Having a gas fireplace in your home is a great way to add some warmth and ambiance to a room without the fuss of tending to a real wood fire. With just the flip of a switch, you can enjoy comforting flames that will produce a surprising amount of heat and set the mood properly for a relaxing evening or a peaceful morning.
To enjoy this feature day after day, you need to know how to turn on your fireplace safely. Once the fireplace itself is on, you can turn the flames on and off just by using the switch – but what do you do if the fireplace is off? We’ll address that question in this article. And, of course, if you need help with your gas fireplace or one of the other systems in your home, reach out to Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric for assistance.
The Bigger Picture
Before turning on your gas fireplace, it’s helpful to understand the general concept of how the fireplace works. Yes, it’s true that you can turn on your gas fireplace with just the flip of a wall switch, but that’s only if the fireplace is prepped and ready to go. That preparation involves the presence of a pilot light, which may or may not be on at the moment.
When you flip the switch on the wall, the flow of gas to the fireplace increases and the flame of the pilot light spreads to the rest of the burners. But that only works when the pilot light is on. So, if you are turning the switch on and nothing is happening, it’s likely that the pilot light is off and needs to be turned on before you can go any further. To turn on your pilot light, check out the instructions in the next section.
Steps for How to Turn on a Gas Fireplace
Below, we have provided step-by-step instructions for how you can turn on the pilot light in your gas fireplace. It’s important to note that while these steps are pretty much consistent from one gas fireplace to the next, your specific model may vary slightly. So, it’s a good idea to consult the owner’s manual if you have one, or look up directions online for the brand of fireplace in your home.
- To get started, look into the fireplace and see if you can spot a pilot light burning. It should be pretty easy to see somewhere near the back of the fireplace area. If the pilot light is already on and the fireplace still won’t light up, there may be a bigger issue that requires professional attention to address.
- If you need to turn on the pilot light, take the cover off of the fireplace so you can access the control area. This will be under the fireplace itself, close to the ground. You shouldn’t need any tools for this job – the cover typically lifts up and away and you can set it carefully to the side.
- Next, locate the two small knobs that control the operation of the fireplace. One will have a range from “Lo” to “Hi”, which manages the flow of gas into the burner. You can leave this one alone for now. The other knob has three settings – “Off”, “Pilot”, and “On”. This is the knob we’ll need to use first, and it’s likely in the “Off” position currently.
- Near these two knobs, there should be an igniter button, which is either red or has a red mark on the end. To start the fireplace, push in the main knob and turn it to “Pilot”. While in that position, press the igniter button. You might need to push it a few times before the pilot light successfully ignites.
- Once the pilot light is on, turn the main knob to the “On” position and leave it. You can then dial the gas control knob up or down, if necessary. Put the cover back on the fireplace and flip on the wall switch to confirm that the rest of the burners will now light correctly.
Off for the Season
During the winter months, when you are likely to be using the fireplace, you can just leave the pilot light on. You’ll want to turn the fireplace off when you aren’t around, of course, but the pilot light can remain on and ready to go. However, once winter gives way to warmer weather and you won’t be using the fireplace, go ahead and go back in to turn the main knob to the “Off” position. This will shut everything down, save you the cost of some gas, and leave the fireplace ready and waiting to be turned on again next year.
Gas fireplaces are easy to use, which is one of the many reasons they have become so popular. Now that you know how to properly turn on the fireplace, you’ll never be more than a few moments away from turning it on and enjoying the warmth that it provides. If you need to schedule any HVAC maintenance or repair in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, get in touch with Walker Air • Plumbing • Electric and we will be happy to help.