Why Won't My Gas Logs Stay Lit?

Feb 16th, 2017 | Updated: November 16th, 2020

When you have a gas logs or a gas fireplace in your home, you expect a reliable flame to form every time you turn it on. If starting your gas logs is more trouble than building a fire from scratch, though, that's often a sign of a part malfunctioning in the system. Here's what's likely going on with your fireplace if it's becoming a recurring issue.

Lit Stone Fireplace and Wood Mantle Fireplace with Gas Logs_Hansen Wholesale

Reasons Your Gas Logs Won't Stay Lit

1. Faulty Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a metal sensor that tells your gas valve that the pilot light is lit, allowing gas to flow through said valve. This device heats up when it makes direct contact with a lit pilot light, so it spends a substantial amount of time exposed to the flame. As a result, the thermocouple can develop carbon buildup that over time can compromise its function. While it's sometimes a fix as easy as cleaning off this device, it's typically easier to hire a professional to assure the problem doesn't lie elsewhere.

2. Pilot Adjustment

Often times a simple pilot adjustment is all that is needed to get your fireplace running properly. If the flame is too high or too low your fireplace may not light or it may shut off after a short period of time. The pilot should be blue in color and should just barely overlap the thermocouple or thermopile.

Man leaning over stone fileplace repairing pilot_Hansen Wholesale

3. Incorrect Gas Pressure

If the ignition system isn't the issue, another possibility is the flow from the gas valve. Sometimes, when the gas pressure is set incorrectly, the gas logs will not stay lit because there's insufficient fuel for the flame. A technician can use a tool called a manometer to measure gas flow; if it's off, then they can make a quick adjustment to get it recalibrated.

4. Clogged Burner Ports

On a gas fireplace, there are these tiny holes that distribute the gas for a fire. Similar to the previous issue, if the burner is clogged or dirty, then the gas logs may not have the fuel necessary to keep a fire lit because the gas can't flow through those distribution chambers. Thorough cleaning with vacuum and soft cleaning brush may fix this issue.

5. Hire a Professional

We highly recommend having a professional inspect, clean and adjust your fireplace annually so you can be confident of safe operation. You should ask your HVAC professional to do this when you have your furnace or ac inspected. Here’s a link to some resources to find Qualified Fireplace Professionals.


If you're having trouble keeping your gas logs lit, our experts at Hansen Wholesale suggest switching to electronic ignition in your fireplace. This type of ignition only has the pilot light on when needed, meaning less waste of gas and a guaranteed quick light. For more information about this gas log option, give us a call today at (800) 201-1193.