How To Turn On A Gas Fireplace With A Wall Key (Do This!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Gas fireplaces are known for being easy to manage, especially for people who are new to fireplace ownership. Unlike wood fireplaces, you don’t have to worry about carbon monoxide poisoning. They also happen to be easier to clean and diagnose. That’s great, but it won’t do much good if you don’t know how to turn on your fireplace. So, how do you do it with a wall key?

To turn on a gas fireplace with a wall key, grab a long lighter and place it near the burner. Pull the fuel trigger, and then use the wall key to open the gas valve. The fireplace should light immediately. Once the burner is lit, replace the key cover. If you need to increase or decrease the heat, use the key to toggle the flow of gas.

Understanding how to work with your gas fireplace is a cornerstone of actually being able to enjoy it. So, if you’re new to owning key-powered fireplaces, maybe it’s time to learn more about them.

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How Does A Wall Key Help Turn On A Gas Fireplace?

Before we begin, it’s important to remember that not all fireplaces will have a wall key ignition. If you cannot find a wall key or a keyhole, you might want to look at how to ignite a switch gas fireplace instead. Or, you might want to take a look at electric ignition dials.

Fireplaces that do have a key ignition all tend to have the same mechanics behind them. The wall key moves the part of the fireplace that controls the gas spigot. When the key is turned clockwise, the gas valve gets opened up. Turning it counterclockwise will shut off the fuel, which in turn, shuts down your fireplace.

Wall key fireplaces are unique in the way that they work. They often allow homeowners to have a superior level of control over the heat due to the “dimmer switch” style of valve opening. When compared to wood-burning fireplaces or switch fireplaces, key-based gas fireplaces offer a more versatile level of control.

Where Should You Store Your Wall Key?

The best place to store a wall key that is used for your fireplace is near the fireplace itself. Some people choose to store it on a hook near the fireplace, while others also leave it inside the lock. If you feel like being more formal, you can keep it in a box near the fireplace, but that’s not always necessary.

Where Is The Wall Key Supposed To Go?

This is usually the biggest issue new fireplace owners have, especially if they’ve never seen a gas fireplace with a wall key before. The key obviously goes in the keyhole but finding it can be a little difficult. To locate your keyhole, look at the base of the fireplace and seek out the small metal hole. It can be hard to find, but it’s always near the bottom.

What Should You Do If Your Fireplace Won’t Ignite?

A fireplace that won’t ignite is an issue that can be caused by a number of things. Troubleshooting it can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you aren’t sure why your fireplace isn’t lighting, follow these steps below:

  • Check to see if you’re turning the key the right way. If you are, listen for a faint hissing noise. If there’s no hiss, the reason your fireplace won’t ignite is that the gas valve is not supplying gas to your home. This is a pretty easy fix.
  • If you smell gas but don’t hear a hiss, exit the home and call the fire department. This is indicative of a gas leak and needs to be addressed immediately.
  • Clean the pilot lighter and consider cleaning out the pilot. Some models may require you to take apart the gas fireplace to do this. People who aren’t comfortable with doing this should call a professional.
  • Clear out the soot from your thermocouple. Check to see if the thermocouple is burnt out. If it looks burnt or cracked, you will need to replace it in order to ignite your fireplace. (You can read up on how to tell if your thermocouple is bad here.)
  • If you still have a hard time keeping your fireplace lit, it’s best to call a professional. Thankfully, this isn’t really very pricey.

What Should You Do If You Lost Your Wall Key?

One of the less likely (but more obvious) reasons why you might be having a hard time with a key ignition is the loss of a key. While it’s not the norm, it can and does happen. Thankfully, there is an easy fix for this—at least, with most models. The vast majority of gas fireplaces have universally interchangeable wall keys.

So, the best way to fix this is to buy another wall key to use. Ideally, you will also remember where you put it.

Cost To Replace A Fireplace Wall Key

If you were worried about having to replace a fireplace wall key, don’t be. Replacing a fireplace wall key is fairly cheap, with most universal wall key replacements costing a mere $6 to $10. If you’re concerned about losing one, there’s good news. You can also buy them in packs.

Are Wall Key Fireplaces A Good Investment?

Having any type of fireplace is going to add value to your home, even if it was a rather rudimentary model compared to others. A key gas fireplace is a great pick, since it’s considered to be a more luxurious option. Since gas fireplaces tend to have lower rates of carbon monoxide emission and can be left on for a relatively long period of time.

In terms of adding luxury mood lighting, it’s hard to ignore the way that fireplaces make a room feel toasty even on the coldest of days. Regardless of where you live, it’s safe to say having a well-placed fireplace can add several thousand dollars to the value of your house. Just make sure to leave the key for the next homebuyers!

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Related Questions

Why are there two switches by my fireplace?

If you have a switch fireplace, then you’ll notice that you have not one, but two switches. One switch is made to turn the fan on and off, which provides the ventilation necessary to keep your home safe from carbon monoxide. The other switch is there to turn on access to the gas fueling your fireplace.To turn on a switch fireplace, light a match near the burners and turn on the gas switch. Then, turn on the fan switch to ensure that your fireplace gets the ventilation it needs to stay safe. After that, all you have to do is enjoy your fire.

Why do key fireplaces use key valves?

There are several reasons why key valve fireplaces exist. Firstly, having a key to the gas valve makes sure that you won’t have people turning on the fireplace who shouldn’t. This makes it a good fireplace for families with nosy children. Second, key valves allow you to change the rate of gas released, giving you a bigger or smaller flame.Of course, there are also a small cadre of people who prefer key valves simply because they find them easier to use or because it’s an aesthetic matter. While these people are in the minority, the truth is that they still drive some of the demand, ensuring that key valve fireplaces remain in style.

Can you roast marshmallows over a gas fireplace?

While it’s not always a good way to keep your fireplace clean of melted sugar, the truth is that you can roast marshmallows on any surface that has enough heat. If you choose to use a gas fireplace for your marshmallow roasting activities, it’s totally safe to do so. Gas fireplaces are clean-burning, so you won’t get much soot on your mallows.The only thing that you need to be aware of is that marshmallows can drip and leave a sticky mess in your fireplace. This, in turn, can

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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