How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Edward Your Own Question

Edward
Edward, Handyman
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 7966
Experience:  Handyman, Master Gardener
3134513
Type Your Home Improvement Question Here...
Edward is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my fireplace pilot light stays lit but main burner ...

Customer Question

my fireplace pilot light stays lit but main burner won''t turn on. We had to replace to blower motor and after putting the fire place back together now we are having this problem.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

Hi Customer. Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

What is the make and model of the fireplace?

What have you tried to correct the problem?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Hi & thanks for replying. Our gas fireplace is made by Archgard and I don't know the model number. I had replaced the blower motor because it had been making some noises and when I had taken the fireplace insert apart I confirmed it was the motor as the armature was toast. So I had since replaced the motor assembly and cleaned the fireplace at the same time and was carefull not to touch anything I did not have to. Of course I have disconnected the gas before anything. After completing everything I turned the gas back on and started the pilot light and held the switch for 30 seconds and then turned it to the on position and now the main burner will not ignite.

I have checked all of the connections from the thermostat and the thermopile. There is continuity when the thermostat is turned on. I have tested the two wires coming from the thermopile and on my multi-meter it is only reading like 48 to 60 millvolts. I am sure that I have it on the millivolt scale. The fireplace worked fine before and the only thing I have done was change the blower motor. So I am really stumped? Did the thermopile just go on its own for no reason?

Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

I am unsure which model you have. What is done to turn the burner on? The pilot light is staying lit? Do you hear any noise when the burner is trying to light? Do you have any idea how old the unit is?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
To turn the burner on I have to push & turn the knob counter clockwise to the pilot position and then push the ignitor to spark the pilot. Once the pilot light is lit I hold the button for the reccomended 30 seconds and then turn the knob to the on position. Then I would open the thermostat and the burner will come on but since the motor change I do not hear anything. I have found the fireplace info and the model is a Archgard model Optima 30 from 1998.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

From what you have told me I would suspect that the thermostat wiring is the problem. Perhaps it was loosened? The information you will need is on page 14 of the manual for your fireplace. If you need to view or download the manual click here. By jumping the thermostat you can verify if the gas valve is the part having the problem. If the gas line was disconnected it is possible that something has been lodged in the gas valve.


Should you require further clarification, never hesitate to ask. It would be my pleasure to clarify my answer to your question. If after reviewing the above information, you have additional questions, I will be glad to answer them. My goal is your 100% satisfaction with all questions I answer.

Please click the green ACCEPT icon if you feel I have given a complete answer, and you can leave positive feedback. Positive feedback and bonuses are always greatly appreciated!

Regards,

Edward

As always when using Just Answer your accept is required for me to be paid. If you do not accept, your deposit if applicable, will remain in your account until you request otherwise.

Please do not accept unless you are 100% satisfied with the answer.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Edward's Post: The fireplace in the manual you directed me is differennt than the one I have. There is only one vent pipe coming out of mine and I have an automatic valve with a wall mounted thermostat. I checked that there was continuity when the thermostat was put on and there was none when the thermostat was turned off. I have a feeling it is either the thermopile or maybe do you think the placement of the logs may have moved and is causing the problem. You mentioned that there could be something in the gas valve? I just don't understand because everything worked before.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

Did you disconnect the gas line when you replaced the motor?

Have you checked voltages to the gas valve?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes I have. I had to disconnect it in order to get to the motor. When I turn the pilot off you can hear the gas valve shut off. I tested the the thermopile with the pilot on and it reads about 8 volts.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

The gas valve has a very small orifice that supplies the gas to the burner. If something blocks this orifice it will not allow the gas to flow. The valve itself could be defective and if that is the case, replacement of the valve is the only option. Some valves are supplied power with a transformer. If this is the case check to make sure that the transformer is suppling the proper voltage. If you have a digital camera and can upload a picture of the gas valve, it may help me provide additional information. From what you have told me the thermocouple,e is not the problem. If it were the pilot light would not remain lit.



Should you require further clarification, never hesitate to ask. It would be my pleasure to clarify my answer to your question. If after reviewing the above information, you have additional questions, I will be glad to answer them. My goal is your 100% satisfaction with all questions I answer.

Please click the green ACCEPT icon if you feel I have given a complete answer, and you can leave positive feedback. Positive feedback and bonuses are always greatly appreciated!

Regards,

Edward

As always when using Just Answer your accept is required for me to be paid. If you do not accept, your deposit if applicable, will remain in your account until you request otherwise.

Please do not accept unless you are 100% satisfied with the answer.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well I just find it hard to beleive that the gas valve needs to be replaced when it was never touched and I am very confident that nothing is blocking it. Is there any other tests to check the gas valve? Could I bypass the thermopile or thermo couple? Why does it have both? I will take a picture of the gas valve.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.
Do you have a digital camera and can upload a picture of the gas valve and burner?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

The image file size is too large too upload.

Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.
When you mention the thermopile or thermo couple, where they located. The thermocouple will be close to the pilot and this will not be the problem. Where is the other located?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The thermocouple is directly oppsite of the thermopile on the other side of the pilot.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.
Do both look the same or does one have a tube connecting it to the gas valve and the other have a wire connected to it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The thermopile has two wires coming out of it and the thermo couple has a tube going into the gas valve.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

I believe you are going to find that the thermopile is the problem if you are positive the gas valve's orifice has nothing blocking it. The best way I can describe the need for 2 is the thermopile is what allows the gas valve to supply gas to the burner, just like the thermocouple lets the pilot work. I do not believe you are going to find the thermopile at your local hardware store. Likely you will need to go to a HVAC supply house. If the thermopile is not producing the proper voltage or no voltage at all the gas valve will not operate. The voltage produced by the thermopile is in the 325 millivolts range after the pilot has been lit for at least 3 minutes.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I appreciate the help. I work for a industrial supply company and we have thermopiles in stock. I just did not want take everything apart for nothing. I managed to reduce the file size of the image. Let me know if you have any comments.

Thanks

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
graphic
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.
I just edited my last response. YOu may want to look at the last several lines again.
Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

The picture looks good. Make sure the thermopile is clean since a buildup could keep it from working correctly.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I will accept when I try the suggestions you gave me. I have tried them as of yet as I work long hours so I will let you know when I try it.

Thanks,

Expert:  Edward replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Thank you for the expeditious answer. It's good to know you're out there and awake in the wee hours when I finally have time to ask questions about my Jenn Air. Jean Riverhead, NY
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • The Home Smithy

    Home Builder

    Satisfied Customers:

    2002
    #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TH/TheHomeSmithy/2011-8-13_11146_homesmithy.500x500.64x64.jpg The Home Smithy's Avatar

    The Home Smithy

    Home Builder

    Satisfied Customers:

    2002
    #1 Home Improvement Expert 30+ years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BS/bshull17/2011-2-11_04125_japic.64x64.JPG Brian's Avatar

    Brian

    Architect

    Satisfied Customers:

    1967
    Licensed Architect- 16 years, L.E.E.D. AP
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ST/Steve555/2013-6-14_144343_Depositphotos4247517S.64x64.jpg Steve G.'s Avatar

    Steve G.

    Handyman

    Satisfied Customers:

    135
    VP of electronic repair company and home theater advisor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/Erdaram/2011-6-21_14724_ANIEric4Pics.64x64.gif Eric M. Bright's Avatar

    Eric M. Bright

    We Don't Comprehend the Word Can't!

    Satisfied Customers:

    1734
    I've been been doing things for my clients that others have said cant be done for over a 1/4 Century
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/rich03dungo/2010-3-17_101556_tshirt2.jpg Rich's Avatar

    Rich

    Home Improvement Enthusiast

    Satisfied Customers:

    674
    Over 35 years construction and home maintenance experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AL/alumalite/2012-5-10_234018_shutterstock506249951forJA500.64x64.jpg Phil's Avatar

    Phil

    Mechanical Engineer

    Satisfied Customers:

    409
    Retired contractor, 51 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JE/jerrymassie/2011-1-15_45937_1111055.64x64.JPG Jerry's Avatar

    Jerry

    hearth products

    Satisfied Customers:

    317
    owned and operated stove retail and service 12 yrs
 
 
 

Related Home Improvement Questions