Is your gas fireplace acting more like a disco ball than a cozy fire? Does it flicker or sputter into flame only to extinguish moments later? While dancing flames are certainly mesmerizing and in many ways, part of the charm, constant fireplace flickering is a sign something might be amiss.

But, don’t extinguish your hopes for warmth and ambience just yet. Keep reading to learn some troubleshooting tips to get your gas fireplace glowing steadily once again. 

And if you’re looking for professional chimney and fireplace services near Centereach, NY, there’s no one better to call than Dunrite Stove & Chimney. Book your appointment today by filling out our contact form, or calling 631-738-0005.

Why Won’t My Gas Fireplace Turn On?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of finding a viable solution, it’s important to first determine the issue you’re experiencing. Many gas fireplaces rely on both electricity and a connection to the fuel source, so it’s important to check on both when trouble arises.

Before you panic and call in the experts, consider the following steps:

  • Check the gas valve and the system’s connection to the fuel source. For your gas fireplace to function, it requires an uninhibited connection to its fuel source. These appliances are equipped with a valve near the firebox, so that you can manually decide when you want the gas flowing and when you don’t. Be sure that your fireplace valve is open and switched to “on.” Then check on your fuel levels. If all valves are open and gas should be flowing freely but is not, contact your gas utility services company to see if there is a bigger issue going on.
  • Check that the pilot light is turned on and operational. Whether your gas fireplace has the traditional standing pilot light or a more modern intermittent pilot ignition (IPI) system, this component is vital for appliance operation. Ensure there are no draft issues with your chimney that might’ve extinguished the pilot flame; verify there is no interruption to the fuel connection; and check for soot, dirt, and dust buildup that might be blocking airflow to feed a flame.
  • Check other system components like the thermocouple and/or thermopile. Though the pilot light might be the head of the ignition system, it’s not the only component that makes operation possible. If your unit is older and utilizes a traditional pilot configuration with a thermocouple or multiple (called a thermopile), verify that they’re working properly. Acting as a sort of temperature gauge, these parts are crucial for effective system performance. It’s possible that the issue stems from a discrepancy between your set thermostat temperature and the thermocouple or thermopile. Play around with the temperature settings in your fireplace and if the thermocouple still won’t ignite, it might need to be adjusted or replaced.
  • Check your circuit breaker. Depending on the specifics of your appliance, (namely, if you have a newer gas fireplace that features an IPI ignition switch) you should check on the electrical connection. If your circuit box shows that the connection to your fireplace has been turned off, flip the switch to turn it back on. If that still doesn’t solve your problem, reach out to your local electrician.
original infographic about troubleshooting tips for gas fireplaces

What Are the Most Common Issues With Gas Fireplaces?

Aside from issues with the pilot light or connectivity to the fuel source, there are some other common problems that gas fireplace users experience:

  • The igniter isn’t sparking and/or the pilot light won’t stay lit. This goes back to an issue with the thermocouple or thermopile. If you’ve messed around with temperature settings, verified that these components are in the proper position and installed correctly, and cleared all pieces of accumulated dust or debris with no luck, you’ll likely need a replacement.
  • The flame is there, but it’s low and weak. When your gas fireplace is not creating the beautiful, roaring flame you’ve grown accustomed to, the problem could lie in the burner. This usually happens when regular maintenance service has been neglected and the burner has become clogged with lingering debris, dust, gas residue, etc. Give your burners a good scrub down and if you’re still experiencing a lower-than-normal flame, you might need to consider replacing them.
  • There is a strange odor coming from my fireplace. While mild odors are okay and to be expected if the appliance is new, if you’re smelling something reminiscent of rotten eggs, you may have a gas leak. If so, leave your home immediately and reach out to your gas service provider for an emergency service. 

Gas leaks can be incredibly dangerous, so it’s important to be aware of any changes in scent or other odd, inexplicable fireplace behavior.

Still Stuck? Call Dunrite for a Job Done Right

While we encourage Centereach homeowners to safely investigate and examine their appliances, always leave any repair work up to the professionals. If you’ve gone through this basic troubleshooting checklist and still cannot get your appliance to operate properly, don’t hesitate to give the friendly experts at Dunrite a call. Our team can not only identify the cause of your issues, but also repair it to its full potential in a quick and efficient manner.

Reach someone from our team by filling out the appointment request form or give us a call at 631-738-0005.