Imagine this: You’ve just finished setting up your dream patio. The furniture is inviting, the ambience is just right, and all that’s missing is the warmth of a fire pit. But wait, there’s a roof overhead. You wonder, can you use a gas fire pit under a covered patio? Yes, is the short answer. But there are many things to consider, particularly the size of the gas or propane fire pit, the height of your patio roof, and the ventilation within the patio.
Let’s explore different types of gas fire pits, the clearance and ventilation required, and whether they are safe to use under a covered patio.
- Putting Gas Fire Pits Under Covered Patios – What to Consider
- What is Your Covered Patio Made Out Of?
- Understanding BTUs of Your Propane Fire Pit
- Understanding Fire Pit Placement
- Safety Risks and Expert Opinions from Woodland Direct
- Types of Fire Pits Suitable for Covered Patios
Putting Gas Fire Pits Under Covered Patios – What to Consider
If you’re looking to add a fire pit to your covered patio, there are a few things you need to consider. First and foremost, refer to the manual for the fire feature you’re purchasing or already own. The clearance heights will vary based on the heat output of the fire pit, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Most patio roofs, pergolas, gazebos and covered backyard structures are made of combustible materials, such as wood. This means you need to know the clearance requirements for the fire pit you’re using. The manual will provide information on clearances to combustibles, including both overhead and left-to-right clearances. It’s important to follow these guidelines to ensure safety and proper ventilation.
- Always refer to the manual for your fire pit to determine clearance requirements.
- Patio roof structures are typically made of combustible materials, so following clearance guidelines is important.
- Proper ventilation is crucial to prevent carbon monoxide buildup.
What is Your Covered Patio Made Out Of?
When it comes to placing a fire pit on a covered patio, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. One of the most important considerations is the clearance required for the fire pit. The clearance is the distance between the fire pit and combustible materials, such as wood or vinyl siding.
The height of the fire pit will also affect the clearance required. For example, a two-foot fire pit may require a clearance of six feet above the burner itself, meaning a total eight-foot clearance.
Ignoring the manufacturer’s guidelines for clearance and obstruction can lead to ventilation problems, which could result in the trapping of carbon monoxide within the space. This is why it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines exactly.
In addition to overhead clearance, there may also be left-to-right and rear clearances from wood railings or vinyl siding that need to be considered.
Understanding BTUs of Your Propane Fire Pit
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, a measure of heat output. You can find this information in the manufacturer’s specifications. It’s important to ensure your gas line can output the required BTUs for your fire pit to achieve the desired flame presentation. The BTU can also affect the required clearance around the fire pit.
As you can no doubt imagine, the higher the BTU, the more clearance will be required.
Not all manufacturers allow structures to be placed above fire pits, so check the guidelines before installing your fire pit. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in ventilation problems, which may lead to the trapping of carbon monoxide within the space.
Understanding Fire Pit Placement
If you are considering placing a fire pit on a covered patio or deck, there are some important things to consider. The biggest concern is the clearance required between the fire pit and any combustible materials, such as the overhead structure, siding, or nearby wood railings.
The clearance required will vary depending on the heat output of the fire pit and can range from six to eight feet above the burner itself. It is important to refer to your fire pit manual, as clearance requirements can vary between manufacturers. Here are a few popular brands of propane fire pits and what they have to say.
|Ecosmart Fire Pit Table||Minimum 72 inches above|
|Amazon Basics 14-inch Tabletop Gas Fire Pit||36 inches around each side, 60 inches above|
|Outland Living Deluxe Fire Bowl||36 inches around each side, 80 inches above|
|Camplux Fire Bowl||36 inches around each side, 80 inches above|
|Flame King Fire Bowl||36 inches around each side, 80 inches above|
|Cuisinart Patio Fire Pit Table||48 inches around each side, 72 inches above|
|Bali Outdoors Fire Pit Table||50 inch clearance from combustible materials|
|Cal Flame||Warning not to operate under a sealed overhead structure. Clearance from combustible materials is 48 inches around each side, and 120 inches above the hearth.|
Please note that this table is general information. Please consult the user manual for your specific fire pit, and always allow more clearance than suggested.
Safety Risks and Expert Opinions from Woodland Direct
The Woodland Direct Fire Pits team has an excellent podcast episode on using gas or propane fire pits under covered patios. They discuss BTUs, clearance heights, risks and safety precautions. If you prefer to listen rather than read, click the video below:
Types of Fire Pits Suitable for Covered Patios
Safety and suitability are paramount when considering a fire pit for a covered patio. Here are the types of fire pits that are generally considered appropriate for such a setting:
1. Gas Fire Pits: These are often the most suitable for covered patios. Gas fire pits, either natural gas or propane, produce less smoke and fewer sparks compared to wood-burning options such as Solo Stove. They are easier to control and can be designed to fit seamlessly into your patio decor. Ensure they are CSA-certified for safety.
2. Propane Fire Pits: Similar to natural gas fire pits, propane options are also good. They are portable, easy to use, and don’t produce embers or sparks. Plus, they can be a stylish addition to your patio.
3. Electric Fire Pits: These are another safe option for covered areas. They don’t produce flames in the traditional sense but rather use electricity to create a fire-like appearance. They are smokeless and easy to maintain.
4. Gel Fuel Fire Pits: Gel fuel fire pits are smokeless and do not produce embers or sparks, making them suitable for covered patios. They are also easy to use and can provide a real flame without the complications of wood or gas.
5. Bioethanol Fire Pits: These are eco-friendly and produce no smoke or odor. They use bioethanol as fuel, which burns cleanly and is suitable for enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces like covered patios.
- Ventilation: Ensure adequate ventilation in your covered patio area to prevent the buildup of harmful gases, especially when using gas or propane fire pits.
- Clearance: Check for sufficient clearance above and around the fire pit. There should be enough space between the fire pit, ceiling, or overhead structure.
- Heat Source: Be mindful of the heat source and its impact on surrounding materials. Ensure the fire pit is placed on a non-combustible surface and away from flammable materials.
- Local Regulations: Always check local fire codes and regulations before installing a fire pit under a covered patio.
Remember, while these types of fire pits are generally suitable for covered patios, always prioritize safety and compliance with local regulations to enjoy a warm, inviting, and safe outdoor space.
Can you put a gas fire pit under a gazebo?
You can put a gas fire pit under a gazebo, but it’s crucial to ensure adequate ventilation, maintain a safe distance from flammable materials, and adhere to local safety regulations and guidelines. Always prioritize safety and consider professional advice for installation.
How much clearance do you need above a gas fire pit?
10 feet from the top of the flames to the patio roof is considered a safe overhead clearance for a fire pit. Some smaller fire pits require less clearance. Specific clearance measurements should be listed in the instruction manual of each fire pit.
Will a fire pit damage my patio?
A fire pit can damage your patio, especially if it’s not designed for high temperatures or if the fire pit is placed directly on a surface that’s susceptible to heat damage. Using a protective barrier or heat shield under the fire pit can help prevent heat-related damage to your patio, and ensure adequate clearance around and above your fire pit.
Can you put a gas fire pit under a pergola?
You can place a gas fire pit under a pergola. It is important to ensure good ventilation, maintain a safe distance from any combustible materials, and adhere to local safety codes and regulations. Additionally, using a fire pit that is appropriately sized for the space and installing it professionally can further enhance safety under a pergola.
A gas fire pit under a covered patio can add warmth and ambiance to your outdoor space. It is essential to prioritize safety, however. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer, and lack of adequate ventilation is the biggest risk.
To minimize risk, ensure adequate ventilation to prevent gas buildup, maintain a safe distance from combustible materials, and choose a CSA-certified fire pit. Regularly inspect your fire pit and its connections, and always have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Consult with a professional for proper installation and adhere to local safety regulations. By taking these specific actions, you can enjoy the cozy benefits of your fire pit while ensuring the safety and longevity of your covered patio space.