two gas fireplaces, neither will light...

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Old 01-01-21, 06:34 AM
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two gas fireplaces, neither will light...

Okay, both units were last serviced in late 2018/early 2019 (I wish I could remember why they both required service). They've worked pretty flawlessly since, except for that time this past September when I inadvertently shut off the main gas line. This our summer/weekend house so this time of year we normally arrive on a Thursday or Friday and first thing we do is turn both on and they usually just light right up, which they did for the last time the weekend before Christmas. This week we arrived on Tuesday and found neither would light; one had a pretty robust pilot lit, the other had the pilot out. Given the one pilot on/one off and the fact that gas heat and hot water were working fine I called my plumber hoping he might come the following day. He didn't.

Today I lit the unlit pilot, which lit pretty easily. Threw the switch and it lit but went out after a few seconds. Was able to relight once with the same result and then it wouldn't light at all. Went to the other unit that has had a robust pilot all along and threw that switch and it still won't light at all. Reading some of the recent threads here that have come down to the thermopile I'm guessing I need the fireplace guy, not the plumber.

If both thermopiles are bad that would seem a heck of a coincidence but as I stated before both units needed service at the same time two years ago, one of them fairly extensive including a valve and a thermo-something (not -stat).
 
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Old 01-01-21, 06:54 AM
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Use some compressed air and try to clean out the gas jets. Often dust and spider webs will clog the orifices.
 
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Old 01-01-21, 07:27 PM
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I doubt both thermopiles went bad.
Also..... they don't go bad just sitting there. They go bad when they get burned up.

Shutting the gas off for an extended period makes safety sense but introduces its own set of problems. As mentioned.... spiders love to crawl in the burners..... the air mixture area as well as the orifices supply a perfect nesting place.

Model numbers make servicing easier.
They aren't terribly complicated but a meter is needed to diagnose problems.
 
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Old 01-05-21, 04:22 PM
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I doubt both thermopiles went bad.
Also..... they don't go bad just sitting there. They go bad when they get burned up.
I agree it would be a crazy coincidence. They've worked great every weekend since September then suddenly this....
Shutting the gas off for an extended period makes safety sense but introduces its own set of problems. As mentioned.... spiders love to crawl in the burners..... the air mixture area as well as the orifices supply a perfect nesting place.
Gas has not been shut off since September, and I doubt I'll ever shut it off again; I'll just shut off the pilots in summer.
Model numbers make servicing easier.
They aren't terribly complicated but a meter is needed to diagnose problems.
The newer is Majestic DVR36, Ser. # B12A00 00072179; I've got calls in to two servicers....
 
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Old 01-08-21, 12:13 PM
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Okay, I just got them both serviced and they're now both fired up. It turns out it was July that I accidentally shut of the gas main, so late September/early October is when I lit both pilots turned both back on. In the living room (the one that had pilot lit but would not turn on) the pilot switch was set to "pilot", not "on", and it fired right up as soon as he corrected that. Odd that it has been lighting just fine for three months with that switch in the wrong position but I swear I haven't touched it since three months ago. I had the unit cleaned and got fresh "pixie dust" applied.

The dining room unit (the one that the pilot had gone out, but wouldn't stay on even after I lit it) had a lot of soot and scorching. It appeared that rocks were in the wrong positions, blocking some of the gas holes. We had an earthquake here in early November so we're thinking that may have been the cause. Once cleaned up it was lighting intermittently and we determined that the switch was the issue (I say "we" but it was 20 year old new technician Kobe). Kobe cleaned up the contacts and it now seems fine. Zero parts, $398 for both services.
 
 

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