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Old 2006-09-03, 09:34 AM   #1
filper
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Default Gas Fireplace Problems - Won't Light or Stay Lit

I can't relight my pilot. I've tried several times and although it does ignite, when I release the the button, the flame goes out.

It once stayed on for about a minute.

I have always turned off the pilot during the summer months as even the pilot seemed to radiate quite a bit of heat.

The fireplace is only 6 years old.

Any ideas ?
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Old 2006-09-03, 09:38 AM   #2
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Hi,
I've had this on and off again. Have you checked to see if there is enough gas going through. On my gas fireplace there is another valve that controls the amound of gas going to the fireplace which in turn controls the amount of flame the fireplace is producing.
I re-lit mine a couple of days ago and I was surprised that it stay lit. I held in the pilot for 30-45 seconds then moved the switch to on.
Voila!
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Old 2006-09-03, 09:43 AM   #3
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I should have titled the post 'Won't Stay Lit'... I tried to change it.

I never turned off the gas supply. The pilot just goes out when I release the knob.
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Old 2006-09-03, 09:56 AM   #4
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Sounds like it could be a faulty thermo-couple.
Do you have a voltage tester ? The thermo-couple should be giving off a small mV value when the pilot is on... I can't remember exactly but somwhere around 20mV.
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Last edited by CamG; 2006-09-03 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 2006-09-03, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamG View Post
Sounds like it could be a faulty thermo-couple.

Thats most likely the problem. Better now to replace it than in January. The part itself is not expensive but if your not comfortable changing it ( I wasn't ), then your looking at probably $100-$125 for the part and a furnace repair persons labour.

Last edited by MACJ; 2006-09-03 at 10:56 AM. Reason: Just wanted to indicate the price for replacement
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Old 2006-09-03, 10:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MACJ View Post
Thats most likely the problem.
Is that something I could do myself ? Cost ?
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Old 2006-09-03, 10:57 AM   #7
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The gas in the line often goes bad (air ingress or whatever) if not used for a while. Simply leave your finger on the pilot button a little longer and you should be fine and the pilot will stay lit when you release the button.

If that doesn't work, then the other issue is likely the cause.
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Old 2006-09-03, 12:44 PM   #8
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Do you have a wall switch for this fireplace? I recall having a similar problem a few years ago when we had a gas fireplace in a different home. Our problem started after about 6-8 years.

The problem turned out to be with the wall switch. When I investigated, I learned that this micro-amp (or some such designation) switch was going to cost some exhorbitant price, like $50 or $100 or something.

Then the staff at Home Depot told me I could use a regular wall switch. He said it would have to be replaced every four or five years, but it only cost something like $5.00.

It turned out that the original switch was the inexpensive kind too. I put in the cheap switch and everything was fine for as long as we lived there.
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Old 2006-09-03, 02:04 PM   #9
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If you are comfortable doing it I would check the thermo-couple, However here is one more thought...
Has the fireplace been hit or knocked with anything heavy like furniture ?

There is a limit switch on the outside of most units that is pressed between the fireplace and the wall / bracing holding the fireplace. If the fireplace is hit hard enough to move it, the limit switch will open. This opens the circuit to the coil on the gas valve and will not let it close electronically, only manually, which is what you are doing when you try to start it. This limit switch is a safety switch incase someone drives into the side of your house.. it shuts off the gas immediately to turn the fire place off….

This happened to my fireplace about 3 years ago and it took me almost a day to find the darn switch. There is probably a jumper on the front panel that you can short out to test this switch, however you would probably need the schematics for your fireplace to find it.

If you are not comfortable doing any of this I would call in a professional.

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Old 2006-09-03, 02:32 PM   #10
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Have you take a little piece off steel wool to the tip of the pilot and remove any excess build up of carbon there maybe? You could have some blocked holes.
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Old 2006-09-03, 03:33 PM   #11
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I had a similar problem about a year ago. It appeared to me that the red igniter button was not coming all the way back out when I released it. When I reached a gasman on the phone, he advised me to turn off the gas to the fireplace and to then push the red button in and out several times in succession in an attempt to free it up and then to turn the gas back on and try it again. It worked and I have not had that problem since.
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Old 2006-09-03, 09:11 PM   #12
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I have an older style fireplace. It's about 16 years old. I have to take the front glass off to light the pilot. There is a switch that the glass presses up against that cuts off the gas. It's a PITA to relight and get the glass back in place while holding the pilot in. This may not be applicable being a newer fireplace.
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Old 2007-12-21, 10:37 PM   #13
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Default Pilot won't stay lit

Same problem here. Suddenly I go to turn on the burner, but note that the pilot is not burning (It was, only two days ago)....lighting the burner while holding in the control okay, wait a minute or two, let go of the button and off goes the pilot. I've done this time and time again, all evening. Can someone explain the technology involved here? I know the thermocouple must get hot in order to open the valve for the burner, but what causes the pilot to stay lit after holding the button in for a minute and then releasing it? Is there an orifice which must get hot in order to remain open? And if it's defective, where do I go to find a replacement? Are these things kind of universal? Lowe's has a control for $68, but how will I know it would work on mine? Thanks for any guidance here (other than "call the man"). I'm quite certain I can replace whatever needs replacing, if I can find it.
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Old 2009-10-27, 05:17 AM   #14
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Default Is this a thermocouple problem?

I have a gas fireplace in which the pilot light lights up fine in the normal way, good strong flame, and stays lit. But if I try to turn on the main burner by twisting the knob, it will not budge (about 5 degrees of play either way). Why is this? Bad thermocouple? Somethine else? What should I check? Does having the glass front off when doing this make a difference i.e. are there some safety switches or something that can be checked? How would I check if the unit is sensing trouble (if that is what is happening)? I think this is a SIT630 valve in a Majestic HEVT32TN fireplace
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Old 2009-01-02, 11:26 PM   #15
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Default Fireplace will not stay lit

You may have a simple problem to fix. Remove the plastic logs and with pilot light off, look for a small hole in tube to the left of pilot light. You may need a flashlight. Take a can of air and bend the plastic tube that comes with it about 1/2 inch on the end so that it curves to the right. Place tube in hole and blow so that the air heads back toward the pilot light. Just spray once or twice lightly. Your problem is probably dust in this small tubing. When dust accumulates, the pilot light will light, but when you try to light fireplace the pilot light goes out before fireplace lights. This is a safety feature. Good luck.
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