Gas Fire Place takes a LONG time to ignite?

laplowOctober 28, 2007


I recently bought a home with a gas fireplace. It is vented through the wall of the house. The fireplace works just fine, but it takes a long time to ignite. The pilot lite works fine, but when I turn the fireplace "on" to ignite, but takes 20-35 minutes before it will ignite.

Can you help me troubleshoot what I can do to make this not happen. I never had a gas fireplace, but I would guess it should ignite much faster than that.

Thanks in advance for your help,


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It sounds like the thermocouple is bad. This senses the pilot light and opens the main fuel valve to light the fireplace. If you look closely, you will see a "tube" near the pilot light. That's the thermocouple. You will probably have to remove the logset to see it completely. You can probably use a universal thermocouple sold at almost any store--big box,etc. Once you see it in the package, you'll be better able to identify it in your fireplace and replace it.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 9:21AM
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A main burner that doesn't turn on reliably is the most common complaint about problems with a gas fireplace. Usually the problem is solved by having the fireplace cleaned and serviced, which takes about an hour of time.

Look for a competent fireplace repairman to do this job for you.

Most gas fireplaces do not have a thermocouple, they have a pilot generator which developed the voltage to turn the main burner on. The pilot generator is the cause of this kind of problem about 3% of the time, so don't bother guessing that this is the problem.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 7:39PM
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a lot of the time delayed ignition in a gas fireplace results in a boom that is very noticeably in sealed units, and a strong gas odor as well in unsealed units. I can't begin to imagine what a unit would sound like if it ran gas for 20+ minutes before it ignited, my guess is it would be very bad. This leads me to believe delayed ignition is not your problem but more of a faulty ignition sequence. So, how do you light this fireplace? With a wall switch, remote, or a switch on the fireplace itself.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 4:43AM
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best bet get a qualified service man to come fix it for you

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 2:27PM
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my first guess would be:

1) dirty pilot, not heating generator properly causing low voltage output, causing slow valve actuation

2) bad switch

bypass switch if possible and see if problem still exists, you can simply jump the control terminals( two outside terminals on terminal block, middle is a connection point only.

If this unit is trying to fire, meaning the valve is opening and gas is simply running until it ignites several minutes later, ignore all the above and shut it down and call a service tech.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 8:00PM
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