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Rick, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 21340
Experience:  Licensed construction supervisor with 35+ yrs. experience.
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My gas fireplace shuts off after a few minutes. Why?

Resolved Question:

Why does my gas fireplace go out after only a few minutes of running? I have replaced the valve, the thermopile and over temp sensor. It starts up fine, runs for about 5-10 minutes than completely shuts off...pilot and all.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

You may have an over temp device that is shutting it down. These devices are installed to shut down a unit if it gets too hot. It's possible that (if this is the problem) the device may be faulty and is shutting it down when there is no hazard.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have replaced the over temp sensor. Also, when the flame goes out, I am able to place my hand on the area where it's located and since I can touch it without getting burned, it's not too hot.

Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

What controls the fireplace?

Is it just on or off?

Does it have a remote?

If the unit has any control device try jumping it out at the gas valve and see if the problem persists.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

It has a simple on/off switch. I am unable to turn it on again until I re-light the pilot light.

Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

Try relighting the pilot and jump out the switch at the gas valve and see what happens.
Occasionally the problem you describe can be caused by a dirty pilot burner orifice. This could cause the pilot to go out and subsequently shut down everything.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

That sounds like a reasonable root cause. I wonder why the pilot light can be lit and run OK but that when the flames are on, a dirty orifice would prove more of a problem when the flame is on than when it's off?

Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.

If there is a piece of dirt or dust floating around in the line it can cause a real headache. One other possibility is if a stray flame from the main burner is hitting the thermopile. This has happened to me a couple times and it drove me nuts.
The thermopile must maintain a cold junction below the top 1/4 of the tip that is in the pilot flame. If the lower 3/4's to 2/3's gets hot it will shut everything down. This cause, although rare, is a possible culprit.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

OK...thanks...that should provide me enough information to troubleshoot the problem. I didn't know the thermopile needed to have that temperature difference.

Expert:  Rick replied 7 years ago.
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