the fireplace on at the lowest possible setting to warm up the venting before turning up to desired level. Sometimes, when the pilot has been left on throughout the winter, the vent termination could be frozen over with ice or debris may have lodged itself in the venting – inspect for this and any damage if possible.

Where is the gas valve on my fireplace?

Actually, there are two!

One you’ll find in the firebox, which is where the fireplace itself attaches to the gas line. This can be hard to access, and is generally used for emergencies only.

The other is a service shut-off, which is found along the gas line that feeds the fireplace, and will be no more than 4 to 6 feet away from the fireplace. It’ll be easier to access than the gas valve in the firebox.

Why won’t my gas fireplace light or stay lit?

Don’t panic - there are a few reasons your gas fireplace might be having a hard time lighting or staying lit. We promise it isn’t because it doesn’t like you.

  • Start simple. First, check that the pilot light is on - it may have blown out. If it’s not on, try to reignite it. Refer to the fireplace’s manual and instructions for this.
  • You should also check the main gas valve to ensure that’s turned on, too.

Okay, the pilot light comes on, but turns off after a few seconds or minutes. What gives?

This is likely an issue with the thermocouple, which may be worn out and requires replacing.

I’ve cleaned the fireplace top to bottom and replaced all of the necessary parts. Why is it still not lighting?

Additional problems that could befall your gas fireplace outside of the gas valve, spark igniter and thermocouple include:

  • Troublesome or defective valves
  • Loose wiring or connections
  • Bad modules in ignition units

Remember, we're here to help if you need it!

What are some other signs my gas fireplace might need service?

We’re glad you asked! Mostly because all we need to do to answer is link you to this handy-dandy, informative article, which covers the major scenarios that would lead to fireplace service.

How can I safely clean my fireplace? How often should I do it?

You should clean (and inspect) your gas fireplace at least once a year. Here’s how to do it safely.

  • First - and we can’t stress this enough - TURN. THE GAS. OFF. Is the gas off? Make sure, now. Good.
  • Start with the individual parts. Gently brush the logs (preferably outside, unless you want to deal with more mess afterwards).
  • Then, lay the lava rocks on an old towel and individually brush or vacuum them (use a soft paintbrush to brush, hose attachment to vacuum).
    • NOTE:Worried your smaller lava rocks will get sucked up? Secure a small piece of porous cloth over the vacuum cleaner hose’s mouth.
  • For the fireplace itself, don’t put that vacuum cleaner away yet - you’ll need it for the inside. Keep using the hose attachment to clean out dust, debris and any weird stuff that may have made its way over from another dimension.
  • Clean the fireplace glass covering with fireplace glass cleaner.
    • Here we must emphasize the importance of not using your run-of-the-mill glass cleaners like Windex, which can have adverse reactions to carbon deposits that build up on the glass. Use a fireplace glass cleaner, please and thank you.
  • Take a damp cloth (use water only, for the love of fire, because the chemicals from cleaners might not get along with the fireplace’s heat, and that friendship is more or less essential for your safety) and thoroughly wipe down the inside edges.
  • Now for the outside. Give the same treatment (with a FRESH water-dampened cloth) to the exterior framework of the fireplace.
  • After this, make sure everything is where it is supposed to be, clean and dry, then sit back and enjoy the fresh flames.

I smell gas when I turn on my fireplace. Is this normal

At first? Yes, for a few seconds.

If it lingers past that? No.

If that’s the case, then you could be looking at a leak or something dangerous. Do not light anything remotely flammable. Call an expert.

My gas fireplace smells nasty. Why? What can I do to fix it?

Any strange smells that you cannot immediately identify through a safe manual inspection of your fireplace should be referred to one of our experts. If you DO attempt anything, please turn the gas OFF first.

When do I need to close my gas fireplace flue?

The flue will be permanently open.

Can I safely leave my gas fireplace on all night?

No. Please do not do this.

Never, ever leave your gas fireplace on all night. In fact, never leave it unattended, period. Fireplaces are designed to contain fires, but accidents do happen.

Can I convert my gas fireplace to wood?

Unfortunately, not really.

The only way to do this is if your gas fireplace is an insert that’s sitting in a solid fuel fireplace, and even then you’ll have a lot of work to do (or rather, the professionals you’ll need to call will).

Is it still safe to use a gas fireplace when the power goes out?

Yes, it is!

Nothing in the gas fireplace - not even the pilot light (in most cases) runs on electricity, and there’s no danger in using one during a power outage.

However, most other fireplaces will not light during a power-outage – so be sure to have a flashlight around.

How much does it cost to install a gas fireplace?

The cost of installation for a gas fireplace depends entirely on the model and trim you choose, as well as several other home factors such as whether or not this is an install from scratch or a conversion.

For more information, find your local store here and let us know what you’re looking for.

How will a gas fireplace impact my monthly bills?

That will depend on several factors, such as where you live and how much you use the fireplace.

Given that they don’t run on electricity, and they provide heat, installing a gas fireplace will absolutely help you save on your hydro bill. You can compare the costs of different energy sources here.

Can I install a gas fireplace outdoors?

If it’s a direct-vent gas fireplace, then yes.

These do not require a chimney, but a special vent that can simply be run outdoors through an exterior wall.

Here is our selection of outdoor fireplaces.

How do I clean my gas fireplace glass?

You just hit the jackpot, this is an easy one! We at Barbecues Galore carry glass cleaner for both wood and gas fireplaces.

I have more questions, but I don’t see them listed here. How can I get in touch with you to ask?

By visiting our handy-dandy contact page and filling out our form or calling your local store (numbers are all listed on the page).

You can also find your nearest store on our locations page, which has all the information you need to call, email or pay us a visit!