old floor heater

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Old 11-12-11, 10:59 PM
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old floor heater

Hello, I have a old floor gas heater that is control by a Thermostatic. The problem is when the thermostatic is turned on to a degree that should turn on the heater, it does not turn on. I have too go under the house and tap on the gas value for it to fire up. The gas value was replaced with a new one. The old one had a rod connecting to it. To turn on the pilot light and another one to turn on the burners. The new I have to go under the house too light the pilot. The heater worked good for a year in the winter, would turn on and off on it's own. But now it will not turn on, again and it's a cold old house. can any one help, do I need too replace the gas value again?

Thank you for your time
 
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Old 11-12-11, 11:40 PM
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Describe the appearance of the pilot light. It should look like a small blowtorch with a sharp blue flame engulfing the rof sticking up into the flame.

Roughly what is the diameter of the rod --- about 1/8" or about
1/3"?
 
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Old 11-13-11, 08:04 AM
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yes thats the pilot light, it is on and it's about 1/3
 
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Old 11-13-11, 08:23 AM
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You need to describe the appearance of the flame as asked earlier if you want some help.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 09:20 AM
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the pilot light looks like a blowtorch with a sharp blue flame engulfing the rof sticking. the pilot light is lite with a blue flame. to me it seems like the gas valve is not passing gas though it.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 10:51 AM
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From the diameter of the rod sticking into the pilot burner, you appear to have a millivolt control system. The rod is a pilot generator which generates a small voltage to operate the gas valve directly from the heat of the pilot flame.

The most common cause of the gas valve not opening in such a system is a dirty pilot burner and pilot orifice which don't put adequate heat on the pilot generator to provide enough voltage to open the gas valve reliably. That's why if you jog the gas valve it may turn on.

Disassembling and cleaning the pilot burner and pilot orifice is the recommended thing to do, since it's likely to solve the problem, costs no money to do and is probably maintenance that needs to be done in any case.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 12:49 PM
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Another thing to consider is that floor furnaces tend to be VERY old equipment --- probably 50+ years old.

Maintenance tends to be neglected. Safety hazards can develope, such as a cracked heat exchanger or plugged chimney.

If you haven't had maintenance work done on the furnace in several years (which isn't likely with a dirty pilot burner), having a good repairman in to clean and inspect the furnace is recommended.

Cleaning the pilot burner, burners and inspecting the heat exchanger and chimney would be part of that.

What you could do would be to remove the floor grill and the baffles below the floor level and use a wire brush and vacuum to clean out all the dust, dirt, rats and whatever that tends to never be cleaned out of floor furnaces.

Do all that and when you get done you will have a safe and HAPPY floor furnace!
 
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Old 11-13-11, 02:42 PM
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Thank you, I will go under the house and take the pilot burner off and clean it, I f I need too replace it where could I buy one? and what would I ask for? I replace the gas valve with a robertshaw 700mvrlc and it does say it is millvolt system. I was wounder what makes the power too open the valve.

Thanks again
 
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Old 11-13-11, 06:24 PM
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By chance did you connect the old vent tubing to the new valve, assuming there was a tubing.
What type of thermostat do you have? If there is a heat anticipator in it, it will suck up needed voltage to operated the system. Are you able to take voltage reads at the gas valve. You will need a meter capable of reading 0-1000 millivolts.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 06:27 PM
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It's very unlikely you would need to replace the pilot burner. It's possible you might need to replace the pilot generator, which is what generates about .5 volts DV voltage to operate the gas valve.

Odds are that cleaning the pilot burner and pilot orifice will get the furnace working again. But keep in mind the need for maintenance ---that should not be ignored. Defects you would not notice can be hazardous.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 08:11 PM
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pilot generator? what is that?, the polit light had a tube to the gas valve and there where two wire coming out of it to the gas valvewhere can I get a new pilot generator , thanks again
 
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Old 11-13-11, 09:25 PM
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The pilot generator is the 1/3" rod with the wires coming out the bottom.


The pilot generator probably isn't the problem. Cleaning the pilot burner and pilot orifice will probably solve the problem.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 10:43 AM
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it's the Pilot & Generator this one is really old. I have pictures of it, but how can I post them. where would I get a new one?
 
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Old 11-14-11, 11:01 AM
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Did you clean the pilot burner and pilot orifice?

----------------------------------------------------------------
 
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Old 11-14-11, 11:03 AM
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yes, but this one is really old, can I send you a picture of it?
 
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Old 11-14-11, 11:31 AM
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Old 11-14-11, 11:46 AM
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Old 11-14-11, 12:22 PM
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That one is REALLY old! It combines the pilot burner and pilot generator into a single unit.

I don't really recall how to take that apart to clean it. I think I'd try spraying every nook and cranny with canned air or better, compressed air under whatever pressure is available.

You'd need to buy a new pilot burner and pilot generator to replace it, which might not be easy.

If cleaning it doesn't work I'd have a repairman replace it for you. You'd need to inform him that you need to replace the pilot burner and pilot generator.

Have him inspect the heat exchanger, clean the burners and check the chimney at the same time.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 04:31 PM
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What you have is a really old 50+ years General Controls PG-1
at best in its present condition is probably 200mv open read. These were originally 320mv open read and factory fresh. To clean you unscrew that knurled screw and the orifice slips out. Clean inside and also all the little hole that are behind the little thermocouples around the top. I am assuming the new gas valve is a 100% shut off model, that will require the 750 mv PG and that will fix the problem. DO NOT replace with this model you already have.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 10:05 PM
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what model would you suggust?
 
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Old 11-15-11, 12:04 PM
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PG-9 is the best one ever made:

Google "PG-9 pilot generator" and look for one around $40. You notice they come in Left or right flame, I quess in your case it won't matter since your not replacing like for like.
 
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Old 11-16-11, 10:32 AM
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Red face

Thanks too all that help me, I replaced the pg-1 with a pg-9 and it now turns on and off. All this time it was the pilot generator. If any one is looking for a pg-1 I found one, new old stock from a guy back east that still had them. I jump the gun and bought it, don't need it now.

Thanks again
 
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Old 11-16-11, 07:17 PM
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Glad it worked out for you
 
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