Having a fire pit burner in your home will serve as a beautiful addition to your home’s outdoor area. It will also provide accent light and warmth on chilly days. You can make this dream a reality by building a custom natural gas fire pit burner.
You can choose pre-made fire pit burners, but DIY projects are an inexpensive and crafty alternative. You get your hands dirty and have fun. You can also use this opportunity to bring together your friends and family.
Before you think of starting a DIY natural gas fire pit burner project, there are some essential things you need to know. Read on to know these things.
Things to Consider When Building a Natural Gas Fire Pit Burner
Building a natural gas fire pit burner requires a lot of decision-making. We have made it easier by providing you with tips you need to consider while building a fire pit burner;
One of the most crucial decisions you have to make when you want to build a natural gas fire pit burner is the surface. It is the width of the location you intend to build on. If are interested in building a fire pit outdoor, ideally, you’ll want to build on a level, flat surface, like a deck, stone patio, or flat yard.
To install a fire pit on decks and grass, you will need to use a non-combustible base under the fire pit. This measure will prevent it from transferring radiant heat to the surface and starting a fire.
For grass, we would advise that you make use of pea gravel or sand as your base. For decks, you can make use of pavers, bricks, Dura Rock, or Hardie Board.
The Fire Pit Enclosure
The fire pit enclosure can also be referred to as the body of the fire pit. It serves as the home to the burner, gas, and ignition components. You can construct the fire pit enclosure yourself on-site by using masonry bricks or purchasing an unfinished enclosure. You can buy it in a kit or separately.
A fire pit kit usually takes away the guesswork from building a fire pit. Most of the kits come with all the components you will need including bricks that you will build yourself or an already built but unfinished enclosure.
Another essential factor you have to consider is ventilation. You’ll need to add ventilation to the base of your fire pit. Including ventilation helps provide air so the ignition system will function correctly, allow a continuous flow of air, water drainage, and prevents the building up of excess heat and gas inside the fire pit enclosure.
Not providing proper ventilation will cause excess heat and gas, which could lead to a hazardous situation, like an explosion. Boom! You don’t want that to happen, right? The ventilation should contain a minimum of two in-built air vents on different sides of the fire pit at the top of the base.
If your fire pit does not have an open bottom, you can use risers to raise the fire pit off the ground to ensure adequate airflow.
The Fire Pit Burner
The most important feature of your natural gas fire pit is the fire pit burner. The burner is used to burn gas and would determine the height and size of the fire.
Burners do come in several sizes, materials, BTU capacities, and shapes. You will have to research the type of burners available and their BTU capacities to make sure you get the required flame representation.
You can buy the burner separately, or purchase a fire pit burner kit that will come with all of the components required to set it up.
Fire Pit Pan
The fire pit pans sit directly under the burner and hold the media like gas logs or lava rocks. Some fire pits burners have their pans attached to them, but some would require you purchase the pan separately.
If you are going to buy the pan separately, you will have to consider the shape and size of the fire pit. You should also know whether the pan would sit flush with the top or if it would be recessed into the surface.
The Connectors and Fittings
These are small parts of the fire pit that sit in the enclosure and route from the burner to the gas. It would be advisable that you connect your ignition system to your gas source using a whistle-free flexible line.
We would advise that you don’t use elbow connectors, sharp turns, and corrugated pipes in your flex hose as they will produce unpleasant whistling. Curving the flexible line during the fire pit installation will prevent whistling and cause an optimal flow of gas.
You can prevent lousy burner performance and low flames by ensuring that your gas line is the appropriate size that will supply adequate fuel to your burner. If you already have a gas line, but it is the wrong size, you can get a gas plumber to help you modify it.
Fire Pit Media
The fire pit media sits directly on top of the pan and burner. It disguises them from view and assists in the even distribution of gas to create the typical flame pattern. You can use lava rock or a ceramic gas log for your media if you want a traditional look. For a modernized look, you can use firestones, fireballs, or fiberglass.
With adequate gas pressure, the fire pit media should cover only the burner by an inch. If you are using a burner with jets, like a crossfire, you will cover just the tube with the media and let the jet remain exposed.
Fire Pit Ignition System
The ignition system is used to control and start the fire. There are different types of ignition systems you can choose from; push-button ignition, automatic ignition or, manual ignition.
The automatic ignition system is the most expensive and requires an electrical connection. But, it is also the most convenient and most straightforward system to use. The automatic system can be operated using a remote, smart home system, or a wall switch.
Now you know all the components you will be needing for your fire pit, Read On to learn how to put them all together.
How to Build your Natural Gas Fire Pit Burner
The building of a fire pit is determined by the ignition system you want to use. We’ll walk you through how you can build your fire pit for each ignition system.
1. The Automatic Ignition System
The automatic ignition needs both electricity and gas to function. Most of these systems are plugged in, powered by a battery, or hardwired. The control you wish to use for the system will determine how the electrician’s installation will be carried out.
We would advise you to add a shut-off valve at least twenty feet away from the fire pit, which would make it possible for you to put off the fire pit gas supply in case of any emergency.
Firstly, ensure the gas is connected to the shut-off valve, then is routed to the fire pit. If you are using hardwired power, install a junction box from the fire pit, if you are using plug-in power, install an outdoor-rated outlet inside your fire pit. You can follow the manufacturer’s instructions from here.
When it comes to checking gas connections, you’ll have to check the automatic ignition. Ensure your electrical connections are working the way they should. Once you are sure the electrical and gas connection functions correctly, you can then add the media and finish the enclosure. You can now run a fire test to ensure the flames are good.
2. The Manual Ignition System
Firstly, connect the gas line to the fire pit, then place the enclosure tip on the top. Then, connect one side of the key valve to the gas stub and the other side to the flex hose. Before you set the pan and burner in place, ensure you test for gas leaks at each connection (key valve to flex hose and stub to key valve)
Once the gas connection has been tested, then you can set the burner and pan in place. You will then have to turn on the manual ignition system to ensure that the gas is flowing correctly, and the burner provides desired flame representation.
The flame pattern might not be accurate right now since there are no media to disperse the flow of gas, but you will know if the burner is not working correctly or if the flames are low (which signifies no gas pressure). Once you are sure everything is working as it should, you can turn off the fire pit and add the media after the burner has cooled.
You can now finish the enclosure by adding the finishing material you decided to use. Finally, turn the fire pit on. Sit back and enjoy the fire!
Installing a natural gas fire pit burner is a permanent component of your home. You can be confident your fire pit would be enjoyed by your generations to come.
Having a natural gas fire pit burner in your home provides an inviting, warm ambiance and a handmade appeal that you can enjoy. With our tips provided above, you will find building your fire pit very easy. It’s time to get your hands dirty!
Henry Jurk is an experienced architect with over 20 years of expertise in paving. He shares his knowledge and provides solutions through his blog posts at OkPatio.com. If you have any questions about patios, gardens, and outdoor spaces, you can find the correct answers from Henry. You can contact him via email at email@example.com or through the website’s contact page.