We all like to save money where we can, so much so that DIY'ing has become a multi billion dollar industry.
However, there are times when perhaps it's better, read safer, to pay a little more and buy professionally made equipment. This is never more true than when dealing with gas. So unless your are a Certified Gas Professional we would always recommend buying purpose built equipment, and having a professional install it.
This doesn't mean you can't build your own gas fire pit, far from it, but buy the important parts, the tray/pan, the burner and connection kit, and hire a professional to connect it up!
With that in mind, here are 21 tips or things to consider when you are planning/building your gas fire pit.
- If you have constructed a tray or pan to put your burner and fire glass in, do ensure it has adequate drainage in the bottom of the tray/pan. When it rains, water could build up in the bottom of the tray/pan and rise up above the level of the holes in the burner. Water could then get inside the burner .This could prove to be dangerous when you come to light up the fire pit later on. Provide plenty of drainage holes in the bottom of the pan/tray
- The overall structure of your fire pit should have through ventilation built into it. That is, ventilation on two opposite sides at or near the bottom of the structure.
- It is always best to use a Certified Gas professional to connect up and approve the gas part of the installation.
- Do not use broken tempered glass as fire glass, it will not diffuse properly, causing concentrated heats areas. Like the Gas Fittings Fire Glass is not something you should skimp on.
- For outdoor fire pits you should always use stainless steel trays/pans and fittings. Preferably 304 grade stainless. Ordinary steel will be rusted badly in a year.
- Do not pack fire glass down, just lay it gently in the tray, as per the manufacturers instructions. Always cover the burner.
- If you are using propane, you will need an air mixer.
- If your propane burner is producing soot, you may not have an air mixer, and if you do, then you need to check it is providing the right air to gas ratio. ( See No 3 )
- Do not put a screen between your burner and your fire glass, creating a cavity and a possible build up of gas!
- If you are running a gas feed from you house supply, make sure that are providing enough gas to get a flame. The further from the house the larger diameter gas pipe you need. ( See No 3 ) Minimum should be 3/4” diameter, and for longer distances you may need to use 1 - 1 1/2 diameter.
- Ensure you choose a suitable sized burner for the size of fire pit you are building. e.g Our linear burners are fitted into a 6” wide fire tray.. Over 6” wide and you should choose an ‘H’ burner to spread the flame over a wider area of the fire pit, other wise the overall effect will be a bit of an anticlimax. This also applies to circular fire pits and is why we have single, double and triple ring burners, to spread the flame over a larger area.
- Do not ‘bury’ your spark ignition probe in fire glass, allow a little air space around it to allow it to light. If necessary use a small piece of metal mesh (stainless of course) to build a small cage around the probe. Then cover that with your fire glass.
- Do not use pours rocks on any fire, they could explode.
- Always install the burner beneath the fire glass. ( You wouldn’t believe some of the things we’ve seen )
- You must always install an easily accessible safety valve on the fire pit.
- Ensure any capping or tops being fitted around the fire pit are not too close to the heat source otherwise they may crack, if they get too hot.
- Flat drop in trays should be install below the top level of the structure, not flush with the top ( to retain the fire glass, and protect the base of the flame from draughts.
- Do not use any combustable materials near the heat source in the construction of your fire pit.
- Make sure drop in trays/pans are installed level, this is in regard to the way the gas flows out of the burner holes as well as for water drainage purposes.
- Do buy purpose built trays/pans and connection kits, it will be worth it in the long term
- Do not cook on gas fire pits that are not properly designed for that purpose.