gas fireplace doesn't always start up.

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Old 10-15-11, 07:06 PM
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gas fireplace doesn't always start up.

Our Gas fireplace has a nice strong pilot light (three inch yellow flame with blue base) and starts up with a switch on the wall.. Lately for the past couple seasons the wallswitch has been pushed up- we have to 'waft' the front glass door(s) to create a small breeze so the pilot light will wave back and forth to 'eventually and hopefully' the fireplace will go 'woomf' and the fireplace starts.
I'd like to investigate and repair this myself.. Is this normal behavior/ occurance for a 15 year old fireplace..? Is it easy to fix? Just how does the fireplace know how much natural gas to dispense before it gets shut off so the fireplace doesn't act like the propane BBQ-, (i.e. too much wooomf) if too much gas is release before flame is ignited?????
 
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Old 10-15-11, 11:13 PM
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The problem is the three inch yellow flame, which indicates that the pilot burner and pilot orifice need to be removed and cleaned.

The pilot light should have a sharp blue flame, like a small blowtorch.

That sharp flame will heat up the pilot generator enough to provide the voltage to turn on the gas valve reliably.
 
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Old 10-16-11, 06:57 AM
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Good to find out ... will get that cleaned ...

Thankyou
 
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Old 10-16-11, 11:48 AM
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The amount of gas the burner uses (burner input) is a function of the size and design of the hole in the burner manifold that squirts a jet of natural gas/propane into the burner and the pressure of that gas, set by a regulator in the gas valve.

If the fireplace is operating properly, there should be no delay between the gas valve turning on the gas and the gas lighting off the pilot burner. If there is a delay, the fireplace needs to have the burners and/or pilot burner cleaned to correct the problem.
 
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Old 10-16-11, 01:13 PM
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will Google Pilot Light+cleaned to see if I can do it myself......
 
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Old 10-16-11, 01:28 PM
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You can try shutting the pilot off and letting it cool. If you have some canned air, spray that into the throat of the pilot burner. If you don't, use a straw to blow air into the throat of the pilot burner to blow out accumulated debris.

Often that enough to restore normal operation for months or a year.

A quality job involves disassembling the pilot burner and pilot orifice for cleaning.
 
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Old 10-17-11, 08:04 AM
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I didn't have any canned air.. So I hooked up the hose of the vacuum cleaner to suck and 1st scraped the 'pole' with an old toothbrush .., and then I had a straight pin and tried to insert the pin into the gas nozzle to clear out any debris ., I then sucked the pilot area with the hose.. and voila' a nice blue flame that sounded like a blow torch . and the fireplace lite up when switched within seconds ....

Thankyou once again ..
 
 

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