I purchased my home a year ago. During the home inspection, the gas fireplace worked. Using the turn on instructions from the inspection, I have tried turning it on and it will not come on. I have had two neighbors look at it (who have similar fireplaces.) They couldn’t get it to turn on either. Also, I have checked to be sure the gas to the fireplace is turned on.

I have a feeling there might be spiders in the fireplace as I see some spider webs along the front, which have been there since the inspection. The local fireplace dealer/service company, who also happened to be the installer, wants $150 to come out and turn it on for me. Any suggestions for how I might turn my gas fireplace on?

If you have an electronic igniter, there may be a problem with it. The flame sensor could be bad. In my area, you can call the gas company, and they will send a troubleshooter. All it costs is for the parts used.

If you have a pilot light, it may have gone out. That could mean a bad thermocouple. If that is the problem, you can take the old one out, and take it to the hardware store, so you can get the right one. They come in different lengths. That can also be done by the troubleshooter, if you have one.

Seriously consider the installer’s offer; spiders and other no-see-ums can get into the gas orifices, causing partial blockages and such. the installer should be able to inspect the thermocouple and pilot assembly to determine their condition. do you have any other gas appliances that are not working? could be a valve shut off between the gas service and the fireplace. have you ever lit a gas appliance? the installer should be able to show you how to vent the gas line to remove air and light the pilot. please be careful!

You will probably have to bleed the air out of the line. I have to do this in my motor home every spring. For me it is simple, I open the door and turn on a burner and try to light every couple of minutes until it lights. With your fireplace, I imagine you have to hold down a button to light the pilot first. That should work, but is tedious depending on how long your gas line is. If it is really quiet, you may be able to hear a hissing sound where the pilot is… But you will need good hearing too!

Is this an electric start fireplace? Is there a pilot light that needs to be lit? Generally there is a thermocouple that runs from the pilot light that allows the gas to flow. This protects you from asphyxiation or explosion should you be able to turn on the gas without a flame. Thus, look for a pilot light to light and then try the fireplace.

I go thru the same problem each winter, sometimes it takes about 30 minutes to get the piolet lite lit. I need to sit and hold pilot light button in, with one hand and a match in the other . It can be a pain to lite. Your thermocouple could be going bad which is about $15.00 fix from Ace.