ceramic logs for excessive soot.
Perform a White Tissue Test: take a white
tissue and, with 3 fingers, swipe across the entire length of the front
log. If the tissue becomes a dark-grey-to-black color where you wiped
and/or if you see small clumps of a black, powdery, ash-like substance
on the rest of the logs, then one of two conditions probably exist:
The ceramic logs are positioned improperly
-- this will manifest itself in an ‘incomplete burn’ (which also causes
abnormally high levels of carbon monoxide) and an abundance of soot on
the logs. Resolution: have the logs cleaned and then either position
them exactly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations or call The Gas Fireplace Service Company to position them for
The ceramic logs’ burner ports are clogged
-- this will manifest itself in either an incomplete burn or an
unbalanced burn and an abundance of soot on the logs. This will also
negatively impact the appearance of the fire. Resolution: have the logs
cleaned and then either position them exactly according to the
manufacturer’s recommendations or call The Gas Fireplace
Service Company to position them for you.
Inspect the glass doors for excessive
Perform a Tissue Test: take a tissue and
simply wipe the inside of the fireplace glass. If a black, powdery,
ash-like substance comes off the glass and your wipe leaves a streak
across the glass, then one of the two conditions described in the gas
log-soot problem probably exist. Resolution: clean the glass and have
the logs cleaned. Then either position the logs exactly according to
the manufacturer’s recommendations or call TheGas
Fireplace Service Company to position them for you.
Inspect the glass doors for scratches, chips
If the unit has glass doors and the glass is
either scratched or chipped, the glass should be replaced. Some gas
fireplaces have actually blown up because of such glass imperfections.
If the glass doors are not adhered to the frame as tightly as they can
be, poisonous carbon monoxide can escape into the home. Resolution:
Tighten the glass to the doors (each model is slightly different in how
it holds the glass in place.)
For vented models, inspect the area directly
above the vent on the exterior of the house.
If there is soot or a ‘scorched’ look on the
homeowner’s brick or siding, then one of the two conditions described in
the gas log-soot problem probably exist. Resolution: In addition to
having the logs cleaned and re-positioned properly, wash down the
outside wall of the house with soap and water.
For vented models, inspect the outside vent
Leaves, spider webs, birds’ nests and tiny
particles of loose brick mortar can block critical air passages in the
vent affecting the units’ air/gas mixture and/or the unit’s ability to
stay ‘lit’. Resolution: clean out the outside vent as best you can and
replace any torn or loose screening/webbing.
Inspect the unit’s pilot light.
Usually located inside of the unit between
the front and rear ceramic logs, the pilot light should be burning well
enough to fully wrap around and cover the top 3/8” of the unit’s
thermo-pile or thermo-couple. The thermo-pile or thermo-couple is a
small metal rod that sticks up and is usually located to the left of the
pilot light. If the pilot light isn’t covering the thermo-pile or
thermo-couple properly, then one of three conditions probably exist.
The pilot light’s gas orifice is clogged --
this will manifest itself in a less-than-needed amount of gas going into
the pilot light which in turn affects the thermo-pile or thermo-couple’s
ability to function. Without the thermo-pile or thermo-couple operating
properly, the fireplace will not start. Resolution: Have the pilot
light’s gas orifice cleaned or repaired by The Gas
Fireplace Service Company.
The pilot light’s gas orifice is either the
wrong size or the wrong type -- this will also manifest itself in a
less-than-needed amount of gas going into the pilot light. In one case,
the orifice may be smaller than the one required by the manufacturer.
In the other case, an LP-gas orifice may have been installed instead of
a natural-gas orifice or vice-versa. Resolution: Have the pilot
light’s gas orifice replaced by The Gas Fireplace