Gas Fire Pit Installation – BE CAREFUL!
Advice for Safely Installing a Gas Fire Pit
While on site doing a house call for a propane fire pit installation of the 180,000 BTU crossfire burner, we noticed a major issue that could have been very hazardous. It is very important that you install your fire pit burner correctly.
How to Mount the Burner Plate Correctly
A common gas fire pit installation question is, “How do you mount the plate of the burner?”
There are a number of ways to do it. The easiest and possibly best suggestion we have is that you stop by a hardware store like Home Depot and buy aluminum straps. You then wedge the straps in between the two layers of pavers or supports on either side of the fire pit walls. The straps create a nice, light platform on which you can lay the plate. We demonstrate this is in the video above.
Hard Line Piping | Avoid Reductions
You do want your piping coming straight out of the ground. Try to not make any unnecessary reductions. But you got to do what you got to do. It’s best to create a hard line to one side of the key valve.
Be Cautious of Gas Leaks
One possible result of incorrect piping is a gas leak. On our house call, we found that the fuel line was leaking. With propane, the gas will settle creating a cloud at the bottom of the pit. Natural gas will rise but still create a high likelihood of an explosion.
The reason the house call piping was leaking is that the flared fitting did not fit correctly. It became cross threaded so what felt like a tight connection was not a tight connection. Propane was leaking out and pooling in the bottom of the fire pit waiting for that spark to ignite. Gas leaks are a very dangerous situation as you cannot always smell the gas as it accumulates in the pit.
Use Proper Ventilation
For propane fire pits you need 18 square inches of ventilation on the opposing side. Opposing vents help create cross ventilation. In this case, the propane had a place to escape.
One of the advantages of the crossfire fire pit burner is that you do not need an air mix or valve. The reason why is that the point of combustion is right at the jet. You want to avoid choking out the jet holes with fire media.
Common Gas Fire Pit Install Questions
What if the plate size isn’t exact to the inside dimension?
You don’t want your lava-rock or other fire media falling down underneath your plate. Instead, go to Home Depot and buy some aluminum straps in order to fill up the perimeter. You can get creative with it so long as that excess space is covered.
Do you fill up the bottom of the pit with anything?
I like to say no. If for any reason it had to be redone the whole thing would need to be taken apart. There’s no real reason to fill the bottom with gravel, sand, dirt, or rocks. You can leave it open.
For propane gas fire pits, where do you get the pieces and parts?
You have to go to a local propane supplier to give you the tank. The regulator and the line are different for every single fire pit. It may be direct or buried but you want to go local. Make sure your new propane tank is leak-tested.
We were happy to make this house call and troubleshoot the gas leak issue for this client. In the end, he got a great new fire pit to enjoy year round. Unfortunately, there are many things that can go wrong when installing a fire pit so it’s best to be cautious and do your research.