Having a gas fire pit installation is a decision that you won’t regret. These stunning appliances are not only easy to maintain but will add to the ambiance of your outdoor gathering space. To start, no matter the aesthetic you are going for, there is a fire pit for you! You can pick from a variety of pre designed options, or create one from scratch for your desired look.
Gas fire pits are fast and easy to light, not to mention the ability to have constant heat and the control of the flame at your fingertip. Natural gas is clean burning which not only saves the environment but saves you time! No need to feed the fire while you’re enjoying a relaxing night, and no cleaning up that grimy ash when your night has come to an end.
Having a gas fire pit installation will extend your outdoor-living season by months. Who wouldn’t want a few more summer nights to enjoy? Fire pits draw family and friends together. Not to mention, no one is going to turn down free s’mores! Put the time in now to get a fire pit, so you can reap the benefits for years to come.
Types of Gas Fire Pit Installation | Advantages of Each
Custom gas fire pits provide an opportunity to design your own outdoor center piece that goes with the rest of your backyard. You will have your druthers from start to finish with this option. Your choice in shape, stone, and accessories are all within reach, the combination options are endless. Although they are a little more expensive, they are built to withstand the elements. You will be enjoying the quality of this product for years. This type of gas fire pit installation will be an investment, but one that is 100% worth it. It will take slightly longer to build and install, but the countless years that it will last, and the timeless memories that will be made around it will outweigh the time needed to customize it.
Prefabricated gas fire pits provide sheer convenience. If there are worries about weight, space, or time, then this is a perfect option. Although they don’t last as long as custom built pits, that isn’t to say that they aren’t high quality. Pre-fabs can be ordered online or purchased in a local home improvement/ fireplace store. Even though there isn’t the option for complete customization, there are countless options to choose from, so one is sure to fit your needs. Once the fire pit arrives, all that is necessary is to connect it to the gas line, and you have a radiant addition to your outdoor room!
Gas Fire Pit Components
The following components of a natural gas fire pit will already come built in with the per-fabricated option but are open for personalization if you opt for a custom fire pit. Either way, it is important to be educated on what makes up your fire pit.
Gas lines are what make it possible to transfer natural gas from the home’s main source of gas, to the appliances. At The Gas Connection, we use polyethylene combined with approved fittings, the same gas lines that are used by your local utility company. Only polyethylene and approved coded underground gas pipe should be used. If installed properly, you should never have to replace your gas line if you use the correct type. With that being said, avoid copper, black iron, and galvanized pipe at all costs.
This piece of the gas fire pit is extremely important. It is located on the side of the fire pit and controls the flow of gas. It connects the gas line to the burner. When it is turned on, it allows gas to flow into the burner, and when it is off, it stops the flow of gas. Because it adjusts the gas flow, that means it also controls the flame height.
Heat shields are placed beneath the burner to reflect heat upwards rather than it lingering within the pit. This will help keep your appliance in good condition because heat transfer won’t be damaging the inner piping.
Most burners are made of stainless steel because it is a heat and rust resistant metal. This is the component of the fire pit that distributes the natural gas. It comes in many shape options, and each will have holes in it, allowing the natural gas to disperse and produce the desired flame.
Lava rock is for both appearance and function. It is there to cover all of the inner piping and make it pleasing to the eye. It is also a very safe media to use. For example, rocks such as sandstone, river rock and gravel, will often crack or even explode under high heat. On the other hand, lava rock will do neither of those things under heat which is why it is the perfect constituent of the fire pit.
Air hole Drainage
This is an overlooked component that has many benefits. Firstly, it helps keep the inside of the fire pit cooler, which will lead to it operating more efficiently, and lasting longer. It will have a prolonged life because there is less heat transfer damaging the burner and key valve. Secondly, it will allow for drainage of excess water after a rain or snow storm. Lastly, it will enable the flames to go higher than they could without this air hole.
Gas Pipe Installation
Sizing is calculated from the meter to the furthest distance, which in this case would be your fire pit. The first thing needed, is the BTU demand, which is how much gas your fire pit will use every hour. Once that is determined, there is a formula that will calculate what size the gas line needs to be. This sizing formula is dictated by sizing charts in the international fuel gas code. Pay special attention to the inlet pressure needed for the chosen fire pit, as this will affect the requirements for the pipe sizing.
The gas pressure for your newly installed fire pit is critical to maintaining the proper fuel to air ratio needed for optimal operation. What your utility company is providing for your home will be your starting point. Verifying with your utility company the pressure they are delivering and the pressure they are capable of providing will allow you to properly size the gas line and provide the most realistic burning gas fire pit. Knowing these variables will allow a certified gas installer the needed information to make your new gas fire pit the envy of your neighborhood.
Meeting Code Requirements | Process
- A gas line from the meter to the fire pit requires a permit through your local jurisdiction by a contractor
- The contractor will then install the gas line and perform an air test of minimum 40x the working pressure, to ensure the safety of the gas line
- A city inspector will then come to inspect the pressure, depth, and material of the gas line, and other applicable codes
Once your gas fire pit installation is complete and connected to a gas line, it’s time to learn how to begin enjoying your appliance. Depending on what fire pit you decided on, one of these three ways will be how you start it up. It is important to keep in mind that when you first open the gas valve, do not turn the gas up all the way. Start with a smaller amount of gas flow, and once the flames are burning, you can adjust the gas. If you want larger flames, turn the valve to allow more gas flow, and if you want smaller flames, minimize the flow of gas.
This is the most basic and reliable way to ignite your fire. You begin by using your gas valve key to open the valve and allow gas to start flowing. Once that step is complete, take a long-stem lighter, or something similar, and get close to the burner. With the lighter close to the burner, the gas will ignite. Once your wonderful campfire experience needs to come to an end, simply turn the gas valve to the right and that will extinguish the flame.
This is the second of the ignition systems, it is convenient but not as reliable of an option. It comes with both advantages and disadvantages compared to the match lit process. This way is also commonly referred to as spark ignition. This fire pit is installed with an igniter probe to make the process of starting the fire easier than before. The first step is the same as match lit, turn the gas valve key to allow gas to flow. After that, it’s simple, just push the button that is located next to the gas valve key until the gas is ignited. The flames should be going, and when you’re done relaxing around the fire, simply close the gas valve.
Electronic Ignition is the third and final option. A fire pit that has been installed with an electronic ignition system is by far the simplest to operate. It runs on sophisticated electronics, but what you need to know is very straightforward. Depending on your appliance, flip a switch or press the “on” button on your remote, and your fire pit now has gas flowing and flames burning. Although this is a wonderful way to start your fire pit, it is the least reliable. Any time electronics are exposed to the elements there will be service calls. Your lifestyle and anticipated use of your fire pit should help you in making the decision of which option you want.