LP log lighter for fire pit

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by npkr, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. npkr

    npkr New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Hello,

    I am going to have a wood-burning fire pit when they install my paver patio next month. I thought I would like to have a log lighter, which I could fuel with liquid propane that I already have on site.

    However, after researching it, it seems that log lighters are/may be illegal here in Massachusetts, I believe because they don't have a pilot light and there is potential for explosion if there is a leak.

    First, is it true that log lighters are illegal in Massachusetts, if anyone out there can confirm?

    Second, and more importantly, assuming log lighters are illegal, could I have a LP gas insert (like that used for a true LP gas firepit) installed in the fire pit and used as a log lighter? Will this work? I presume that LP gas firepits are legal, whereas log lighters are not, because the LP gas inserts have a pilot light. Is this correct?

    Thank you.
  2. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,981
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I don't see why they would be illegal for outdoor use.

    True Value sells them here in Texas.

    You may want to check with a True Value Hardware store near you. They will not sell them if they are illegal in your state.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,525
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Almost ANY LP unit is illegal without an automatic pilot light, because the gas will "pool" in a low area, such as a fire pit, and then explode violently when it has an ignition source such as a match. The pilot light is what makes it illegal or not.
  4. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,981
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    So no gas grills allowed ?
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,525
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Special case because they are open on the bottom so gas cannot accumulate and not usually where someone could just come up and turn them on accidentally. They would have to push the knob while turning it. And they have "remote" lighters so you do not stick a match into the gas flow.
  6. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,981
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I no LP is dangerous, and best left outdoors.

    Any gas can be dangerous. Even a SBD is very ignitable. Got to love Natural gas. lol

    I have a Natural gas log lighter in my indoor fireplace, It takes a match to light it, It also takes a Key to open the gas valve.

    Works good, but rarely gets cold enough to light it.
  7. npkr

    npkr New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I appreciate all of your responses.

    It turns out that log lighters are, indeed, illegal in Massachusetts.

    Therefore, I was thinking of using a 20 - 30 inch LP gas ring insert with pilot light as a log lighter in my planned 36 inch inner diameter fire pit. Instead of covering the insert with lava rock or glass, the gas ring insert would sit a few inches below an iron grate which would support the wood logs. I would use it to light the wood fire and then turn off the gas once lit. Do you think this will work? Will the gas ring insert withstand the high temperatures of a wood-burning fire like a typical log lighter? Embers would obviously fall through the grate and surround the gas insert, which will be just a few inches from the burning wood logs above it.

    Do you think this will work and have any of you seen this or something similar done before when a log lighter could not be used?

    Thank you.
  8. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,981
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    You may have a problem with the ashes.

    They will eat at the metal and block the gas flow, in the long run.

    Them wax log starters may be a better alternative. Or a few Charcoal Match Light Briquets.


    Good Luck, Don't blow it up.
  9. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,135
    Location:
    Maine
    Tats gonna be illegal too because its not third party tested or approved.
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