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Pilot keeps going out in a direct vent fireplace

Posted by newdaddy2 (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 26, 10 at 16:23

In my livingroom is a Heat-n-Glo direct vent fireplace. It worked fine as late as last winter.

But this winter, the pilot and the burner go out within 30 minutes of ignition on average. The fireplace stayed on for more than 2 hours on just one occasion out of 6 that I’ve tried.

Some observations that may or may not explain the cause of the problem are (some of them may have existed in previous winters when the fireplace was working fine):

(1) I can feel considerable downward, cold airflow from the vertical vent. I’m assuming it’s the combustion air from the outer layer of the coaxial vent. Anyways, the air current is strong enough for you to know something is coming down from above.

(2) When the burner is on, my wife says she can smell gas. There is no smell of gas when only the pilot is on. She says she starts to smell it when the burner goes on.

(3) The pilot can stay on for days, as long as we don’t turn on the burner. It goes out, along with the burner flame, only after the burner goes on.

(4) I’m not a professional, so I can’t be sure, but there doesn’t seem to be any clogging or debris around the pilot. I tried to air gun the pilot with a compressed air can to make sure. That didn’t help.

I’m going to call a professional, but if it’s something easy to fix, I’d like to do it on my own and save money.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pilot keeps going out in a direct vent fireplace

I would first ask the gas utility company to check to make sure the pressure in the gas line is right. Anyother gas appliances in the house that show uneven pressure? That should cost you nothing. Next I would review the owner's manual for the DV system and check their website to see if there is any troubleshooting advice for the kind of problem you have -- it may be not so uncommon, and they may have figured out a fix. You should also check the condition of the top of the chimney -- maybe it got damaged by flying debris or something. DV systems require a special install at the chimney top - I think they call it a chase. Did your get damaged? Also, when was the last time you had your DV system serviced. We get preventive maintenance service on ours every two years. The guy carefully removes the fake ashes, then vacuums out the firebox, cleans the glass, and does a few other things. If you haven't had any preventive maintenance for a while, you might want to do that. DV systems have few moving parts and should last a long time, but still things can go wrong.

Please let us know what you find out - helpful info for all of us who have DV.

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