Pilot lite will not stay lit


  #1  
Old 10-20-04, 06:05 PM
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Pilot lite will not stay lit

Hi,

I recently installed a Dayton space heater in my wood shop. I got it from a friend and it's about ten years old. It'sthe kind that hangs from the ceiling and is 25,000 btu input and 20,250 btu output.

After I ran the natural gas line to the unit and tried to light the pilot, it wouldn't stay lit. I held the button for the pilot for over 2 minutes several times, and nothing.

I was told that it could be the thermalcouple, so I replaced that.I held the button until the new thermalcouple was red hot, and it would not stay lit.

What could be the next thing to check?

ANy help is appreciated!
 
  #2  
Old 10-21-04, 05:50 AM
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Hello Herm

Welcome back. Glad you stopped in.

If the T-Couple did not solve the problem and will not allow the pilot to stay on, be sure the pilot flame is all blue. No yellow. If any doubts or flame looks or appears soft and or weak, pilot assembly may be dusty. Use air compressor to blow out pilot assembly. Pilot flame must have a sharp crisp looking all blue flame.

Might be the magneto inside the gas control valve. On some controls, the T-Couple screws into a removeable magneto. If the magneto can be removed (unscrewed) out of the gas control valve, might be worth a try to replace it. Replacing just that part may solve the problem without having to replace the entire gas control valve.

Some T-Couples can be defective upon purchasing. Try another one. Be sure it is positioned correctly into pilot assembly and only snuggly screwed into magneto head. Clean T-C end the threads into magneto and up inside magneto head. Any bit of dust may cause a contact problem. Only dealing with a 1/4 volt DC current. Does not take much to create poor contact.

Every heater has some type of safety device other than the T-C. Look for and follow wires gas control valve to such device at top of firebox or midway down. Safety device inline between T-C and gas control valve. Might be the safety device, (flue vent or overheat safety) is defective. Ohn test. Should be continuity. If not, defective or shorted. Replace part.

All else fails, gas control likely defective. Replace with OEM or like kind for the BTU range and heater type. Heating parts supply stores in area will have parts needed.

About all the help can provide at this time. Glad to help you more if needed and possible. Stop in again.

Good Luck.
Tom
 
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Old 10-21-04, 07:54 AM
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Thanks Tom,

I'll try some of the suggestions that you posted. I'll let you know what happens. I really appreciate all the information!

It's good to be back, haven't had a chance to get online too much lately. You should be seeing more posts from me in the future.

Thanks!

Herm
 
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Old 10-21-04, 04:22 PM
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Hi Herm

Always glad to help and glad I can.

Yes. Should post more. Your knowledge, experience and expertise is gladly welcomed and sorely missed. You need to be reinstated as moderator asap.

Advise when ready and it will be done....

Now get working on the heater...haha

And skip making the scrape wood. Make fine furniture instead....

Tom
 
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Old 11-04-04, 08:01 PM
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Tom,

After screwing around with this heater for a coupla weeks now (it hasn't been that cold in the Chicago area yet), I decided to call a local heating guy to have him look at the heater. He suggested that if I wanted to save money, I should remove the gas valve from the unit and bring it to him.

I tried removing it but after tapping on it a few times to try a loosen the threads, I stopped. It wouldn't budge and I didn't want to damage anything. After that, I decided to hook everything back up to it and try to see if it worked - and viola! - works great.

Must have loosened a frozen part or some dust or whatever.
The hammer is the ultimate tool!!!!
 
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Old 11-05-04, 03:28 AM
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Hi: Herm

Tapping may have loosened a stuck internal valve. Actually, the valve is only a tiny disk that gets lifted off the seat to allow gas to pass. That tiny disk is lifeted by the solenoids coil which is energized by the small current prodiced by the thermocouple. Jarring the gas control valve likely loosened it.

The gas valves are always rather difficult to remove. Threaded tightly onto the gas intake manifold and the sealant is the hardening type. Used to reduce chances of leakage during mass assembly line production.

Glad you got the heater fixed and working without spending too much money. Only precaution with such heaters is the accumulation of wood dust. Be sure to keep the unit clean to prevent a fire. See amny of those types go up in flames as a result of wood dust accumulation. Highly flammable stuff wood dust and or shavings are.

Sharp Advice.

Personal Reminder:
Buckle Up & Drive Safely.
"The Life You Save, May Be Your Own."
 
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Old 11-16-04, 01:14 PM
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Tom,

If I could ask you one more question about this. The thermocouple seems to be the problem now.

The heater works ok for a while - the pilot lite seems to stay on while the heater goes through its cycle, with the burners turning on and off at certain intervals, as well as the fan. After it goes through this cycle a few times, the pilotlite goes out. Also I noticed that if so much as barely touch the small tube for the t couple, the whole thing shuts down, even when I do it while the burners are on.

Now, you mentioned in the last post that there is a small current coming from the t couple, and the cheap little clip that came with it to hold it in place doesn't hold it firmly. Can I assume that it may be getting jarred enough when the fan goes on to lose contact somehow by moving slightly?

Again, your help in this matter is greatly appreciated, and after I follow your forthcoming advice, and it still doesn't work right, I may have to break down and call a professional repair guy.

Thank you

Herm
 
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Old 11-16-04, 06:12 PM
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Hi: Herm

That cheap clip is only there, inserted into the pilot assembly, to hold the T-Couple in the pilot assembly. So the element end of the T-Couple (TC) slides up into the pilot assembly and into the clip. The clip than holds the TC in the pilot assembly. Picture view should be on the instructions that came with or in the package with the TC.

If the TC is held in place correctly but any movement of the thin tube from the element end of the TC causes the pilot to drop out, than the nut end of the TC is not screwed into the magneto head correctly. May be loose or not making good contact.

Thermocouple end, at the end of the nut, may not be cleaned well or the inside of the mag head is dirty. Mag head is the part the TC screws into. Magneto is a part of the gas valve. Most have a red plastic ring around them but not all do.

Magneto may also be defective. Can be unscrewed out of gas valve on some gas valves but not all gas valves. Some are an intergal part of the gas valve and cannot be removed and replaced.

I suspect a poor connection at the TC to mag connection location. Unscrew TC out of magneto, clean inside magneto and tip of TC that screws into magneto. Retry. Be sure all other wires at the gas control valve or snugly attached and or not touching each other.

If poor contact of TC to magneto not the problem, may need to either install a new magneto into gas valve, if that gas valve has a replaceble mag or have to replace the enitre gas valve.

Gas valve just may have a defective internal solenoid. Which is not repairable. Thus an entire new gas valve must be installed. So may words above to describe a condition which can be determined in person in less than 5 minutes....be right over......Hopefully able to help, in text above words only.

Think I covered about every aspect of all the possible causes. Sure hope so and hope info helps to determine the exact cause. Maybe missed something above which should be re read or re tried. Glad to help as much as possible.

Tom
 

Last edited by Sharp Advice; 11-17-04 at 08:33 PM.
  #9  
Old 11-16-04, 07:47 PM
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You sir, are a wealth of information.

Thank you for all your input, and patience with me.

I will try all of your suggestions.


Herm
 
 

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