Judging by how often we hear this question, low flame height (1”-2”) is a big problem for many DIYers. Nine times out of 10, it’s a problem with the propane gas pressure.
Fortunately, there are a couple of things to look at and they are usually at the root of the problem.
Check the Regulator First!
The propane regulator adjusts the pressure of the gas coming off the supply line to make sure it is the proper pressure for the gas burner being used. It also serves as a safety barrier between the fire pit and the propane tank.
There are two types of regulators typically used for propane gas fire pits and fire tables. One features a key valve that is used to turn the gas on and off and regulate the flames. The valve is located apart from the regulator itself, and further down the hose line so that it can be mounted on the fire feature for easy access.
Is Your Flame Lame? If your fire pit flame doesn’t get above 2 inches, it’s definitely not worthy.
The other is an adjustable regulator. This type does not have a key valve adjustment. Instead, a knob is attached directly to the top of the regulator for controlling the gas flow. The control knob is located at the tank and directly attaches to the regulator.
The most common problem with low flame heights we see is that someone has accidentally purchased an adjustable, low-pressure regulator which is designed for use with BBQ grills. This will not provide sufficient gas flow to effectively run a gas fire pit or fire table.
Low-pressure regulators have a maximum flame height of about 1” to 2.” After all, no need for an eyebrow-singeing flame just to grill a hamburger.
But for the type of flames you expect from a fire feature, you will need a high-pressure propane regulator with a range of 0-20 PSI. This type is also adjustable and designed specifically for outdoor gas fire pits.
A Defective Regulator?
If you know you have the right type of regulator, but the flames are still low, there is another problem that we sometimes see and that is a faulty propane regulator.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to test the regulator. The only way to find out if it’s bad is to replace it and see if that fixes the problem.
But before replacing a propane regulator, there are a few other things that are long shots as far as causing the problem, but you might want to check them out just in case.
Check the air mixer and hoses for spider nests. Spiders love to crawl into the small holes of the air mixer and make a home. Spider nests inside your propane air mixer can cause a low flame height. You can insert a toothpick through the holes to make sure they are clear. For a better look, unscrew the mixer from the fittings on either side so you can do a full inspection and take a look into the hoses.
If all of that appears to be clear, make a quick inspection of the tank and its housing. Is it possible you have a leak? Do you smell gas? Is your tank almost empty? Do you have a lot of media (lava rock or fire glass) mounded over the burner in sufficient amounts to obstruct flames? Preferably, it should be no thicker than 1” over the burner – 1/2”.
If everything seems in order and you still have a low flame height, then it may be time to get a new propane regulator.
The Celestial Fire Glass Support Team is always happy to assist you with troubleshooting, so don’t hesitate to give us a call or contact us online at:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.