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airheatman, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 8384
Experience:  Furnace, A/C and heat pump specialist.
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I have an Empire propane wll mount space heater. I can light

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I have an Empire propane wll mount space heater. I can light the pilot and it stays lit, but the burner will not fire up. I have the thermostat cranked up full. Never had this problem before. It's about 10 years old but used very little. Could the thermostat be toast?
Hello.My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help.Troubleshooting often requires meters and test equipment.Let's get started and see what we can do We can test to see if it is thermostat by removing wires from thermostat and touch them together to see if heater comes on
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tim:

I removed the wires from the thermostat and touched them together and nothing happened.

OK, That tells us the thermostat is NOT the issue.Next you will need to determine if the heater has a transformer or if it operates with a pilot generator.
Do you know?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Pretty sure it does not have a transformer. I've looked at the manual and no mention of a transformer. There's a thermopile. Is that like a generator? I've noticed the heater is quite dirty inside. The manual says spiders can cause problems and I do have spiders in my house.

If you have a thermopile, that is probably the issue.You can try cleaning it, but ultimately may have to replace it.What it does is it is like a thermocouple with two parts. First part is the thermocouple side which keeps the pilot lit, second part is like a generator that when you turn thermostat to heat, allows the thermopile to heat up and send millivolts to the valve for it to open
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What should I use to clean the thermopile? A sovent? Or something else?

I suggest emery cloth or very fine sand cloth. All we want to do is remove the carbon buildup
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Tim. I'll try that.