Lighting a Gas Fireplace

Fall has arrived and it's time to start using your gas fireplace. Lighting a gas fireplace is intimidating for most people but once you get comfortable, you are capable of doing it yourself. Natural gas is a powerful fuel and if you are not careful, you could cause an explosion.The local gas company or your fireplace dealer can provide some hand holding, if you need it.

We will offer a list of the steps used to light the pilot and start your manual gas fireplace and we will explain how to start your fireplace if it is operated with a remote control or wall switch system.

A gas log is a ceramic log and burner system that sits within a masonry fireplace opening. The distinguishing feature of a gas log is that it does not have a fixed piece of glass on the front of the fireplace.  There may be a set of doors on a gas log system but you will be able open the doors and put your hands into the firebox.

Real Fyre Fireplace Logset Burner

How to light a gas fireplace with a continuous pilot:

  1. In order to light the pilot on a non-electronic ignition fireplace you will have to locate the gas valve.  It may be operated by a key valve on the front of the fireplace or it will be within the firebox.
  2. Verify that the damper is open.
  3. Open the glass door if there is a door. The doors should be open whenever you are operating the gas log system.
  4. Turn the pilot to the Light  (middle) position.
  5. Push in the gas valve Start button while lighting the pilot with a match or lighting device.
  6. Hold the valve in the light position for 30 seconds until you see a flame.
  7. Turn the control to the On position

How to light a Gas Fireplace with an electronic ignition starting system.


  • Consult the owners manual if you have one.  The owner's manual should give you all the information you need to operate and maintain your gas fireplace.  The fireplace pictured in the image above is an example of a gas fireplace with an electronic ignition system. Electronic ignition systems can operate on intermittent pilot mode or on continuous pilot mode. Intermittent pilot mode ignites a spark which lights the pilot everytime you turn on your fireplace.  This setting is useful in the spring,summer and early fall months when temperatures are not extremely cold.  In the winter months it is more efficient to use your gas fireplace in continuous pilot mode because the pilot light will keep the firebox from freezing up which will make it easier to light the fireplace when you need to use it.
  • Very often, you can access the manual on the manufacturer's website.  Here is a page from the European Home website who represents the fireplace in the image above.
  • If it isn't working, change the batteries in the remote and in the receiver which is inside the fireplace in the control center.
  • Light the fireplace from the remote control or the wall switch. 
  • If you have trouble lighting the fireplace, call a dealer who is familiar with the brand and schedule a tune up.  Here is our tune up page as an example.

Bonus Tip: Lighting a Gas Stove

Gas stoves operate very much like a gas fireplace with all the same features listed above.  Some gas stoves and fireplaces offer automatic safety shut off features which will turn off the pilot light after several days of inactivity.  You will have to remember that the pilot is not on when you decide to light the stove. 

This page from our Valor stove manufacturer explains how the shut off feature works and how to relight your stove after the shut off feature has been activated. 

For more information on safe fireplace venting refer to this page on our website.

A well functioning fireplace can operate for years and with careful care and maintenance you will enjoy your fireplace any time there is a chill in the air. Gas fireplaces offer a clean and efficient source of heat when they are working properly. Enjoy!

If you would rather have a professional tune up your fireplace. Take a look at this page on our website and give us a call.

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