IPI – the technical term used in the fireplace industry for ‘Intermitent Pilot Ignition’ (also called electronic ignition) is supposed to benefit end users with additional features and functionality – namely – lower fuel bills (as you can turn the pilot light off with a click of the remote) and additional functionality (because the flame on the fireplace can modulate). Some governments (see British Columbia) are forcing manufacturers to only sell IPI units.
However – these IPI units have caused us more service challenges than any other types of fireplaces. Our service calls have quadrupled on IPI units. At first we thought it was the manufacturers we were using – so we switched. But now, they are all more problematic than traditional standing pilot. Unfortunately for consumers, almost all new gas / propane fireplaces are being released as ‘IPI.’ No one really knows why they are more problematic… but our opinion is the following: 1) They rely on a proper power source (a common challenge in certain homes); 2) Replacing batteries is a challenge or unknown for many fireplace customers (especially in the hidden receiver part); and 3) Having electronic components so near to heat is … well… not good.
Therefore – if you are looking for a fireplace that will not have service issues, consider a traditional ‘standing pilot’ fireplace. If you prefer some of the features of newer IPI systems, that is fine, but you should be prepared for some minor frustrations at some point. The good news – is that if you purchased from us, we are here to support you. However, our technicians can be booked for 2-3 weeks during peak season so there is a risk in having a fireplace that is not working for a few days.
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