How to Install an AWEIS Ignition System

An AWEIS ignition system for your fire pit or bowl

An All Weather Electronic Ignition System (AWEIS) is the heart of many fire pit and bowl kits we sell on our sites. This unit is responsible for controlling the flow of gas through the valve, initiating a pilot flame/ignitor, and causing the gas to ignite. This unit has the ability to be controlled via a remote system such as a remote relay or pool controller. Below are the steps to install an AWEIS module on your fire pit or bowl. If you need any further help you can contact us via email at [email protected], by phone at (888) 986-1535, or via Live Chat.

 

Gas Appliance Warnings

WARNING - Before making gas connections ensure appliance being installed is compatible with the available gas type.
WARNING - Proper Input Pressures are required for optimum appliance performance. Gas line sizing requirements need to be made following NFPA51.
WARNING - Installation must conform with local codes or, in the absence of local codes, with the National Fuel Gas Code, ANSI Z223.1.
WARNING - The appliance, when installed, must be electrically grounded in accordance with local codes or, in the absence of local codes, with the National Electric Code, ANSI/NFPA 70. (If applicable)
WARNING - Installation should be done by a qualified installer approved and/or licensed as required by the locality. Listed manual gas shutoff device must be installed prior to the location of the appliance.
WARNING - Over or under tightening gas supply lines may cause leaks. Always make sure your gas lines are tight, but not so tight that fittings are going past the threads.
WARNING - If the information in these instructions is not followed exactly, a fire may result causing property damage, personal injury or death.
WARNING - Do not store or use gasoline or other flammable vapors or liquids in the vicinity of this appliance.
WARNING - Improper installation, adjustment, alteration, service or maintenance can cause injury or property damage. Read the installation, operating and maintenance instructions thoroughly before installing or servicing this equipment.
WARNING - FOR OUTDOOR USE ONLY - FOR USE WITH NATURAL OR LP GAS ONLY - NO SOLID FUELS TO BE USED WITH THIS SYSTEM.

Inspect the Appliance and Components

  • Do NOT install damaged components
  • Do NOT install incomplete components
  • Do NOT install substitute components

Checking for gas leaks

  • Check all fittings and connections
  • Do not use open flame to check for leaks
  • Check for leaks with a commercially available, non-corrosive leak check solution

What to do if you smell gas

  • Do not try to light any appliance.
  • Do not touch any electrical switch; do not use any phone in your building.
  • Immediately call your gas supplier. Follow the gas supplier's instructions.
  • If you cannot reach your gas supplier, call the fire department.
  • Installation and service must be performed by a qualified installer, service agency or the gas supplier.

 

System Components Overview

Below is a general overview of what is inculded in an AWEIS. The transformer, ignition module, wiring, burner assembly, and optional LP gas mixer.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Clearances

WARNING - FIRE RISK - Provide Adequate Clearance from Combustibles as shown below

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Gas Requirements

Please note, a small amount of air will be in the gas supply lines. When first lighting appliance it will take a short time for air to purge from lines. Subsequent lighting of the appliance will not require such purging.

  • Minimum Gas Inlet Pressure: 0.25 psi
  • Maximum Gas Inlet Pressure: 2.0 psi
  • Drain hole in bowl. You need either (1) drain hole 1/2" in diameter or (2) drain holes 1/4" in diameter. Without proper drainage the bowl could fill up with water and damage the remote control module.

 

Electrical Requirements

One dedicated 24 volt/75 VA transformer is required to power one AWEIS. The 24 volt transformer supplied is to be located in a remote location away from the fire feature in an approved weatherproof electrical junction box and installed in accordance with local codes. It is recommended you have one dedicated wire run (2 wires) from each transformer to each fire feature. Daisy chaining of the wire can be accomplished if you use a minimum of 12 gauge wire to prevent voltage drop. When daisy chaining the wire from the transformers to the first fire feature, and then on to the remaining features, you must wire the transformers in parallel with one another to the wire leading to the fire features. here are numerous electrical devices that can be used to turn the fire feature on and off. Devices such as wall switches and remote control devices that are used should be UL listed and approved devices for turning high voltage (110 v electrical power) on and off. This high voltage electrical power shall be connected to the supplied 24 volt AC transformer by a qualified electrical installer.

  • Wire Length < 100' : 14 ga
  • Wire Length > 100' : 12 ga

 

Install Supply Lines

  • In the photo below there is a bowl with both a gas nipple and an electrical conduit stubbed up inside. In this photo the gas line is centered whereas the electrical is off center. It is acceptable to stub both gas and electrical in the center.
  • Drainage MUST be provided in the bottom of the bowl. The holes in the bowl at right are oversized for both the gas and electrical due to the fact these holes also serve as drain holes as well.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Install AWEIS Module

  • Apply an acceptable pipe dope to the gas nipple and thread the AWEIS on to the gas line. NOTE: it is highly recommended to perform a gas leak test at this point in the install. Turn on the gas supply and then, using a soapy water solution spray the bottom of the AWEIS where it is connected to the gas line to ensure no leaks exist.
  • The wires protruding from the AWEIS has been connected to the two wires from the electrical conduit using appropriate sized wire nuts. NOTE: It is not required but it is recommended to fill the wire nuts with either dielectric grease or silicone prior to installing the wire nut. This will ensure a weatherproof electrical connection.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Install Pilot Assembly

  • On the side of the AWEIS there are two connections for the Pilot Burner Assembly as shown in the photo above. The white 'quick connect' is the electrical connection and the brass plumbing fitting is the gas connection. There is a label next to these connections, "Attach Pilot Burner Here".

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Check Connections

  • The following photo shows the AWEIS after the Pilot Burner Assembly has been connected. NOTE: The electrical connection for the Pilot Burner Assembly is a shaped connection thereby ensuring it can only be connected the correct way. On the Pilot Burner Assembly side of the connection there is a locking clip on the quick connect that will 'lock' the connection in place. Therefore after making the connection lightly tug on the connection to ensure it is in fact 'locked' in place.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Install Heat Sheild

  • When ordering the AWEIS you must specify what type of gas will be used; natural or LP gas. When using Natural Gas the final configuration of the AWEIS will be as shown in the above photo on the left. When using LP (propane) a brass air mixer will be included with the AWEIS which is to be installed as shown in the photo above on the right. NOTE: The brass air mixer has an orifice that has been sized based on the size of the fire ring. All brass air mixers are labeled indicating the size fire ring it has been configured for.
  • Install the Heat Deflector Shield as shown.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Install Burner Ring

  • When installing the fire ring for natural gas you will have to supply the pipe nipple for the outlet of the AWEIS. The length of the pipe nipple will depend on how high you want the fire ring to be positioned in your fire feature. When using LP gas, you can either thread the fire ring directly on to the brass air mixer or you can add a coupling to it to then extend further up by adding an additional pipe nipple.
  • There are two photos showing two different size fire rings. In the top photo the Pilot Burner is positioned 'outside' the fire ring. When using larger fire rings, as shown in the bottom photo, positioning the Pilot Burner 'outside' the outer ring is not possible due to the length of the Pilot Burner. When using larger fire rings positioning the Pilot.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Positioning of Pilot Burner

  • Positioning of the Pilot Burner is very important with regards to proper functioning of the AWEIS module. The photo shows how the Pilot Burner should be positioned in relation to the fire ring when the install is complete.
  • CAUTION: When moving the Pilot Burner Assembly around to position it correctly DO NOT put undue stress on the flared gas connection between the Pilot Burner Assembly and the AWEIS module. It is highly recommended to first loosen the flare nut prior to moving the Pilot Burner Assembly. Once you have the Pilot Burner Assembly positioned correctly then tighten the flare nut.

Standard Capacity All Weather Electronic Ignition System

 

Acceptable Media for Fire Features

WARNING - Do not use any other material as filler/topping media inside fire features other than those listed below. Using improper media inside a fire feature could result in damage to property or injury to persons nearby due to media popping or exploding due to heat.

List of Acceptable Media for Fire Features

  • Lava Rock (or other Igneous Rock) NO LARGER THAN 3" in diameter
  • Fireglass approved for use in fire features
  • Man made stone for use in fire features (Refractory Material)

Installation Note - The use of media inside fire features is recommended due to the fact it enhances the look of the fire feature but also improves its performance by forcing the gas emanating from the burner element to mix as it passes through the media. This 'mixing' of gases creates an even flame throughout the feature and helps spread the flame from the Pilot Burner throughout the burner element quicker than when there is no media. Recommended thickness of the media above the burner element is NO MORE than 2". Due to the fact the Pilot Burner must be partially exposed to oxygen in order to ignite the pilot flame during start up DO NOT COMPLETELY COVER THE PILOT BURNER. When installation of the media is complete the top of the Pilot Burner Protective Cover should be visible.

 

LP Gas Installation Considerations

Due to the fact LP (Propane) Gas is different from natural gas there are some slight differences in the installation procedures. These differences are listed here:

  1. Propane is a much more potent fuel when compared to natural gas. For this reason an air mixer is installed in the inlet of the burner element to lean out the gas. The orifice inside the air mixer is sized for the burner element so when ordering your AWEIS be sure to indicate the size/type burner element you will be using with the fire feature.
  2. Unlike natural gas, LP gas is heavier than air. Because it is heavier than air any unburned LP gas will likely go to the bottom of the fire feature. Without proper drainage/venting at the bottom of the fire feature, LP gas will collect in the bottom and WILL cause a very hazardous situation. For this reason either a drain line that ends in open air or venting at the bottom of the fire feature MUST be installed to allow any unburned LP gas to escape from the bottom of the fire feature, thereby eliminating the hazard.
  3. It is HIGHLY recommended you use as little media as possible ON TOP of the burner element in a LP gas fire feature. The less media there is on top of the burner element the less obstructions there are which could prevent LP gas from being ignited at the top of the fire feature. By reducing the depth of the media you have reduced the chance of unburned LP gas going to the bottom of the fire feature as mentioned in #2 above.

 

Operating Warnings

WARNING - Do NOT use this appliance if any part has been under water. Immediately call a qualified service technician to inspect the appliance and to replace any part of the control system and any gas control which has been under water.
WARNING - Fire Risk / Burn Risk / HOT! DO NOT TOUCH - SEVERE BURNS MAY RESULT - CLOTHING IGNITION MAY RESULT
WARNING - The appliance should be inspected before use and at least annually by a qualified service person. More frequent cleaning may be required as necessary. It is imperative that control compartment, burners and circulating air passageways of the appliance be kept clean.

  • Keep Children away.
  • CAREFULLY SUPERVISE children in same area as the appliance.
  • Alert children and adults to hazards of high temperatures.
  • Clothing or other flammable materials should not be hung from the appliance or placed on or near the appliance.
  • It is NOT recommended outdoor fire features be operated when wind exceeds 25 mph.

 

Lighting Instructions

Note - Before operating appliance ensure the manual gas shutoff valve is open.

  1. Before operating the appliance, ensure the manual gas shutoff valve is open. This will allow the gas supply to travel to the ignition module. If you smell gas, STOP and follow the gas warnings at the begining of this document.
  2. Visually inspect fire feature to ensure debris such as leaves or other combustible material has not collected inside the feature. Leaves, debris, garbage, or other materials could burn and emit embers once the fire feature is turned on. Also ensure any person standing close to the fire feature is aware you will be turning the fire feature.
  3. Turn fire feature on by turning on the electrical device used to power the fire feature. The AWEIS ignition sequence is as follows:
    • Electrical power is applied to the unit.
    • The hot surface ignitor (glow plug) becomes hot enough to ignite gas
    • Once the ignitor is at temperature, the pilot gas valve opens and pilot flame is lit
    • Within 10 seconds of power application pilot flame should be ignited and visible if its night/dark
    • Within 10 seconds of pilot flame ignition, the main burner element of the fire feature should ignite
  4. Turn fire feature off by shutting down the ignition module and/or manual gas shutoff valve. Note: since the unit is based on thermo-electrical components, cutting electrical power may not extinguish the flames. In case of emergency, shut down the gas valve(s) instead.

 

Troubleshooting

 

Pilot Flame fails to Ignite or Ignites Inconsistently

Problems with pilot flame ignition are most often caused by too low of an electrical current (amps). The hot surface igniter used in the AWEIS pilot burner requires a minimum of 1.2 amps at 24 volts to get to full operating temperature and ignite the gas. When the AWEIS is first turned on, the initial amp draw should be a minimum of 1.2 amps for the first 4 seconds, and then will jump to approximately 1.6 amps when the pilot gas valve is opened by the AWEIS. After the pilot flame ignition occurs, the hot surface igniter is turned off and the main gas valve is turned on. Amp readings after the main valve is turned on will be approximately 0.8 to 1.0 amps.

A low current situation will often be caused by one or a combination of two factors:

  • Wire too thin - The recommended wire gauge to be used is a minimum of 14 gauge wire when the wire run between the AWEIS and the 24 volt transformer powering it is less than 100 feet long. If the wire run is equal to or greater than 100 feet, 12 gauge wire is recommended. Any time multiple AWEIS units are daisy chained, regardless of the length of the wire run, 12 gauge wire is recommended. NO MORE than 3 AWEIS should be daisy chained together. The most common problem is using a wire gauge less than the minimum recommended.
  • Transformer - One transformer is sent with each AWEIS shipped. One transformer can ONLY power one AWEIS. When attempting to power more than one AWEIS with one transformer, pilot flame ignition will not occur. The second most common problem we see is when one transformer is used to power more than one AWEIS.

AWEIS turns off after a few minutes of Operation

This problem is caused by improper Pilot Burner positioning. In most cases the Pilot Burner is positioned too high in relation to the fire ring. The top of the Pilot Burner cage should be no more than 1" above the fire ring/burner bar.

AWEIS turns off after Extended Operation (> than 15 minutes)

Generally, the AWEIS won't turn back on upon power cycling until 10 minutes later. Inside the AWEIS is a circuit board controller with a self resetting thermal fuse to protect the system from overheating. If the AWEIS gets too hot, the thermal fuse will open and shut down the AWEIS. Once the thermal fuse cools to a certain temperature it will reset itself thereby enabling the AWEIS to be turned on again. Normal time for it to cool is approximately 10 minutes

This situation is most prevalent in fire features using propane gas. For propane applications, a brass air mixer is added to the outlet of the AWEIS. The orifice inside the air mixer is sized to work with propane pressures between 7" to 10" WC. When used in an application with higher propane gas pressure, propane will be expelled out the 6 air holes in the mixer thereby causing a small fire directly above the Valve Box part of the AWEIS. This small fire will heat the valve box thereby causing the thermal fuse to open. In order to eliminate this problem, reduce the propane gas pressure by adjusting the second stage regulator until the pressure falls within proper WC range.

This problem can also be caused when extra large lava rock (> 4" in diameter) are used in the fire feature. Extra large lava rock, due to it's size, absorbs heat faster than it radiates heat. This is due to the fact the core of it begins to heat up and has no way to release it. Temperatures in fire features using extra large lava rock will get much hotter than those fire features using smaller lava rock. For this reason we recommend using lava rock no bigger than 4" in diameter.

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