Tag Archive for: Fireplace Maintenance

When it comes to owning a home there can be various nuances to the home. Some homeowners enjoy a wood-fired fireplace, while others have gas fireplaces installed. No matter which one you have in your home, you must understand the maintenance needs. Having a fireplace is an exciting amenity, but should not be taken lightly. Gas fireplaces can be activated in a variety of ways. One of those is by using a wall key. Wondering how to turn on a gas fireplace with a wall key? Insert the wall key into the ignition hole and turn the key to open up the gas flow.

Let’s take a look below at some more detailed steps.

What Tools Do I Need?

Believe it or not, only a couple of tools are necessary to complete this project. You will need the following items for this project:

  • Gas fireplace wall key for wall switch
  • Long matches or a kitchen lighter

Where Is It Located?

With the gas fireplace, there is a gas valve knob that prevents the flow of gas when the fireplace is not in use. Luckily, you can partially or completely open the gas valve knob as you require a gas flow for your fireplace. In this case, there is a round metal flange that consists of a square or hex hold in the center. This is your gas valve knob. You can find this on either wall side about a foot off the floor. Additionally, they can be located at ground level on the fireplace apron or ground level on the flooring of the actual fireplace.

What Are My Steps?

Just like any project, there are steps for using the wall key to ignite your gas fireplace. Let’s take a look below at the recommended steps.

  1. Find the gas valve knob – Locate the gas valve knob on the wall or floor of the fireplace. Keep the wall key close to the unit so that you don’t lose it.
  2. Open the fireplace – It is necessary to open the glass doors or screen of the fireplace.
  3. Find the ignition area – You will see a pipe with holes or valves. This is where the pilot light to light the fireplace is located.
  4. Get your lighter ready – Have your long matches or lighter ready to go, once you open the gas flow.
  5. Use the key – Insert the wall gas metal key into the valve and make sure it is a clean fit.
  6. Slowly turn and open – Rotate your wall key a quarter of a half turn in the counter-clockwise direction. It is important to slowly open the valve so that you do not flood your fireplace with a massive amount of gas.
  7. Light the gas – Use your lighter or matches and light the gas.
  8. Continue to open the valve – Once the flame is lit, you can continue to turn the gas valve in the counter-clockwise position. Continue opening until the valve stops. If you want the flame to stay short turn the valve down. Just be careful not to turn it too far or the flame could go out.
  9. Remove the wall key – Be sure to remove the wall key once you have your gas flow set. You don’t want to accidentally break off the wall key or mistakenly turn off your flame.
  10. Turn off the gas flow – When you have finished using your gas fireplace, replace the wall key and turn the valve clockwise until it completely stops turning to close the gas valve. You will notice the flame begin to simmer down and eventually go out.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you know how to turn on your gas fireplace with a wall key, you can begin reading up on if your gas fireplace needs to be cleaned. Chances are this is a good idea to prevent residue from the gas flames from building up on your fireplace.

Next, be sure that you understand the by-product of your gas fireplace. It might be a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors in your home in case your gas fireplace is giving off too much carbon monoxide.

Lastly, while you are working to maintain your gas fireplace, this might be time to maintain other areas of the home. For example, changing the air filter in your HVAC unit should be done on a semi-annually timeline. If you use your HVAC system a lot and have pets in the home, you might want to consider changing the air filter more often than every 6 months.

When Do I Call A Professional?

If you are struggling to light the gas fireplace with your wall key, there may be an issue with the gas line. Call on your local master plumber that has experience working with gas lines. They can troubleshoot what is happening with the lack of gas flow to your fireplace, or determine if there is a gas leak. Also, reach out to your local home inspection team for an equipment inspection. Additionally, they can recommend a reputable master plumber or gas company to assist.


Knowing the ins and outs of your gas fireplace is important for the safety of you and your family. Additionally, having the common sense when you smell gas to shut everything off and get your family to safety is key. If you smell gas, you should call on your local home inspection team to inspect all of your home systems. Additionally, they can bring in a master plumber with gas line experience. Call on Blue Guardian Home Inspections for a full home inspection in Kendall, Kane, Dupage, and LaSalle Counties of Illinois.