By Stephanie Snay with Angie's List — In the mood for chestnuts roasted on an open fire, but the gas fireplace won't light? Failing fireplaces can ignite your anger, but don't lose your cool just yet. Highly rated experts recommend trying the following techniques to make your fireplace go up in flames Pilot light systems are the most common reason gas fireplaces fail to light, according to Justin Worthen, outside coordinator of Alpine Fireplaces, located in various cities in Utah and in Boise, Idaho.
Check the main gas valve to make sure the gas is turned on. If the gas is on, and the pilot hasn't been lit in a couple months, you'll need to purge the air out of the pilot tubing, says Steve Alleyne, owner of Firefixer in Chicago.
To do this, hold the pilot button down for about one to three minutes while the air bleeds out. Worthen adds that spiders and other insects often lay nests inside pilot tubings in rural areas. If gas is coming out of the pilot, but it still won't light, the spark igniter could be the problem. Alleyne says to look for and clear out any debris between the igniter and thermocouple. The pilot lighting, but not staying lit, indicates that the thermocouple is worn out, Worthen says.
Another quick fix to try, according to Alleyne, is blowing compressed air into the pilot area, waiting a couple minutes, then trying again — just like you did with your Nintendo games in the '90s.
Other issues include loose connections, defective valves or bad modules in electric ignition units, according to experts. Worthen adds the newer electric systems are more sensitive, and require the consumer to figure out if the issue lies in the electronic ignition or pilot.
He says sometimes those units have a battery backup system and can be switched to battery mode. However, diagnosis methods remain about the same. How much you choose to investigate your fireplace problem is dependent on your experience with gas appliances, according to Alleyne. You're better safe than sorry. If you've attempted all the troubleshooting methods that you feel comfortable with, it's time to call in an expert.
Angie's List guide to fireplaces.Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Here's how to start that fire and get your toes toasty. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Welcome to our new and improved commentswhich are for subscribers only. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. You do not need a Facebook profile to participate.
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Let's just go inside and start a fire - but what's that? Both types of logs may or may not have a remote control feature. Usually, either type of log can be fueled by natural or propane gas depending on the gas valve that is installed. Your problem may be as simple as having an empty propane supply tank. If you have a chimney or flue for the fireplace it is more likely you have a vented gas log, although a vent free gas log can be used as long as the damper is fully closed.
There are many in the industry who even resist using the vent free gas logs in any enclosed space. All of the by-products of combustion of the natural or propane gas will be trapped in the room with the vent free gas logs. Some people complain of the odors while others complain of headaches and other health problems.
However, vent free gas logs tend to be more efficient.
If you have a remote control, first make sure the batteries have been replaced in the control units. Next make sure the gas is turned on to the log. There should be a shutoff valve near the fireplace. I have found the shutoff valves inside the fireplace, under the fireplace or in a cabinet next to the fireplace.
With the gas on, push in and hold the pilot valve while igniting the pilot light. Once the pilot is lit, hold the pilot valve in for 60 seconds. This allows the pilot flame to heat the thermocouple attached to the log. If the pilot does not stay on, you may have a defective thermocouple. Some thermocouples can be easily replaced; just make sure to purchase the correct length and fitting of the replacement thermocouple.If you have a gas fireplace, you likely enjoy staying cozy even if the electricity goes out.
But newer fireplaces don't have that feature, instead relying on an electronic ignition system that needs electricity to operate. A battery backup kicks in if the power goes out to make sure it works. Owners of traditional gas fireplaces don't have to worry about that, though, since the flame comes from a standing pilot. This means that your family will be warm unless the pilot light goes out. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to adjust the pilot if necessary. Before you can begin to troubleshoot, it's important to take a look at what can go wrong with standing pilot lights.
A pilot light provides a flame that powers appliances like water heaters, furnaces and fireplaces. In order to continue to burn, though, a pilot light relies on a thermocouple, which sends an electric signal. If the pilot light is out, though, such a signal isn't sent.
This catch can cause issues with your fireplace. Ideally, your pilot light should burn blue, but at times you'll find it's orange or yellow. You may also find the light burns too bright or dimly for your own personal tastes, which can also lead to increased soot buildup.
In either case, adjusting the pilot light is fairly easy. You'll just need a screwdriver and a little patience, and you can fix the issue in a matter of minutes. First, locate the controls on the bottom of a direct-vent fireplace. On some fireplaces, there will be a "Lo-Hi" button that allows you to adjust the flame upward or downward. On others, there will be a screw that you can easily adjust with a screwdriver. Turning the screw clockwise will lower the flame, while a counterclockwise motion will turn it up.
If the pilot light goes out completely, turn the pilot light control knob to the pilot position and push the knob in while lighting the pilot with a match or torch lighter.
How do you light a gas log safety pilot?
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You turn the control knob to the pilot position, push the knob in, light the pilot with a match, then hold the knob down for 30 seconds or so until the pilot stays lit by itself. Once the pilot light will stay lit on its own, you can then move the knob to the "On" position. For manually operated gas logs such as the one pictured to the right, this will turn the logs on.
For remote controlled gas logs, this will put the valve in the necessary position for the remote control to actuate the burner. What if the pilot will not stay lit? If you cannot get the pilot to light at all, meaning you hold the button down in the pilot position and hold a match up to the pilot and nothing happens, then either the valve is bad or something is abstructing the gas from coming into or going through the valve.
If you can get the pilot to light with a match, but it will not stay lit on its own after holding down the knob for 30 seconds, then put the knob back into the off position, wait 5 minutes and try again. If it still will not light, then something is definately wrong and you should have a professional check it out.
This page is not meant to be a trouble-shooting guide for gas logs, but in general, if you cannot get your safety pilot to stay lit, It could be that the pilot flame needs adjustment, the thermocouple has gone bad and needs to be replaced, the entire valve has overheated and must be replaced, or something is abstructing the gas line. In any case, it is probably time to seek the assistance of a professional. Any plumber or heating and air conditioning service man who deals with gas appliances with a safety pilot should be able to help you.
Real Fyre Gas Logs Troubleshooting
How does a safety pilot actually work? Although most of us have learned how to light one of these things at some time or other, few of us have any idea as to how this ingenious little safety system actually works.
So here is a brief, but hopefully useful explanation of how gas log safety pilots work so you can decide if it is something that you want or need. You may also find this information helpful for any other device that has a similar safety pilot. Gas Logs that have a safety pilot have a valve body that is attached directly to the burner. This valve body that has 2 separate valves inside that control the gas: The valve to the main burner and the valve to the pilot flame. When the pilot is lit, the flame directly hits what is called a thermocouple or thermopile.
The thermocouple is the ingenious device that makes the whole system work. The physical properties of the thermocouple are such that it actually generates electricity when there is a great enough difference in temparature between the tip of the thermocouple and the base.
If the pilot flame is too hot, then the entire thermocouple gets hot and there is not enough temperature difference to create a current.
If the pilot flame is too low or not coming into direct contact with the thermocouple or simply blown outthen there is not enough heat to generate a current. This is why the proper adjustment of the pilot flame is necessary for gas appliances that have a safety pilot. Now, on to how the pilot system works. The electricity from the thermocouple is used to power an electromagnet that holds the pilot valve open, thus allowing the pilot to stay lit by itself.
The amount of electricity needed must be within a certain range of millivolts in order for this to happen. If there is not enough electricity or no electricity being generated, then the electromagnet no longer functions and the pilot valve shuts.
When you turn the knob to the pilot position and push it in, you are in fact manually opening the valve to the pilot flame. Once the pilot gets the thermocouple hot enough, the electromagnet engages and keeps the valve open. This is why you need to keep the knob depressed for about 30 seconds.Peterson real fyre 18 inch charred frontier oak log set with vent free natural peterson real fyre 18 inch split oak designer plus gas log set with vented propane golden oak designer plus peterson real fyre gas log set with vented burner peterson real fyre 42 inch golden oak see thru vented propane gas log set peterson real fyre 24 inch split oak designer plus gas log set with vented propane peterson real fyre 18 inch split oak designer plus gas log set with vented propane.
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Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker. Gas Log Faqs Page. Fireplaces Newegg Com. Gas Log The Guys. Sure Heat Online. Prev Article. Next Article. Related Articles. Ad Blocker Detected Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.Pilot light problems are common in gas appliances, such as water heaters, furnacesand gas fireplaces.
In most cases, the fix is something as simple and inexpensive as reigniting the pilot flame. To verify this, look at your gas meter and find the tee that has a section of capped pipe leading down from it. The thermocouple is a small metal piece that crosses paths with the burning flame of the pilot light. It's a safety device that delivers gas from the gas valve to the pilot light.
The thermocouple also contains wiring that goes to the gas valve and makes electricity to light the pilot. To find out if you need a new one, turn the gas valve to pilot and then depress the override button.
Hold it down for at least 30 seconds in order for the thermocouple to get warmed up. If the pilot doesn't light, wait a couple minutes and try again.
Each kit will come with varied nut adapters that can be matched up with your current size. While the pilot light is ignited, use a flashlight to look into the pilot hole opening. Similarly, make sure that the pilot flame is actually reaching the thermocouple.
The tiny metal rod should actually directly cross the burning flame. Once the flame has been turned off and the metal has cooled, check to see if the thermocouple feels loose. If so, remove it and then reinstall it, using a screwdriver to remove the mounting screws.
The burner is located below the pilot light and thermocouple. It is a piece with many small holes in it that allow gas to flow through toward the pilot. These tiny holes can become dirty or clogged from carbon very easily. Try an air compressor to blow out the jets or clean the burner with soap and water. It's very rare that the gas valve goes bad, but it can happen.
If you have tried all the other solutions and nothing seems to work, then you may want to replace the gas valve. Unlike the some of the other pieces that can be checked visually and removed easily, you may need a professional plumber to help with this kind of an install since a gas valve is heavy duty stuff compared to tiny thermocouple.
Your instincts are correct. Consult a professional contractor to do the job for you if need be. We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Burner The burner is located below the pilot light and thermocouple. Gas Valve It's very rare that the gas valve goes bad, but it can happen. Gas Fireplace: Is it safe to only replace the gas fireplace thermocouple valve? Popular Articles. How to Test a Gas Fireplace Thermocouple. By Robert Miller.My Account Order Status Help. Shop By Brand.
View All. Shop Vented Log Styles. Shop Ventless Log Styles. Shop By Type. Shop By Use. Keep your gas fireplace safe and easy to use with the correct gas fireplace valve and safety pilot kits from eFireplaceStore. Gas log valves allow you to turn the gas off and on as needed while the safety pilot kits keep your pilot light burning, avoiding the hassle of continually turning it off and on with your gas logs.
But please be aware that certain safety pilot kits and gas fireplace control valves are only compatible with certain gas log burners. Find the perfect gas fireplace valve for you today with eFireplaceStore! Browse Valves and Safety Pilots.
Related Articles. Propane: What Are the Differences? If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask one our knowledgeable specialists and customer service representatives. Articles You May Like Natural Gas vs. BY Adrienne Devine Ask a Question. Submitted by: Owen on January 2, Unfortunately replacement parts are not available for vent free log sets.
This is a safety precaution. Submitted by: Dawn H. Shipping Options Same Day Shipping 0. Ships to Canada 0. Upgrade Available 0.
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How to Adjust the Pilot Light on Gas Logs
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