Gas fire place won't start

Discussion in 'General Appliance Discussion' started by ccpyue, Mar 6, 2019.

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating:

  1. Mar 6, 2019 #1

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Hi, I have a gas fire place. Last winter it was still working fine. This winter, the pilot is lighting up as normal, but when I tried to turn it on, fire won't start at all. I have checked to make sure the gas switch is at "ON" position. I also checked the main gas valve is also at "ON". I wonder who can tell me where went wrong.

    Thank you very much. Gas Fire Place inside.jpg Gas Fire Place front.jpg
     
  2. Mar 6, 2019 #2

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    630
    Two possibilities; Small spiders may have built a web in the gas line restricting the flow, or the valve has failed and needs to be replaced.
     
  3. Mar 6, 2019 #3

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Hi Snoonyb, thank for input. I will try to use a vacuum to clean the gas line first, to see will that help. If not, it mean I have to replace the whole unit as I circled in the photo attached? Is so, I think I need a licensed gas company to do that.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Mar 7, 2019 #4

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Snoonyb

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    3,427
    Likes Received:
    630
    There is something else you can try. If the pilot is lit continuously, it is called a standing pilot and the flame surrounds a small tube that generates a millivolt signal that allows the burner to be controlled, or switched.

    This may be corroded or have failed. You can sand it with an emery board or fine sandpaper and if that cures the issue, then it is time to replace just that, the pilot generator.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2019 #5

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    JOAMOS

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    50
    Try jumping it at the top and bottom screws to verify it comes on. The top 2 connections appear to be your pilot generator connections and the top and bottom are the wires for the switch. If it does, it may be a bad switch or connection at the switch, something to try...But yes, the generator needs a good flame hitting it.
     
  6. Mar 7, 2019 #6

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    369
    I had an issue with mine years ago where the flex gas line got pushed into the control and grounded out the switch. I moved the line and it started. It doesn't look like that could be your problem. My point is sometimes it is something pretty simple, well simple once you figure it out.
     
    maxdad118 likes this.
  7. Mar 8, 2019 #7

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Thank you so much for all the valuable inputs. This weekend, I will have all tolls ready and sit tight to try every possible ways one by one. Hope the problem will solve. Thanks again!
     
    maxdad118 likes this.
  8. Mar 8, 2019 #8

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    JOAMOS

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    50
    Take a pair of needle nose pliers an open them enough to touch the top and bottom screws on the control valve(item you circled above)...don’t worry, it’s DC millivolts and you won’t get shocked.
     
  9. Mar 8, 2019 #9

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Hi maxdad118, it looks like a little bit scarily, but I want to try is out. So shall I first lit up the pilot light, turn the fire place to "ON", and then "short" the two screws (as per photo attached in BLUE color)? If this is the value problem, the fire should start?
     

    Attached Files:

    maxdad118 likes this.
  10. Mar 8, 2019 #10

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    JOAMOS

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    50
    Correct
     
  11. Mar 13, 2019 #11

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Today, I tried out the works. I first lightly sand the sensor next to the pilot light. Lighted up the pilot, then turn on the fire place, but fire won't start. Then I used a pliers tip to to connect the up and down two screws, fire started.

    Now what is that means? Is it the sensor problem or else?
     
  12. Mar 13, 2019 #12

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    JOAMOS

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    50
    I would now check your switch connections, jump the 2 wires going to the switch. If it comes on you may have too much resistance at the switch(bad sw) or a bad connection.
     
  13. Mar 13, 2019 #13

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Switch inside (2).jpg Switch inside (1).jpg Hi maxdad118,

    Bingo! Yes, this is the wall switch problem. I used sand paper lightly sand the contact (see the photos attached), and now the fire place works perfect.

    Since my wall switch is very old, I am looking to get a replacement one. Do you know what is this switch calls, and where can I get a modern one?

    Thank you so much for your assistance, save me lots of money to find a contractor to check.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2019
  14. Mar 13, 2019 #14

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Sparky617

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    369
    I had that happen on my thermostat at a new house I bought 30 years ago. The contacts on the thermostat got some paint on them from the spray painting of the house during construction. Weird thing was it worked fine in the heat mode, it didn't work in the AC mode. Interesting you have a wall mounted thermostat for your gas fireplace.
     
  15. Mar 13, 2019 #15

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    This wall switch is solely for the fire place. It hard-wired to the sensor next to the pilot light in the fire place. It said it is a "millivolt" switch, but I really don't know how it works. Just know there are two contact points inside the wall switch. Once they touched, fire starts.
     
    maxdad118 likes this.
  16. Mar 13, 2019 #16

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    maxdad118

    JOAMOS

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2017
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    50
    Awesome, get a simple millivolt HEATING ONLY thermostat, avoid ones that say fan on/auto or cool..glad everything worked out. Or just keep using that same one? Make sure your connections are tight and maybe refresh those connections? Save your money
     
    ccpyue likes this.
  17. Mar 13, 2019 #17

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    ccpyue

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    12
    Yes, I will still keep using this old one, as it works fine. Just polish up a little bit will do. Thanks maxdad118 for all the help.
     
    maxdad118 likes this.

Share This Page