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Will a gas fireplace operate during a power failure?

June 30, 2016

It is winter and it is freezing cold. To make things worse, your power just went out. The best way to handle a power outage is to be prepared. Staying warm is one of the most important factors. A power outage may mean that your gas fireplace won’t work so it is important to understand what features allow you to operate the burner without electricity.


If you have a gas fireplace with a vertical pilot, it will light during a power outage because it does not require electricity to start the pilot flame. Most gas fireplaces incorporate a self-generating millivolt system using a thermopile. If the gas fireplace has a blower or fan, it will need electricity, but you should still be able to generate heat without it.


If your gas fireplace has an energy-saving, alternating pilot ignition system, it will need electricity to trigger the pilot flame every time the fireplace is used. Many models have a battery backup that can be used to light the pilot during a power outage. Batteries should only be used as a power source only in the event of a power outage. Battery longevity can be affected by the temperatures of the fireplace, so when your power is restored, remove the batteries and store in a cool dry place.


If you have a wireless remote control, or a wall switch with a display, find the control box of the fireplace and switch to manual. Most models have a switch that slides between ‘MANUAL’ and ‘REMOTE’.


Ultimately it is best to consult your appliance manufacturer instructions or the installation technician, so that they can guide you on how to operate your gas fireplace without electricity. My Fireplace provides professional advice and quality installations that will see you though the winter. Contact us at My Fireplace today to find out more.