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Common gas fireplace problems

Due to the nature of gas being dangerous, we don’t recommend you repair gas fireplace problems on your own. Fixing your gas fireplace problems on your own is very dangerous, gas can be deadly, so please call us if you need help. When working with natural gas, it’s often best to leave it to the professionals at Forrest Anderson.

Here are some common gas fireplace problems we see.

The Underlying Piping

If there is no ignition or if you smell something that you believe may be natural gas, this is not one of the gas fireplace problems you should attempt to fix on your own. Identifying natural gas is easy because it smells of sulfur or “rotten eggs.” If you see obstructions in the piping, they can cause little or no flow of gas. If there is an odor, immediately deactivate the valve and vent your home. Then call the professionals at Forrest Anderson Plumbing & Air Conditioning.

Gas Valve

If there is no ignition and you do not smell any natural gas, the problem may be as simple as a closed gas valve. You can usually identify if the valve is open because the handle will be in line with the pipe. Most modern valves are 90-degree valves, which means opening and closing them is done with a simple quarter turn.


A thermopile is a modern type of sensor that generates the voltage necessary to ignite the natural gas. This is similar to the spark plugs in a car’s engine. If the burner is sluggish, or if it does not ignite at all, your thermopile may not be providing enough electricity due to an issue with the wiring. Loose wiring, wiring of insufficient size, or wiring that is damaged may be the cause.


In older systems, a thermocouple is a simple metal rod between the gas valve and burning pilot flame. When there is a need to ignite the gas, the thermocouple is the go-to part. In many cases, if the thermocouple is the source of a problem, it may need to be positioned correctly or replaced.


The burner consists of a set of circuitry with a set level of voltage, a pilot light orifice, and a set of burner jets. In some cases, the burner may simply have a bad thermostat setting or a dirty pilot light orifice. In other cases, dirt build-up may have gotten into the burner jets, and cleaning them may be the solution. Cleaning the burners is the general response if there is a roaring sound.

Sounds From the Blower

In some cases, your gas fireplace may emit bizarre sounds. The system can rumble, it can roar, or it can even grind or shriek. The blower may need replacement if there are sounds like grinding or shrieks.

Soot Build-up

If there is an abundance of soot built up, air flow may be the problem. You may need less gas flow and more air flow. There may be a mixing valve on your fireplace or a vent to allow in more air. Doing this every so often produces a bluish flame, but tends to remove the soot.

Pilot Light

In many kinds of gas fireplaces, the system does not require any electricity to ignite. However, the pilot light going out will cause the fireplace to stop igniting. You can easily relight the pilot if this happens.

Still, Have Gas Fireplace Problems?

At Forrest Anderson, we don’t service the actual fireplace. We’re often called where there is an underlying gas issue, or you want to run new gas lines. If you need assistance with gas lines or valves, Contact Forrest Anderson Today!

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