Gas fireplace malfunction


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Old 12-10-16, 02:01 PM
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Gas fireplace malfunction

So I have not gotten intimate yet with this particular appliance, and I would love some assistance getting her working.
I have a Healilator GNDC36. I know, contractor grade junk that came with the house, but that's what I am stuck with for now.
So it worked last year, including during a power outage.
I have 2 wall switches, one for the flame and one for the blower. The blower works great, the flame switch does nothing. My pilot light is lit. I have read some material about changing the battery, but I think that's for an ignitor, which I don't have because I have a pilot light, and secondly, I can't find a battery anywhere.
As I said the flame switch does nothing including causing any sort of sound inside the under panel.
My garage logic tells me this switch should activate some sort of valve. And since it previously worked in a power outage I would guess there must be a battery somewhere. Obviously I have never changed any battery on this unit in the 6 years I have been here.
Any ideas?
Much appreciated-

-Al
 
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Old 12-10-16, 02:32 PM
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This operates on 3 volts and can either use a battery pack with 2 D cells or a transformer. You probably have the battery pack installed, as you surmise. You will find it behind the lower front panel.

You can find the installation manual for your fireplace on the heatilator site, which will show you how to remove the panel if you can't figure it out.
 
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Old 12-10-16, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Yes, I have been in the under panel. I checked again - no battery pack. I even checked in the switchbox itself thinking maybe a battery was stuffed in there - nope. I found the manual on line and no mention of a battery, but also no troubleshooting advice for my particular problem. I can see what I believe is the wire coming from the switch goes to what I believe may be the culprit. its probably a valve - it has the pilot light on/off/lighting knob and the pilot light adjustment knob. The two wires that come from the switch lead into this. The wires are tight. I was considering trying to jump these wire terminals which I guess would only rule out a bad switch, which is not likely. here's a pic. Any other thoughts?
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Old 12-10-16, 07:33 PM
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Here's the section of the manual that talks about the battery and shows where the battery would be connected. You should be able to trace from there and find where they hid it.....

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Old 12-10-16, 09:51 PM
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Paul.... he has the standing pilot version. No batteries required.
The red pushbutton (pilot lighter) is the giveaway.

The thermocouple holds the pilot valve closed and the thermopile generates the power to operate the valve. It is very important that the pilot light be burning properly or the main valve won't open.
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You can short the switch wires at the gas valve to rule out the switch.

In this diagram I highlighted the thermopile in orange. You need to measure what that DC voltage is without the switch connected.
Now close the switch or short the switch point.... what voltage do you get now ?

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Old 12-11-16, 06:06 AM
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Doh! blew right by that....thanks Pete!
 
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Old 12-11-16, 10:58 AM
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Ok, will test. AC power, correct?
 
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Old 12-11-16, 11:01 AM
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No.... very low DC voltage. Probably under 1 VDC.
 
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Old 12-11-16, 05:37 PM
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Well I shorted the switch wires at the valve and it lit right up! So is there anything more to the switch than just a switch? like a relay or other circuitry that could be failing? The switch itself failing just seems unlikely. I will try shorting the wires up at the switch once I get a little reassurance from you that that is a safe next test...
Thanks again!
 
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Old 12-11-16, 05:52 PM
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..and the thermopile has .36V with or without the switch connected. with switch connected and closed (off) .30V...
 
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Old 12-11-16, 06:02 PM
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There is nothing in that line. A short starts the heat.

I was trying to find out what the thermopile should put out normally.
In an ideal world it would be 750mv. (.75v)
 

Last edited by PJmax; 12-11-16 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 12-12-16, 04:28 PM
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Fixed!

I pulled the switch out from the wall and shorted the connection points on the switch, and it activated the flame. I hadn't yet disconnected the switch. I then tried the switch for some reason and now it is working. From that point on it was fixed and I couldn't reproduce the failure by wiggling the wires etc. I did disconnect wires, restrip, reconnect and reinstall in the box. I visually examined the wires in the switch box as much as I could and could see no defects. All is now working. The switch does have a heavy coat of overspray from the contractors paint job. Perhaps some latex got in there and insulated something.
Thank you PJMax an CarbideTipped for giving me enough reassurance to explore it without getting zapped or frying something.
I guess the lesson here is don't under-consider the simple and obvious problem.
I was ready to whip out my credit card and spend some bucks to get it going....

-Al
 
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Old 12-12-16, 04:44 PM
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Since you are only switching 1/2 of a volt.....any loose or dirty connection could kill the circuit.
Make sure the wires are tight on the gas valve too.
 
 

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