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How to Install a Propane Fire Pit Burner Pan

A gorgeous fire table just might be the perfect addition to your outdoor living space. A fire table creates a natural gathering space for friends and family, and nothing says “hospitality” better than a cozy fire. Building a fire table yourself could save you hundreds of dollars and will allow you to create a custom design that fits your space perfectly. But most importantly, you’ll be able to dazzle your guests with your exceptional DIY abilities. This article provides step by step instructions on how to install a drop-in fire pit burner pan and gas line. Follow these simple instructions and your fire table will not only be beautiful, it will be safe…and stay that way.  

CAUTION! Installing gas appliances can be dangerous. Although Celestial Fire Glass provides information supporting DIY efforts, all gas connections should be made by a professional gas installer. We advise working with a certified NFI Gas Specialist. Start your search here: https://www.nficertified.org/public/

Parts Needed

  1. Drop-In Burner Pan
    Drop-In Burner Pan
  2. Propane Air Mixer
    Propane Air Mixer
  3. High Pressure Adjustable Regulator (0-20psi)
    High Pressure Adjustable Regulator (0-20psi)
  4. 3/8″ Flare to 1/2″ NPT adapter
    :3/8″
  5. Fire Glass
    Celestial Fire Glass
  6. Teflon Pipe Tape
    Teflon Pipe Tape
  7. 20 lb. Propane Tank

Parts Needed for Key Valve Configuration (OPTIONAL)

  1. Drop-In Burner Pan (Buy on Amazon)
  2. Propane Air Mixer (Buy on Amazon)
  3. LP Burner Connection Kit w/ Chrome Key Valve & Regulator
  4. Fire Glass
  5. Teflon Pipe Tape
  6. 20 lb. Propane Tank

Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Install a Fire Pit Drop-In Burner Pan

  1. Measure and Cut the Opening for the Fire Pit Burner Pan

    Measure the drop-in portion of the pan and add 1″ to the overall size. Metal expands when heated, the oversized hole will allow the pan to expand up to 1/2″ on all four sides. For example, a 24″ x 8″ burner pan requires a 25″ x 9″ hole. Be conservative when making your cut out – it’s better to make the hole slightly smaller than too large.
    Measure the cutout area for the burner pan.

  2. Remove Male Fitting from the Propane Air Mixer

    Remove the double male nipple fitting at the top of the air-mixer valve. The propane air mixer is compatible with multiple types of burners, the double male fitting is not needed for this type of burner pan assembly. You can remove the fitting with your hands, but be sure to use a towel or wear gloves as the threads are sharp. If the fitting is too tight to remove with your hands, use a pair of pliers to grip it (don’t worry about damaging the threads, you’re going to discard this portion of the air mixer valve).

    Note: Propane requires air to be mixed with the gas for it to burn properly. The air mixer uses a venturi effect to draw air in and mix it with the propane gas.  Without this added air in the gas mixture the propane won’t combust completely leaving soot on your fire glass.

  3. Connect Air-Mixer to Burner Pan

    Wrap the male threads on the bottom of the burner pan with Teflon pipe tape and screw the propane air mixer to the pan.  Be sure the intake holes on the sides of the air mixer are facing away from the pan.

    CAUTION! Installing gas appliances can be dangerous.  All gas connections should be made by a professional licensed gas installer.
    Attach propane air mixer valve to the bottom of the burner pan.

  4. Connect the Gas Feed Hose to the Propane Air Mixer

    Apply Teflon tape to the male threads on the bottom of the air-mixer valve and connect it to the gas feed hose according to the option below.  The gas feed hose should be connected before placing the burner pan into the tabletop as it’s easier to access before installation.

    There are two common types of feeds for propane:

    High Pressure Adjustable Regulator (0-20 psi): Using a high pressure adjustable regulator is the easiest installation option and also the lowest cost.  Just note that most high-pressure adjustable regulators have a 3/8” flared fitting; whereas, the air-mixer valve (and burner) have 1/2″ NPT fittings.  You’ll need to purchase a 3/8” male flared by 1/2″ female NPT adapter to connect the hose to the air-mixer valve.

    To make this connection connect the 3/8″ male flared by 1/2″ female NPT adapter to the male threads on the air mixer. Then connect the hose to the flared adapter. There’s no need for Teflon tape on the male threads of the flared adapter as the flared fitting on the gas hose has a rubber washer inside which makes the seal.

    LP Burner Connection Kit w/ Chrome Key Valve & Regulator: Using an LP burner connection kit with a chrome key valve is a good option for a more finished look. However, installing the key valve is slightly more work as you need to drill a hole in your fire pit to install the key valve through. This option also costs more than the high pressure adjustable regulator. 

    To make this connection thread the gas line to the air-mixing valve. The connection should be tightened snug with a wrench (be sure not to over tighten it – it only requires a snug fit).
    Connect hose to burner pan.

  5. Install the Fire Pit Drop-in Burner Pan and Make Gas Connection

    Now that the fittings and hoses are attached you’re ready to set your fire pit burner pan in place. To do this you simply set the pan in the opening on the top of your fire pit table. There is no need to fasten the pan in place, the weight of the pan and filler you put in it will hold it in place. Do not apply adhesive, caulk or silicone of any kind to hold the pan in place.

    CAUTION! Installing gas appliances can be dangerous.  All gas connections should be made by a professional licensed gas installer.

  6. Inspect the Gas Line and Fittings

    This step is only required for the Key Valve installation option. The connections to be tested are the ones between the propane tank and the input to the key valve. Keep clear of sparks or flames. Fill a spray bottle with water and dish detergent. Turn on the gas and spray down the entire length of the gas line and all the connections with the soapy water. Bubbles will form wherever there is a leak. If you find a leak in the gas line, replace it. If you find a leaky connection, tighten it and retest. Do not leave the gas turned on for an extended period with the burner unlit. The entire test should take less than thirty seconds. Turn the gas off immediately after the test is complete and allow the gas to dissipate for a few minutes before lighting the burner.  

    CAUTION! Propane is heavier than air and will accumulate in unvented enclosures causing a combustion hazard. A minimum of 20 square inches of ventilation is required at the lowest point(s) of an enclosed fire feature to ensure proper drainage of unburned propane gas. NEVER test for gas leaks with a flame.

  7. Add Fire Glass and Enjoy!

    Fill the burner pan with fire glass so that there’s approximately 1″ of fire glass covering the burner. There should be just enough fire glass over the burner so it’s not visible.

 

With the proper tools and quality components, installing a drop-in fire pit burner pan is an easy project. Now all that’s left to do is to invite some friends over; fire up your table and enjoy the beautiful evening. You’ll also enjoy all the compliments you’ll receive on a job well done!

CAUTION! Installing gas appliances can be dangerous. Although Celestial Fire Glass provides information supporting DIY efforts, all gas connections should be made by a professional gas installer. We advise working with a certified NFI Gas Specialist. Start your search here: https://www.nficertified.org/public/

Disclosure: Celestial Fire Glass is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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