Ventless garage heater problem (longish)

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Old 01-23-03, 08:13 PM
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Ventless garage heater problem (longish)

I have a ventless heater in my garage that I am having problems with. It is a 30k Btu, thermostatic control, blue flame natural gas heater made by Glo-warm (Desa International) and is 2 years old. I'm not sure if this could happen on another kind of heater/furnace but here goes.
Heater has been fine up until 2 weeks ago, when it shut off and wouldn't stay on when relit. I can light the pilot, and the pilot remains lit in the "pilot" position. The pilot is about 2" long and about 1" past the thermocouple. When I turn the burners on, the pilot shrinks in length to about 3/4" and the burners lite. The short pilot is just not long enough to be near the thermocouple, so the thermocouple senses no pilot and shuts the heater down.
I called the Desa tech phone number and the guy wasn't sure what would cause that. He said my house gas line pressure might be low...maybe turning the burners on takes some of the pressure from the pilot, and it shrinks in size. But that shouldn't have changed over the course of the last few months. He gave me the pressure range (6.5 - 7.5 in/wc) for the heater. I called the gas company and they said my house pressure should be 7". He also recommended cleaning/blowing out the pilot tube. I did that but no change. I am going to call Desa back tomorrow and see if they have other ideas.

Any ideas from anyone. BTW: I did search the archives and didn't find any troubleshooting info but did find that ventless heaters are not favorable to use.

Thanks for any info,
Steve H.
 
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Old 01-23-03, 08:45 PM
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srponies:

7" would be the correct pressure and the gas company says it "should be" 7" but what is the actual pressure.

The utility is normally responsible for the regulator and should be willing to come out to check the pressure.
They may charge though if the regulator is ok.

You could also call a service company to do this for you.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 03:07 AM
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Greg H - Thanks for the reply.
Would the gas company be able to check the pressure at the heater also, or just at the meter. Just wondering if there could be a pressure drop across the length of the house... my garage/heater is probably 80' from the meter. Also, if a service company measured pressure at the heater, can they adjust the regulator/meter or do I then have to call the gas company to do that?

Is it possible that they would have changed the gas supply over the last 2 weeks? The heater has been used for the last 2 years and has worked well up to that point.

Thanks again,
Steve H.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 05:59 AM
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srponies:

Normally they will check at the appliance, but if you call them they would be happy to explain their policies.
If not you will have to call a service company.


I took a quick look for info on these heaters and found a reference to a built in regulator.
Could be a problem there.

I would caution you to not try to use this heater untill you get it proffesionally serviced.

Direct combustion heaters are, in my opinion, a dangerous appliance.
They vent the products of combustion directly into your house.
I personally wouldn't want any flame byproducts in my living space, but if your heater is not operating under optimum conditions you will be exposing your family to undue risk.
 
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Old 01-24-03, 08:43 AM
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Well, I just spoke with someone else at Desa tech and they recommended replacing the pilot assy. My unit is just out of warranty so they won't cover the part. I went ahead and ordered it anyhow, seeing that I need it. It was $45 with shipping. The assy. includes the pilot, ignitor, and thermocouple so everything will be new. Hopefully that does it.

I'll let you know if that solves the problem.

Thanks,
Steve H.
 
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Old 01-28-03, 03:12 PM
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Just received the pilot assy. today. It came with the pilot tube, thermocouple, and ignitor as promised. Installed in 10 min. and the heater was back in action. Pilot flame stays about 2" long. Hope that it lasts through the rest of winter.

Thanks for the help,

Steve H.
 
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