No gas for pilot?


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Old 04-28-08, 11:15 AM
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No gas for pilot?

This winter I bought a vacation cabin and went up to use it a few times. There are 2 natural gas direct-vent wall heaters, a gas water heater and a stove. When I leave I shut off the gas ball valves located next to each appliance. Upon return the stove & water heater are easy to light but the 2 heaters take 3 to 4 minutes of holding the red button down before gas comes out for the pilot. I could literally put a c-clamp on the button and go make a sandwich while waiting for gas to come out. It appears air is coming out because the lighter flame does flicker when near the pilot assembly.
Why should it take so long for pilot gas to arrive on just the heaters? The distance from the ball valve to the gas control valve is about the same for all the appliances. And it doesn't seem to make any difference if I'm gone 1 week or 8.
 

Last edited by mach70; 04-28-08 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 04-28-08, 01:26 PM
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Wall Heaters

Some heaters of that style have extremely small pilot orifices.
 
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Old 04-29-08, 05:34 AM
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If you're saying it's normal to have to depress the red button for 4 minutes before it can be lit then the owners manual is a complete farce ("a few seconds").
 
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Old 04-29-08, 06:43 AM
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Yes, it may take a while. Rather than shutting off the gas on the ball valve, shut it off on the gas valve itself.
 
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Old 04-29-08, 04:08 PM
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A cabin - with natural gas? Not propane? Is there a chance there was propane here once before it possibly got switched over to natural gas? And that the heater orifices were never switched to natural gas? Or someone added these heaters that came from some place with propane and no-one ever paid no mind to that? Just thought I'd ask.

Do the pilot and burners put out good fire, once purged?
 
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Old 04-29-08, 06:21 PM
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Good Point

Ecman makes a good point. If those heaters have LP orifices in them, the orifice would be way small. The heaters should be labeled for the type of gas. (LP or Natural)
 
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Old 04-29-08, 08:43 PM
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I'll check the labeling next time I'm there. The pilot and burner work great once lit--nice even flame. My last visit I just left the pilots lit. I'm not real crazy about doing this when I might not be back for a month but I need to make it so my wife can go up without me and have heat.

I'll certainly try leaving the ball valve on and only turning the control valve to OFF. If it relights in a reasonable amount of time it would be a good compromise. I'd like to eventually be able to light the pilot by using the piezo spark igniter
 
 

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