5 Effective Ways To Keep a Ground Fire Pit From Filling With Water

A sunked ground fire pit on a stone paver patio filled with water

A fire pit can be a great addition to your garden, but what are you supposed to do when it’s raining or snowing outside? You can prevent your fire pit from filling with water in several ways.

If your fire pit is portable, you can turn it over or store it somewhere sheltered. However, if your fire pit is stationary, you can invest in a tarp or protective cover. You can also drill drain holes in your fire pit or install a system to drain the water before installing your fixed fire pit. 

In the following parts of the article, I will discuss some of the ways you can manage the protection of your fire pit from water and other substances to keep it clean and rust-free. I will tell you when to try each method, as not every technique suits every situation.

1. Turn the Fire Pit Over

If you have a portable fire pit, you should turn it over when you’re not planning on using it. This will prevent the fire pit from filling with water whenever it rains. 

A portable fire pit is most likely made from metal, which means that it can rust and ultimately get damaged when left unprotected.

On top of turning the fire pit around, it could be a good idea to cover it with something for additional protection, like a tarp of some sort. A portable fire pit can also be stored somewhere dry if it isn’t too heavy to move around. 

This is the easiest and less expensive solution on this list—you don’t have to buy anything or do much work. However, it doesn’t work with stationary fire pits. That’s where the rest of the solutions come in.

2. Cover the Fire Pit With a Tarp

This might be the cheapest and easiest solution to your problem. Tarp, in general, isn’t very expensive, and you don’t have to put in any effort to install it. You must find something to weigh the tarp down so it doesn’t get blown off when there’s wind. 

A tarp is perfect for covering your fire pit whenever you’re not using it because it doesn’t just protect it from rainfall. The tarp also prevents other things from collecting in the fire pit, like leaves, insects, and other animals. 

Tarps are available in different sizes and colors. However, it’s not the best option for people who want their fire pit to look nice, even when they’re not using it.

A tarp cover can look cheap, but it’s very effective and great for your wallet—perfect for people who don’t care too much about the look of their fire pit. 

3. Purchase a Fire Pit Cover

You can buy unique covers for your fire pit to protect it from rough weather conditions. For instance, the Breeo fire pits sell their own unique covers, specifically designed for their products. It is an excellent option if you want to invest in something that looks nice but is still effective. Not something you have to deal with during the summer, but certainly in the winter!

There’s a wide variety of fire pit covers you can buy, in different materials, like wood, glass, and metal. They can be pretty pricey, but they can also completely change the look and feel of your garden if you choose wisely. 

Covers are available in different shapes and sizes, so you’ll undoubtedly find one perfect for your fire pit. There are different styles available, so you should be able to find one that suits your taste and the aesthetic of your house and garden.

You could even find a cover that will make your fire pit look like a table — you could even use it use as one. This would be very practical for when you’re not using the fire pit. 

4. Drill Drain Holes

The possibility of drilling holes entirely depends on the type of fire pit you have, what it is made of, and whether or not it is portable. But if you want to prevent your fire pit from filling with water, drilling some drain holes is a great idea. Those same holes will also help you when making a fire, as fire needs air circulation to spread.

Some fire pits already have some small holes when you purchase them, which are essential for ventilation, but you’ll have to drill the holes yourself more often than not. It shouldn’t take too much time and effort if you have a drill and some drill bits. You don’t even have to be very handy.

You won’t need to use this method if you’ve installed a fixed stone fire pit. You can simply move the bricks around a little bit to create holes through which the water can flow freely, as long as the stones are loose and stacked on top of each other. 

Should I Drain Holes in a Fire Pit?

You should drain holes in a fire pit if it’s portable. Drain holes will protect your fire pit from rust and increase ventilation, which will make lighting a fire easier.

It’s important to drill the drain holes close to the bottom of the fire pit. This will ensure that all the water can drain through those holes. If you drill the holes too high, some water will collect at the bottom of the fire pit, which will most likely cause rust after prolonged exposure. 

Stagnant water will also attract insects and cause a foul odor after some time, which you probably don’t want in your fire pit, so make sure to get the placement of the drain holes right.

You don’t have to drill too many holes. A couple is enough to do the job. But if you also want to improve the air circulation in the fire pit, you can add several holes spread over the entire bottom of the fire pit. This would only work with above-ground fire pits, as air has to be able to reach the underside.

5. Install a System To Drain Water

If you have a fixed fire pit, you should ensure that there are drains to prevent the fire pit from filling with water, which makes metal fire pits rust in the long run. This is something that has to happen before you install a stationary fire pit. Otherwise, you’ll have to break the fire pit out in order to install the draining system properly.

If you’re planning on sitting around the fire pit, you probably prefer not to sit with your feet in the water, so you want to ensure that the water can flow from the fire pit away from your sitting area. You can dig a channel or install a drainpipe at the bottom of the fire pit, which leads away from it to wherever you want it to go. You can cover the drainpipe to conceal it once it’s properly installed and the fire pit has been placed there. 

This prevention method might take time, effort, and money. However, if made correctly, this will do wonders in avoiding a fire pit filled with water. If you’re unsure how to do it, ask someone else to do it for you. It’s incredibly important that it’s done well if you don’t want to do it all over again after a short while. This might be a job for a professional.

It’s worth noting that rust doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. A thin fire pit that isn’t well maintained—say, ⅛ inch—won’t take long to rust to the point that you start to be able to see through it. However, a thicker ¼-inch pit will have enough metal to form a patina of rust without compromising its integrity.

This patina will not only form a protective coating on the surface of your pit, but it can also give it a unique look.

Avoid All Of This!

So you can avoid all of this by simply not having a fire pit in your backyard or patio. Perhaps you can get something much smaller, such as a tabletop fire pit or something more portable that you can store in your garage during harsh weather.

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