How To Light A Gas Fireplace In 7 Minutes (OR LESS)

Dominic Mitton
By Dominic  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   October 19, 2023
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If you’ve recently bought a gas fireplace, you deserve to know the best and safest way to start it.

I’ll cover two different methods which you will use depending on the model you have.

Before starting, I want you to know that it’s a lot easier than starting a wood-burning fireplace.

Let’s start with the first method:

How to Light a Gas Fireplace Using The Control Panel

📍 Note: Always open the chimney vent before starting a fire.

Step 1: Locate the control panel

The control panel is usually located behind the fireplace’s front screen which you can easily open without screwdrivers.

You will see “on“, “off“, and “pilot” positions on the control knob.

Step 2: Turn to the OFF position

Turn the knob position to the OFF if it isn’t already positioned like that.

You should now wait for at least 5 minutes to allow all the gasses to fully clear out.

If for some reason you still smell gas, open windows in your home to clear out the remaining amounts of gas.

Step 3: Align the gas shut-off valve

Most modern fireplaces come with a shutoff valve which gives you more control over the gas output.

You should move it to make it parallel to the gas line which will allow the gas to enter the fireplace.

Step 4: Move to the “Pilot” position

The same control knob you twisted to the OFF position, you now need to twist to the Pilot position.

The pilot light helps the fireplace burn, so you’re allowing it to start heating.

Step 5: Hit the control knob and ignition

You already allowed the pilot to ignite the fireplace, but you now need to turn it on.

You should press the control knob and hold it for 45 seconds

While holding the control knob,  just hit the ignition button (usually red-colored) and you’re almost done.

Step 6: Twist to the ON position

After you’ve completed the previous step, twist the control knob to the ON position.

This makes sure that fire stays indefinitely and that you can control everything from a remote control.

If you didn’t start the fireplace properly, just start from the beginning and repeat all the steps.

Now, let’s talk about another method to light a gas fireplace.

Lighting A Gas Fireplace Using A Key

There are some gas fireplaces that use a metal key to start the flames and gas flow – follow the steps below if you have one.

Step 1: Remove the outer cover, so you can ignite the pilot light. Most of them are made of glass, so be careful how you put them down.

Step 2: Put the fireplace metal key into the gas valve knob, but don’t turn it on because you first need to prepare the lighter.

Step 3: Grab a long-neck lighter and light the device’s burner. Make sure to move your hands away very quickly before the flame starts rising.

Step 4: Turn on the gas key by twisting the gas valve knob counter-clockwise. You will now see the flames rising.

Step 5: Place the outer cover back immediately as you don’t want any gas spreading through your home.

You can control the flames with a gas valve key, so twist it counter-clockwise if you want to increase the flames or clockwise if you want to decrease them.

Why You Can’t Start Your Gas Fireplace

There could be a ton of reasons why you can’t start your gas fireplace. 

It might be due to you not following the instructions properly or due to a gas fireplace.

Here are some of the most common problems:

  • Clogged burner plate – it prevents gas from transitioning to pilot light.
  • Disabled thermocouple – you will recognize it if your pilot light shuts off a couple of seconds after you turned it on.
  • Damaged thermopiles – they create electricity and if they’re damaged, you will probably have to buy a new thermopile.

As I said earlier, there could be tons of other reasons – these are just the most common ones.

However, I would recommend always hiring a professional if you can’t start your gas fireplace.

If you successfully started your gas fireplace after reading our guide, you should share it with your friends and family and help them prepare for cold days.

Hey there! I am Benas, the founder and content editor at Home Caprice. Thanks for reading the article. I hope you were able to find what you were looking for. I and my team are here to simplify heating and cooling for everyone. Please have a look at the About page for more details about our website and feel free to check out our editorial process.