gas fireplace will not stay lit questions

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by handyguys, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. Dec 5, 2010 #1

    handyguys

    handyguys

    handyguys

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    Starting a new thread instead of tacking on to
    http://www.houserepairtalk.com/f8/heatilator-nd4236i-main-burner-will-not-light-9750/

    my situation is a little different.

    I have a Heatalator gas fireplace. I dont know the model number off hand.
    It has a standing pilot, no blower, direct vent (horizontal with one 45d el to termination just a few feet away). Its about 6 years old.

    The fireplace lights with a low voltage wall switch, no thermostat or remote.

    I haven't had any trouble with it until the last few times I used it.
    The pilot lights fine and stays lit. When the switch is on the fireplace lights and will burn a while. After a few minutes it goes out (pilot is still lit), if I don't do anything it will re-light the flames and burn a while more but then go off again. I haven't timed these cycles but it will keep cycling on and off for as long as the switch is in the on position.

    Google is frustrating me while searching for a solution do to the vast number of "pilot wont stay lit" questions and posts on the net. That's not my problem.

    When the fireplace is lit it seems normal.

    I suspect a dirty something (thermocouple?) Suggestions as to where to start troubleshooting?

    Thanks!
    b
     
  2. Dec 5, 2010 #2

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Handyguy, I found on another forum that there is a flame sensor next to the pilot light and this gets dirty. It said to gently clean with steel wool. I tried to link it, but alas, my linking skills are greatly lacking.:eek:
     
  3. Dec 5, 2010 #3

    inspectorD

    inspectorD

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    Does this bother you? Linking lacker...or lackey..err...um, never mind.

    Handyguy, Also try blowin it all out with your airgun, sometimes contacts get stuck, could be a coupler, or somthing else. :eek:
     
  4. Dec 5, 2010 #4

    paul52446m

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    you probably have a power-pile type thermocouple in the pilot assemble. Is there two Wires
    coming from the pilot thermocouple? Is so make sure the pilot flame is clean, burning blue
    and burning at least 1/2" around the coupler. If its not it will not produce enough power to open the gas valve. Make sure all wire connections are clean and tight. You also might be losing power through a switch that is getting bad. Take the switch out and jump the two wires across and if it keeps going, the switch is bad. If all this chicks out than you might have a week power-pile. When the main burner is on can you see if the pilot flame is being pulled away from the thermocouple? If the switch and pilot are good then you would have to check the millivolt power that the thermocouple is producing to see if you need to replace it or do you have a weak magnet in the gas valve. Later Paul
     
  5. Dec 6, 2010 #5

    handyguys

    handyguys

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    Thanks everyone - I was thinking along these lines (dirty, power generator thing, etc). I had the fireplace on today while the fam was decorating for Christmas. I'll let it cool down and dig into it one night this week.
     
  6. Dec 7, 2010 #6

    vral

    vral

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    Hello guys, I have similar problem too. My fireplace also doesn't stay lit. I have Superior fireplace but I don't know what model. I just bought this house and this is our first winter in this house. Pilot comes on fine and stay lit and after turning on the main fireplace, it goes out in less then a minute. This is closes fireplace that has a glass window on the front. So I opened up the glass window and then I turned on the fireplace, it came up and stay on until I turned off. So my question is, what do I need to look to see what is causing the fireplace to go out when the glass windows is on. To me, it seems like either fireplace isn't getting enough oxygen or something. Does anyone know what I should look for next? Thanks.
     
  7. Dec 7, 2010 #7

    paul52446m

    paul52446m

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    Have you checked the air intake to make sure it is open. Is there slide air doors under the glass door, if so are they open? Is you damper open a little so the unit can get a up draft started? Paul
     
  8. Dec 12, 2010 #8

    vral

    vral

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    Paul, funny things is I don't see anything under the glass door to open air intake. In fact that's the first thing I checked after I figured that it's not getting any air from outside. The chamber is closed from the bottom so it has to get the air from outside vents and I don't see any lever or anything that I could try to open those vents (if they are closed). Could there be anything else I need to look for. To add more details about my fireplace, it has two glass-doors on the both sides. It is located between my living room and hearth which is divided by fireplace in the middle. The vent is horizontal. This unit has gas valve this is manufactured by SIT(i think). I have been searching on google to get more information by looking at fireplaces and their specs since I don't have any kind of manual nor has any information about the model # of this unit. Top of this fireplace is completely closed with metal plate so I don't know how it is exhausting through vents. I did find something about spill switch which could have affect on not keeping the fireplace on after turning it on if I understood correctly but I can't seem to find reset switch on this fireplace. Is there a way to find out the model number of this fireplace? It would be easier if I knew the exact model to do more research. Thanks, Vral.
     
  9. Dec 12, 2010 #9

    paul52446m

    paul52446m

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    It sounds like your vent has a inter and outer to it. Your burned gas goes out a center stack like maybe 4 or 5" and the outer pipe is 6 or 7 " That 1" space between the inter and outer is where the air comes in, Then it goes around the unit into the burner. You might have to take the outside vent apart so you can start checking that space between the two pipes where the air comes in. You might be spider webbed up or some other restriction in there.
    You might have to take the stack off the unit so you can check the space on the inside also. mobile homes a wall heater take there air in like this. Later Paul
     
  10. Jan 24, 2012 #10

    Carolyn1094

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    I am having the same exact problem and wonder if anyone has come up with an answer. It lights and burns for awhile and then goes out and if I don't turn off the switch it comes back on. Thanks all.
     
  11. Dec 22, 2012 #11

    dkelly

    dkelly

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    Hello Paul, (paul52446m) I was experiencing this problem - I want to verify your point of 1/2" around Thermopile. My Thermo Pile and Coupler are 1/2" away from Pilot and Gas intake. Pilot is always healthy and when burning, fire is as well. Do you mean with Pilot on, the flame should touch and scorch the coupler and pile always? They are. When the flame is on, the Pilot barely reaches either coupler.

    My problem was the gas feed was not coming on when using the external wall switch. Five or six attempts without heatilator, the feed would come on and then die after two minutes.

    Your answer will help me determine if Thermo Pile and Coupler are deteriorating or I have more trouble shooting to do.

    I suspected overheating but I was/am not sure. I suspect not because this is direct vent and the wind, if anything could blow out the flame. In fact with the glass off, the flame and pilot are blown out on a day like today. I did not see any adjustment screws and feel lucky I did not find adjustment screws because I would have definitely played with them.

    The fireplace ran for hours around Thanksgiving. We operated rarely. Then week before Christmas I started the fireplace and could not get it run over several days/attempts for more than 2 minutes. I cleaned thermopile then thermocoupler.

    Current status, after cleaning, checking connections. I turned it on without glass, wind blew it out twice. Put the glass on and it ran for two minutes and died. Then I turned of the external wall switch, turned it back on after 30 seconds. The fire has been burning for 30 minutes.
     
  12. Dec 22, 2012 #12

    oldognewtrick

    oldognewtrick

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    Paul was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer several months ago and hasn't been on in quite a while, hopefully someone else can answer your question. He is greatly missed around here.
     
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  13. Dec 26, 2012 #13

    navarhidas

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    I have the same problem, my unit will go on and stay on for about 20 minutes, shut off and restart immediately but only stay one for 10 minutes then agaibn for 5 then nothing. I have to shut it all off and start again to heat my house. i have changed the flame sensor and the ignitor twice each. At a loss here. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks all and have a Merry Christmas
     
  14. Feb 16, 2015 #14

    mdaniels

    mdaniels

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    You are absolutely correct! First check the pilot inlet holes maybe an inch or so behind the pilot flame, on mine they were hard to notice when they're plugged look like specs of dirt, there were two holes, take a paper clip and push through them, and retry. Also if the flame from the pilot is mostly yellow it will not light, that's how mine was, it must be mostly blue. after I cleared the pilot inlet holes it was blue and acted as if it were brand new, and became very quick to light and light fire place.
    With my fire place it began taking a very long time to light, and eventually it would shut off when I turned it on from there. then it wouldn't light at all. Good luck Mike
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  15. Feb 16, 2015 #15

    mdaniels

    mdaniels

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    If the flame is mostly yellow, the pilot inlet holes are probably plugged. Just about an inch or so after the pilot flame there are two holes that may be hard to see because of dirt that has plugged the hole, take a paper clip and push them through, when I did this the flame turned blue and ran like brand new. Mike
     
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