Troubleshooting Guide – My Propane Fire Pit Won’t Stay Lit

Last Updated on October 12, 2021

Jim Bob

Jim Bob

A long-time contributor to GrillBabyGrill. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.


When it comes to owning a propane fire pit, the benefits are amazing. You can enjoy a safe and convenient fire at just about any outdoor location, whenever you want. However, just like anything else that you own that has knobs, and parts and does a job, your propane fire pit can have issues. Sometimes they are simple, sometimes not so much. 

The Fire That Just Won’t Keep Burning

blue fire

Image Courtesy to Nan Palmero

There is nothing as frustrating as looking forward to sitting in front of your propane fire pit, enjoying a cool evening, only to have it sputter out just a few minutes after you get settled. 

When this happens, there are a few things that can be happening, while some are fairly obvious and simple to fix, others can be a bit more challenging. 

Here are some potential issues you may be experiencing with your propane fire pit, when it won’t stay lit, and solutions for fixing the problem.

1. Propane tank low on gas

This is probably the most logical reason for your fire pit to not stay lit. If you are having a hard time getting your fire pit to stay running, the first place to start is checking the propane tank, and making sure it is full. 

The easiest way to do this is simply check the weight of the tank. If the tank is light and easy to manage, chances are good your problem is lack of fuel.

2. A blockage in the burner 

Since your propane fire pit is going to be outside, and exposed to all sorts of things that you might not think about. One of the most common reasons that your fire pit might not stay lit is because there are things blocking the burner. 

By things, we mean dirt, leaves, water and even spiders. If you are challenged by a fire pit that doesn’t have a consistent flame, take some time, after it has cooled, to clean around the burner. 

This little bit of effort may make all the difference in how your fire pit functions. Also, if you don’t have a cover for your propane fire pit, this is an inexpensive investment that will keep junk from piling up on the burner.

3. A kink in the supply line 

Another simple problem to solve when it comes to troubleshooting your fire pit. If the supply line that runs from the propane tank to the burner is kinked, you may not be getting a consistent flow of gas to the burner. 

This can cause your fire pit to function erratically or maybe not even light at all. If your burner is clean, and you’ve got a full tank of gas, to check to make sure that your supply line isn’t bent. 

To fix this problem, reposition the supply line so it has plenty of room. If your propane fire pit is older, and the supply line is worn, you may need to replace the supply line.

4. A leak 

This seems like a minor problem, but in reality, this problem can end up being very dangerous. If you have a gas leak in your propane fire pit, the reduced pressure to the burner may be enough to cause your fire pit to not run consistently. 

Fixing a leak can be as simple as tightening connections. However, if the leak is caused by a tiny hole in your supply line, you will likely need to replace the supply line. Do not take leaks in your propane fire pit lightly. Gas not contained in the burner of the fire pit can lead to unintended fires or explosions. 

If you suspect you have a leak in your propane fire pit, stop using it immediately and do not use it again until the leak has been resolved.

5. Air in the gas line 

Another fairly simple problem, but one that will require you to be thoughtful in your response. If you get air pockets in the supply line for your propane fire pit, you’ll notice that it will burn, then go out, and then may be difficult to restart. 

This is a good indication that you have air in your supply line. The solution to the problem is fairly easy; you’ll need to run some gas through the supply line to purge the air. Here’s where this can be tricky. Make sure you do this in a space that is well ventilated, and has plenty of air flow. This will allow the gas to escape to the atmosphere without any harm. 

Also, make sure when you are purging air from the supply line that there are no open flames or sparks that could ignite the gas. This could result in an unintended explosion.

6. Broken valve 

This is by far the most challenging of the problems that you could be facing if your propane fire pit won’t stay lit. If the control valve on your fire pit is broken or malfunctioning, you may have issues keeping your fire pit lit. 

How do you know if this is your problem? Well, if you’ve addressed all five of the problems that we’ve suggested before this one, then chances are good that the control valve is broken. To fix this problem? If you can buy a replacement part, and your fire pit is relatively new, this can be an answer. 

However, if your fire pit is older, finding replacement parts may be a challenge, and the unfortunate answer is that it may be time to replace your propane fire pit.


Annabelle Watson


Propane fire pits are a great addition to your outdoor spaces. They make enjoying a fire easy, clean and safe, and if you have the skill, I would even advocate to make your own propane fire pit at home. However, when they have problems, it can be a real let down. If your fire pit won’t stay lit, the solutions are usually pretty simple. 

Keeping your fire pit free of debris and in good working order is an easy way to ensure that anytime you want to enjoy the comfort and ambiance your propane fire pit is ready.