Here’s how we’ll care for your fireplace and why these regular maintenance steps are important.
Checking the logs
Although they look quite realistic, gas fireplace logs are usually made of ceramic or cement, which allows them to stand up to high temperatures.
But as tough as they are, these logs are not indestructible. Before turning on your gas fireplace for winter, we’ll check the logs for things like:
- Cracks: Firstly, a cracked log is an eyesore. More importantly, connections, valves, and pipes can be placed underneath or inside them. Any cracks in the logs could become potential leak points for gas.
- Soot: While soot is associated with wood fireplaces, it can also build up in gas fireplaces. If the gas logs have been moved out of position or if any burners are clogged, there’s a good chance of soot build-up.
- Positioning: Gas fire logs are meant to stay in place. Moving them interferes with gas flow, air flow, and can impact the movement and location of the flames.
Pilot light inspection
The pilot light is a very small flame that serves as an ignition source for the burner. Even when the fireplace isn’t being used, the pilot light is always lit.
The first thing we’ll look for is to make sure your pilot light is actually lit. Sometimes it goes out or has a hard time staying lit.
If that’s the case, here’s what we’ll look at:
- Thermocouple: This is a safety device that shuts off the gas once the pilot light goes out. Soot buildup, a misaligned pilot light, or a damaged thermocouple can be the problem.
- Not enough heat: Your pilot light should burn bright blue. If it’s not blue in colour, it’s not generating enough heat to activate the thermocouple.
- Burner: The burner can be found underneath the pilot light and thermocouple. If it’s dirty or clogged, gas can’t flow into the pilot light.
If the pilot light stays on, but the gas fireplace won’t ignite, there could be a problem with the thermopile.
Made from metal, the thermopile converts heat into a tiny amount of electricity. That electricity is used to open a gas valve when a wall switch or remote control button is used to turn on the fireplace.
Sometimes, the thermopile is simply dirty and needs to be cleaned. In other instances, it needs to be replaced.
Total system inspection
From the cozy flame, you sit around to the gas lines feeding it, Link ClimateCare performs a complete 22-point maintenance check to ensure everything is in good working order.
Some of the elements covered on our checklist includes:
- Firebox cleaning: Removing dust or dirt buildup that can impact or delay burner ignition.
- Outside vent: Whether your fireplace vent is on the side of your home or the roof, we’ll make sure it’s free of leaves, debris, and even animal nests.
- Carbon monoxide detector test: If you have a CO installed near your fireplace (and you really should), a quick test ensures it’s working properly and that it’s positioned in the right location (not directly above the fireplace, but nearby).
- Glass cleaning and inspection: Cleaning the glass gives you a better view of the fire, while a detailed inspection ensures it’s properly installed with no gaps or cracks.
Winter weather is already here. Is your fireplace ready?
Although the first official day of winter is still a few weeks out, snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures are already here.
The last thing you want is for your gas fireplace to not work when everyone’s gathered around it.
Before winter really hits, schedule your gas fireplace maintenance from Link ClimateCare. You’ll enjoy total peace of mind knowing it’s in tip-top shape and ready for whatever the season throws at it.