Gas Fireplace Problem

rick_m_2008October 30, 2008

I have a strange problem with my fireplace. I turn it on and it lights up with no problem. After a while the flame just goes out. The pilot is still on, but the flame goes out on its own. I turn the switch of and back on and the fireplace lights up. It doesn't happen at regular times its very random. Sometimes it will even relight itself. Does anyone know what would cause this to happen and how to fix it? Thanks

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Sounds like a gas pressure problem. The fact that it lights with no problem (and I assume with a robust flame) and then sporadically goes out sounds like your are experiencing intemittent gas pressure drops. The relighting seems to confirm that. If your pressure were just low all the time you wouldn't see that. Do you have other gas using devices (oven, water heater, furnace, pool heater, etc.)? If either the gas line is too small (possible if more than one device is on the same line) or your gas meter is too small or not working properly and another gas using device or devices turn on (like a water heater) the pressure could drop enough to starve the flame. Next time the flame goes out see if you can tell if something else went on. The pressure in residential gas lines is not really that high and it doesn't take much to affect it if things aren't sized properly. If its the gas meter, your utility company should come out and replace it at their cost. In fact if you call them they are usually willing to take a look at it and let you know if it's not adequate.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:46PM
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I agree with the previous poster. I would call the gas company. They can check the pressure and gauge your needs against the total number of gas appliances and their comsumption requirements. If your pressure is marginal, that would explain the intermittent nature of your problem.

If this guess is correct, you will need an upgraded gas meter, and the gas company should install that at no cost to you -- after all, it's to their benefit that you're using all that gas. When they put in the upgraded meter, sometimes the pressure is then too high. In that case they need to install devices in the gas lines that reduce the pressure.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:42PM
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Thanks for both replies!
The meter is less than a year old. We had to move it away from a window where we made an office. Only 10 feet though.
I haven't noticed it going off when the furnace comes on but I will recheck it. What I haven't looked at is when the fireplace, furnace and the water heater are on at the same time. I will check the next time it happens. Other than that I will have to call the gas company about the pressure. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 8:47PM
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I had the same problem too with a direct vent gas lennox fireplace. I was told by a fireplace technician that all you had to do was to sand paper the soot off the thermocouple which senses the lower limit of the pilot flame temperature.

The carbon soot insulates the thermocouple giving the pilot flame temperature a lower reading causing the electronic valve module to shut off the gas to the pilot flame.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 10:52PM
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Yes it could be solved by the earlier mentioned fixes. I could be something as simple as the switch and wire. A pilot runs on millivolts and the slightest bit of resistance will cause the burner to drop out while the pilot stays lit. If you have a manual switch on the unit to turn fire, try using this v. the wall switch. If it works you may have a bad switch or too much wire (>25'). Happy Burning

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 1:24AM
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I own a Lennox fireplace. The pilot light will not stay on when the temperature drops below zero here in Minnesota. What could cause this problem?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 1:10PM
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My fireplace has an electrict switch, but the flame will continue burning for at least 15 to 20 minutes after I turn it the swicht off.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 1:06AM
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we have a ventless gas fireplace and our house is covered in black soot. It is in every room, ceiling, walls, closets, in the fridge, on tupperware in cupboards, it is crazy. We don't know what to do or if the fireplace is even the problem, any suggestions.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 6:06PM
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I have a strange situation. When I light my gas fire everything is fine for about 5 minutes then a smell comes into the room from the fire. It's not the smell of gas. I have washed the ceramic coals and logs but hasn't made any difference. Has anyone else had a problem like this. Would love to hear from you

    Bookmark   September 7, 2011 at 3:30PM
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I have PROCOM log stove poilt lite ok but when i turn on burner everthing go out used last year only have 1/2 gas line large tank only log stove hook to tank

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 10:01PM
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