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Fire Pits Direct Blog

  • How to Plan Your Gas Fire Pit Project

    How to begin a gas fire pit project

    A little pre-planning goes a long way in ensuring your gas fire pit installation goes smoothly. After all, there’s more to installing a fire pit than buying parts, connecting a fuel source, and kicking back to relax. In fact, nearly all the fire pit issues we help troubleshoot on a daily basis could have been avoided had proper considerations been taken before installation began.

    With that said, building a fire pit doesn’t have to be complicated, either! We’ve put together this comprehensive two-part guide to show you how to turn your dream backyard fire feature into a reality. Part one of our guide will cover everything you need to consider before you make your first purchase from us. Part two covers the buying process to help you find the correct fire pit components based on the planning you do here.

    What to consider when designing your fire pit

    Determine your construction budget

    It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it, anyway: Know what you want to spend on your fire pit before you get too far into the design stages. Fire pit kits can vary in price considerably depending on any number of factors—many of which we’ll cover in these guides. You’ll want to make sure you’ve given adequate consideration to your entire construction budget before you begin.

    This isn’t just material costs, either. In nearly all cases, you will want to bring in a professional gas technician if you’re doing anything more than connecting to a 20-pound propane tank. This leads into our next important consideration you’ll want to make.

    Check your local building codes

    Before getting too far into your fire pit planning process, be sure to review any local codes related to fire pit construction. Most areas have relatively simple guidelines to follow—if any are given at all—but it’s never safe to assume. Buying a fire pit, installing components, and then having to modify your design after the fact due to local codes can be a costly mistake to make.

    Choose your fuel supply

    Gas can be a tricky fluid to work with no matter if you’re using propane or natural gas to fuel your fire pit. There’s a reason we recommend working with a professional during this part of the process, after all. Too much gas pressure to your fire pit and you’ll get what’s commonly described as a “whistling” noise. Too little gas pressure and you’ll have a weak flame.

    It’s always easier to get it right the first time when it comes to gas lines—one of the worst things you can do is lay the gas line (especially under a concrete or hardscape patio) before you determine what gas supply you need. The price of re-laying a gas line can out-cost the entire project, so please consult us and/or a gas plumber before this step.

    As you begin to work with a gas plumber, be clear to communicate how big you want your fire pit to be, and ultimately, what size fire pit burner you’d like to use. These details will determine the necessary BTU and gas supply the plumber needs to account for as they consider the variables. Details like gas pipe material, pipe size (diameter), and distance the gas line must travel to the fire pit from the source will be important factors to consider. Pipe diameter, for example, is one of the largest determinants to how many BTUs you’ll have available at the fire pit location.

    Also, keep in mind, sometimes even gas professionals have little experience with these gas fire pit projects—they are much different than typical indoor gas plumbing projects. 

    Here are some of the numbers you’ll want to give your gas installer to ensure your fire pit works as intended:

    • For natural gas, supply pressure should be set between 3.5 inches and 7 inches of water column (water column is a common measure of pressure).
    • For propane gas, supply pressure should be set between 8 inches and 11 inches of water column.

    Please note, both of these pressures should be available at the fire pit location and not at the source—gas pressure will drop the further it travels from its source.

    What about 20-pound propane tanks?

    If you’re using a standard grill tank to operate your fire pit, you’ll have a simpler installation process. However, you’ll be limited on the size of fire pit you can construct. The BTU rating of a 20-pound propane tank limits your burner options to sizes rated for 125,000 BTU or fewer. Any larger than this, and you’ll be left with an inadequate flame.

    A fire pit fueled with a propane tank will also need a regulator to operate properly.

    Determine how your fire pit will be used

    The way in which your fire pit will be used—and the people who will be using it—should be taken into consideration when constructing your fire pit. A person building a simple fire pit for their backyard will have different requirements than a hired contractor designing a fire pit for a business.

    It’s also worth noting you may be required to follow specific local building codes when constructing your fire pit. Though uncommon, it’s better to discover what, if any, restrictions you’ll have before you start buying fire pit components.

    Since no two installations are exactly the same, it’s difficult to lay out a set of standard recommendations here. That said, if you give us a call and tell us a little bit about how you plan to use your fire pit, we’ll be happy to help you determine some possible setups for your build.

    Select your fire pit size and shape

    With a budget, fuel supply, and usability is taken into consideration, all you’ll need to do is determine your fire pit size and shape. These decisions will be more about personal preference. However, there are still a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

    Sizing your fire pit

    Your fire pit’s size will most likely be dependent on your budget, the size of your space, and any fuel supply limitations you may have. Keep these factors in mind when you start shopping.

    The materials used for your burner can change the price of your system significantly. For example, a brass system will cost much more than a stainless steel system (we’ll cover some of the reasons why in part two of our guide). As burners get bigger, material costs go up as will BTU requirements in most cases. You’ll need to make sure your fire pit can receive an adequate supply of gas.

    Finally, keep in mind the size of your space. Your burner will typically need to be between six inches and 12 inches smaller than the interior dimensions of your enclosure to ensure at least proper clearance between the edge of the burner and the inside of the fire pit. Knowing this information will allow you to set up your fire pit area with enough room. Refer to your instruction manual for clearances specific to your fire pit.

    Choosing a fire pit shape

    Firepit shapes are more of personal preference—any option will look great if done well. If you don’t have a specific shape in mind, here are some recommendations we can make:

    Round Fire Pits

    Round fire pits offer a traditional look and can fit many people. They also complement landscapes with other curves in their designs.

    Square / Rectangle Fire Pit

    A square or rectangle fire pit offers a more contemporary appearance. These fire pits use space more conservatively, but it may be more difficult to squeeze a large number of people around the pit to feel the heat of the flames.

    Linear Fire Pit

    A linear fire pit offers a contemporary appearance, as well. Not only do they offer plenty of space to sit around, but since they have less of width than round or square fire pits, they are much easier to socialize and talk across than the traditional shapes. Since linear fire pits are often fire tables, be extra aware of your flame size—if your flame is too big, guests won’t want to get too close or keep their drinks on the table.

    Sunken Fire Pit

    A sunken fire pit offers a more unique design. This style of fire pit puts the burner, components and seating all below-grade—we’ve even seen installations in the middle of a pool. This design can offer greater privacy, protect flames from the wind, and create a cozy focal point for your space.

    You’re ready to start choosing components

    We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Check out part two of our guide to learn how to shop for fire pit parts, how to compare products and more ways to find the best system for you. As always, if you’d like more information about anything you’ve read, contact us for more information.

  • HPC’s New App Makes Fire Pit Installation Easier

    HPC continues to lead the industry

    Think installing a fire feature must be difficult? Think again. Hearth Products Controls has just partnered with the BILT app to help take the guesswork out of fire pit installation. With the new app, using BILT Intelligent Instructions software, HPC is bringing detailed, easy-to-understand instructions to all iOS and Android devices.

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  • The Outdoor Plus Product Guide Part II: Complete Fire Features

    The Outdoor Plus

    A continuation of our helpful guide

    In part one of our guide, we covered burners and components available from The Outdoor Plus. Those products are great options for those looking to build a complete DIY fire pit from scratch to fit a custom vision, but what if you’re looking for something more complete?

    In this article, we’ll be focusing on complete fire features available from The Outdoor Plus. These products, sold under the Top Fires name, include fire bowls, fire and water features, and complete fire pit tables. These products make great options if you’re looking to quickly integrate a fire feature into your outdoor space.

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  • The Outdoor Plus Product Guide Part I: Burners and Components

    The Outdoor Plus

    New at Fire Pits Direct

    At FirePitsDirect.com, our impressive offering of fire pit products continues to grow with the addition of The Outdoor Plus. This massive collection of products opens a wealth of new design opportunities for your outdoor space. In fact, this collection of products is so large, we’ve split our product guide into two parts, so you can more easily find what you’re looking for.

    In this article, we’ll be focusing on burners and other components from The Outdoor Plus. You can find our guide to Top Fire products from The Outdoor Plus in a separate article.

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  • What Wind Guard Works with Your Fire Pit?

    How to Determine What Wind Guard Works for You:

    Wind guards are designed to complement your fire pit as well as prevent the flame from blowing around excessively or blowing out all together. Wind guards are also used to prevent loose items from getting too close to the flame.

    All of our wind guards are made with tempered glass which ensures they are durable and built to last. We recommend having 2.5” of clearance on each side (5" total) between your fire pit opening and the wind guard for optimal performance. The wind guards are meant to sit on the outside of your fire pit opening.

    Installation is easy! Simply connect the tempered glass pieces together with the included brackets and support feet then set on the outside of your fire pit opening and enjoy. Continue reading

  • Introducing the Prism Hardscapes Fire Pit Collection

    Prism Hardscapes

    Industrial elegance and a modern aesthetic

    Concrete fire features may not be a new idea, but few companies offer products quite like those manufactured by Prism Hardscapes. These timeless fire pits offer a premium option for any home or business. With their durable construction and widely appealing aesthetics, these concrete units make a great option for many—and they’re backed by a company with a proven track record.

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  • How to Convert a Wood Fire Pit to Gas

    How to Convert a Wood Fire Pit to Gas

    Reasons to Convert to a Gas Fire Pit

    Wood fire pits may be simple to install, but they’re not always the best option for those looking to install a fire pit at their home. Many urban developments restrict the use of wood fire pits due to safety concerns (an uncontrolled fire can spread dangerously). Beyond that, wood fire pits require the extra hassle of always having wood on hand to burn. This requires extra storage space, and because the wood is often stored outdoors, you’ll often find it’s wet and difficult to start a fire.

    There’s also the issue of smoke. Though nothing smells more like fall than a nice campfire, you don’t necessarily want to smell like one all day—which is exactly what will happen if the wind is blowing in the wrong direction as you burn.

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  • How to Clean Fire Glass in Your Fireplace or Fire Pit

    How to Clean Fire Glass

    An Impressive Man-Made Option for Your Fire Pit

    If you’re looking for an impressive contemporary appearance for your fire pit, fire glass makes a perfect media option. This manufactured glass has been treated to withstand the high temperatures found in your fire place or fire pit. This special tempering process means your glass won’t burn, ash, crack, or pop when used, resulting in a product capable of lasting indefinitely—even with frequent use.

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  • What Makes HPC's Hi/Low Electronic Ignition Kits a Great Choice for Your Gas Fire Pit?

    HPC's Premium Electronic Ignition Systems Have Returned

     

    Hearth Products Controls is back again with the impressive new electronic hot surface ignition fire pit kits. The unique high-low kits are the culmination of imaginative design, research, and testing, and they’re now available for you at Spotix.com. Just what makes these fire pit kits some of the most impressive systems on the market? See for yourself with this in-depth look at HPC’s newest creations.

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  • AWEIS Electronic Ignition System Facts and Features

    AWEIS System

    Overview

    Electronic ignition systems offer an added level of convenience when using an outdoor gas fire pit. With the push of a button—possibly even through remote control—you can control the flames of your fire feature and significantly add to the ambiance of your outdoor area. Among electronic ignition systems, the All-Weather Electronic Ignition System (AWEIS) from Fire by Design stands as one of the best. Featuring innovative design and a rigorous testing process, these systems are worthy of consideration for anyone who wants to upgrade their fire pit.

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