Gas fireplaces are easier to clean and don’t require much ashing, so it’s no surprise that many people prefer them over wood fireplaces. Although most gas fireplaces have several safety features built-in to prevent accidents, you always have to be careful when dealing with combustible materials.
It’s important to occasionally check on the condition of your fireplace before and after using the fire pit. You should take steps to protect yourself, your property, or your health.
How to light a gas fireplace with wall key
Some gas fireplaces have knobs and ignition valves, which are relatively straightforward and effortless to use. There are various varieties available, the more traditional versions which use wall keys as safe ignition mechanisms for your fireplace.
There are several benefits of using a wall key to light a gas fireplace. Among the most important factors relates to the safety of others in your house, especially children. A fireplace keyhole is usually inserted deep within the wall cavity, making it inaccessible to young children who might accidentally turn on a gas knob if left unattended.
Here’s how to light a gas fireplace with a wall key:
1. Locate the keyhole on the fire pit
Most fire pits have a keyhole located close to the base (preferably on the left/right-hand side of the wall cavity). Try looking for a small, distinct opening with a metallic interior case along the wall of your fireplace. You can also try fitting the metallic key to check if it is compatible.
2. Insert the metal key into the keyhole
Most keys measure between 3 to 6 inches, though you might find longer varieties for outdoor use. A gas pit key features a flattened handle for better grip complemented by a well-defined shaft and a rounded edge on the opposite side. Some varieties might also have a square tip depending on the gas control valve in use.
3. Turn the key in a counterclockwise direction
Verify if the key fits securely before firmly turning it in the opposite direction. You can start by turning the key to a very slight angle of about 15 to 30 degrees to confirm if the key is ideal for your fire pit.
4. Ignite the gas using a butane lighter
Butane lighters are a safe option for lighting a gas fireplace. The long stick of the wand prevents close contact with flames which can easily cause burns and other related injuries to a person’s hand.
Using the lighter correctly first requires checking if the device is functional before placing the exposed end near the base of your gas valve. Make sure you press on the trigger and place it close to the source of the gas. Some lighters have additional child-proofing features (check with the manufacturer in case of any difficulties while using the butane lighter).
5. Adjust the flame to the desired level
Using the key can easily adjust the flame intensity according to your preferences. An anticlockwise movement increases the flame size, while a clockwise rotation reduces the flame size and brightness.
How to turn off a gas fireplace with a wall key
Some gas fire pits have a knob within their control panel that makes it easy to switch off the flame when not in use, but if you are using a wall key, the situation may not be so straightforward.
A significant challenge involves the safety of handling combustible gases. Make sure you are well versed in how to turn off a gas fireplace with a wall key to avoid any mishaps.
Here’s how to correctly turn off a gas fireplace with a wall key:
1. Identify the location of your shut-off valve
Identify the location of your shut-off valve within your wall. The shut-off valve location is usually close to the base of your fireplace and features a keyhole where you control the flame intensity and size.
2. Insert the wall key inside the keyhole
Make sure to use the correct key while turning off a gas flame. An incorrect key size may not work correctly and may end up damaging the valve, cause leaks and other dangers to your living space.
3. Carefully turn the key in a clockwise direction
After you are sure that the wall key fits correctly, your next step should be slowly and steadily rotating the handle in a clockwise direction while at the same time checking the corresponding effect on the flame.
4. Firmly close the gas valve and check for potential leaks
Close the valve tightly to prevent leaks and interference from young children who might try to open the gas valve out of curiosity. Store your key in a safe location and perform a quick observation to check for leaks or other damages to the fireplace areas.
5. Ventilate the area
You can also open windows and other airways before moving forward with your project.
Can you light a gas fireplace without a key?
It’s always advisable to use the correct key to turn on a gas fireplace. There are times when you may not have a key on hand, or the key might have suffered damage, become loose, or broken.
The modern fireplaces come with an emergency electric ignition device. The switch can be handy when you don’t have a wall key. Besides, it provides you with a viable alternative to safely turn on your gas switch without relying on the key.
Alternative ways to turn on the gas fire pit
You might accidentally misplace or lose your fireplace key. It’s always advisable to look for a replacement before attempting to use alternative means. However, in an emergency, you can still warm your home by employing some technical expertise.
Some models have knobs and ignition switches that make it easy to turn on a fire pit even without a key. You can start by reading the user manual for such information before attempting other more dangerous maneuvers. If you look around the edges, the base of your fire pit, you might find a small protrusion or button indicating the latter’s location.
The function may not be available on older models, an aspect that makes it more challenging to turn on your fireplace without having to use a key. If your gas fireplace doesn’t have a wall key, you can still switch on the pilot button, though it’s a bit more technical and might require lots of precaution.
Start by turning off the gas before you look for the fire pit’s control panel. Follow the user manual to identify the ignitor switch and circuit breakers (if any). You might also need to remove the glass shield and other materials that could block your access to the gas area before slowly turning on the stitch within the allocated time (we suggest you check the user manual).
Always ensure the gas is at the lowest setting before striking a match and placing it close to the outlet. Lastly, close up the glass shield and control panel carefully. Never try to light a damaged fireplace. If you suspect that your fireplace has some damage, it’s best to contact your gas company or another professional before attempting to ignite a naked flame.
It is not a good idea to attempt to fix it yourself either. You might have heard of several cases of accidents that happened because a homeowner opted to fix a gas leak problem without having adequate knowledge on the issue. It is a good idea to check with the building’s code and regulations before removing the control panel.
An ideal way of verifying whether your fireplace has suffered damage includes listening for a faint hissing noise or the smell of gas in the air. In either case, make sure the gas valve is off and open all windows immediately.