Wood fire pits can be a great addition to your patio or backyard. They’re easy to install, and there’s nothing quite like the rustic experience of a wood-burning fire.
Unfortunately, wood fire pits come with several disadvantages, most notably being the use of wood as a fuel. To use a firepit regularly, you’ll need a lot of wood—and somewhere to store it! Often times, wood is stored outdoors, however improper storage can lead to wet wood which we all know is not the easiest to get burning.
Additionally, city and county restrictions limit the use of wood firepits, sometimes banning them altogether. This is because wood firepits are much more likely to spread uncontrollably according to Firepit Outfitter.
And of course there’s the smell. While some people love the smell of a wood fire, others are not so fond, and it can linger on your clothes and hair long after you’ve left the vicinity of the fire.
While wood fire pits may be a favorite among old-fashioned folks, their reliance on wood fuel is not so practical. Gas fire pits, on the other hand, solve this and many other issues, and may be your best bet, especially if you’re living in the city.
If you already have a wood firepit and are experiencing any of these issues, it may be time to convert it to gas. Gas firepits are an excellent alternative to wood in that they eliminate safety and storage concerns associated with wood fuel, as well as the smell of smoke. Here are the steps needed to convert your wood firepit into gas.
- Firstly, you need to decide what type of fuel to use. While a propane tank is the most convenient option, it limits the size of the firepit and isn’t cost-efficient overtime. A natural gas setup is more appropriate for long-term use or for firepits that are larger than usual, but at the expense of time and cost.
- The second step involves choosing your ignition type. Match-lit fire pits tend to be the cheapest and most reliable but require a match or lighter to ignite. Spark-ignited firepits are similar but slightly more convenient, and electronic ignition provides the most convenience at the expense of cost—and also requires electricity at the site of the pit.
- Thirdly, you’ll want to select a burner. This is where personalization comes into play as there are a wide variety of burner shapes available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
- The fourth step is to ensure proper ventilation. This can be accomplished through vent holes or covers that regulate airflow.
- Next, you’ll want to choose a spot to mount the gas valve. This should be placed somewhere accessible where it can be easily seen and operated.
- The next step is to mount the pan for your firepit, which helps maintain flame efficiency and safety. These are required for propane gas pits and highly recommended for natural gas as well.
- The final step in converting your wood firepit to gas is to choose the “media”, which is the aesthetic, often faux-like material around which the gas flame disperses. Media comes in a wide range of shapes and styles, most often made from stone or glass.
Whichever reason you have for converting to a gas firepit, safety and proper installation are the most important factors. Make sure to rely only on qualified, professional firepit installers to get the job done.