Troubleshooting Potential Issues with Gas Fireplaces Pt2
In part one of our “Troubleshooting Potential Issues with Gas Fireplaces” series, we looked at two areas that can keep your fireplace from operating properly: pilot light issues and problems with fireplace burners. Here we’ll cover several other problems that occasionally arise with gas fireplaces.
Fireplace is making noise
In the course of operation, it’s normal for a gas fireplace to make some noise. This is just the unit working the way it’s intended to. Unusual noises, however, especially when coupled with operating problems, mean it’s time to take a closer look.
If there’s a “roaring” sound coming from the fireplace that happens only when the pilot light is on, it’s possible that the flame is not adjusted properly. If a similar noise is heard when the burners are on, it’s a likely sign of dirty burners, which will require cleaning.
A high-pitched shriek or the sound of grinding may be caused by a faulty blower. If your unit has a blower, you should consult with a technician to determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Problems with soot
Excess soot buildup in a fireplace means the fuel isn’t burning completely and efficiently. Although there should be a minimum of soot buildup in gas appliances, it stills pays to have your venting system cleaned regularly. Here are some common causes and things you can do.
- A flame that’s made up of too much fuel and not enough air can produce a lot of soot. You can solve this problem by adjusting the air setting.
- Make sure your damper is working properly to create an efficient draft.
- Check for obstructions in the chimney. These could include leaves, twigs, bird nests and other debris. Have a thorough chimney cleaning service performed.
- Clean all soot off the combustion screen.
- Arrange embers and logs in the firebox according to the instructions of the unit’s manufacturer.
Issues with glass doors
With regular fireplace operation, glass doors can become foggy or hazy. Before you replace the doors, try cleaning them with a solution made especially for fireplace doors and is available at most hearth stores. Remember to never use an ammonia-based solution to clean glass doors.
Under normal circumstances, your gas fireplace shouldn’t emit any odors into the room. If there are any unusual smells, it’s likely there’s a problem that needs addressing.
If you smell gas, first check to make sure the pilot light is on. If it is, you may have a leak. Do not attempt to diagnose this problem yourself. Call the fire department as well as the company that supplies your home with gas.
Properly working fireplace doors not only keep unwanted elements out of the firebox but also prevent “normal” odors from entering a room. It’s a good idea to have your glass doors checked for efficiency on an annual basis.
We hope this two-part series has been helpful to you in understanding and addressing potential problems with gas fireplaces. Contact Marsh’s Stoves & Fireplaces at (416) 762-4582 for more information. Visit our showroom at 3322 Dundas Street West.