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Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. Blog

What’s Wrong With Your Gas Fireplace?


A gas fireplace offers the best of both worlds. It has the homey warmth and the cozy ambience without any of the mess of a wood-burning fireplace—soot, ash, and bark bits, oh, my! Your gas fireplace is also so much easier to start up. There’s no scrunching newspaper, carefully laying out kindling, and trying to get it all to catch. Just flip a switch and the fire’s going.

With all that ease of use, it’s easy to forget that gas fireplaces do encounter problems sometimes. We’d like to remind you that if you do notice an issue with your gas fireplace, you should take it seriously and have it repaired. Here’s what to look for.

Uneven or Weak Flame

If there’s been a change in the way the flame looks or behaves, if it’s smaller, less robust, or more flickery, it’s time to look for gas fireplace repair near me in Maplewood, NJ. This can indicate either a problem with the burner itself or with the gas line that supplies the fuel to the burner. Because natural gas appliances can pose a safety risk, any gas-related problems require prompt repair.

Difficulty Lighting

We said that all you have to do is flip a switch and the fire’s going. But if you’re struggling to get your gas fireplace to light, trying repeatedly before it actually starts, there’s an issue that needs to be fixed. Chances are, something is wrong with the ignition system or pilot. In many cases, all it needs is to be disassembled and given a thorough professional cleaning to remove accumulated carbon.

Unpleasant Odors

Any time an appliance in your home makes any kind of odor, something is wrong. In the case of a gas fireplace, you should be particularly alert to an eggy or sulfurous odor, which is a serious warning sign that natural gas is leaking. If you do smell this, turn off the fireplace, leave your home, and call for help from somewhere else.

New Noises

A gas fireplace is barely audible. Aside from the click-whoosh of turning it on, it shouldn’t be making any interesting noises. If you do notice something catching your ear, popping or hissing or anything else, the fireplace is not operating properly and needs professional attention.


Visible damage or deterioration to any part of your fireplace assembly or housing needs to be addressed right away. Prompt repairs can be the difference between a fireplace that slowly crumbles until it needs to be replaced and a fireplace that, with some minor work, could last for many more years.

White Stains on Brick

This is a very interesting phenomenon that many people notice and wonder about. And there’s a wonderful word for it: efflorescence. Unfortunately, the phenomenon itself is not so wonderful. This can be caused by excess moisture, absorbed by the brick, forcing minerals such as salt out of the masonry. It can affect structural integrity, and the root cause of that moisture needs to be eliminated with help from a qualified technician.

Whatever the issue with your gas fireplace, don’t let it get worse. You deserve the perfect, pleasant winter scene: putting your feet up in front of a fire with no worries whatsoever.

Established in 1912, Max Sr & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, A Corp. is your trusted resource for knowledgeable gas fireplace installation. Reach out to us today.

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