Fire Pit Foundation/Stone Questions

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Old 04-15-15, 08:02 AM
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Fire Pit Foundation/Stone Questions

So I have decided for my first landscape job as a new home owner, I am going to take a crack at making a fire pit.

I have been scouring the internet the last few weeks for steps/advice and I have some questions I would like answers on. It seems these things have contradictory advise from different sources.

1. I would like to build with the stone/mortar look rather than dry stacking, should I go with a cement foundation or gravel?

2. How deep do I need gravel in the center for drainage?

3. I would like to line the inside with fire brick, are those just the packs of 6 or whatever I can grab from the hardware store in the fireplace area? Or is there a better kind of firebrick to get?

4. Is there any ventilation needed in the foundation/wall? I would like to avoid any potential explosions if possible.

If anyone has any other tips from their own jobs, that would always be appreciated. I am a planner, and I wont act until I have thought of every scenario.

Thanks!!
 
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Old 04-15-15, 09:26 AM
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1. I would like to build with the stone/mortar look rather than dry stacking, should I go with a cement foundation or gravel?
Concrete, not cement, would be permanent if it was placed below the frost line. I'd be tempted to use a bed of crushed rock a minimum of six inches thick and well tamped.

2. How deep do I need gravel in the center for drainage?
All the way to China. Seriously, this depends upon the soil conditions. A drain line, I would use no less than 2 inch ABS or PVC, run with a slight downward slope to daylight would be ideal.

3. I would like to line the inside with fire brick, are those just the packs of 6 or whatever I can grab from the hardware store in the fireplace area? Or is there a better kind of firebrick to get?
I would discourage the use of firebrick. It is highly unlikely that you would have a fire hot enough to require the use of firebrick and firebrick is porous enough that it would absorb water. This water, if not evaporated out prior to building a fire will then turn to steam and cause spalling (chipping) of the firebrick.

4. Is there any ventilation needed in the foundation/wall? I would like to avoid any potential explosions if possible.
Yes there is. You need to have air inlets low down to allow combustion air to enter below the grate (if a grate is used) or you will have poor combustion. A few higher up the wall will also help in combustion. Leaving the vertical joint on every fourth brick or so without mortar (about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide) usually is sufficient.

Are you planning on having any kind of gas ignitor or burner in this firepit?
 
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Old 04-15-15, 10:14 AM
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Thanks for all the info, that is basically what I was looking for.

I will not have any gas igniter or anything of that sort, just your basic fire pit. I may or may not have a grate on top, if I do I would just rest it over the pit when needed, not built in. I will make sure to leave a few vents in the wall when building though.
 
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