Gas Fire Pit Construction Components and Things to Consider
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed when trying to pick out components for a new gas fire pit. We’ve put together a guide to help break down the fire pit components and make it easier to find the perfect components for your project. Building a fire pit, having one built, or even just looking to buy a finished product; there are some things to consider before constructing or buying that perfect gas fire pit.
Fire pit burners are going to have the biggest impact on the size and heat distribution of your flame. The burner will be the heart of your fire pit, both giving off heat and the visual entertainment of a dancing flame. A few things to consider when building your pit:
- What size and type of flame you want
- How are you going to supply the fuel for this (in-ground tank vs. stored under fire pit)?
- Natural gas or liquid propane?
- Burner Material and Shape
- What type of fire pit ignition system should you use?
- What type of fire media do you plan to use? (fire glass, lava rock, river stone, etc…)
Always contact a local licensed gas contractor when it comes time to run a new gas line or hook up your new fire pit. When picking out your burner, the size and shape of the burner are important things to consider. This will help determine the overall size along with the style of the fire pit you will be building. We’ve written a separate article on fire pit burners to help make sure you choose the right burner. Don’t forget a fire pit pan with the burner that you choose. Fire pit pans are required for pits that will be using propane, the pan is going to be used to separate the burner from the air mixer (unless using brass burners), also going to be used for ventilation and water drainage. Depending on your burner the pan is going to be installed 3-4 inches from the top of the pit. To make things easier for you make sure you get yourself an installation collar. An installation collar is designed to simplify the installation of the fire pit pan. It is a flexible collar that can bend and can be anchored down by screws.
There are a few different options when it comes to ignition systems. The most basic system will be the manual light ignition. Where you basically turn on the key valve and light the pit with a match and boom there goes your fire. Depending on how thick your pit wall is, you might want to see about getting an extended valve flange key. For more information on this subject read our article on ignition systems to help you make an informed decision on which type of ignition system is best for you.
No matter what burner or ignition system you choose your fire pit will need to be vented. The requirements for venting are usually listed in the manual of the burner itself. If not you will need to abide by your local building codes when doing this portion of the job.
Now that you’ve made all the hard decisions the media will be the last thing you have to decide on. With so much media to choose from it can be a handful. Keep in mind a few key things when buying media, the glass will be the most expensive while lava rock will be least expensive. There are options that you can choose from to keep in the cost low, such as filling with lava rock then topping off with fire glass, or maybe using a log set or ornament. For a full list of options read our article on fire pit media to get a full explanation of all the options you can choose from.
If you are building this yourself it may seem like a lot of work to start from scratch, maybe you want a bit of a head start, you can always check out our unfinished Patio Comfort Elements fire pits on our website, they offer DIY fire pit frames and concrete boxes to help take away some of the burden of building the actual pit. Just add the finish you’d like to have, choose your media, burner, and ignitor and you’re good to go.