What is that annoying whistling noise, and what causes it?
We receive a fair share of customer feedback showing their frustration that the gas fire pit they worked so hard to build is now making an annoying "whistling" sound when operating. We understand. Fortunately, it's almost always the result of two common culprits: flex lines, or gas supply.
How to Fix It:
Whistle Free Flex Lines
There are different types of flex lines that can potentially be used for gas appliances, but we only sell theto ensure the highest quality. These flex lines feature a varied corrugation pattern to reduce bottlenecks in pressure, hence the "whistle-free" designation. So be sure you're using this kind!
Flex Line Routing
With that being said, no flex line is ever 100% whistle free on its own—it will come down to how it's installed. While the lines are flexible to allow an easier installation, be sure there aren't any major bends or kinks in the line. Sharp, 90° bends can cause a bottleneck in pressure which can result in whistling. Instead, use common hard piping or fittings to make those turns.
Gas Supply Pressure
If you're sure your flex line is not the issue, the other main source of the whistling noise is the gas supply pressure itself—and it's almost always too high. For Natural Gas, the pressure should be set between 3.5" and 7" of Water Column (W.C. is a unit of measurement similar to PSI) and Propane should be set between 8" and 11" W.C. Typically, we recommend being on the higher side in order to ensure a nice, strong flame presence, but work with your gas plumber to make sure it's not TOO much supply.
How to Determine Too Much Gas Supply
If you're not already a licensed gas plumber, you're going to have to call in a professional. Gas supply is a finicky medium and takes several different variables into account to determine the final supply so it's best to leave it to the professionals.
What You Can Do to Help Your Gas Plumber
First, figure out what BTU your burner is rated for (e.g. a 24" Penta burner is rated for 200,000 BTU), this is the amount of BTU you need to have available AT your fire pit—you can find this information on all of our burner & burner kit pages.
Second, work with them to make sure your gas supply pressure is set between the above Water Column ranges but keep in mind that the distance your pit is located from the gas source will make a difference in the available BTU at your fire pit.
Third, double check the gas line sizes you're using. Your gas plumber will perform calculations to determine optimal gas line size based on the length of run from the gas source and the amount of BTU needed by your burner, among other things. If too small or too large a gas line is used it can hinder the volume of gas being supplied and ultimately result in that familiar whistling noise.
Gas fire pits that don't follow the proper installation guidelines can end up causing an undesirable whistling noise. The two usual suspects are flex lines and gas supply pressure, so check those out first. As always, gas appliances can be tricky to troubleshoot, so if you're ever unsure about something, call a professional for help.