Fire places...Do we turn on gas ?

Shd we be turning on the gas in the fireplace ?

I havent been doing it…plz give me your experienced advice.


I open the “KEY” operated valve turn it about 1/4 turn and light the burner. Be ready to shut it off if you need to. I use the same standard that I use on furnaces blue flame=good orange flame= dirty yellow flame= bad. I also check for a operating damper.

I don’t light pilots, period.

If the gas log fireplace has a “Turn ON” switch, then I’ll flip the switch to watch the flame and that’s it.

If the pilot is out, then I recommend my clients get a plumber to light the pilot and test fireplace before close of escrow.

If you have insurance, you had best not light anything!

For those that do, here is a short story;

I was inspecting new construction. The house had a wood fabricated chimney with dbl wall metal flue pipe to the roof.

Client insisted I turn it on and test it after I told them it would be tested for them at final walk through by the builder and that I did not have insurance to light fires in a house.

The Realtor stepped in and lit it up!
After a few minutes as I stood way behind everyone watching, I saw a flash into the gas pipe penetration of the firebox (like the flash hole of a canon) and a low but loud thud! The chimney cap and flue pipe shot out the top of the chimney like a potato gun!

Turns out that there was an unauthorized pipe fitting inside the finished wall that was leaking. Natural gas rises, but once filled the wall cavity was forced out the pipe hole to the ignition point.

No one got in trouble because the builder didn’t want to deal with codes finding the leaking fitting in the wall.

No, I do exactly what is stated in the SOP and nothing more, I always advise the client have a Professional Chimney Sweep clean and inspect the Fireplace and/or Wood Stove before operating. You would not believe how many have flue pipes that are disconnected in the chase. Amateur sweeps and homeowners never loosen the screws on the chimney cap, they just grab and start twisting while they wrestle the cap off, and end up pulling the flue apart.



No one should ever do this.

So, maybe I’ll reconsider lighting 'em before it backfires on me.

Smart move…

I did once for a nice client, i first looked the whole thing over and then we both went through the lighting proceedure together for the pilot, then i hit the switch and it was good. But what if it was not? So after considering it , i decided if i absolutely had to, ( client asks specifically) i would ask that if the seller is there and it works and its winter, to fire it up.

Thanks everybody for the feedback…NACHI has been superb. 2 years Home Inspecting w/o any problems

One word answer…

Me too. Break that gas valve and see what it gets you. A free ride to Unhappy Town.