Do Fire Pits Need Drainage? How to Drain and Fix?

The overall answer is, yes, Fire Pits need drainage. Although, it depends on the type of firepit, whether it is a portable type or a fixed stone fire pit.

Usually, fire pits don’t come with drainage systems, except portable pits with holes in the bottom, which is actually for the oxygen to get in. It is a must to install a drainage system for a permanent fire pit to eliminate water pooling or wet ash.

Do Fire Pit Needs Drainage and How to Fix

It is necessary to keep the pit dry for further usage, and water pooling can hinder this necessity. Besides, you can not use the pit unless it is thoroughly dried. A fire pit can be kept free from water pooling by several methods, for example, using a tarp, covers, installing a drainage system, etc.

How to Keep in-Ground Fire Pit from Filling with Water?

For portable models, tarps or covers can give a wholesome safety from water pooling, but in the case of permanent or fixed ones, a drainage system is a must to obtain full coverage from this problem. A tarp or covering can be put on during rain or wet shower and tipped out when it’s over. But in the case of fixed pits, it’s not a preferable action as the pit can get caught in sudden rain in spring or summer. 

How To Drain a Fire Pit

There are several ways to drain a pit, depending on the type. The excess water can be thrown away and used when it’s scorched for portable pits. Here is a little information, fire pits usually take 48 hours-72 hours or more to get dried completely.

In the case of fixed and permanent stone pits, it’s recommended to install sound drainage systems. And we will be talking about the methods on several points:

French Drain: 

One of the most convenient and valuable systems is the french drain, where the channel can go under the pit and your seating area. French drains are mainly made with pipes having up or down holes, which safeguards both from water pooling and flooding. A slightly angled four or 5-inch steel drain pipe can be used for the drainage channel. Another thing to be considered before building the french drain is what you will line the bottom with. Several options can be chosen:

Gravel Base:

Gravel base is commonly used for drainage channels of fire pits. It’s easier to make and saves money. However, if the gravel is smaller than the holes, you will need to put a cloth covering over the pipe. Usually, a 1-inch gravel base is used in fire pits. A gravel base is best for you if you are thinking of a cheap yet effective solution.

Sand Base:

This base is best for the temporary structured firepits. Cheapest and simple. The pipe must be covered with durable porous fabric and buried with sand. The recommended size of the sand base is 1 inch. However, this is not suitable for permanent stone fire pits.

Lava Rock Base:

Lava rock is very porous and a solidified sponge with great features. They are made from volcanic magma and are heat conductive. Also, lava rock is pretty much cost-effective and eco-friendly. The best thing is they are mainly made for fire pits. When using metal pipes, you need to cover them with porous fabric to ensure the pipe doesn’t get too hot and no garbage gets clogged up. In the case of the lava rock base, a 3-4 inch base is used.

Fire Pit Glass Base: Fire pit glass bases are artificially made and the most expensive option compared to the above four. They come in different types of colors and flavors. However, like other options, porous fiber is to be used for drain pipe coverage.

Weep Hole: 

For draining a fixed fire pit weep holes can be used. You can create weep holes by drilling slightly above ground level in the walls. These holes can be in the help of cleaning garbage and debris, as always in cleaning drainage. The number of weep holes is determined depending on the size of the pit. Putting one spot in every ⅙th portion is a good choice. Regular cleaning is necessary for these holes; otherwise, it may block the drainage system.

How to Drain A Sunken Fire Pit?

A sunken fire pit or in-ground fire pit requires particular types of equipment and methods than the usual pits. 

  1. Inserting S pipes with a storm drainage system can take care of the sunken patio. S-pipes are used to move large volumes of water quickly. It is a very cost-effective and straightforward system.
  2. Also, making weep holes and a french drainage system under the ground is a great choice when building an in-ground pit. This is a pre-building task. So, if you have an in-ground pit already installed in the yard, choosing a drain tile is the preferred decision.

Do You Need to Cover Your Fire Pit in the Winter?

Yes, it would help if you cover your fire pit in the winter. Usually, people use the exterior pits in winter, and winter can be wetter sometimes. This may lead to a damp fire pit due to sudden rain, fog, or snow. Also, leaves are everywhere around the fall, making it difficult to clean. However, it may also rain in the spring and at the start of summer. And as before mentioned, a fire pit needs 2-3 days to get dried thoroughly. So, covering it up is a good step to prevent you from doing unnecessary cleaning and hassles.

How to Prevent Fire Pit From Filling With Water?

You keep water from filling in a fire pit by having a cover for it or installing a drainage system. Building a pit above a 12-inch safety rock is suggested for a better drainage system.

The basics of keeping a fire pit dry are mentioned below:

  1. Storing it in a covered area or using a waterproof cover for the pit. It can be a canvas cloth or PVC cover.
  2. Using a tarp. Though using tarp and covers are good options for portable fire pits.
  3. Drilling weep holes is an excellent option to keep the pit dry.
  4. Using Lava rock, gravel, or fire pit glass base with a French drain.

How to Measure Fire Pit Size for a Cover?

Both portable and fixed fire pits can be covered with tarps. Tarps are cheap and readily available—also, waterproof and weatherproof.

To measure the fire pit for a cover, you need to measure the diameter of the pit from its width. To ensure that the cover fits, adding 4 inches to the measurement is a safe choice. 

For example- your pit’s diameter is 15 inches, so you will add 4 inches to it, making 15+4=19 Inches. So, the cover you buy should be 19 inches.

How do I Fix My Fire Pit if it Gets Wet and Rusted?

It can be a bothersome situation if old firepits get wet and rusty. 

For a wet pit, follow the below steps:

  1. Use a soft cloth and scrub the fire pit with soapy water.
  2. Rinse the solution thoroughly
  3. Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe the pit

Make sure there is no sitting water, which may cause the metal pit to rust.

Here Is Our Simple Step-by-Step Guide To Fix A Rusty Fire Pit-

  1. First, you need to uncover and sand it down with sanders. Mouse sander and pointer sander can be used to rust off.
  2. Clean the dust off from the pit.
  3. Finally, use a black heating spray to cover it up, matching the color you want

A firepit is well maintained when it’s equipped with a perfect drainage system. Also, remember the essential facts, such as building instructions, covering up, and regular cleaning; these will help you get a long-lasting performance.


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