Batteries in Mendota FV-44i gas insert

Marshall_April 9, 2011

I just had a Mendota FV-44i gas insert installed and I'm getting the feeling that I made a big mistake. We bought the insert to provide heat when the electric power goes out, which is happening all too frequently. We made it very clear to the salesman that heat without electric power was our main objective. The installer twice made it clear to us that the insert would only function without power if the batteries were installed in the receiver. But he also said that we should NOT keep batteries in the receiver because the heat would kill the batteries in a week or two.

That appears to mean that when the power goes off, I have to go through a series of unfamiliar steps using a flashlight (1) remove the glass front, (2) remove a small slide switch cover, (3) remove a snap-out door covering the battery compartment, (4) install 4 AA batteries in correct position, (5) replace cover and slider, (6) synchronize the remote following more unfamiliar directions, and (7) replace the glass front. Right now I think I'm physically able to go through those steps. But what am I going to do if my Arthritis gets worse or I develop Parkinson's?

The manual doesn't mention anything about not leaving batteries in the fireplace, but I believe that the installer was relating his experience. Do you have any experience or suggestions to help me?

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michellemarie

My batteries have lasted a year without a problem.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 11:17PM
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jrgman

I bought my Mendota 44I in March, 2011. I replaced the batteries this fall, when the ignition system would not work. Long story short, the pilot light can be lit manually, but only stays on about 24 hours. The ignition system (electronic spark generator for lack of the proper term) does not work at all. When the pilot goes out the system goes into lockout after it tries to relight three times. (Makes me nervous that the pilot light gas flows about 30 seconds each time, for three times, before it locks out.) (No the pilot flame is not "dancing" or otherwise being pulling off the electrode.)

Its taken forever for the dealer and installer and to get their acts together. The dealer claims Mendota has just put out a modification, which the dealer does not even have yet, that requires the electronic module, apparently the pilot light assembly, and god knows what else, to be relocated, because in their current position, the control module overheats, and stops functioning. The dealer has no one trained to do this modification, and is not sure who will do it. All of this while my one year warranty is running out in a couple of months.

The electronics and valves (Proflame made by SIT) is an Italian company.

Proflame by SIT is used in several different inserts by other manufacturers, and most of them have a much better manual, available online, than Mendota's, with better troubleshooting and color coded wiring schematics in the manual. On the other hand, Mendota seems to believe that nobody should take the glass off this fireplace except for an authorized servicer. For sure, it is impossible to work on this, or even check the electrical connections on the wiring harness, without completely removing the insert from the fireplace, including detaching the flue, etc etc.

This insert had the best looking fire, logs, etc. while burning when I was looking for an insert, , but I too am wondering if I made a huge mistake buying the FV-44i!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 6:13PM
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Ironhorse74

I have had my FV-44i for two years now and it has functioned flawlessly. I change my batteries once year when I change my smoke detector batteries. I do not have to re-synchronize the remote. The flame is beautiful and it puts out major heat. I love the fact that we can change the heat output while we sit on the couch with the remote. We lower the flame or turn off the back flame. We really shopped around and Mendota was by far the nicest insert, we saw. Last year when we had an ice storm that took out the power for five days it kept the house nice and toasty. I highly recommend buying a Mendota Full View insert or Fireplace.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 12:37AM
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donaleen

jrgman... did this ever get resolved? Makes me nervous...

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 2:09PM
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Char2010

We had the Mendota FV44i installed spring 2010. Changed batteries twice. Thank you for the reminder. The fireplace has worked flawlessly. The first remote was defective and the light bulb that arrived with the fireplace was replaced by the installer within 30 days. Other than that it has been wonderful. It has more functions than we use. We were afraid it would be too much heat for the size of our room but it is so easily to adjust that we can hardly wait to use it when it cools down!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 8:55PM
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