Ten Reasons a Fire Won’t Start – Pt1
Ten Possible Reasons Lighting a Fire in your Fireplace is Difficult – Part 1
You’ve got seasoned fire wood stacked and ready to burn and a cold house that needs warming. It can be very frustrating to discover that you can hardly light a fire in your fireplace at all. If this has happened in your home, you are not alone. There are actually many different reasons for this problem. See below and our continuing series for ten possible reasons a fire won’t start in your fireplace:
1 – If you have a gas fireplace, the pilot light could be out. Whether blown out by a sudden downdraft or wind on a blustery day, it’s not unusual for a pilot light to go out. All adults in the house should know how to re-light the pilot. Once the pilot is lit, you should be able to start a fire with no problem.
2 – If you forget to open the damper, there probably isn’t enough of a draft to start a fire. If you did open the damper but air is still restricted, it’s possible that the damper is damaged or something is preventing it from opening fully. A professional chimney sweep can help you determine what’s wrong with your damper, if you are having problems with it.
3 – It could be that your gas fireplace is having a technical problem and the gas valve is blocked. Even minute particles of dust have been known to block a gas valve. A tiny electrical spark is produced by the thermo coupling; but a blocked valve will prevent the spark from the pilot light that opens the gas valve.
4 – For homeowners with a gas fireplace, if the fireplace won’t work, it could be because the gas supply is cut off. Without gas, of course, a gas fireplace will not operate. There are many possible reasons for the gas to be cut off, in addition to the utility company cutting it off because the latest payment was lost in the mail. Perhaps a wall switch or valve which transfers the gas from the main source to the fireplace has been shut off and simply needs to be turned back on.
5 – For a fireplace to work properly, several things need to happen, one of which is that the air needs to be warmed up inside the chimney. When the air in the chimney is cold, it is like a column that pushes downward, making it difficult for smoke from the fire to go up the chimney. The operation of the chimney is definitely affected if the wood that is burning is not hot enough to warm the chimney flue. Green wood, which is also referred to as unseasoned wood, doesn’t produce much heat at all because most of the fire’s heat is used for the purpose of burning out moisture. It can be difficult to get green wood to catch fire in the first place, because of the moisture inside of it.The remaining top ten reasons a fire won’t start apply to every type of fuel-burning appliance.
In the meantime, if you have difficulty lighting the fire in your fireplace or wood stove, contact our chimney professionals.