How To Assemble Gas Fire Pits
There are two types of gas fire pits: those which are purchased as a kit or package, and those which are assembled from individual components. If you purchased a kit, the instructions included with it are going to be your fist source of information. Either way, this article presents helpful information concerning the use and installation regulations for fire pits, which applies to all types.
Before Buying a Fire Pit
Not all gas fire pits are created equal. If you are going to purchase a kit, make sure that it is up to the job you plan to use it for. In general, it should be able to burn at approximately 19,000 BTUs with a control for adjustable flame intensity. Make sure that your kit comes with all the parts you need, or gives you clear instructions on how to find them.
Local Laws and Restrictions
In many locales, outdoor fireplaces are either banned permanently or have periodic restrictions placed on their use due to current fire conditions. Contacting your local fire station will hep you understand the laws and restrictions in your area. Be sure to mention that you are installing a gas fire pit, as they are not always as tightly regulated as wood-burning fire pits.
Square or Round Fire Rings
Your fire pit rings may be either square or round. While there is no appreciable difference between the performance of the two, placing a square burner in a round fire pit will produce some interesting effects with the flames. Burners should be placed with the holes down, and mounted approximately ½ to 1 ½ inches from the bottom of the pit. The reason burners face downward is to reduce the chance of clogging or moisture seepage.
Tubing and Fuel Supply
The diameter of the tubing will be determined by how far it must be run. Contact a local natural gas company for help in determining the size of tubing to use. If you will be using a propane fire pit, be sure that there is a regulator in the line. Mount the tubing to the burners, and run it to the tank or inlet valve.
Sand or Rocks
Fill the fire pit to approximately 1 inch above the burners with lava rock or sand. Lava rocks are probably more common, but the use of sand will create a "burning ground" affect that is mesmerizing to observe. Which one you choose to use is a purely personal preference. Below is described a special flame tolerant coarse grain sand with a slightly bluish tinge.
Testing the Fire Pit
Turn on the gas supply and listen carefully at every joint and juncture in the line. If a hissing sound is heard, then you do not have a proper seal, and the line needs to be adjusted or tightened. If no leaks are found, turn on the valve for the fire pit, and attempt to light the fire pit using a grill or fireplace lighter. If you used a sand layerrthe flames will seems to rise directly out of the sand without any visible means of fuel. If the fire will not burn, check whether the sand or lava rock is more than 1 inch deep, which could prohibit proper fuel delivery.