Why Your Fireplace Isn’t Igniting or Lighting and How to Fix It

By Fix4U Team
Fireplace, Appliances

When winter’s chill starts creeping into your home, there’s nothing quite like the warm glow of a fireplace to beat the cold. But what happens when your cozy evening plans are disrupted because your fireplace isn’t igniting or lighting? It’s not just frustrating; it can also leave you scrambling for alternative ways to stay warm. In this guide, we will walk you through some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue.

Check Gas Supply and Pilot Light

The first step in troubleshooting a gas fireplace that won’t ignite or light is to check whether the gas supply is turned on. Locate the gas supply valve and make sure it is in the open position. If your fireplace has a pilot light, ensure that it’s lit. A pilot light is a small flame that remains lit when the fireplace is off and aids in igniting the gas when you turn the fireplace on.

How to Light the Pilot Light

  1. Locate the control panel: Usually situated beneath the fireplace, behind a metal or glass door.
  2. Turn off the main gas supply: Wait for 5 minutes for any lingering gas to dissipate.
  3. Turn the control knob to the ‘Pilot’ setting: You might need to press it down to do so.
  4. Light the pilot: Using a long lighter or match, ignite the pilot light.
  5. Switch the control knob to ‘On’: If the pilot stays lit, you can now try to turn on the fireplace.

If the pilot light doesn’t stay lit, it could mean there is a problem with the gas supply, and you may need to consult a professional.

Clean the Thermocouple or Thermopile

If the pilot light is on but your fireplace still won’t ignite, the thermocouple or thermopile might be dirty. These components serve as safety mechanisms that detect whether the pilot light is on. If they are dirty, they might not detect the pilot light, preventing the fireplace from igniting.

How to Clean Thermocouple/Thermopile

  1. Turn off gas supply and let the fireplace cool down: Always prioritize safety.
  2. Locate the thermocouple/thermopile: Usually near the pilot light.
  3. Clean gently with fine sandpaper or a scotchbrite pad: Light abrasion can remove the dirt or corrosion, improving its performance.

Examine Wall Switch and Remote Control Batteries

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the fireplace itself but rather with the control mechanisms. Ensure that the wall switch or remote control batteries are in good condition.

Quick Fixes

  1. Replace the batteries in the remote control: Weak batteries can result in poor signal strength.
  2. Check the wall switch wiring: Loose or corroded connections can impede performance. Tighten and clean as needed.

Fireplace not lighting? Call Now to Fix Your Fireplace!

Bypass Wall Switch Test

To confirm if the issue is with the wall switch, you can bypass it temporarily.

  1. Turn off gas and power to the fireplace: Safety first.
  2. Expose the wiring behind the wall switch: Usually, two wires are connected to the switch.
  3. Touch the wires together: If the fireplace ignites, the issue is likely with the wall switch and it should be replaced.

When to Contact a Professional

If you’ve tried all the above steps and the fireplace still isn’t igniting or lighting, it’s time to call a professional for assistance. Issues with the gas valve, thermopile, or thermocouple can be complex and should be dealt with by certified technicians.

Fix4U Repairs, located in the GTA, Canada, specializes in fireplace repairs and can assist you in diagnosing and fixing the issue. You can reach out to us at (647) 363-5205.

(647) 363-5205

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