Ignite and Enjoy: An Easy Guide to Operating a Gas Fireplace

If you have a gas fireplace you have the opportunity to add some beautiful ambiance to your room. Lighting a gas fireplace is much easier than it seems, and once you know how to do it, you won’t be disappointed.

This article will provide you with a step by step guide on how to turn on a gas fireplace with ease.

How To Turn On A Gas Fireplace

How To Operate A Gas Fireplace 

Operating a gas fireplace is different depending on the make and the model of the fireplace. Gas fireplaces (see also ‘Modern Gas Fireplace Ideas‘) use natural gas which is sourced from a main line that leads to the bottom of the fireplace.

0You will usually turn this fireplace on by a pilot light. When this pilot light is turned on, the gas line under the fireplace will ignite. 

This will ignite underneath the ceramic logs or whatever covers the gas line on your gas fireplace.

You should leave the pilot light on until you no longer need the flames in the fireplace. When you no longer want the fire on, simply switch off the pilot light. 

How Does The Fire Ignite? 

Some gas fireplaces have an intermittent pilot ignition system. If this is your fireplace, then you will need electricity to spark the flame everytime you want the fire to ignite.

This is not always the way these gas fireplace work, as sometimes the fire will come on itself with the pilot light.

If you don’t need electricity to ignite the fireplace, then you will simply need to locate the pilot light in order to light the fireplace.

Most modern gas fireplaces have an ignition system that needs electricity to spark the fire (see also ‘How To Start A Fire In A Fireplace‘). In case there is a power outage, these fireplaces often come with a backup ignitor that uses batteries.

Lighting The Gas Fireplace 

The pilot light is usually not very visible because it doesn’t always look very authentic. In order to locate the pilot light, you will need to look behind a front panel. It is usually on there, or underneath the main frame. 

It will be fairly easy to locate. If you are struggling to locate it, then you should grab a flashlight to have a look.

If you have tried to light the fireplace but you can’t get it to work, then you should check that the gas valve is actually admitting gas. You should first put the pilot light on and then press down firmly on the gas valve.

If it is on, you should be able to hear a clicking sound. When this happens, it indicates that the system is priming itself to receive the gas and it will ignite the flame when it receives the gas.

How Does A Wall Switch Work? 

Usually, a wall switch will send signals through wires. These wires will connect to the fireplace, and will send a signal to the pilot light. This will tell the light to turn on or off.

Wall switches usually come with three settings. These are off, low and high. If you have the switch in the off position, it will not be turned on.

If you have the switch in the low position, it will burn low, and if the switch is turned to high, the fireplace will burn high.

How To Turn On A Gas Fireplace


Sometimes, your fireplace may take some time to ignite. If this happens, it may be because of a few different factors. These include: 

  • It has been a long time since the fireplace was last lit
  • The lines have become clogged
  • The lines that run from the valve to the main line could be kinked, so they gas can’t get from the valve to the main ignitor

If you have pressed the ignition and the click has lasted longer than 10 to 30 seconds, you should stop and let the lines clear out. You should wait 10 seconds before you attempt this again. Keep trying until the fireplace is lit.

When you are turning on a gas fireplace (see also ‘Who Repairs Gas Fireplaces?‘), you should make sure that the fireplace is clean. The more dirt there is inside the fireplace, the more likely it is to catch fire and become a hazard.

After Lighting The Gas Fireplace 

Once the pilot light has been switched on and is working, the fireplace is safe to leave on while you are in the room. You shouldn’t leave the fire unattended, though. 

You should read the instructions for your specific fireplace for the full safety considerations.

How To Turn Off A Gas Fireplace? 

Turning off a gas fireplace is very simple and easy. All you need to do is press the button on the top of the fireplace. You just need to look for the button that controls the flame and put it in the off position.

How To Light A Fireplace Without Electricity 

When the power is out, you will have the opportunity to light your gas fireplace without electricity. If there is no electricity coming into the fireplace, the fire is still able to catch.

This can be very useful in providing some light and warmth if there is a blackout.

How Can You Know If A Fireplace Is Working Properly? 

The best way to tell if a fireplace is doing its job is to check the flames. If they’re not burning, or they aren’t burning evenly, then you will need to replace certain parts of the fireplace.

If the flames are burning then you don’t have a problem. However, if they are flickering, you should consider what could be causing the problem.

In order to troubleshoot your particular fireplace, you should make sure that you check the manual that you have, or you can google the particular make and model.

Final Thoughts 

Now you should have all of the information you need on how to ignite a gas fireplace. You should also be aware of some of the issues that you may face with the gas fireplace, and how to troubleshoot these issues.

Stevie Morris