Outdoor Natural Gas Fire Pit Won’t Light! Fix Now

An outdoor natural gas fire pit can refuse to light for several reasons, including low gas pressure, clogged burner orifices, faulty ignition, or even improper ventilation. It’s frustrating when your cozy evening plans are interrupted, but don’t worry, we can get to the bottom of this together!

Let’s start with the basics. Have you checked your gas supply? A low gas tank or a kinked gas line can prevent your fire pit from getting enough fuel to ignite. Next, inspect the burner orifices. These tiny openings can get clogged with debris, spiders, or even insects, blocking the flow of gas. A good cleaning might do the trick!

Don’t forget about the ignition system. If it’s not sparking, your fire pit won’t light. You might need to replace the batteries or the igniter itself. Ventilation is also key. Ensure there’s enough airflow around your fire pit to allow for proper combustion.

If you’ve tried all these and your fire pit still won’t light, it’s time to call in the experts. A qualified technician can diagnose and fix more complex issues like a faulty gas valve or thermocouple.

What are Common Reasons for Outdoor Natural Gas Fire Pit Won’t Light, and How to Fix Them?

1. Low Gas Pressure or Empty Tank

Your fire pit needs sufficient gas pressure to ignite and maintain a flame. If the gas pressure is too low or your propane tank is empty, the fire pit simply won’t light.


  • Check the gas level: If you’re using a propane tank, check the gauge to ensure it has enough gas. If it’s low or empty, refill or replace the tank.
  • Inspect the gas line: Make sure the gas line is properly connected and that there are no kinks or obstructions.
  • Adjust the regulator: If you have an adjustable regulator, try increasing the gas pressure slightly.

2. Blocked or Dirty Burner Orifices

The burner orifices are small openings that allow gas to flow to the burner. If these orifices become clogged with debris, spider webs, or insects, the gas flow will be restricted, preventing the fire pit from lighting.


  • Clean the burner orifices: Turn off the gas supply and use a small brush or compressed air to clean out the orifices. You can also use a straightened paperclip to gently dislodge any debris.
  • Inspect the burner: Check for any signs of damage or corrosion. If the burner is damaged, it may need to be replaced.

3. Faulty Ignition System

The ignition system is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the gas. If the ignition system is malfunctioning, the fire pit won’t light.


  • Check the batteries: If your fire pit has an electronic ignition system, replace the batteries if they are low or dead.
  • Inspect the spark igniter: Make sure the igniter is clean and free of debris. If the igniter is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  • Test the igniter switch: Press the igniter switch and listen for a clicking sound. If you don’t hear a clicking sound, the switch may be faulty and need to be replaced.

4. Improper Ventilation

Natural gas fire pits need adequate ventilation for proper combustion. If the fire pit is enclosed or poorly ventilated, it may not have enough oxygen to light or may produce excessive carbon monoxide.


  • Ensure proper ventilation: Make sure your fire pit is placed in an open area with good air circulation.
  • Avoid enclosing the fire pit: Do not place the fire pit in a gazebo, screened-in porch, or other enclosed space.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector: If you’re using the fire pit in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space, install a carbon monoxide detector to ensure safety.

5. Faulty Thermocouple or Thermopile

These safety devices are designed to shut off the gas supply if the pilot light goes out. If they are malfunctioning, they may be preventing the fire pit from lighting.


  • Inspect the thermocouple and thermopile: Check for any signs of damage or corrosion. If either of these components is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  • Test the thermocouple: Light the pilot light and hold down the control knob for about 30 seconds. If the pilot light stays lit after you release the knob, the thermocouple is working properly. If the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple may be faulty and need to be replaced.
  • Test the thermopile: The thermopile generates a small electrical current that powers the gas valve. If the thermopile is not generating enough current, the gas valve will not open. A qualified technician can test the thermopile and replace it if necessary.
What are Common Reasons for Outdoor Natural Gas Fire Pit Won't Light


Why does my gas fire pit keep going out after I light it?

This is a common issue, often caused by a faulty thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety device that senses the heat from the pilot light and keeps the gas valve open. If the thermocouple isn’t getting hot enough, it will shut off the gas supply, extinguishing the flame. To fix this, try cleaning the thermocouple with a soft cloth and gently bending it closer to the pilot flame. If this doesn’t work, the thermocouple may need to be replaced.

Can wind affect my gas fire pit’s ability to light or stay lit?

Yes, wind can definitely be a culprit. Strong gusts can blow out the pilot light or disrupt the gas flow, causing the fire pit to go out. If you’re having trouble lighting your fire pit in windy conditions, try shielding it from the wind with a wind guard or temporarily repositioning it to a more sheltered spot.

What should I do if I smell gas around my fire pit?

If you smell gas, immediately turn off the gas supply and extinguish the fire. Do not attempt to relight the fire pit until the gas leak has been identified and repaired by a qualified technician. Gas leaks can be dangerous, so it’s important to take this issue seriously.

Can I convert my wood-burning fire pit to natural gas?

While it’s technically possible to convert a wood-burning fire pit to natural gas, it’s not recommended as a DIY project. The conversion process involves installing a gas line, burner, and control valve, which a licensed professional should do to ensure safety and proper operation.