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· Banned
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Against my better judgement at the time, I recently was talked into having an old relic of a freestanding propane fireplace converted to natural gas. It will be a lot cheaper than buying a nice new attractive one said the gas fitter, who is a family friend. :vs_no_no_no:

Turns out the job was too much for him. By the end of Spring it was functioning and I chose to leave the pilot on all summer. When the cold arrived it worked quite well until it just didn't one day. And getting Buddy back is not so easy.

The pilot would light but it seems the thermopile couldn't get hot enough to stay lit. except if I removed the glass cover.

With the glass removed the flame was good and well vented. As soon as I put the glass seal back on the whole thing would extinguish.

This told me (I thought) that there was a clog before the flame and not in the chimney. Although at one point the gas fitter did come back and give it a go, he scaled the ladder in a rain storm with hurricane force winds ( ok not hurricane but it was really really windy that day) and looked around up there a bit.

I removed all the fake logs and vacuumed as best I could and placed the old things back in the exact location as per the manual.

I even vacuumed the pilot assembly and now I cant even get that to spark on with or without the glass.

I could've had the new one for practically the same money at this point.

Any takers?? I would really be grateful for your help

· Hvac Pro
25,193 Posts
Not much we can tell you that you can actually do to fix it. He would have to have put a new PROPER size orifice in the pilot burner and changed the regulator spring in the gas valve from LP to Gas. Did he? Orifice may have got damaged in the process and giving you a wonky flame.

Sounds like you have a pressure/flame size problem with the pilot PLUS if the flame is the wrong size the draft thru the fireplace will disturb it. PLUS they can be VERY finicky when it comes to drafts.

· Registered
1,796 Posts
If the pilot was working OK, and then 6 months later it wasn't..then he had the right sized orifice in it.
but ......
any debris in the pilot orifice would cause a softening pilot flame that would not envelope the thermopile properly and corespondingly would cause too low an voltage for the gas valve to operate on.

I'd try to light the pilot manually. Will it light or not?
If it lights, then you can measure the DCMV coming to the gas valve.
You'll need to have a DVMV meter already connected to the valve as you will already be occupied with keeping the control on the gas valve depressed to keep the pilot on.
Tell us what it measures?

If the pilot will not light at all then either the pilot orifice is completely clogged or the gas valve has failed.
Removing, dissembling & cleaning (or replacing) the orifice of a pilot assy would then be the next thing to try.
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