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An Introduction to Gas Fire Pits

Updated on September 6, 2010

There's nothing like an open fire. There's something that attracts people to the dancing flames. Perhaps it's a primeval instinct to draw ourselves to fire to stay warm, but it's a simple pleasure that many delight in. However, as more and more areas become suburban and gas and fire laws are being passed it's becoming harder and harder to enjoy that simple pleasure even in our homes. There's still hope for all who want to still enjoy a fire with friends and family, gas fire pits.

What Are They?

Gas fire pits are best to be thought of as a gas fueled fireplaces with a chimnea twist that are used outside the home. They can be permanent additions to the home or portable temporary fixtures bought from a home improvement store. They often come in different styles of bowls, boxes, or even wells, and are typically made out of cast iron or stone. Permanent in ground gas fire pits require a natural gas line to be extended from your house to the pit.

Permanent Gas Fire Pits

Installing a permanent gas fire pit is an excellent way to not only raise the property value of your home but also create a central area for entertaining outdoors. These pits do require a bit for installation and would be best done as apart of a larger home renovation project. As mentioned before the first priority for building a gas fire pit is that a natural gas line must be fed into the pit to fuel it. It is highly recommended that an emergency cut valve is installed a few feet away from the fire pit in case of a gas leak or some other problem with the fire pit.

Permanent gas fire pits can be made of a variety of materials, they are most commonly made from cast iron or stone. They can also be made of wood, but for many having an open flame contained in a wood frame is disconcerting. When a selecting a material to build a gas fire pit, consider whether or not that material can withstand the heat of the pit. For example, do not build fire pits from sandstone as it has a tendency to explode if over heated.

Finally remember to follow all local ordinances and laws regarding open fires, natural gas and propane in your area. An excellent place to find this information is at your local fire department.

Portable Gas Fire Pits

Other gas fire pit options include units that can be purchased online or from a local home improvement store. They are typically made of steel or cast iron and are shaped like bowls or boxes. Many of these pits run on propane and operate like gas grills. These are perfect for the casual burner who only wants to use it for holidays and parties. To their advantage over other wood stoves is that they do not require scraping up logs to fuel them. They do not even require kindling. Finally, they are a cleaner burn without excessive smoke or ashes that always seem to chase you or that one guest at the party. They are pricier than their wood burning alternatives often in the $200~$500 range.

A gas fire pit is an amazing addition to any home. From permanent additions that can become focal points of a patio to portable options that can follow you from home to home, gas fire pits are a convenient way to spend time with friends and family around a fire.


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