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Frequently Asked Questions

A simple resource for all your fire pit FAQs

Planning a Fire Pit – FAQs

Fuel and Gas Line Sizing for a Fire Pit – FAQs

Fire Pit Burners and Rings – FAQs

Common Fire Pit Issues – FAQs

Can I put a gas fire pit on a wood or synthetic deck?

Yes. In most cases, all the heat from a gas fire pit burner will rise up and not cause any damage to a wood or synthetic deck. Keep in mind, you should try to keep about 10 inches of clearance from the deck to the bottom of the fire pit burner or plate.

What are common dimensions for a fire pit?

Use these measurements as a good starting point for your designing and planning. Master Reference Guide 

Round & Square standard opening sizes

  • 18″, 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, 48″, 60″
  • Add .5″ to 1″ to your opening to make room for the plate

Rectangular standard opening sizes

  • See H-STYLE and TREE-STYLE burner pages and use the Plate sizes to determine standard opening sizes
  • Add .5″ to 1″ to your opening to make room for the plate

Ideal ledge width to set drinks on, put feet up on, etc…

  • 7″ to 12″

How deep to mount the plate:

  • 3″ to 5″ (plate to top of burner jet is 3″)

Clearance from fire to:

  • Top ledge: 5″-6″
  • Combustible building/wall: 36″
  • Combustible ceiling/overhang: 10′

Click image below for a visual clearance guide

How tall should my fire pit be?

How far you set your seating from a fire determines how much heat you feel. Therefore, if you live in a cooler climate, get closer. If it’s a mild climate, you may not feel the need to sit as close. Because of this, seating should be 18″ to 24″ from the edge of the fire feature.

Only design tall fire features if you have tall chairs. This is why standard height of fire features is around 16″ – 25″. For maximum warmth, keep it between 16″ and 20″ tall. If you plan on using 24v electronic ignition, you will need 10″-14″ of space below the plate. You can dig down below the fire feature to make more space if necessary.

You can even design your fire to be at ground level. On the other end of the spectrum, avoid going higher than 24″, as you may feel less heat from the fire. Of course you can make it a taller table if you’d like to set taller chairs next to it. Consider measuring and marking out your space. 

Can I put my fire pit under a pergola?

Yes, but you should keep about 8 to 10 feet of clear space above your fire pit burner. Keep in mind, if your pergola or upper deck is too low, you may incur damage or even an unwanted fire.

Who should I call to install my fire pit?

For propane fire pits, search “propane supplier near me”. There are also various online stores that supply propane regulators for situations that call for more than 200K BTUs. For burners 200K BTUs or lower, purchase a regulator HERE. For higher BTUs over longer distances, sometimes 2 regulators are needed – a 10psi at the tank, and a 2nd stage (11-13″wc) near the fire feature.

For running a natural gas line, or installing a natural gas burner, contact a plumber or HVAC specialist. 

For building or designing a fire pit, Landscape architects and designers are very knowledgeable. Masons work great for concrete and stonework. Pool designers and general contractors often build fire pits for people. Montana Fire Pits should be your number one choice for custom fire pit design!

For moving your complete system to its final location, use general contractors, moving companies, or a few strong friends will do.

Where should I place the gas stub for a natural gas or propane fire pit?

The natural gas or propane stub can be off-center or on-center, depending on the size of your fire feature. The key valve is generally located on the side of the fire pit, so if it makes sense for your build, place the gas stub off-center to reduce the distance of gas stub to key valve. Instruct the contractor to keep the gas stub as low as possible to make room for electronic ignition, or in the case that the plate sets fairly low. We recommend this because with some builds, the plate sits only 8″ off the ground, so plan accordingly. 

Do I need a permit to build or install a fire pit?

You may or may not need a permit to install a gas fire pit. This all depends on which county you live in. Generally, in more populated areas, a permit is required. If you live out in the sticks, you may not need a permit. Therefore, check your local codes to better understand the requirements.

Should I build a fire pit myself or buy a complete fire pit?

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and beautiful way to acquire a gas fire pit, we’d recommend getting a complete system shipped to you. The most popular materials for complete fire pits would be concrete (GFRC), and steel. You can also purchase ‘Ready to Finish‘ fire pit kits. These come with everything you need except the veneer. If you’re handy, and also looking to save some money, you can build your own fire pit. We’d recommend getting a Crossfire burner by Warming Trends for the best flame possible. They also have a lifetime warranty, and produce at least twice the flame as their stainless steel competitors (using the same amount of fuel!)

Can I build a ground level fire pit?

There are all kinds of ways to build a ground level gas fire pit. To avoid corrosion, and to get the best flame possible, we’d highly recommend getting a lifetime Crossfire burner (manufactured by Warming Trends). Also, to avoid fuel pooling under the burner, we recommend only doing this kind of build if you have a natural gas supply. Because natural gas rises, you won’t have excess gas that pools below.

Can I build a custom fire pit?

Yes. The process is very simple to customize your fire pit. In order to do this, simply fill out the form on this this page and we’ll be in touch. We can do custom burners, ready to finish kits, steel and concrete fire pits.

Should I use natural gas, propane, or wood for my fire pit?

The most convenient, efficient, environmentally friendly, and cost effective fuel for a fire pit is natural gas. That is why we recommend using natural gas when possible. If natural gas is not available, propane will do just fine. Wood is simply not a recommend fuel for fire pits in this day and age, mostly because of the smoke output. It lowers the air quality and tends to settle in valleys. If you’re camping, and you’re not in a dry situation, a wood campfire might do the trick. You might be thinking natural gas or propane will not produce nearly as much heat as a wood burning fire pit. If you want to keep warm, we recommend the high BTU output from the Crossfire Burners by Warming Trends. Every model is HOT, and will keep you warm just as well as a wood burning fire. To take the heat up even more, add steel or ceramic logs, or cannon fireballs. All of these fire media options heat up after a few minutes and radiate it into the space. A gas fire pit never felt so good!

What size gas line do I need for my fire pit?

In order to get a tall, hot, beautiful flame in your gas fire pit, you need to have a large enough gas/fuel line supplying the burner. Whether the fuel line is coming from a natural gas meter, or a propane tank, the line size is of utmost importance. Imagine you’re filling up a swimming pool with water from your garden hose. Now place your thumb over the end of the hose… the pressure is increased substantially. However, it will now take longer to fill up the pool, even though you have more pressure. This is why, for the best flame possible, you need good pressure as well as adequate fuel volume.

Ultimately a gas professional will be best in helping you determine the gas line size you need. However, you can use this NATURAL GAS or PROPANE line sizing chart to get a rough estimate. Learn more HERE.

How much gas pressure do I need for my fire pit?

Optimal Pressure:

  • Propane: 11-13″ water column (w.c.)
  • Natural Gas: 7-10″ water column (w.c.)

Water Columnis the term used to measure pressure. There are 27.7 inches of water column pressure in 1 PSI of pressure. So 7″wc is about 1/4 PSI. This is the normal pressure that household natural gas is delivered. The device used to measure pressure of this type is called a Manometer. If the pressure is too high, you may experience unwanted noise. If the pressure too Low, the flame will not be as tall and hot.

Do I need a regulator or air mixer for my fire pit?

You do not need an air mixer with any natural gas or propane burner purchased from Montana Fire Pits. The reason is, air is mixed through a hole at the base of each jet. However, you will need a regulator for propane set ups, and sometimes with natural gas. For propane regulators for burners over 200K BTUs, contact a local propane supplier. For regulators 200K BTUs or lower, CLICK HERE to purchase. From the tank, propane is HIGH PRESSURE, so it must be regulated down, because the burners are low pressure. For longer gas lines, we often use a high pressure (10psi) regulator at the tank end, and a “2nd stage” regulator on the other end of the line to bring the pressure to 11-13″wc. For natural gas, you may or may not need a regulator, depending on the pressure from your meter and the length of your gas line. Consult a professional (plumber/HVAC) for your project.

How do I connect a propane tank/bottle to my fire pit burner?

To connect a 20lb propane tank to a Crossfire Burner, you’ll need a regulator and hose. In addition, it’s recommend that you use a key valve and flex line for adjusting the flame height. If you’ll be keeping the tank within arm’s reach of the burner, you could potentially use the tank nozzle to turn the flame up and down instead of a key valve.

To connect the regulator and line to the tank, the fitting used is a flared “quick connect” piece. That means you don’t need to use pipe sealant for that connection. On the other end of the line, you may need to increase or reduce the size of the line, depending on what you’re connecting it to. Some key valves have a 1/2″ inlet, and some have 3/4″.

Determine what your fuel inlet size is, and then purchase a fitting to make that connection from the fuel line to the key valve or burner. Since the fittings are ‘straight’ as opposed to ‘flared’, you will need to use pipe sealant and a wrench to avoid leaks. Use a spray bottle with soapy water to check the connections after they’re connected and the gas is turned on.

How much will it cost to run my natural gas or propane fire pit?

This depends of how much fuel costs in your area. Natural gas is generally more affordable than propane, and you may not even notice an increase in your natural gas bill. However, most RV stores will supply propane at a substantially discounted price. It’s important to know that the Crossfire Burners use fuel much more efficiently than standard stainless steel burner rings or inserts. This is due to the mixing of oxygen and fuel at the flame. Expect more heat and BTUs with less fuel. Here’s a Fuel Cost Calculator.

What type of natural gas or propane burner should I use in my fire pit?

The key to being satisfied with your gas fire pit is finding the correct type of burner. The burner is arguably the most important part of the build.

The two most common types of burners are stainless steel and brass. You may pay more upfront for a brass burner, but you will pay less over time for these reasons: 1) Brass does not corrode or rust over time like stainless steel, 2) Brass enables the use of engineered ‘jets’ that mix fuel and oxygen at the flame. This helps produce more flame and more heat with less gas consumption. 3) Some brass burners have a LIFETIME warranty. That means you only need one burner for the rest of your life! We recommend the Crossfire Burner by Warming Trends; all brass with a lifetime warranty.

Do natural gas or propane burners keep you warm?

Some will keep you warm, and some will not. Standard stainless steel burner rings tend to lack in the heat and flame department. The nature of this type of burner is that gas gets forced through holes punched in a tube of metal. These types of burners may be a good option if all you need is a little ambiance. Keep in mind, the flames tend to look artificial; like the flames in a gas BBQ grill. In order to keep warm with a gas fire pit, you should consider a burner with ‘jet’ technology. The jets are tuned by the manufacturer to take air in right at the flame. As a result, you experience something called the Venturi effect. The flame is more natural, more vibrant, and produces much more heat. Because of this, you will feel more BTUs and will burn less fuel. The end result is a gas fire that puts out the heat of a wood burning fire (without the smoke!) We recommend Crossfire burners by Warming Trends. Adding fire media takes the heat up a notch. In a wood burning fire, the coals are the hottest part, not the flame. In a gas fire pit, ceramic logs, ceramic river stones, or cannon fireballs will heat up after a few minutes and radiate incredible heat into your space.

How many BTUs should I get in my fire pit?

You can’t have too many BTUs in your fire pit, so go big. You can always turn the fire down with a key valve. A good mid-point entry into BTUs is 180,000. This closely emulates a wood burning campfire. That being said, it highly depends on the application. Maybe you just need smaller fire accents around your pool; go with 60,000 to 120,000 BTUs. The bigger the burn area (inside opening) of the fire pit, the more BTUs you can fit in it. Some style of burners are built to cram as many BTUs as possible into a given space. Top BTUs for round and square openings would be the Octagonal Crossfire burner. If you want maximum BTUs in a rectangular opening, go with the Tree Style Crossfire burner. The fact is, ALL of the Crossfire burners are HOT; so choose your burner based on the inside dimensions of your fire pit.

What is the best material for natural gas or propane fire pit burners?

Brass.

There’s a reason they use brass on ships out at sea. Brass doesn’t rust or corrode like steel. It does, however, discolor over time and it accumulates a tarnish that looks like corrosion. This doesn’t affect the functionality of brass, and it can be cleaned . See How to Clean Brass.

Can I burn wood logs on my gas fire pit?

No. It is not recommended to burn wood or other combustible materials on a gas fire pit. Here is the reason; the ashes will hinder the gas flow from the burner and eventually keep it from functioning. 

Do I need to cover my fire pit?

Yes. No matter how advanced a burner system is, enough water will keep the gas from flowing freely. Therefore, when rain is expected, cover your fire pit. Here are some great cover options

You can, however, use your fire pit while it’s raining or snowing (in moderation). This is especially true with brass burners, as brass does not rust. 

How much fire glass or lava rock do I need?

You should use the inside dimensions of your fire pit to calculate the lava rock and glass quantities you need. We recommend 3 inches of lava rock, with an inch of glass on top of that. This will save you money, and will completely conceal the burner. With an inch of glass over the lava rock, you won’t see the lava rock. This may save you quite a bit of money. 

Can I fill my gas fire pit with pea gravel?

You can, but be careful that the gravel is not too small. What happens is that little fragments of rock can get lodged in your fire pit burner and restrict gas flow.

Some projects may not require a burner plate or pan. In this case, you might use pea gravel to fill up the void under the burner. Set the burner directly on the gravel and put lava rock on top of the burner to conceal it. This may be more cost effective than a plate or pan, however, it will be difficult to access the plumbing if the need arises. This is why the convenience of a plate or pan is recommended. 

Do I need a burner plate or pan for my fire pit?

In most cases, yes, a burner plate or pan is recommend for safety and convenience. We recommend aluminum so that it doesn’t rust. If you’d like to skip the plate or pan and just use filler, go for it. You may regret it if you ever need to access the plumbing under the burner. 

A plate is most common, because the inside walls of the fire pit hold in the fire media. However, sometimes a pan with sidewalls is better, especially if your top cap encroaches into your opening. In this case, you should get a pan that is a half inch smaller than the smallest part of your opening. 

Should I use steel or aluminum for my fire pit plate or pan?

Aluminum is better than steel for your fire pit burner plate or pan. This is because aluminum doesn’t rust like steel. That being said, steel will work fine in a pinch. 

Do I need ventilation for my gas fire pit?

The short answer is YES. Excess gas can pool up in your fire pit and cause problems. In extreme cases, you can see your fire pit exploding into pieces. This is more common in fire pits using propane as a fuel source. Propane is heavier than air, and so it sinks. Natural gas is lighter than air, so excess gas rises into the atmosphere. That doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need ventilation with natural gas. This is why we recommend that you consult a local plumber or HVAC specialist for advice specific to your project. 

How do I safely light a gas fire pit?

To safely light a gas fire pit:

  1. Have your lighter ready. Click it to get the flame going.
  2. Turn the fuel on to your burner, but keep it real low.
  3. Light one of the burner ‘jets’.
  4. Gradually turn the fuel up just a small amount. The other jets should now light by themselves.
  5. To speed that part up, you can blow on the flame just a bit to ‘fold it over’ into the direction of the other jets. If you blow too hard, you’ll lose your flame. If that happens, quickly turn the gas off and start over. Keep in mind, all the excess gas from unlit portions of the burner can build up. If you’re using propane, that fuel sinks down because it’s heavier than air. Make sure your fire pit has adequate ventilation so that the fuel can dissipate. The process that we’ve just described is commonly known as ‘match lit’. 

If you’re looking to light your fire pit with a battery powered spark, or a fully automated premium system, check out your options HERE. With electronic ignition, you can use home automation, your smartphone, a remote, or a dial timer to light your fire pit. That’s right, we live in a day and age in which you can summon fire with your voice! It’s like magic.

How do I install my gas fire pit burner or ring?

Do you really want to risk messing this up and blowing yourself up? That is why we recommend that you get a licensed plumber, HVAC specialist, or propane supplier to hook up your gas fire pit burner. (Maybe we’re being dramatic… or maybe not. It’s just not worth the risk.) With that disclaimer, HERE is some installation information for you.

How to get a bigger, better, hotter flame in your gas fire pit.

There are 3 things that make a strong flame for your gas fire pit:
  1. A good burner
  2. Adequate fuel volume
  3. The correct gas pressure
The first and most important part is the burner. If your burner is comprised of metal tubing with holes punched in it, you will probably never have a strong, efficient flame. Step 1: obtain a good fire pit burner. Step 2: Make sure you have a large enough gas line ran from your fuel source to your fire pit. For the most accurate gas line size assessment, consult a local plumber, HVAC, or propane specialist. For a rough estimate as to the size of gas line you should have, refer to the Natural Gas and Propane Gas Line Sizing Charts. Step 3: Make sure you have the correct gas pressure at the burner. If the pressure is too low, you won’t have a strong flame. If the pressure is too high, you may get whistling noises. The fuel pressure recommended for the Crossfire Burners (which we recommend for the best flame), is 7-10″wc for natural gas, and 11-13″wc for propane. For more information about what that means, read up on it HERE.

My natural gas or propane fire pit is causing black soot on my fire glass or logs. They're turning black.

Soot build-up is normal, and mostly prominent when burning propane. However, natural gas will also build up as black soot on fire media, just not as fast.

You can clean ceramic logs or rivers stones by soaking them in a bucket of soapy water for a few hours. Afterwards, you can spray them off with a hose. Avoid scrubbing them.

If burning propane, try not to move your fire media around too much. Burn them for a while without moving them, and some of the soot will most likely flake off. After that, it will settle in and cause a nice natural looking char. If it is excessive, this may be a fuel issue caused by a rich mixture, or the incorrect regulator. Contact your gas professional. Learn more about soot build up here.

My fire pit KEY VALVE is stuck, or very hard to turn.

Sometimes the valve is “sticky” out of the factory. Because of this, before you install the key valve, you should ‘prime’ it by working it lose. In order to do this, put the valve in a vice and use some channel locks or pliers to work the valve back and forth. Feel free to use some high-viscosity lubricant, such as silicone to free up the movement.

Watch this short video on how to loosen your valve before its initial use.

My fire pit burner is making noise.

Experiencing a ‘whoosh’ type sound is normal. What’s happening is that air is mixing with fuel at each jet and causing a sound like a mild rushing wind. That is why we recommend using Whistle free flex lines in order to keep noise at a minimum.

If you already have a whistle free flex line and you still hear a whistle, it may be the line that runs to your key valve. Contact your gas professional to replace that line or add the proper regulator to fix the pressure.

If you have a gas valve near your natural gas meter, you can reduce the flow there in order to control the noise.

Sometimes water in the line causes a slight whistle or gurgling noise. Remove water using compressed air, or it may evaporate over time. Cover the fire pit when not in use to avoid water build up.

Here are the proper pressures for most fire pit burners; Natural Gas: 7-10″wc, Propane: 11-13″wc. 

I smell gas coming from my fire pit.

Some fuel is not burned in the process of lighting a fire pit. If you’re using propane, some of that fuel may sink down below the fire pit burner. This is why even after you turn everything off, you may smell gas for a short period of time before the gas dissipates. If the smell of gas lingers for longer than a few minutes, you may have a gas leak. Call your local plumber, HVAC, or propane supplier for help.

You can also test each connection and fitting using soapy water in a spray bottle. To do this, spray each connection. If bubbles begin to form, you may have a leak. Keep in mind, straight fittings require pipe dope specific to gas (plumber’s tape does not work). 

My gas fire pit won’t light.

Make sure there is no water or ice in the fuel lines. If there is, you may need to use an air compressor to remove water from the lines. Always cover your burner when not in use to help keep moisture out. Make sure your connections are secure and gas is flowing freely. 

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        Fire Pit Cover Guide

        • Keeps the finish clean
        • Great for covering fire pits with stacked up fire media over 5 inches, such as with gas logs
        • Not considered necessary if you have a tabletop cover
        • You may consider it for harsh winters, prolonged sunlight

        We recommend that you purchase your SOFT COVER after your fire pit is installed and your fire media is chosen.

        Tabletop Cover Options

        Note: Most tabletop covers that are larger than 48″ are fabricated in 2 or more pieces for ease of handling.

        The Advantage of Arbor Wood

        We at Montana Fire Pits have a favorite when it comes to covers; introducing our very own hand-made Arbor Wood Covers. They elevate a fire system to new levels in regards to aesthetics, as well as functionality. 

        • Thermally modified lumber allows natural wood to last 30+ years
        • You can let it weather into a beautiful gray tones, or easily re-apply protective oil at anytime to enjoy the dark, rich colors
        • Lighter and easier to carry compared to steel covers
        • Create a very inviting and functional tabletop experience
        • Recommended Clear Oil: Cutek Stain Extreme
        • Purchase ARBOR WOOD

        Covering the Burn Area

        • Best practice is to cover at least the burn area when not in use
        • This keeps water and debris out of the components
        • If you consistently cover your Crossfire burner, you enjoy the peace of mind of a lifetime warranty

        Covering Edge to Edge

        • Covering the entire top of the fire system is a great design option
        • Creates a very uniform appearance
        • Especially fitting for when your top ledge is 5″ or narrower
        • Go ahead and make the dimensions such that the cover overhangs the edge to make handling easier (we recommend a total of 2″ larger than the total fire system when using a flat cover for this purpose)

        Adding Sidewalls: the Raised Cover

        • Available with our hand-built Arbor Wood Covers
        • When you want fire media that mounds up, such as cannonballs or logs, a cover with sidewalls might be for you
        • Determine how high your fire media might be
        • In rectangle fire systems, fire media tends to mound up a little less, and so we recommend 5″ sidewalls 
        • For round fire systems which tend to have higher fire media, we recommend 8″ – 10″ sidewalls 

        Understanding Materials and Applications

        Steel

        • Lowest cost option when purchased with a steel fire system
        • Sits flush within the burn area for a perfect fit
        • Flawless color match
        • Disadvantage: it’s heavy, can be mildly difficult to place on the fire system

        Aluminum

        • Lighter than steel
        • Great for concrete, ready to finish kits, paver fire pits, etc…
        • Can be powder coated or raw/brushed
        • When ordered with a concrete system, aluminum covers will be built to fit within the burn area ledge for a flush interface

        Arbor Wood

        • Beautiful and authentic
        • Easy to handle
        • Very low maintenance
        • Extremely long-lasting
        • Editor’s pick BEST fire pit cover

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        Free shipping applies to most orders over $99 in the continental U.S.

        Tax Exemption: If you have documents to prove exemption from your state sales tax, visit YOUR ACCOUNT and click on “Tax Exemption”.

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        Manuals & PDFs

        Your local gas professional (plumber, HVAC, propane supplier, etc…) needs to know these requirements

        1. BTU rating of the burner 
        2. Fuel Pressure recommended at the Burner
          • Natural Gas: 7″ Water Column
          • Propane: 11″ Water Column

        Fuel Requirements

        Your local gas professional (plumber, HVAC, propane supplier, etc…) needs to know these requirements

        1. BTU rating of the burner (read more under “Gas Line Sizing”)
        2. Fuel Pressure recommended at the Burner
          • Natural Gas: 7″ Water Column
          • Propane: 11″ Water Column

        There are various pros/cons of Liquid Propane (LP) and Natural Gas (NG). The difference between LP and NG Warming Trends burners are the “jets”. If, down the road, you need to convert from LP to NG or vice-versa, you can do so by purchasing replacement jets from us at $25 each. 

        Propane – pros

          • Flexibility/portability
          • Opens up new location possibilities
          • Sometimes NG is not available

        Propane – cons

          • More expensive to burn than NG
          • Heavier than air, so it sinks down. This makes ventilation more important.
          • Requires refilling the tank
          • Hiding the propane tank can present new aesthetic challenges
          • Black soot tends to build up faster on fire media such as ceramic logs and cannonballs (it can be cleaned off)

        Natural Gas – Pros

          • Cheaper to burn; you probably won’t even notice an increase in your gas bill. Clients of ours have reported $0.25 – $0.75 per hour
          • You won’t run out, so burn to your heart’s content without the dreaded “we’re out of gas”
          • Since it’s lighter than air and rises, there’s less likelihood of unwanted fuel accumulation in the vessel
          • Slightly cleaner burning; less soot build up

        Natural Gas – Cons

          • Limited to what’s available in your area
          • May require upgraded meter or larger diameter fuel lines to provide adequate BTUs
          • The volume and pressure can be affected by other appliances
          • Might require a longer gas line, depending on where your fire feature will live  
          • Would be difficult to change the fire feature’s location after installation
          • Check the side of your gas meter for a BTU rating. Most commonly they are rated at 250K BTUs

        Even though the standard key valve inlet is 3/4″, you may need a larger gas line to span long distances.

        In order to get the proper volume and pressure of fuel, you need a gas line that is large enough in diameter to carry it sufficiently. For the most accurate assessment, consult a fuel professional. For a rough estimate, utilize our gas line sizing charts below. 

        *Make sure the BTUs from your line can supply at least 60-70% of what the burner is rated at. (At 60% capacity, your flame height may be more like 18″ high vs. 24″+ at full capacity.)

        Propane Gas Line Sizing Chart

        Natural Gas Line Sizing Chart

        Gas line sizing variables

          • Using angled couplings can reduce the volume/flow of fuel
          • Adding a 90 degree angle in your line adds the equivalent of 5 feet of distance
          • Running different sized lines over various distances is acceptable, but for maximum fuel volume, run larger lines over long distances
          • Number of appliances, whether it’s a dedicated line or not; all these factors play a role in volume and pressure
          • Pro Tip: if you haven’t installed your gas line yet, consider running it in conduit so that if you ever need to repair or change it, you won’t have to dig it up

        You can have great gas pressure, but if your line is too small, you may not get the desired flame. Think about it like filling up a swimming pool. If you reduce the nozzle size significantly, you may have a ton of pressure, but it’s going to take longer to fill up the pool. You need both pressure and volume to get a great flame. This is why the size of the gas line is so important. 

        Now that you understand the importance of volume (BTUs), let’s talk pressure. 

        Optimal Pressure for Crossfire burners:

        • LP: 11″ water column (w.c.)
        • NG: 7″ water column (w.c.)

        Water Column is the term used to measure pressure. There are 27.7 inches of water column pressure in 1 PSI of pressure. So 7″wc is about 1/4 PSI. This is the normal pressure that household natural gas is delivered.

        The device used to measure pressure of this type is called a Manometer

        Pressure too High? You may experience unwanted noise, usually a hissing sound. You might also find it difficult to dial in the desired flame height using the key valve.

        Pressure too Low? The flame will not be as tall and hot

        Location of Gas Stub

        • Most commonly the gas stub is positioned underneath the fire feature so that you don’t see it
        • It can be off-center or on-center, depending on the size of your fire feature
        • You may want to go off-center if you’re using electronic ignition
        • The key valve is generally located on the side of the fire pit, so if it makes sense for your build, place the gas stub off-center to reduce the distance of gas stub to key valve
        • Most often, the plumber will use hard pipe to connect from the gas stub to the key valve. However, if they decide to use a flexible line, most lines are 36″ long, so it makes sense to try and keep the gas stub within 36″ from the key valve location
        • Instruct the contractor to keep the gas stub as low as possible to make room for electronic ignition, or in the case that the plate sets fairly low
        • On some builds, the plate sits only 8″ off the ground

        You DO NOT need an air mixer with any of our burners. Air is mixed at each jet. 

        LP Regulators

          • For optimal regulation for burners over 250K BTUs, contact a local propane supplier
          • For regulators 250K BTUs or lower, purchase our REGULATOR KIT
          • From the tank, propane is HIGH PRESSURE, so it must be regulated down, because the burners are low pressure
          • For longer gas lines, we often use a high pressure (10psi) regulator at the tank end, and a “2nd stage” regulator on the other end of the line to bring the pressure to 11-13″wc

        NG Regulators

          • Consult a professional (plumber/HVAC)

        Standard 20lb Tank

        • A standard 20lb/5 gallon BBQ propane tank can be used for burner systems 180K BTUs and under
        • The Canyonlands Fire Table is a complete unit that can have a self-contained propane tank
        • Burn time varies from 6-12 hours, depending on how hot you run it
        • Results may vary, and it is common for the fuel to “freeze up” with burners 180K BTUs and up. What that means is that after 45 minutes or so, the flame only goes to about half. Remedy this by using two tanks connected together

        40lb Tank

        • This is a better option for most of our burners from 100K to 200k BTUs
        • It will give you longer burn times
        • Still relatively small and easy to move

        High Volume Tanks

        • Contact your local propane supplier

        Hiding the Tank

        • You can always run a larger diameter line and hide the tank in an inconspicuous location
        • You can purchase 20lb propane tank covers that make hiding the tank a cinch

        Gas Consumption

        • All of our burners burn with incredible efficiency due to the engineered jets. They mix fuel and oxygen at the flame which makes it taller, brighter, and hotter using less fuel
        • Read all about how much fuel you might be burning at full capacity – Learn More

        Compliance with the following standards:

        • ANSI Z21.97/CSA 2.41 Outdoor Decorative Gas Appliances
        • The burner system is certified nationally, however, it is up to the customer or contractor to verify local requirements

        Certified Burners

        Massachusetts

        Effective May 5, 2021 over 100 Warming Trends CROSSFIRE burners will be approved for use in Massachusetts. 

        All gas products approved for use can be found on the Massachusetts Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) website: Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR). To confirm the approval of a product, simply:

        1. Visit the OCABR website.
        2. Select “Product Information” from the drop down, then click “Go.”
        3. Enter Product information.
          1. Select “Gas” 
          2. Manufacturer: Warming Trends, LLC
          3. Model Number: Enter the burner type and BTU output (i.e. CFB180, CFBT290, CFBO140) If you do not have the model information, you may search using only the manufacturer name to bring up all Warming Trends burners that are accepted. 

        Click “Find Products” and see the listing of accepted products. 

        Canadian Customers

        Most metropolitan areas in Canada will require an automatic shutoff for fire pits over 65K BTUs in order to get a permit or certification.

        • Our Premium Electronic Ignition system has the proper fuel and flame censors to automatically shut down the fire when needed. Combine it with a dial timer to increase safety and ease. 
        • You can still purchase higher BTU burners without the premium ignition, and we will ship it with a fitting that limits the burner to 65K BTUs in the case that you’d like to have it certified.

         

        Plates and Pans

        The main purpose of the plate or pan is to hold in the media (lava rock, glass, etc). It also acts like the hood of a car, in that it can be lifted up and out in order to access the gas line or key valve underneath. The plate/pan makes installation easier as well.

        What’s it made of?

        • Aluminum
        • Aluminum does not rust

        Is a plate/pan ALWAYS necessary?

        • No, in some cases a plate/pan is not necessary
        • You may decide to fill up the space with some gravel or lava rock and set the burner on that instead of a plate or pan
        • Using a plate/pan is the most convenient for installation and maintenance

        Plate (No Sidewalls)

        • Appropriate for most builds
        • Sidewalls are not necessary when the burner is in the common position- recessed 3-5 inches below the finished top
        • Use stacked cinder blocks, bricks, or pavers under the plate. This makes for a simple and sturdy plate mount

        Pans (2″ or 3″ Sidewalls. 2″ is Standard.)

        • If the top of your fire table overlaps, or encroaches into your opening, and its thickness is less than 3 inches, you may want a pan instead of a plate (since the pan has to be smaller than the smallest part of the inside diameter) 
        • The sidewalls help contain the fire media/lava rock

        Drop-In Pans (2″ or 3″ Sidewalls + 1″-2″ Lip)

        • Sometimes necessary if you plan on building a portable fire feature and aren’t able to stack up blocks under the plate
        • Bar-height or uncommon builds might benefit from a drop-in pan
        • You will see a brushed aluminum metal band on the top of your fire feature when you use a drop in pan
        • Drop-in pans are available as a custom order – CLICK HERE
        • We recommend 3″ sidewalls with a 1.5″ lip in most cases

        Does the plate attach to the burner?

        • In most cases, yes
          • When you order a package from us, most of the time it will come with a threaded piece welded on to the plate/pan
          • The burner screws onto it
          • It’s very simple to remove or attach the burner (righty-tighty, lefty-loosy… make sure to re-apply pipe dope/tape!)
        • It’s not required that the burner attaches to the plate/pan. You can set the burner directly on the plate/pan. This will reduce the height of the burner by 3/4″. This might be beneficial if you want to cover your fire feature with a flat cover

        There are many methods to mount a plate/pan inside your fire feature. We’re just going to tell you our favorite way to do things because… well, it has worked well so far! With that being said, these methods may not work in all situations, so put your problem-solving hat on and get creative.

        *Complete & RTF Systems:  you won’t need to worry about plate/pan mounting; they’re designed for simplicity

        Mounting the Plate/Pan

        • Consider stacking up cinder blocks, bricks, or pavers inside the fire feature cavity
        • Place the plate/pan directly on the blocks
        • Adjust the block height by either adding some fill, or by digging underneath
        • Most commonly, plates/pans are mounted 4″-5″ below the finished top of the fire feature

        Plate/Pan Depth

        • 4-5″ below the finished top is recommended
        • Recessing it deeper may make the fire seem smaller, and you won’t see the media as well
        • Recessing it to be more shallow can give it a “proud” look; where all the parts stick up high and make a statement. Though you may have to ‘mound’ the fire media up higher in order to cover the jets. It’s not a bad look, but you won’t be able to use a flat metal cover if that’s your desire.
        • The depth at which the plate sits is really up to you. Keep in mind, the burner sits 3″ high from plate to the tip of the jet

        If your fire feature is already built and you can’t use a standard sized plate, you have a few options:

        Cut your plate to size on-site

          • Use a jig-saw with metal blade, or a grinder wheel with cutoff
          • It’s 3/16″ aluminum and your cut doesn’t need to look pretty

        Make your plate bigger

          • Use concrete board to extend the size of the plate
          • Watch THIS VIDEO to get an idea

        Order a Custom Size

        *TIP: Give yourself about 1/2″ of space around the plate so that it’s easy to insert into the fire feature opening

        Determining What You Need

        (Recommended)

        Enables easy flame height adjustment as well as the ability to turn the gas on or off.  All flex lines are stainless steel and whistle free.

        FK1

        • For use with any 121K – 249K BTU Burner
        • Kit Includes: (1) 36” L x 3/4” Diameter Flex Line + (2) 3/4″ Flared Fittings + 3/4” Key Valve + 3” and 12” Key + 1/2” x 2” Nipple

        FK2

        • For use with any burner 300K+ BTU
        • Kit Includes: (2) 36” L x 3/4” Diameter Flex Lines + (4) 3/4″ Flared Fittings + 3/4” Key Valve + 3” and 12” Key + (2) 3/4” x 3” Nipple + (2) 3/4” Tee + (1) 3/4” x 1/2” MM Reducer Fitting
        FKM1 – Specific to the Mercury Ignition. Allows fuel connection from the ignition to the burner.
        • If the walls of your fire pit are thick, you may need this accessory
        • Closes the gap from the key valve to the decorative faceplate (escutcheon)
        • Can also be made onsite with hard pipe or sprinkler pipe to the length that you need

        Vent Kit

        Recommended Ventilation

        • 18 square inches on opposing sides (for cross-breeze)
        • Keep the vents lower towards the ground
        • Dimensions: 3 7/8″ x 12″

        Ignition Types

        *NEW* Platinum Ignition System

        The Platinum Automatic Ignition System delivers superior quality, performance, and value. Expertly engineered, this innovative ignition has been designed and built to be the safest and most dependable way to light fire in both residential and commercial spaces.

        • Light your fire with the flip of a switch, remote, home automation, or dial timer.
        • Clean design with no need for any components to be attached to the outside of your fire feature.
        • Auto shutoff for the ultimate safety + fully certified.
        • Made in the U.S.A.
        • 680,000 BTUs of gas output 
        • Unique wind cage design that provides true protection to the pilot components from wind and rain.
        • Customized ignition settings allow for better performance and reduces cycling faults.
        • Robust components provide reliability and durability.
        • LED-based diagnostics provide quick and easy troubleshooting.
        • Design allows for field serviceability.
        • Coupled with the Warming Trends’ WATERSTOP™ fitting provides unmatched protection of the ignition from water and debris. 
        • Warranty: 3 years for residential, 1 year for commercial (burner must be covered when not in use or warranty is null and void)
        • Electrical is required
        • Commonly used is a standard 110 volt GFI outlet located underneath the fire pit
        • For product support, please contact Warming Trends at 303-346-2224

        Mercury Ignition (Battery Powered)

        Mercury Ignition Spark Igniter with Internal Safety Shutoff + 3 FT Pilot for use up to 240K BTU

        • Added safety of auto fuel shutoff
        • Great for commercial spaces or if non-homeowners desire to light the fire
        • Pilot assembly comes pre-mounted to the plate
        • Only available with burner and plate combo orders or the Venture Series
        • No key valve required
        • View INFORMATION PDF

        Watch how the Mercury works…

        Play Video

        Match Lit (Most Common)

        • To light, turn your fuel valve (most commonly a key valve supplied by us) to a low volume
        • Use a lighter or match to ignite the flame manually
        • Gradually turn up the key valve so that the other jets light
        • Not recommended for kids or VRBO/Rentals

        Push Button Ignition Kit + Mounting Bracket

        • Powered by a AA battery
        • Holds a key valve as well as button module
        • To light, turn the key and press spark button until lit
        • Will work with any size burner, but for large burners over 350,000 BTUs, we recommend the Platinum Ignition
        • The bracket allows for more mounting options
        • Can be used in place of a paver
        • Should be combined with a Key Valve/Flex line kit

        Dimensions of bracket:

          • Width: Adjustable 8″-12″
          • Height: 3 7/8″ 
          • Depth: 5″

        Push Button Battery Operated Control Module + Spark Igniter Rod and Wire

        • AA Battery operated
        • Spark rod is mounted to the plate
        • Spark rod must be within very close proximity to a jet on the burner
        • To light, turn the key valve (separate product) to get gas flow going and press button until spark ignites the fuel
        • Without a mounting bracket, the button most commonly mounts to a metal fire pit

        Current Deals

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        Prices are Changing

        Beginning February 1st, 2023

        Prices for our products will increase about 3% starting on February 1st. As always, with Montana Fire Pits you’ll enjoy:

        • Products made in the U.S.A
        • Highest quality materials and design
        • High customer satisfaction ratings
        • The best fire in the industry

        Thank you for considering Montana Fire Pits!

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        Most of our products are hand-made to order in the U.S. These lead times are based on our best estimates. Delays in production are rare, but can occur with un-expected changes in order volume. Thank you for your patience as we strive to ship your fire gear as fast as possible.

        Lead Times

        Transit time not included. Expect 1-2 weeks for the shipment to arrive.

        Shipping Costs

        Please add products to your cart and enter your address at checkout to see detailed shipping costs

        *Free Shipping: Applies to most orders over $99 in the continental U.S. with the following exceptions:

        • Burners over 50″: $279.00

        **Shipping to Canada: You may be charged additional border fees and taxes when you receive your product. Montana Fire Pits is not responsible for those fees.

        **Please add products to your cart and enter your address to see more information on shipping costs to Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska

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