Is your home in need of fireplace maintenance?
With colder temperatures approaching, and the sound of jingle bells ringing, our fireplaces become one of the more frequently used appliances in our homes — keeping us warm while setting the festive tone. But as we stress about the holidays and pull out our snow tires from storage, it’s common we forget to give our fireplaces some much needed TLC. Caring for your fireplace with regularly scheduled maintenance will ensure that the appliance functions optimally when you need it the most.
These are 4 common signs that your fireplace needs maintenance
- Pilot light issues
- Rotten egg smell
- Switches on and off by itself
- Excessive soot
Pilot light issues
Your gas fireplace comes with a pilot light, just like a gas furnace. All fireplaces will come with manufacturing instructions on how to troubleshoot the pilot light if required. However, if your fireplace’s pilot light will not stay lit despite following instructions, this is a telltale sign that something is wrong.
This might be caused by a broken thermopile: a component that eventually needs to be replaced. If your thermopile was recently replaced, another cause could be faulty wiring. This is an internal, electrical issue that you should attempt to fix on your own. If you followed manufacturing instructions and saw no progress, it is always best to call an expert for help.
Rotten egg smell
If your fireplace is emitting a rotten egg odour, this signals danger. If this smell is accompanied by a hissing sound, this means your fireplace has a gas leak. The cause of the rotten egg smell is mercaptan, a harmless chemical in natural gas. This chemical emits a rotten egg or hydrogen sulfide smell.
It is vital that you evacuate your home the moment you notice any signs of a gas leak. You should never attempt to fix the problem yourself or remain inside any longer. You must leave the house immediately and call emergency services or FortisBC’s emergency line at 1-800-663-9911. As for fixing the fireplace, once your house is safe to enter, you will want to contact a professional to handle the repairs.
Switches on and off by itself
Homeowners get understandably frustrated when their fireplace turns on and off on its own accord. This issue is also very challenging to solve without a professional’s expertise. There are numerous causes of this issue which include: a worn out millivolt generator, a buildup of dirt and carbon, an excessive breeze coming down the chimney, a bad thermocouple or thermopile, and a jamming issue with the burner.
So which is the culprit behind your fireplace irritatingly switching on and off? Your safest bet is to call a professional to get an exact answer. Taking a DIY approach to this issue will likely only cost you more time and money.
Soot is not a sign of a healthy gas fireplace, unlike its wood burning counterpart. Seeing too much soot in your fireplace actually signals that something is wrong, especially if the soot has made its way to the glass doors. The cause is often buildup on the logs, in the interior of the fireplace or in the outside venting. There could also be buildup in all of these spaces contributing to the issue. Regardless of where the soot is coming from, this issue signifies that your fireplace is not in a healthy condition. You will want to contact a professional promptly upon discovering soot.
Fireplace maintenance is an important step to keeping your favourite seasonal appliance functioning optimally. If your fireplace has been showing any of the above signs, our team at CampbellCare is here to help.
Cherishing our long-lasting relationships with customers since 1981, we are dedicated to raising the plumbing and HVAC bar. Contact us today!