The choice between a wood or gas fire pit kit alone, can be a hard one. However, once the choice is made for gas, choosing which gas fire pit insert to use can be confusing! Here are some things you will need to consider before starting your gas fire pit kit project.
Gas Fire Pit Insert Material: Stainless Steel or Brass?
Choosing a burner for your gas fire pit, like most things, comes in many shapes, sizes and configurations. Before you tackle those questions, you must first consider the material type of your burner. There are two primary options you will often see on the market.
First is stainless steel. Most commonly known for it’s shiny and polished appearance, stainless steel has been a favorite for years. The quality of stainless steel used in a burner is of the utmost importance. Make sure it is graded either #304, #316 or #430. Stainless steel is slightly more corrosive than brass, equally as strong as brass and more cost effective. However, stainless steel will rust over time if exposed to high salt conditions. It is necessary to clean stainless steel often to keep its “shiny” appearance.
The second option is Brass. Brass is an aesthetically pleasing metal that, over time, is enhanced by a beautiful weathered green patina. Brass is durable, resistant to corrosion, and a wonderful conductor of heat, yet cools quickly. Brass is more expensive than stainless steel due to the components of its composition as well as its value when melted down as scrap.
Choose Your Type of Flame Disbursement Ports
Standard – Typically, the stainless steel is fashioned into a tube and has holes punched into it that allows the gas to escape and ignite resulting in a flame. Sounds easy right? Not so fast! The “punching” process results in dimples around the holes which, over time, results in water being directed into the tubes causing corrosion. If possible, go with holes that are drilled. Hand drilling the holes to prevent the punched deviation, which affects flame performance/dancing patterns results in a slight ridge around the holes which sheds the water from the openings preventing the unwanted corrosion process. Also by using raised hubs, water build-up is prevented in the main gas lines. We have added an l-bracket piece on each burner to help with drainage and make the small ghost flame from the drain holes go upwards instead of downwards to help with the flame patterns.
Bullet Burners – The Bullet Burner is constructed with a unique “fan” design on the end of each gas distribution outlet. This fan design distributes an aesthetically pleasing flame while preventing water penetration. Bullet Burners can easily replace any standard burner and provide you with a taller, fuller flame while consuming less gas. The Bullet Burner uses 30 percent less gas than other traditional competitor burners and gives out 50 percent larger flame. Best of all…the Bullet Burner has the same unique design for Natural Gas and Liquid Propane applications. No need to specify your fuel source!
While a bit more expensive, brass burners have proven to pass the test of time! Some manufacturers opt to thread open-ended brass pipes together in an attempt to mimic a natural looking flame. Unfortunately, water is easily collected in these burners for fire pits due to the open-ended tubes. Fire Farm supplies its customers with the Patented All-Brass Bullet Burner.
What’s the best gas fire pit insert shape for the fire pit I am building?
Next, you need to determine which burner shape is best for your gas fire pit kit. Burners come in different shapes and sizes to meet the needs of individual fire pit designs. Typically there are four traditional shapes to choose from – Linear, Star, H and Ring (stainless only).
A linear burner, as one might imagine, fits well with a long and narrow enclosure. It comes in different lengths and BTU outputs. The lineal burner is a straight rail design. The star burner produces a natural looking flame that is often mistaken for a wood burning fire! This design is traditionally used in round fire pits. The H burner is great for wider rectangular designs, usually wider than 12”. These burners are constructed from two parallel linear burners connected by 1,2 or sometimes 3 stabilizing rails. The ring design is a classic look that employs one or more concentric circles or rings. This type of burner is often used in poolside fire bowls or round commercial fire pit applications. Custom burner shapes are available by contacting the Fire Farm.
Which is Best for a Gas Fire Pit Kit? A Drop in Pan or a Flat Plate?
Which is best for your gas fire pit insert? There isn’t a better or best option. The option is really based on what type of fire pit and look you want. Here we will talk about the differences.
A drop in pan has a 1-inch metal flange, or lip, that is visible once the fire pit build is complete. It is more rigid in material and a mason will build the fire pit around the pan. This type of build makes it more obvious that it is a gas burning fire pit versus a traditional wood burning fire pit.
The other option is a plate. The plate is flat and dropped into the build and sits inside of the fire pit making it invisible once the fire pit is fully built. For this reason, it looks more like a wood burning fire pit.
Which Gas Fire Pit Insert Starter is Best for Me?
The most basic form of starter is match lit. With this, you open the gas valve and light the burner with a match. To turn it off, you simply turn off the gas valve.
Push-button ignitions are also available. To use, simply turn on the gas, push the ignition button and your fire pit will ignite.
The easiest starter system by far is electronic ignition. Simply flip a switch or use a remote control to manage your fire pit.
There you have it. Once you select these options, you have created your gas fire pit insert and so, your fire pit design is just right for you and your outdoor living space. This is your go-to guide for choosing a burner for your gas fire pit. Our gas fire pit inserts are also available through The Outdoor Plus.