Troubleshooting a Ventless Fireplace

Perhaps you’re one of the many homeowners who enjoy the benefits of a ventless fireplace. It is easy to install as it doesn’t require a chimney or ducts for its operations. The fireplace uses propane, natural gas or gel as a source of fuel. The combustion of these fuels doesn't produce smoke or fumes as some of the other traditional fuels do. The fireplace also works efficiently to warm the house. However, as with most household devices your vent-free fireplace may develop problems sometimes, which hampers operations. It helps if you know how to troubleshoot.

1. Pilot Light Doesn’t Light

Examine the gas line valve. Make sure it is fully open. Trace the line that links the main gas line to the pilot light. Check if it is connected to the gas line. The line may be bent or kinked. Clear any anomalies and stretch the line into a flat position. Another possibility is that the control valve isn’t set to the “Pilot” position. Bleed the gas lines to get rid of air within if the pilot light still doesn’t light up. If your unit is new or the gas tank has been refilled, an air lock may have been created. To bleed, first locate the control valve lever and press it. Switch on the ignition every 10 seconds. The pilot should light eventually although it may take up to 5 minutes. However, if it fails to light, it is likely that your pilot light unit has some fault.

2. You Smell Gas

Any sign of a gas leak must be dealt with swiftly. Turn off the gas supply immediately. Do not light up the fireplace or touch any electrical switch. Do not make any phone calls in your house. Evacuate the house as fast as you can. Call your gas supplier or fire department from a neighbor’s house. Wait until help arrives and the installation is checked before you return to your house.

3. Fireplace Gives Odor

During initial operations, your fireplace may give some odor. This is caused by the paint being cured and lubricants employed during manufacture being burned off. With time, it’ll soon clear and your fireplace should operate without any odors. This may take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days. However, it helps if you ensure that the house is properly ventilated during initial operations. Open a few windows to encourage air circulation.

4. Soot

Your fireplace may develop soot during initial operations, especially at the front of the unit. It could be due to an incompatibility between the gas being used and the fireplace unit. Check your user’s manual to confirm this. If you need to replace the unit, call the supplier so that they can arrange for a replacement unit that is compatible with your gas supply.

5. High Flames

This could be due to regulation or pressure incompatibility. Turn down the control valve to reduce the flames. Should the flames remain high, examine the pressure gauge on the gas line. If exceeds 0.5 PSI, call your gas supplier and request technical assistance.