Enjoying the warmth and ambiance of a fireplace is unrivaled, especially during those cold winter nights. But every now and then, you may hear a popping noise that you haven’t heard before, which makes you wonder, why is my fireplace making a popping noise?
Among other reasons, gas fireplaces will often make popping noises when they are warming up and cooling down, because of the metal element and connecting parts expanding and contracting inside the fireplace!
We want you to feel comfortable with your fireplace inside your home and help you understand what is going on inside of it that might be causing you some distress. Read on below to find out what could be causing the popping noises you are hearing and how to fix them!
My Gas Fireplace Makes A Popping Noise
There are several reasons why your gas fireplace could be making popping noises, one of the most common reasons is that the metal burner inside will make popping noises when it is expanding.
So you have a gas fireplace, and it drives you crazy when it starts making popping noises, right? We get it, it really is annoying, and why does it do that?
Well, there are a few different reasons why it could be making loud popping noises; here are a few reasons what they could be:
- A man made fireplace display (like gas fireplace logs) that has a feature where it makes ‘popping’ and ‘crackling’ noises to simulate a real fire
- The metal burner inside the fireplace takes a few minutes to warm up, while it does this it expands and will making irregular popping noises
- There is a gas leak at the visible fittings that occasionally will erupt and pop when it escapes
- Your gas fireplace needs to be cleaned
Is It Normal To Hear Popping Noises Coming From My Fireplace?
To some extent, yes it is normal to hear popping noises from your gas fireplace. Just like a gas stove or burner element. When the metal is being heated, sometimes it will make noises as it expands. The same effect is happening inside of your fireplace, with metal warming and expanding to generate heat.
The ‘popping’ noises you hear should be connected to some aspect of the fireplace functioning properly. It’s when we are hearing noises and finding evidence that the fireplace isn’t running the way it should be that you have cause for concern!
Can Gas Fireplace Logs Cause A Popping Noise?
Gas fireplaces can be customized to have specific types of ‘logs’ inside that can crackle and pop just like a wood burning fire would.
There is a variety in the types of logs that you can install inside your gas fireplace. The three typical variations are made of ceramic fibers, refractory ceramic and refractory cement.
The cement logs typically only last for 2-3 years while the ceramic variety will often last from 3-5 years depending on how often the fireplace is used. The reason why this is important, is for you to know how often you will need to replace them as the logs begin to fade, crack and crumble.
When the logs are in this state, they can cause loud popping noises. This is a sign that they are ready to be replaced.
Another product that may be used to cause a crackle sound are crackling ash granules, which are manually added inside the fireplace to the logs where the fire will hit to cause popping and crackling noises.
How Can I Fix These Noises?
If you are unsure of the age of the logs in the fireplace, turn the burners off and check inside the fireplace at the condition of the logs inside. If they look worn down, or like they are starting to crack then you should replace them with new logs.
Clean the fireplace regularly of any sort of soot build up (since it’s a gas fireplace, this should be very minimal to none) and ensure that the logs are in working order.
If the issue persists after taking these actions, there may be a different issue that is causing the popping noises, or you may need to call for a HVAC tech to check over your fireplace to ensure it is running properly.
Gas Fireplace Metal Burner Makes Popping Noise While Warming Up/Cooling Down
The metal parts that make up the gas burner in your fireplace often will make a single loud popping noise when the burner is either warming up or cooling down.
Gas fireplaces, like gas stoves, have a metal burner that is heated up to create warmth in the fireplace. These metal parts expand and contract when heated and cooled, and on some gas fireplace models will cause a popping noise during both events.
The better quality fireplaces do not tend to make this noise during this process, the parts and make up of the fireplace is of better craftsmanship.
Is There Anything I Can Do About This?
The elements inside your fireplace expand and contract, for some this causes a popping noise and for others it does not. It isn’t something that we would be concerned about since it is a common occurrence.
Things you can do to minimize it as much as possible include: general maintenance on the fireplace, making sure all parts are connected properly and that the fireplace is cleaned.
How Do I Know If My Gas Fireplace Has A Gas Leak?
The simplest method to check for any leaks in your gas fireplace fixtures, is to take a spray bottle of soapy water and spray it on any of the fittings that connect to the fireplace. If bubbles are formed, then you have a leak.
If you have tried and checked the other possible options for the popping noises you are hearing from your fireplace, then it is time to check and see if you have a gas leak on your hands!
To check for a gas leak do the following steps:
- Turn off the gas to your fireplace
- Clean off any fittings that connect to your fireplace (make sure they are dry)
- Use a spray bottle filled with soapy water, and spray all the fittings that connect to the fireplace
- Turn on the gas to the fireplace again
- Check for bubbles at any of the fittings/junctions
If there are no bubbles, then you do not have a leak. However, if there are bubbles then you will need to replace the fittings that connect the line and fireplace to ensure a secure connection to the fireplace!
If you do not feel comfortable working on your fireplace, do not hesitate to call a local HVAC company to do the work for you! Leaking gas inside your home can be very dangerous and you want to make sure it is fixed properly!
Things To Consider About Your Gas Fireplace
Gas fireplaces range in quality, with low quality fireplaces often being much noisier than their better build counterparts based on part and construction quality.
If you find that your fireplace makes A LOT more noise than seems reasonable, you may want to look into the brand and consider upgrading to a better quality brand like Napoleon or Empire fireplaces.
You may also experience different types of whistling noises associated with your fireplace. There are several causes for these noises:
- Pilot light issue
- Low-Quality gas fireplace
- Poor or incorrect installation of the fireplace
- Gas Supply Blockage
- Corrugated Connector Tube (may cause a whistling noise even with proper install)
You will know right away if you have more than just a popping noise issue while your fireplace is running. If you do experience a whistling noise, we would recommend getting a professional to diagnose the issue and fix the problem for you!
How Do I Make My Gas Fireplace Quieter?
Take the time to perform regular maintenance on your gas fireplace system. If anything seems worn out or improper, remove and replace those components and when you can’t diagnose a problem, bring in professional help to solve any issues.
Just like any other part of the house, you want to make sure you provide regular maintenance for your gas fireplace, ensuring that it is in working order.
These are a few things you can do to keep your fireplace up and running smoothly:
- Cleaning the fireplace regularly. This isn’t just the box, but the different components as well, such as the blower motor and the gas supply
- Tightening any fittings, ensuring everything has a proper seal
- Checking the pilot light, ensuring it is clean and tightly secured
Taking the time to make sure that the system in place is running the way it was supposed to will not only improve your experience, but it will keep you and your home safe in the long run!
Reminder: Make sure to have the gas supply turned off to the fireplace at all times while doing any kind of work or maintenance to it!
At any point in this process that you feel ill equipped or uncomfortable working on your gas fireplace, call a professional to advise and fix any issues you might have