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Fireplace Problems

A fireplace is an architectural structure designed to create and contain a fire inside a dwelling. Fireplaces can be used for cooking purposes too. A fireplace has many parts to its structure the main ones being a firebox or pit, a chimney for the smoke to escape, a grate, a mantel, and so on. Contemporary fireplaces are gas operated as well as automatic as compared to the traditional wood burning ones. Read below where Experts have answered many commonly asked questions regarding fireplace problems.

Could a heating element or thermostat be the cause of an electrical fireplace that does not turn off after reaching a certain temperature and the fan not working correctly?

In case the heating element was the problem, the fireplace would not heat at all. Most likely the problem is with the thermostat. If it fails, the unit will not turn off despite it reaching the desired temperature. The fan is also controlled by the thermostat and it is meant to come on when the heater does and operates for a short while after the heater turns off. Usually to replace the thermostats in these types of fireplace units is difficult since they are meant to be discarded once they stop functioning. Hence it could be quite expensive to obtain parts and could be cheaper to replace the unit than repair it.

What could be the cause of a gas fireplace producing a loud bang when started up and the individual has just finished cleaning the fireplace?

This type of an issue is referred to as a delayed ignition where the pilot light fails to light the burner quick enough. To address this, first check if the pilot assembly is in close proximity to the burner assembly. In case you have ceramic logs, ensure one of the logs or any piece is not obstructing the area where the pilot assembly is located. Once the pilot assembly and burner are close enough with no obstructions, your problem should get resolved.

What could be the cause of a fireplace warming up and then shuts off?

Usually these units have a thermocouple installed in them which operates from the gas valve (the on-off knob) to the pilot / flame area. It is basically a small copper tube with a fastening nut on the valve. If the thermocouple is defective this problem can continue to occur intermittently as it fails to sense the flame. You can replace this part from any major appliance store and it is sold based on length.

What could be the cause of a vent less fireplace to stop working like it used to, the fireplace is now producing a higher flame, the flame looks more yellow and a sputtering noise?

First check the logs for soot build up. If they do you could try to vacuum it off. Do this outside if possible since there may not be a fine dust filter bag inside the vacuum for the soot. If the logs are clean try rearranging them for a complete and proper burn of the gas ensuring the area around the main burner air throat is clear. The sputtering noise you are hearting is probably the noise from a flame at the pilot orifice hole. This is what causes soot formation in the pilot assembly interfering with the air flow to it. The solution to this would be to remove the pilot assembly and thoroughly cleaning it with paint thinner. If the metal plates are popping it is probably because they have expanded. You can try loosening the mounting screws to allow room for the plate to move.

How can an individual fix a wall switch that has been replaced on a fireplace but still will not turn the unit off?

The purpose of a wall switch is to connect two contacts on the gas valve thereby creating a connection to signal to the valve to allow gas flow. When this connection is broken and the gas does not shut off, it means the valve is faulty. To rule out a wiring issue, try disconnecting one of the wires on the valve from the wall switch. If the valve remains open with a wire removed, the valve needs to be replaced.

Fireplaces provide heat as well as add to the ambience of a place with its warmth and appearance. In most houses it may be the additional source of heat rather than the only source of heat. Ordinarily when the fireplace is not used daily, the problems you encounter with them can be challenging to an untrained eye. Malfunction, unfamiliar noises, gas release problems are some common issues. In order to get your questions on fireplace issues answered, consulting Experts could prove quite useful.

Ask an Appliance Technician

John
John, Home Appliance Technician
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 13453
Experience:  Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
12064207
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
characters left:
4 Appliance Technicians are Online Now

How JustAnswer Works:

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Appliance Technicians are online & ready to help you now

John
Home Appliance Technician
Satisfied Customers: 13453
Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
Tom Goellner
Home Appliance Technician
Satisfied Customers: 1349
32 yrs. experience servicing major appliances and HVAC equipment.
Tyler Z.
Appliance Doc
Satisfied Customers: 60365
9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.

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