You want your fireplace ready when you and your family need it.

Proper maintenance is essential for any fireplace. Both wood-burning and gas fireplaces need to be maintained in order to remain functional. While it is often left to professionals, there are many repairs that homeowners can do. We will be looking at some common fixes homeowners can make to gas or wood-burning fireplaces.

1. Pilot Light Not Lighting

A pilot light in a gasoline fireplace is a small, gas-fueled flame that is lit continuously and ignites the main burners when heat demand is met. Sometimes, the pilot light will go out, and the burners won’t light.

It is possible to fix the problem by simply restarting the small flow of gas that leads to the pilot light and then relighting the pilot light manually. If this doesn’t work, it could be that there is moisture in the line. This line must be drained and cleaned out by a certified technician.

2. Creosote Buildup

Creosote, a black substance that looks like tar, forms when smoke from a wood burning fireplace cools down and condenses. This is especially true when the fire isn’t very hot.

A buildup of creosote in a chimney can block airflow and allow smoke to enter the home instead of being expelled outside. This is back drafting. Creosote can cause fires by accumulating in your chimney.

Make sure that your chimney has a strong draft to prevent creosote buildup. Have your chimney cleaned by a professional or DIY every so often.

3. Pilot Lights Not Staying Lit

The thermocouple is used to keep gas fireplaces lit as long as there is combustion. The thermocouple sends a small amount of electricity to the valve when it detects heat. This signals the valve that the valve should stay open. Your thermocouple may be to blame if your pilot light goes out after only 20-40 seconds.

Sometimes thermocouples may not be properly connected or secured. Problems can be solved by making sure that all wires, screws, and tubing are properly connected. A new thermocouple may be required if the problem persists. Do not attempt to repair your thermocouple. Instead, hire a professional to fix your thermocouple.

4. Chimney Obstructions

Birds and other animals love to build nests inside chimneys. After lighting a flame, smoke will start coming into your house if there is a nest.

Place a chimney cap at the top to keep unwanted creatures out and allow exhaust to escape. You should inspect your chimney cap often for other debris, like leaves and branches, that can get trapped in it.

5. Too Short Chimney

A chimney that is too small can cause problems with wood-burning fireplaces. A chimney must extend at least three to four feet above the roof’s peak and two feet above all other objects within 10 feet of it in order to vent smoke correctly and reliably. High winds or other weather conditions may cause smoke to backdraft if it does not.

Install a chimney pipe extension on top of your chimney. If you don’t have the safety gear and experience required to climb on your roof, hire a professional.

6. Dirty Gas Fireplace

Leaving your gas fireplace unattended can lead to several problems, including a lower flame height, reduced heat output, and even gas leaks.

Make sure that the fireplace is fully cooled and the gas has been turned off before you start cleaning. Next, vacuum all surfaces and remove any debris, including burners. Use only manufacturer-approved glass cleaner and inspect for chips or cracks while you’re at it. To prevent malfunctions, remove any damaged artificial logs. Last, have a technician examine your chimney, flue, and vents and remove any debris.

7. Low Heat Output

Poor quality firewood may be the reason your fires aren’t burning well or producing much heat. Inexperienced wood burners make the common mistake of using fresh-cut wood that still contains plenty of moisture. This prevents the wood from burning well and doesn’t give off much heat. Only burn seasoned wood that has been dried properly for at least a few months.

8. Poor Draft From Closed Damper Or Stuck Damper

A fireplace damper, an adjustable steel flake that regulates the heat inside your home’s heating system, is a chimney damper. It can keep more or less heat depending on how closed or open it is. The damper must be kept at least slightly open to allow smoke to escape through the chimney. You can let smoke into your home and put your health at risk if you don’t open the damper.

When lighting a fire, make sure that the damper is open. Also, keep it open for as long as there is combustion. Sometimes, the damper’s hinge mechanism can stop moving smoothly because of dirt, creosote, and corrosion.

Clean the damper and damper hinges with a wire brush when the fireplace isn’t being used. Next, coat the hinge in a lubricating oil such as WD-40. Allow the oil to settle into the hinge for a while, then open and close the damper repeatedly until it moves easily.

9. Cracked Fire Brick

All fireplaces have heat-resistant masonry blocks called fire bricks. These blocks are designed to withstand heat, but they won’t last forever. The fire bricks may crack from poor installation, shifting house foundations, or chimney fires. Cracks can lead to dangerous gases leaking into your house. It is important to fix any cracks or damage to fire bricks immediately.

You may be familiar with the process of laying fire bricks. If you don’t have the experience, hire a Fireplace Repair in Seattle, WA specialist who will replace the damaged bricks.

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