How it All Works

This A to Z learning module answers all your BURNING questions.

Take the time now and avoid confusion in the process. Choose a topic below or go through each sequentially. Learn everything you need to know about propane and natural gas fire features. *IMPORTANT: information regarding burners is specific to Warming Trends Crossfire burners. 

1) Dimensions & Locations

Creating the Perfect Space

Locations

Fire features help create spaces to gather, to keep warm, and to provide ambiance. Utilize your backyard, deck, patio, pool area, courtyard; get creative with fire feature locations. 

  • Wood and synthetic decks are perfectly safe for gas fire features. There's no need to protect the material the fire feature is setting on; all the heat rises above the burner plate
  • Use multiple fires to create beautiful fire vignettes 
Standard Dimensions & Clearances

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"
  • Distance burner should sit below the finished top
    • 4" to 5"
  • Clearance from fire to:
    • Top ledge/housing: 5"-6"
    • Combustible building/wall: 36"
    • Combustible ceiling/overhang: 10'

Click image below for a visual clearance guide

Seating and Fire Feature Height

How far you set your seating from a fire determines how much heat you feel. 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. 

  • How to keep warm
    • Seating should be 18" to 22" from the edge of the fire feature
    • Try not to create a fire feature that's too high, or you'll miss the rising heat
    • Ideal finished height is 15" to 20"
  • Determining the proper height
    • 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
    • Avoid going higher than 20", as you may feel less heat from the fire
  • Consider measuring and marking out your space. Click the image below for inspiration

2) Working With a Contractor

Is it necessary?

Who to Contact
  • Propane - Supplying and Installing
    • The truth is that these guys have answers that you and I just don't. It's a fact.
    • Search "propane supplier near me"
  • Natural Gas -Running a Gas Line and Making Connections
    • Plumbers
    • HVAC Specialists
  • Building or Designing A Fire Feature
    • Landscape architects & designers
    • Masons for concrete and stonework
    • Pool designers
    • General contractors
    • Montana Fire Pits!
  • Moving Your Complete System to its Location
    • General contractors
    • Moving companies
    • A few strong friends will do
What Info Does my Contractor Need?

Your contractor needs to know the volume (BTU's) and pressure (water column) required by the burner or fire feature you choose. You should also download/forward to your contractor the following documents that apply to your build. 

Scheduling
  • Coordinate with an installer
  • Don't schedule your install too close to the estimated arrival of your fire feature or burner
  • Take our estimated lead time and add two weeks as a buffer
Gas Stub Location

Location of Gas 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
  • On some builds, the plate sits only 8" off the ground

3) Project Types

Components | Complete | Custom

Paver Kits

Paver fire pits are one of the simpler and affordable options. Our burner packages will be the absolute best way to add fire. Here's what you need to know:

  • How to find a paver fire pit kit
    • Search online- "paver fire pit kit"
    • Shop a nearby big box store
    • Contact a landscape company
  • How to determine which burner package you need
    • Pick the burner based on the standard plate size
    • Make sure the plate size fits in the opening of your paver kit
    • Avoid ordering a larger plate and placing it between paver stone layers. This causes a gap between layers.
  • What if the plate is not a perfect fit
    • If the plate is a little too big, you can cut it with a grinder/cutoff wheel
    • If the plate is too small, watch THIS VIDEO
  • How to install the burner package
    • Watch this helpful VIDEO

Complete Systems

What if you want a beautiful, functional, high-heat fire feature without all the hassle of designing or building it? A complete system is what you need.

  • Made-to-order and shipped directly to you
  • No need to worry about freight costs; they're built in
  • We merge the best burners with the best vessels which means you get more heat/BTU's
  • Available in steel and GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete)
  • The systems come with flame-height adjusting key valve
  • Electronic Ignition is optional, and using a lighter is perfectly fine as well
  • Simply have a plumber connect the gas and you're ready to go

Learn how it works; watch the video below:

Ready-to-Finish Kits

Ready-to-Finish kits come with everything you need to hook up and burn a gas fire. You simply finish the kit with your choice of veneer.

  • What is it made of?
    • 1" Aluminum Frame
    • Concrete board
  • What comes with it
    • Pan & Burner
    • Key valve for flame height adjustment
    • 2 Vents (you'll decide where these go and cut the openings)
  • Ideas for finishing
    • Tile, stone, granite, stucco, wood
    • Contact a general contractor, mason, or landscape professional if DIY is not your thing
Custom Builds

Customizing a fire feature to fit your space perfectly is always an option. We've helped put fire in some incredibly creative spaces.

  • Fire Walls
    • Long fire features that create the semblance of a wall of fire
  • Custom Ready-to-Finish (RTF)
    • Tell us what size you want and we can put a quote together
    • Some RTF's can accommodate upgraded burners for more BTU's
  • Custom Burner Sizes
    • Let us know your inside dimensions and available BTU's

Click HERE for a custom quote

Commercial Builds

Fire features are becoming increasingly popular in commercial spaces such as hotels and restaurants. Safety and ease-of-use is of paramount importance. 

  • Consider COMPLETE CONCRETE systems, or READY TO FINISH kits
  • If needed for your space, ELECTRONIC IGNITION with a dial timer creates the ability for non-staff members to safely initiate the fire
  • Use our BURNERS for a better flame and better experience in any fire feature
  • Glass flame guards are available if required
Retrofit

If you purchase a fire pit with a low capacity burner and want to upgrade to a Warming Trends burner, can it be done? Most likely, yes!

    • If you're handy and creative, you can probably make it work
    • Do your due diligence to make sure the systems will marry correctly
    • Review our Master Reference Guide and make sure you don't need a larger key valve or flex line
    • If your fire feature already has a plate, you can set our burner right on top of it, or use a layer of lava rock
    • Because there are so many variables, it is difficult for us to provide solid advice on retrofitting
Grade-Level Build

Click image below for ideas on grade-level fire pits. 

4) Fuel

Gas Line Sizing | Pressure | BTUs

Fuel Types

There are various pros/cons of Liquid Propane (LP) and Natural Gas (NG). The difference between LP and NG burners that we carry 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
  • Natural Gas - Pros
    • Cheaper to burn; you probably won't even notice an increase in your gas bill
    • 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 BTU's
    • 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 very difficult to change the fire feature's location after installation
Gas Line Sizing

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.

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; 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. 

Pressure

Now that you understand the importance of volume (BTU's), let's talk pressure. Here's what's recommended for Warming Trends burners: 

  • LP: 11-13" water column (w.c.)
  • NG: 7-10" 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

Gas Stub Location

Location of Gas 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
  • On some builds, the plate sits only 8" off the ground
Regulators & Air Mixers

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 200K BTUs, contact a local propane supplier
    • For regulators 200K BTUs or lower, CLICK HERE
    • From the tank, propane is HIGH PRESSURE, so it must be regulated down, because the burners are low pressure
    • It doesn't matter where you place the regulator, as long as you get 11-13"wc at the burner
  • NG Regulators
    • Consult a professional (plumber/HVAC)
BTUs & Staying Warm

First of all, try not to get too caught up in the BTU options between the various Crossfire burners. You should choose the burner based on your inside dimensions and how much of that space you want filled with fire. You should be more concerned with the footprint/size of the burner and how it will look in comparison to your opening. 

  • 1 BTU = 1 Match
  • 180K BTUs is a great starting point to emulate a common wood-burning campfire
  • You should choose a burner that aligns closely with the BTUs you have available from your gas line
    • *Tip: our burners will still put out a great flame even if you're line is carrying only 60-70% of what the burner is rated at
  • We believe that you can't have 'too many BTUs', because you can always adjust the flame to be smaller with your key valve. But when that really cold night arrives and you have company, you can open it up and really warm the space. 
Using a Propane Tank

Standard 20lb Tank

  • A standard 20lb/5 gallon BBQ propane tank can be used for burner systems 180K BTUs and under
  • Burn time varies from 6-10 hours, depending on how hot you run it
  • Results may vary, and it is common for the fuel to struggle to keep up after 45 minutes or so. 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

  • Read all about how much fuel you might be burning at full capacity
Fuel Cost Calculator

Calculate HERE

Burner Certifications

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

*Currently, the crossfire burner system is NOT listed on the Massachusetts state approved list.

Certified Units Details

 

5) Which Burner is Best

Shapes | BTUs | Sizes

Shapes & Sizes

Choosing the burner shape/size requires you to answer several questions about your fire feature and fuel line:

  • Shape & Size
    • Square, Round, Rectangular, Custom
    • Standard Round & Square Opening sizes
      • 18", 24", 30", 36", 42", 48", 60"
  • Do you need a plate/pan?
    • See PLATES & PANS to help answer this question
    • If YES, choose a burner that has a plate size that works with your opening
    • If NO, make sure you keep 5-6" of clear space around the burner so that the heat doesn't harm your top
    • Custom cut plates are available 
BTU Ratings

This part is simple: just make sure your gas line can supply at least 60-70% of what the burner is rated at.

Example: 

  • Desired Burner: 180K BTUs
  • Required Fuel Volume: at least 108K BTUs

How Hot?

  • All of the burners we carry are HOT
  • All Crossfire models have the same "jets"; providing hotter, brighter, taller flames

Why do Warming Trends burners have so many more BTUs than others?

  • The secret is in the jets (no, you can't just buy the jets. Nice try!)
  • Other burners are made by poking small holes in stainless steel tubes. Gas just seeps out without mixing oxygen. The flame is small and not as hot or controlled, hence the smaller BTU ratings
  • Going with a stainless steel burner greatly increases the risk of being bummed with your fire 🙁
Brass VS. Stainless Steel

Almost everyday we get inquiries like this: "I have a fire pit with a stainless steel burner but I'm not happy with the flame. It's only 5" high and it doesn't put out any heat. What can I do?"

This is the reason why we ONLY carry Warming Trends Crossfire brass burners; because we don't want to have that difficult conversation with our customers. If you have an adequate fuel supply, you WILL be satisfied with our burners!

You may pay more upfront for all brass, but you will pay less over time for these reasons:

  • Brass does not corrode over time like stainless steel
  • You won't feel the need to "upgrade" to get a better flame... you will already have THE BEST
  • Limited LIFETIME warranty! 
Burner Certifications

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

*Currently, the crossfire burner system is NOT listed on the Massachusetts state approved list.

Certified Units Details

6) Key Valve & Flex Lines

You'll probably want these

The Purpose

The main purpose of a key valve is to enable flame-height adjustment and the ability to easily turn off the gas. The flex line simply connects the key valve to the burner. 

Do you need a key valve/flex line?

  • We recommend it for 85% of all fire feature builds
  • If you'd rather use a gas valve or propane nozzle, you can. Just make sure it's close enough to your fire feature for safe lighting
Sizing Options

Important: When you order a burner package and select YES for flex line/key valve, or you order a complete system from us, we will include the proper sizes and fittings required to connect the key valve to the burner. It will be the best set up for the system that you ordered.

 

CLICK HERE for Key Valve/Flex Line Sizes

 

What is Whistle Free?

All of the flex lines we provide are whistle free. In order for a large volume of fuel to continue through the key valve on to the burner without any loud whistling, a special line is required. Some standard, yellow flex lines will whistle very loudly when you turn up the fire. 

Keep in mind, there's a difference between whistling and the sound of mild, rushing wind. No matter what, you'll probably have the sound of air moving through lines. That's normal. Sometimes if there is moisture in the line, it can cause a mild whistle sound. Over time, it should evaporate. Meanwhile, keep the burner covered when it rains. 

Installation Tips

We recommend that you schedule a professional to connect the components. With that in mind, here are some installation tips:

Key Valve Installation

  • You'll need a hole in your fire feature to install this
  • Our complete systems come pre-drilled
  • The hole should be approx. 1-1/4" in diameter
  • Pro Tip: If hard pipe is not used to connect to the inlet, you may notice that the key valve is moving when the key is turned. You can remedy this by using strong epoxy or caulking around the escutcheon (chrome finish plate), or you can create your own bracket using wood or PVC pipe

Flex Line Installation

  • Standard 'straight' fittings require pipe dope or tape in order to seal
  • 'Flared' fittings do NOT require pipe dope or tape
  • Watch the videos to see where each fitting goes

 

7) Plates & Pans

The Low-Down

The Purpose

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. 

What's it made of?

    • Aluminum

Is it ALWAYS necessary?

    • No, in some cases a plate is not necessary
    • You may decide to fill up the space with some lava rock and set the burner right on it
Attaching the Burner

Does it attach to the burner?

  • In most cases, yes
    • When you order a package from us, 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 it. 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
Plate Vs. Pan Vs. Drop-in

Plates (No Sidewalls)

  • Appropriate for most builds
  • Sidewalls are not necessary when the burner is in the common position- recessed 4-5" below the finished top
  • Place stacked cinder blocks, bricks, or pavers under the plate. This makes for a simple and sturdy plate mount

Pans (2" or 3" Sidewalls)

  • If your top cap encroaches into your opening, you may want a pan instead of a plate (since the pan has to be smaller than the smallest part of the inside diameter)
  • These just work better on some builds. We take it case by case

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

  • If you want metal showing above the opening, that sort of 'ties it all together', you may want a drop in pan
  • Sometimes necessary if you plan on building a portable fire feature and aren't able to stack up blocks under the plate
  • Drop-in pans are available as a custom order - CLICK HERE
Installation Tips

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 a goal.
  • 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

 

 

Custom Sizes + Cutting/Expanding the Plate

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

8) Safety & Ventilation

Yes, This is Important

Safely Lighting It

Both natural gas and propane are safe fuels to light and burn. However, there are some common safe practices you should follow when lighting:

What NOT to do

  • Crank the gas when lighting
  • Let the gas run for a while before lighting

What TO do

  • Turn the gas on low
  • Be ready to promptly light one of the jets on the burner
  • Gradually turn the gas up so all the jets light

For high-BTU systems, usually over 370K BTUs, we recommend you use a 24V electronic ignition. Check them out HERE.

Venting

The Purpose

  • Fuel can build up in the 'cavity' of the fire feature
  • If there is no way for the fuel to escape, it can ignite and cause severe damage

Recommended Ventilation

  • 18 square inches on opposing sides (for cross-breeze)
  • Keep the vents lower towards the ground
  • Consider the many ways this can be accomplished
    • 2" holes 
    • Vents from any home store
    • Creating space between materials
    • Lifting the fire feature a small amount (great option for concrete bowls)

Propane Vs Natural Gas

  • Natural gas
    • Lighter than air, so the excess gas rises
    • If your fire feature has an empty cavity under the burner, ventilation may still be recommended. When in doubt, seek the assistance of your local gas professional or contractor
  • Propane
    • Heavier than air, so excess gas sinks down below the burner into the fire pit
    • Absolutely imperative to make sure the fuel has somewhere to escape
Connecting the Fuel Line

*Call a local professional to connect your fuel. They should be licensed for connecting gas components.

If you don't already know the ins and outs of connecting fuel lines, you should not attempt to do it on your own. Consider the consequences of unsealed gas lines or explosions. 

 

  • Using Pipe Dope/Tape
    • Straight fittings require 
    • Flared fittings do not
  • Testing for leaks
    • Use soapy water in a spray bottle
    • If bubbles start appearing near fittings, you have a leak
Exploding Lava Rocks

You heard that right, EXPLODING lava rock! Yes, your lava rock can POP right out of the fire pit at you. Rock + Water + Fire = Steam Pressure!

  • Having fire-grade lava rock is ideal (yes, ours is)
  • Keep your fire area covered to avoid moisture building up in the rock
  • If your rock does get wet, you can still burn the fire, just be careful and watch out for projectiles. Keep the flame low so the rock can dry out slowly.

9) Ignition Options

There's more than one way to light a fire pit.

Match Lit
  • Easy, reliable, and safe up to 370K BTU's
  • Turn the gas on low, use a lighter to light one of the burner jets, gradually turn up the gas
Push Button (Battery Powered)
  • Powered by 1 AAA battery
  • Turn the key and push the button to create a spark
  • Similar in concept to a gas grill lighter
  • Optional bracket for easy mounting
  • Shop Now

View INSTALL GUIDE

24V Electronic Ignition

24V Electronic Ignition is the key to unlocking all your ignition options. It simply plugs into a standard 110V outlet, or can be hardwired (remove the Edison plug). The system is initiated by the presence of electricity, and shuts off when the electrical is turned off. However you want to turn on the electrical to that outlet, that's up to you. The possibilities are vast!

"Hey Google/Alexa, turn on my fire pit"

  • To use your cell phone, search the internet for "outdoor smart outlet" or "outdoor smart plug" 
  • You plug your 24V ignition system into the plug and the plug connects to your wifi
  • Use your phone to set up timers, schedules, or even have the fire light on it's own when the sun sets!
  • Use your home assistant to light the fire with your voice

Dial Timers

  • A 2 hour dial timer is a great option for vacation rentals, hotels, and other commercial applications
  • Anyone can simply turn the dial timer to light the fire, and the fire will turn off by itself after the specified time
  • Ask your electrician to wire the outlet in tandem with the dial timer. Add an emergency shutoff button if desired for easy shutoff

Key Fob or Wireless Remote

  • Avoid Bluetooth remotes
  • Our wireless option utilizes RF, which has better distance and reliability.

Wall Switch

  • In most instances, operating the fire pit outlet with a wall switch is a simple install for an electrician
  • Flip a switch, just like turning on a light

Spark Vs. Hot Surface 

  • The spark ignitor requires a little more space under the plate/burner (14" vs. 12")
  • Hot surface is more reliable in wet or windy conditions

Why is it Expensive?

  • Such automation requires complex safety sensors
  • There are both gas and flame sensors so that gas doesn't continue to pump out without a flame
  • It's being used outdoors, so it has to be robust in build
  • Quality and reliability

Installation

  • When you order a burner/plate/ignition system from us, everything ships to you pre-assembled and pre-tested
  • If you order an ignition separately, or without a plate, it will ship in a box
  • The pilot needs to be mounted to something, and a metal plate is the best option 

Shop Ignition

Installation Guide

Specs & Dimensions

10) Fire Media & Heat Retention

Make it Beautiful AND Hot

Retaing the Heat

Do you want to increase the warmth of your fire feature, and at the same time make it look amazing? Just add fire media. Here is our ranking of what materials retain the most heat, starting with the hottest:

#1 Steel

  • Steel just heats up like crazy. Put some steel in your fire and you'll notice it glowing red hot. 
  • Our steel log sets are big, heavy, and custom made/welded. They take the trophy for most heat retention. They look like a rustic interpretation of wood. Imagine them outside a big, rustic lodge!

#2 Ceramic Logs

  • In at a close 2nd are our ceramic logs. These are nice and dense, individually cast, and after about 5-10 minutes of being in the fire, they glow red with heat
  • Even after you turn off the flame, they just keep radiating
  • The added benefit of looking like real wood, and being far more affordable than steel logs. Plus they will last a VERY long time.
  • You create the look you want, because each log is separate from the rest

#3 Ceramic Fiber (Cannonballs and River Stones)

  • These are like magic. They're super light, look like real stone, and are filled with a fiber that retains heat and yet doesn't crack, break, or burn up over time
  • Cannonballs have a slight edge over river stones in the heat retention department, simply because they're larger. They bring this ancient, yet ultra-modern appeal. And after burning for a while, you'll notice at night that they glow RED!
  • River Stones look like real river rock. You shouldn't use real river rock because the heat can cause them to crack. But the ceramic fiber stones are safe to burn for years and years. They retain heat, have various colors, and just look incredible. Place them over the burn area, or use them to accent the fire area by placing them around ceramic logs, etc.

#4 Fire Glass and Lava Rock/Pebbles

  • Tied at #4 would be the smaller fire media options. They look great, and as long as you pair them with a Crossfire burner, you will keep warm!
More Info on Staying Warm
  • Sit closer to the fire
  • Put your feet up on the ledge
  • Let the fire heat media heat up for 8-10 minutes
  • Turn it up!
How Much Media Do You Need?

Take advantage of our lava and glass calculator links below the videos. 

11) Shipping & Freight

How it works

How We Ship

In order to get items to you as fast as possible, we ship directly from manufactures/distributors. That is why you may receive multiple shipments from different locations. Here's a breakdown:

Fire Media (lava, glass, ceramic logs/cannonballs/river stones)

  • Origination: Phoenix, AZ
  • Under 150lbs/108": FedEx
  • Over 150lbs/108": Palletized Freight with various reputable companies

Burners, Plates, Fittings, RTF, Regulators, Ignition Systems

  • Origination: Denver, CO
  • 36" or under: UPS
  • Over 36": Palletized Freight with various reputable companies

Complete Systems

  • Origination: Various U.S. Locations
  • Shipped Palletized Freight with various reputable companies
Lead Times & Tracking Status

When you order from Montana Fire Pits, we strive to keep you in the loop with emails and direct-mail. When your product is shipped, we email you a tracking number. For made-to-order items, such as burners and concrete systems, we will update you periodically on the process.

Fire Media

  • Shipped in 1-2 weeks 
  • Rarely back-ordered, but sometimes low-stock items take an extra 1-3 weeks

Burners

  • Hand-made to order
  • Not an "in stock" product
  • Generally 2-3 weeks in production
  • Expect your burner in 2-4 weeks based on the time of year you order

Ready-to-Finish

  • 4-5 weeks in production
  • Shipped freight
  • Expect your RTF in 5-6 weeks 

Concrete Systems

  • See the specific product pages, as they vary depending on the series you choose
  • Your patience with these is greatly appreciated, as sometimes production times are delayed 1 or 2 weeks for various reasons
  • These are boutique fire features of the highest quality. They are not mass-produced, and the nature of the process will ensure you are happy with the product. Because of this, there is a wide variation in production time
  • Expect your fire feature in 5-9 weeks

Steel Systems

  • Hand-made steel art
  • Expect your fire feature in 5-7 weeks

To track your order please enter your Order ID in the box below and press the "Track" button. This was given to you on your receipt and in the confirmation email you should have received.

12) Installation

Installation Manuals

Master Reference Guide - Includes common dimensions and helpful information needed during installation

Burners 

Ignition Systems

Legacy Series Concrete Bowls

Helpful Tips

Click below for help with the installation of the various components

Gas Stub Location

Location of Gas 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
  • On some builds, the plate sits only 8" off the ground

13) Care & Maintenance

Protect Your Investment

Covering Your Fire Feature

It's important to cover the fire feature when it rains or snows. The components are incredibly robust and won't corrode, however, water can accumulate in the burner or gas line if it's kept uncovered. A light sprinkle won't do it, but a big storm could cause some issues with lighting the burner. Here are some options:

Canvas or Vinyl Covers

  • Easy to customize size and colors
  • Affordable
  • Long Lasting
  • Works with media that mounds up, such as ceramic logs or cannonballs
  • Must wait for fire to cool before covering
  • Shop HERE

Metal Flat Covers

  • Look great
  • Last forever
  • No need to wait for the fire to cool off before covering
  • Doesn't work well if you have fire media that mounds up past the fire feature ledge
  • Shop HERE
Cleaning the Media

Soot build up is normal. It's more prevalent with propane, but happens with natural gas as well. It adds a natural burnt look to the fire media. However, if you'd like to clean things up, try this:

  • Fill a bucket with hot water and a mild detergent
  • Soak the fire media in the water for 2-3 hours
  • Spray the fire media off with a hose
  • Avoid scrubbing ceramic logs, as they are hand painted and you may damage them
  • Handle ceramic logs with great care, as they can crumble if they collide with each other
Concrete Cleaning & Care

Our concrete systems are sealed and finished for outdoor use. They react to the environment and naturally age and weather with time. Here are some ways you can keep it beautiful:

Preventative Maintenance

  • Cover it during adverse weather conditions
  • Avoid heavy, abrasive, bleached-based or ammonia cleaners
  • Remove dirt, water, and residue as soon as possible

Cleaning

  • Use a mild cleaner such as window cleaner or all-purpose surface cleaner
  • Wipe it down with a soft rag

Wax The Surface

  • Do this every 2-5 months, or as desired
  • Consider using Trewax Clear Paste Wax
  • With a sponge or cloth, apply a thin layer of wax in a 3' x 3' section. Buff out the wax with a different rag. Move on to the next section
  • Adding a thick layer of wax doesn't improve the process
  • Don't apply in direct sunlight or extreme heat

14) Troubleshooting

Common Solutions

Flame is Weak
  • Fuel = Flame: if your flame is barely there, it means your fuel is barely there
  • Make sure your gas line is large enough and your meter or tank is providing adequate pressure
  • Some countries require a BTU limiter. Check to see if yours has one installed
  • Contact your gas professional to troubleshoot on-site
Some of the jets are not producing a flame, or the flame is smaller than the other jets
  • When adding media, little bits of the rock or glass can get lodged in the jets and can limit the fire coming out
  • Try removing the jet carefully with a 3/8" wrench.  Use a small narrow object like a paper clip to poke through the bottom hole to dislodge any bits of media that may have lodged into the jet
  • Re-screw the jet on once it’s all clear
Fire Media has BLACK SOOT
  • Soot build-up is normal
  • Clean media by soaking it in a bucket of soapy water for a few hours and then spray it off with a hose
  • If it is excessive, this may be a fuel issue caused by a rich mixture
  • Contact your gas professional
  • Learn more here
Key Valve is Stuck - Won't Turn
  • Sometimes the valve is "sticky" out of the factory
  • It's a "Quarter-Turn Ball Valve" by Dante (industry standard)
  • Watch this short video on how to loosen your valve before its initial use
24V Ignition Won't Light
  • Contact the manufacturer at +1 (303) 346-2224
  • Warming Trends is located in the U.S. and provides top quality support for electronic ignition
Burning is Making Noise
  • Experiencing a 'whoosh' type sound is normal. Air is mixing with fuel at each jet and causes a sound like a mild rushing wind
  • All of our flex lines are whistle-free. If you hear a whistle, it may be the line that runs to your key-valve. Contact your gas professional to replace that line
  • Consider going with one of our whistle-free options before and after the key-valve
  • Sometimes water in the line causes a slight whistle. Remove water using compressed air, or it may evaporate over time. Cover the fire pit
Burner Won't Light
  • Make sure there is no water or ice in the lines
  • 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
Exploding Lava Rocks
  • Our lava rock is fire-grade and will be less susceptible to this kind of phenomenon
  • This is often caused by moisture reacting to the heat of the fire
  • Make sure to buy fire-grade lava rock and keep it protected from excess moisture
Fire Glass is Melting
  • Avoid placing logs or any other heat-retaining accessories on top of fire glass
  • The heat build-up from the logs will cause the fire glass to melt
  • You can still use glass, just place it outside of the log/cannonball area
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