DV heater burner blows out pilot

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  #1  
Old 09-15-08, 08:38 AM
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DV heater burner blows out pilot

New problem for this heating season.

2 small (15000 BTU) nat. gas heaters in my cottage. On one the pilot will stay lit indefinitely but when the burner lights it "sucks" the pilot away from the pilot burner and thermocouple. The pilot flame will flicker on & off but eventually the thermocouple cools to the point that the gas valve shuts off. I vacuumed all the crap out of the chamber, removed & cleaned the pilot burner & gas tube but this didn't help. No obstructions to the through-wall vent and no wind blowing outside. Good-sized pilot flame, nice & blue and it is adjustable with the gas control valve.

The other heater was working perfectly.

I'm out of ideas what would cause this.
 
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Old 09-17-08, 07:36 AM
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I've run into this with furnaces and water heaters with standing pilots. I cure this by bending the thermocouple toward the hood, in any fashion you can, so the thermocuple remains in the line of fire when the flame tries pulling up and away. And this is for situations where I know the pilot flame is not paltry.

If it were paltry, you'd have to find out why. First you'd have to take out the pilot tube and make sure orifice is not plugged. If it is, clean it out without enlarging the tiny hole. And if it is not plugged, then adjust the pilot flame somewhat higher. Often these adjustment screws are under a larger real flat cap screw you first have to take out. It may say pilot adj. next to it.
 
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Old 09-17-08, 06:01 PM
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The pilot has a good flame but it goes right out when the main burner lights. I removed & cleaned the pilot tube but it didn't help. I tried increasing the pilot size with the adjustment screw. I could turn it down but couldn't make it larger. I've seen reference to a pilot orifice. Where is it? Maybe it's plugged a little? A salesman told me to disconnect the main gas line from the valve and make sure the screen is clean. I don't know why this would make the pilot go out while the main flame looks strong...

I did like his suggestion to remove the heater and bring it in for service. Sounds much cheaper than taking a day off work and driving up there to arrange a service call. If the tech needs to return a 2nd time, it's another lost day of work.
 
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Old 09-17-08, 06:51 PM
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All the standing pilots I have seen have the orifice at the pilot flame end, in the hardware there. They are like this little aluminum cup with a tiny hole in it that is inserted in where the hood is.

You may also have a sticky gas valve that is not shutting down evenly and causes some sort of concussion that snuffs out the flame. But between cleaning the orifice and possibly doing all you can to get the pilot flame into the thermocouple on the side where the flame pulls away, this all may do some good.
 
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Old 09-18-08, 04:29 PM
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Thank you. I'm heading up there this weekend hoping to get lots of work done. Going alone so I won't have any excuses

I don't know how old these 2 heaters are but for sure over 10 years. If it isn't an easy & inexpensive fix then I'll replace it. Fortunately a local dealer told me that Empire hasn't changed those models in decades so it should be an easy swap.
 
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