In order to clean your gas fireplace burner ports you should:
- Turn off the fireplace burners and pilot light.
- Shut off the flow of gas to the fireplace, to ensure there is no danger of open flame.
- Wait 2–3 hours for the fireplace to cool.
- Carefully move rocks and/or logs to uncover the burner ports.
- Use a handheld vacuum cleaner to remove loose soot from the burner.
- Scrub the burner ports with a soft brush or toothbrush.
- Use compressed air to clear debris from the burner ports.
- Vacuum a second time to remove newly loosened debris.
- Return rocks and logs to their previous position and relight your fireplace.
These steps will ensure your safety and result in a clean, perfectly functioning gas fireplace. It only takes a few minutes, but regular maintenance can prevent dangerous burner blockages.
Table of Contents
How Often Should You Clean Fireplace Burner Ports?
Clean your gas fireplace, including the burner ports, once per year. It’s a good idea to perform this cleaning just after your annual chimney sweeping and inspection. Even though gas fireplaces do not produce as much soot as wood-burning fireplaces, they still require yearly cleaning.
- Clean the burner ports in your fireplace once per year.
- It’s best to perform this cleaning at the same time you have your chimney professionally swept.
Failure to have your chimney annually inspected and cleaned can lead to chimney blockages, problems with the gas delivery system, or a deteriorating chimney. Cleaning is more than just tidying up—it’s an opportunity to check and make sure your fireplace is operating safely and efficiently.
What Happens if You Don’t Clean Fireplace Burner Ports?
Failure to clean your fireplace burner ports can result in the burner ports becoming blocked. A blocked burner orifice can produce excess soot, leading to poor flame, reduced heat, and damage to the fireplace system itself. Cleaning these burner ports once per year can help prevent damage that requires costly repairs.
- If you do not clean your fireplace ports they can become blocked with large amounts of soot.
- Soot buildup on a burner port can cause damage that requires replacement of the component.
- With regular cleaning, your fireplace components should last for over 10 years.
Gas fireplace components benefit from regular cleaning. Many items, from your burner to your chimney, to the ceramic logs, will last over a decade if they are properly cared for.
10 Blazing-Fast Steps for Cleaning Gas Fireplace Ports
So, you’re not an expert at gas fireplace maintenance but you want to take care of your home? Don’t worry. You don’t have to know how to run a gas line to clean your burner ports. Just follow these quick steps to get the job done quickly and safely.
Turn Off Burners and Pilot Light
Before you begin, first make sure your gas fireplace burner is completely turned off. Look for an off switch that will stop the flames entirely. This may or may not turn off the pilot light. If the pilot light is still on following this step, we will take care of that in the following step.
Close the Gas Flow to the Fireplace
Find the gas valve on the line that delivers fuel to your fireplace. It should be a colored handle (usually red) on the gas line. Turn the handle so it is perpendicular to the gas line to close off the flow of gas. Remember, if the handle is in line with the gas line, that means gas is flowing through. If the handle is pointed out sideways from the gas line, the flow of gas is closed off. This will also turn off the pilot flame.
Allow the Fireplace to Cool
Once the flame and gas flow has been turned off, wait 2–3 hours for the fireplace to cool. The rocks and logs in your fireplace are designed to absorb and radiate heat. Even a small pilot light can make areas of the fireplace dangerously hot. It’s best to wait before cleaning your fireplace in order to avoid getting burned.
Clean the Fireplace and Logs
At this point, it’s a good idea to remove soot buildup from the fireplace glass and walls. Also, this is a great time to clean soot from your fireplace logs. By cleaning your entire fireplace, you help prevent a buildup of soot from clogging your burner ports.
Uncover the Burner Ports
Move aside lava rocks and/or logs so your fireplace burner ports are clearly visible. It’s a good idea to take a picture before this step. This will help you put the rocks and logs back in place once you’re done cleaning.
Vacuum the Ports
Use a handheld vacuum cleaner with a soft-bristled brush head to clean soot and debris off the burner. You may be able to get most of the buildup off with this step, making the next steps easy.
Scrub the Ports
Use a new toothbrush or soft-bristled scrub brush to lightly scour the burner ports. The goal is to loosen and remove soot buildup. IMPORTANT: do not use any chemical cleaners during the cleaning process. These compounds may be flammable, corrosive or release toxic fumes.
Use Compressed Air
After scrubbing the ports, use this compressed air canister to clear any loose debris from the burner ports. This helps prevent blockages. To prevent dust from blowing back into your eyes, wear protective eyewear during this step.
Now that the stubborn soot has been scrubbed off and loosened, pass over the burner ports once more with your handheld vacuum. This will remove all the loose debris and prevent it from blocking your burner ports.
Recover and Relight
Now that cleaning is complete, move your lava rocks and logs back into place, turn the gas back on, and relight your fireplace. Monitor your fireplace once you turn it back on. Let it run for an hour and check to make sure the flame pattern is the same as it was before. If there are any abnormalities, flickering, or guttering flame, contact a gas fireplace specialist.
How Do You Clean Gas Fireplace Burner Ports?
To clean the burners of a gas fireplace, first, turn off the flames in the fireplace completely. Then, shut off the gas supply to the fireplace. Once the fireplace is cool you can clean the interior of the fireplace and move the rocks and logs aside to access the burner itself. Vacuum the burner, scrub it with a soft brush, and blast excessive soot out of burner ports with compressed air. Finally, vacuum again before you put everything back into place and relight your fireplace. Avoid using any cleaning solvents to safely clean your gas fireplace.