The fire features in your outdoor living space need periodic cleaning and routine maintenance. Before the start of the season, it’s especially important! So, you might want to add these tips to your “to do” list.
GAS LINES – ON?
The first thing on that list should be to turn on the shut-off valve on the gas supply line. If you’re hard-piped, there will be a valve with a handle on it. In the ‘on’ position, the handle of the valve is parallel to the black steel or copper pipe. In the ‘off’ position, the handle is perpendicular to the pipe.
Some fire pits will also have valves close to the unit that may need a key to turn the gas on and off. If you have a keyed valve, make sure you keep the key in a spot where it’s quick and easy to access so it won’t be lost.
If your fuel supply comes from a 20- or 40-pound LP tank, simply turn the valve on the top of the tank. Most of these valves operate where clockwise is off and by turning the valve counter-clockwise, it’s open or ‘on’. NOTE: Propane is heavier than air, if your appliance doesn’t light within a few seconds…STOP and let the gas clear.
Turning gas valves off during long periods of non-use also prevents moisture from getting trapped in the gas supply line.
POWER SUPPLY – ON?
Likewise, if the fireplace or firepit has an electric supply, make sure it’s on. Some fire features will have electronic ignition. Hopefully, whoever did the installation clearly marked the circuit breaker in the distribution wall panel.
DID YOU KEEP IT COVERED?
If you don’t have them, investing in a cover can save on service calls for your fire pit. Ask Fireplace & Bar-B-Q Center if there is an optional covering of some sort. They’re worth it! Covers protect the unit from leaves, debris and even critters! It’s important that the unit does not allow moisture, standing water and/or snow to collect over time. This can lead to rust damage and will shorten the equipment’s life. If you hear a quick gurgling sound when you turn the fire pit on this year…moisture found it’s way into the gas line and will need to be blown out by a plumber.
CLEAN THE BURNER
Make sure the gas burner assembly on your outdoor fireplace or firepit is clean and free of any debris. There are likely weep holes that allow water and moisture to drain. Make sure they are not clogged. Any signs of soot or carbon building up should be removed. If you have a pilot assembly and thermopile, they should be inspected and cleaned with a soft bristled brush. A clean, but old toothbrush works well for this.
If your fire pit has glass media, remove it. Cleaning glass media beads, etc. with warm, soapy water will help bring back the shine. Let it thoroughly dry before you re-apply it. It is important that the burner be completely covered with some type of media. If you can see the burner…it will overheat and shorten the life expectancy of the metal.
WHAT ABOUT WOOD BURNING EQUIPMENT?
Don’t let ashes and soot stay in an outdoor wood burning fireplace over the winter. Clean it out. The same goes for a wood burning firepit.
As a reminder, never put out a fire in cold weather with water. A dramatic shock in temperature changes is not good for the materials in your fireplace or firepit.
Make sure your wood supply is covered before spring. Keep your wood as dry as possible, even if you’re burning outdoors. You’ll have less smoke to deal with and it will start much faster.
Here’s to DEPENDABLE PERFORMANCE
If you are interested in knowing more about getting your firepit ready, just stop by and see us at 103rd and Metcalf in Overland Park. We love to talk about our business and our industry with our customers!