Common Question: Should Burner Holes Face Upward or Downward?

Today I will try to clear up any confusion on the direction a burner’s holes (or jets) should face (upward or downward).

First of all, this post is about burners using natural gas.  Propane is a whole different subject.  If you are using a propane burner, the holes should already be faced properly for that type of burner.  So let’s forget about propane(LP) for this discussion.

Let’s also make three assumptions.

  1. If you are using the burner in a fireplace, the fireplace floor is completely solid and does not have any cracks or trap doors.
  2. If you are using the burner in a fire pit, there’s a minimum of several inches of filler material under the burner (or a solid surface) and the walls of the fire pit are solid, without any cracks.
  3. In either case above, your burner is surrounded by filler material, such as crushed lava rock and or FireGlass and the filler material comes to at least 2 inches above the top of the burner pipes.

You will notice when ordering any of our burners that have a polarity (where one burner leg is shorter than the other so it fits nicely into the trapezoid shape of a common fireplace) there is an option to order the burner with holes facing downward or upward and to specify which side (left or right) the gas feed is located.

NOTE THAT THE BURNER WILL FUNCTION WELL WHETHER THE HOLES ARE FACING UPWARD OR DOWNWARD, so we do not make the option “mandatory” when you place an order.  This is very important to know.

Taking everything above into account, we prefer to face the burner holes downward.  Since natural gas rises, the gas pushes down and then rises and spreads before igniting and burning above the surface of the filler material.  There is not enough oxygen under the surface of the filler material to allow the gas to burn.  It is too rich to burn.  Natural gas needs to mix with oxygen in order to burn.  Burner holes facing down should give you a little larger flame bed when compared to burner holes facing upward.

I hope that clears up this topic.  As always, feel free to ask for more clarity if something is not making sense.

This entry was posted in Fireplaces. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply