Troubleshooting a Brick Outdoor Fireplace

patio with furniture and brick fireplace
  • 1-3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-500

A brick outdoor fireplace makes a great addition to your outdoor living and entertaining space. Great character is added through the look and feel of the brick outdoor fireplace. Many homeowners elect to build their own fireplace and either burn wood or install a gas burner.

Either way, the incredible ambiance is unmistakable. There are times with the outdoor fireplace when it does not seem to be working correctly. Here are some tips to help you troubleshoot the fireplace for more efficient burning and use.

1. Not Getting Enough Air

In a fireplace, either gas or wood, there is a damper that must be either open or closed depending on how much of a flame you want. This damper controls the amount of air flow into the burn chamber making you burn the wood faster or causing it to burn slower.

When there is a lot of soot coming out of the front of the brick outdoor fireplace it is usually an indication that the damper needs to be opened up.

2. Flames Are Low

fire inside a brick fireplace

There are times when it looks like the flames are much lower than the height of the logs. This is very common in a gas powered brick fireplace. When this happens it is important to turn off the gas as soon as you notice the problem.

Let the gas line cool off for some time and then check it for any dirt or debris that may be in the line. After blowing out the line, start the brick outdoor fireplace again. If the flames are still too low, then it can be a problem with the size of the pipes. Contact the manufacturer or talk with a certified professional for the correct size supply pipes you should be using.

3. Pilot Light Not On

The pilot light is an important part of the starting of the gas outdoor fireplace. If the pilot light is out, the fireplace will not start no matter how many times you press the ignitor button. Sometimes this is out due to it being blown out by high winds. Other times there is a gas shut off.

Check with the gas company to make sure the gas is still on. Check the propane tank, if that is how you receive gas, to make sure the valve is open. If all is alright with the supply, continue to try and light the pilot light. It may be that there is air in the line. This is found in instances when the propane tank has been filled.

4. Noisy Gas Lines

fire in a brick fireplace

If you notice that there is a hum coming from the brick outdoor fireplace, it is not a matter of concern. Many times the gas produces a squeal or a hum when it is released from the tiny nozzle. If the noise is loud, turn down the gas a little. The flame will adjust to a lower setting, but the noise will be lower.

5. Low Heat

Some outdoor fireplaces make use of a blower that is turned on when the temperature reaches a certain temperature. Check the thermostat connections if you are not getting the heat out of it that you should be.