Gas Fireplace going out?

Old 02-20-16, 04:36 PM
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Gas Fireplace going out?

So I have a few issues with my gas fireplace. The last month it's been taking forever to come on after the pilot is lit and I switch it on. Used to take 5 seconds tops and gradually it's gotten worse to 5 minutes after I flip the on switch. Now also sometimes it won't stay lit and keeps going off and turning back on by itself. The pilot is still lit the whole time but the fire itself is what's shutting off. As bad as doing it on and off every 30 seconds the other night, about once an hour night before that and then last night it worked fine. Any ideas?
Old 02-20-16, 04:51 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The gas pilot flame is very important to the operation of the fireplace. It not only keeps the pilot valve open via the thermocouple.... it needs to be strong enough to generate enough voltage thru the thermopile (pilot generator) to operate the main valve.

The flame needs to be strong and bushy like a miniature blow torch. A typical problem is a partially clogged pilot orifice.

You can post the make and model for more precise help.
Old 02-23-16, 11:54 AM
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The puilot burner should look like a small blowtorch, with a sharp blue flame engulfing the pilot generator.

If the pilot flame is a soft flame, like a candle flame, that's easily blown around or has yellow tips or doesn't engulf the pilot generator, you have a pilot burner that is past dues for cleaning.

A cheap and dirty way to clean the pilot, at least for a while is to turn off the pilot light and let it cool. Use a straw or better yet, canned air or an air compressor to blow air into the throat of the pilot burner.

Another common cause of the problem is that the wall switch has built up resistance to the very small voltage passing through it. Take the switch out and jump the contact to see if that causes the main burner to light reliably. If so, replace the switch.

Those two issues will cover 75% or so of the problem you describe.

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