Gas Fireplace Repair: Do-It-Yourself Troubleshooting

by on January 6, 2013Karie Fay

When your gas fireplace acts up, images of dollar signs in flames might flash before your eyes. The last thing you need is yet another bill to pay. The inner workings of your gas fireplace probably seem too complicated to understand, and the thought of working on it overwhelming. Take heart – many of the problems you may experience are simple to troubleshoot and solve. Even if you choose to have a service technician repair your gas fireplace, it should cost less if you can direct him straight to the problem. You’ll soon be soaking up the heat again!

Parts of a Gas Fireplace

gas fireplace repairThere are three main types of gas fireplaces:

1. A natural vent gas fireplace connects to a metal pipe that runs through the roof.

2. Direct-vented gas fireplaces vent directly through the wall behind the unit.

3. Vent-free gas fireplaces do not require a vent.

Regardless of the vent type, a gas fireplace may run on either natural gas or, in certain situations, propane. The ignition type also varies, from a constantly lit, standing pilot light that requires matches or another manual lighting method to an electronic ignition that lights the pilot on demand. However, as many differences as exist between gas fireplaces, the main parts are either the same or operate with the same principles. Understanding the terminology and purpose of each will help you troubleshoot your fireplace.

  • Gas Line: Whether natural gas or propane, the gas line delivers the fuel source into the gas fireplace. A valve on the gas line turns off the gas when the fireplace is not in use. Turning the valve “on” allows the gas to flow and be lit by the pilot light.
  • Firebox: The firebox contains the flame and fire – often springing from fake logs specially designed for use with gas.
  • Venting System: As mentioned above, gas fireplaces may vent through the roof, the wall, or require no venting. The vent is simply the chimney. In vented systems, the flue (another name for chimney pipes) has two purposes. It provides air to feed fire combustion and allows dangerous gasses to escape. Vent-free gas fireplaces use different technology to eliminate the need for oxygen and gas release and will not experience vent problems like natural and direct vent units.
  • Blower Fan: Not every gas fireplace has a fan, but those that do circulate the heat more effectively. An internal fan, driven by electricity, cycles the air and blows it out of the fireplace much like a furnace generates heat.
  • Pilot Light/Ignition System: Regardless of the type of pilot light – standing or electronically ignited – all gas fireplaces must light and remain lit to generate heat. A standing pilot light is lit like an old furnace, by turning on the gas and introducing a flame. Electronic ignition relies on a spark to light the gas instead. A few parts make either ignition method possible. These are the gas supply and valve already mentioned, a thermocoupler, a thermopile, and sometimes a piezo – a push button that lights a standing pilot so you don’t have to use a match. Together, these parts light and maintain the pilot as well as control the burner.
  • Thermocoupler and Thermopile: Once the pilot is light, it heats up a thermocoupler and a thermopile. The thermocoupler, sometimes referred to as a heat or flame sensor, is made from two different metals that create a small electrical charge when heated by the pilot. This electrical current causes a magnet in the gas valve to shift open, allowing gas flow. If the pilot isn’t lit, the magnet shifts again, causing the gas valve to close. In essence, the thermocoupler, is a safety mechanism. Likewise, the thermopile is a system of thermocouplers that create a greater electrical current, moving a larger magnet that allows gas to flow through the main gas line into the burners.

Troubleshooting a Gas Fireplace: Common Problems & Causes

On a note of caution, due to the differences in models and operating styles, it’s impossible to cover every situation that may arise. Additionally, some repairs are complex and require a professional’s knowledge and tools. Finally, gas and electrical components require caution during inspection, repair and operation. Follow the proper safety measures around your gas fireplace at all times. That said, some of the most frequent problems are simple to find and fix by the average do-it-yourselfer.

Gas Fireplace Won’t Ignite:

One of the most common problems is a gas fireplace that simply won’t turn on. Before calling a repair technician, narrow down the possible causes and determine if it’s something you can fix yourself.

  • If the fireplace operates with the flick of a light switch or if it contains an electronic ignition, it’s worth checking the house fuse or breaker box in modern homes. Ideally, the fireplace is alone on a breaker or with very few other items. An overloaded circuit can easily blow (fuse) or trip (breaker). Check the fuse and replace as necessary, or turn the proper breaker completely off, if it is positioned half way between off and on, and then back on again. Sometimes this will solve the problem without further fuss or need of professional assistance. Also, most manufacturers provide means to light the pilot without electricity, such as with a battery pack or match, in case of emergency. Consult your product literature for further information.
  • Without fuel, the pilot light can’t ignite. Another simple fix is a lack of gas. Check to see if the gas valve is open, and open it if necessary. If this fails to solve the problem, check your fuel supply itself. Does your propane tank have gas, or is the natural gas supply to your home operating? Eliminate fuel problems before proceeding to pilot light failure troubleshooting.

Pilot Light Failure:

  • Sometimes the pilot light has simply blown out. If a visual inspection shows no flame, try lighting your pilot again. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions precisely. Bypass an electronic ignition, if necessary, with a manual lighting method.
  • In some instances, a strong draft may have blown out your pilot light. Simply relighting your pilot should solve the issue at least temporarily, but if it happens again, check your fireplace vent cap. Ensure it is present, secure, and lacking holes or gaps that may cause a downdraft. Repair or replace as necessary. Perform a total chimney inspection and cleaning at this time to eliminate the need to do it later in the heating season.
  • Look over the wiring leading to the pilot light system if the fireplace still refuses to light or stay lit. Check for loose or unconnected wires or wires that look black, melted, or otherwise damaged. While you may be able to reattach loose wires, never attempt to repair damaged ones. Under normal operating conditions the wires will not get damaged, so their presence indicates deeper fireplace issues. Consult a service technician for professional assistance.
  • When the pilot light acts like it wants to light but quickly goes out again, the problem may be a weak thermopile. Every gas fireplace uses a thermopile, and after a few years they may go out. This is generally another repair best left to a professional.

Fireplace Burner Issues: 

The ignition system doesn’t merely light the pilot, it also powers the burners that stay lit during the heating cycle. If the burner refuses to light or fails to work properly, perhaps acting sluggish or stubborn, try narrowing down the problem to determine your next logical step. Unless you have experience, most internal parts are best serviced or replaced by a professional.

  • Is the thermostat set high enough to create a demand for heat? As simple as it sounds, some gas fireplace owners may overlook the thermostat and think the fireplace is malfunctioning when, in truth, it simply isn’t set to the proper temperature.
  • A dirty pilot light orifice – the area from which the flame emerges – or dirty burner jets may cause problems with either the pilot light flame or burner operation. A service technician may clean and remove soot, dirt and other contaminants that clog the system.
  • One of the most common causes of burner failure is due to loose or faulty wiring. Visually inspect the wiring, looking for unattached or obviously damaged wires running from the pilot light assembly. Consult a professional for wiring assistance.
  • As mentioned, the ignition system relies on generating an electrical current to open and close the gas valve, allowing fuel to flow to both the pilot and the burner. Other electrical circuits run to the appliance switch and thermostat. Low voltage to any of these parts can lead to a poorly functioning or inoperable burner. A service technician can quickly and easily test the circuitry and diagnose the exact problem.
  • Another problem that can cause burner issues is a malfunctioning thermocoupler. As with a thermopile, thermocouplers may wear out and need replacement after a few years, or may simply not fit tightly inside the valve. A professional can easily test and resolve the problem for you.

Strange Odors: 

Whether your gas fireplace is vented or not, you shouldn’t experience any strange or unpleasant odors. If you do notice a smell, it’s likely caused by one of a few things.

  • Dust and dirt, settled on the burner or other internal parts, can create an odd odor. This is especially common in ventless gas fireplaces, which have no other means of escape for contaminants. Cleaning the fireplace, as instructed by the manufacturer or as performed by a service technician, will usually remedy the problem. A professional can also address the cause of excessive dirt and soot.
  • When the flue is full of dirt and debris, it may cause a funny smell in vented gas fireplaces. Combustion gasses may back up into the fireplace and the flame itself may starve for oxygen. The solution is simple – remove any chimney obstructions and clean the flue as necessary. A professional chimney service will make short work of the task, or you can do it yourself.
  • The smell of burning wiring is hard to describe, but distinct. Once you smell it, you never forget. If you notice an odd, plastic-like smell, immediately disconnect your fireplace, turn off the gas supply, and consult a professional.
  • Natural gas and propane have little to no smell. Gas companies add an ingredient that emits a distinct odor. If you smell what you suspect is gas, immediately turn off the gas supply, open up your windows and vent the house completely. Before attempting any further troubleshooting, contact a service professional, or even your utility company representative, for assistance.

Strange Sounds:

Some noises may be normal for your fireplace. If the sound isn’t new and your gas fireplace acts fine, you have little cause for alarm. New sounds, coupled with operating issues, are a clue that the two are related. Try to pinpoint the exact sound and, if possible, from where it originates. Contact a service professional for more intensive troubleshooting and repair.

  • A low, rumbling sound that occurs when only the pilot light is on may indicate a poorly adjusted flame.
  • The same roaring sound, with the burners on, often indicates dirty burners.
  • A grinding or shrieking noise may come from a blower, if your gas fireplace has one.

An Abundance of Soot: 

You may instinctively think that since your gas fireplace doesn’t burn wood, you won’t have problems with a dirty fireplace or soot in the chimney. Unfortunately, it isn’t true. Try to reduce the amount created to protect your family’s health and to avoid a fire hazard.

  • Does your gas fireplace create beautiful, dancing yellow flames? While it’s the most natural looking flame, if you want the wood burning effect, it’s also rich in soot. Soot is, after all, the product of unburned fuel and a soot-rich flame contains too much fuel and too little oxygen. Thus, the fuel doesn’t burn completely. Adjusting the air setting, according to the manufacturer’s instructions, will increase the oxygen flow and lead to an energy-efficient blue flame instead. A qualified service professional can easily adjust the air-to-gas ratio and verify the amount with special equipment.
  • If the flue is blocked with a bird’s nest, leaves, or other obstruction, gasses from unburned fuel cannot escape easily and may coat the lining. As the chimney becomes more blocked, it will accumulate on the gas fireplace interior as well. The solution is a complete chimney inspection, removing the blockage and cleaning as necessary.

Inspecting and Maintaining Your Gas Fireplace

As convenient and efficient as a gas fireplace is, it requires a little attention to ensure it remains safe and trouble-free. The Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association recommends having your gas fireplace professionally inspected and serviced at least once a year. A professional annual inspection includes cleaning the burners and pilot light assembly, checking the safety systems, and testing the ignition system. The flue is also closely inspected to spot loose connections and leaks, obstructions such as bird’s nests and leaves, and cleaned to remove dangerous soot. Another good practice is installing a carbon monoxide detector, in addition to smoke detectors, and replacing the batteries during an annual safety inspection. Routine maintenance and repair will ensure your gas fireplace keeps you cozy and comfortable for years to come.

{ 189 comments… read them below or add one }

Bette Stillwell October 21, 2014 at 5:24 am

I have a gas fireplace that is probably 20 years old. It has worked well, but when I went to start it the other day I couldn’t. I had a handy man come over and check all the wires which were good. THe pilot light does go on and he cleaned out the holes where the flame should come out. The fireplace will still not light.

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Ron Hoffman October 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Dear Karie: I have a Desa International Vented Gas Fireplace Heater Model K42N Type of gas: Natural. I need all the parts to it as they were lost in moving. I need the burners, log set and remote (Everthing) Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Karie All the best. ron

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r.l. compton October 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Older heat n glo. Has worked fine for 14 years. Manual on off switch. Pilot lights and looks normal. This fall main burner lights with only a “tiny” flame; totally blue but not along the entire burner. Thermopile voltage is about 600 mv with the switch off; 260mv with the switch on. Burner seems activated but extremly low flow. even tried activating the valve with an external 1.5 v flaslight battery. Can hear the valve “click” but no better flow. Some local repair suggest spiders in the main jet (?). Am about to disassemble the burner? Fair understanding of gas appliances, engineer but not “professional” gas appliance repair>?????

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betsy October 11, 2014 at 5:46 am

I have a wall mount propane heater and one of the little springs fell off the ignitor button and I want to put it back on but am unsure of where is there a diagram somewhere for me to look at or maybe someone can tell me how or where it goes.??

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Steve October 10, 2014 at 11:02 am

I have a White Mountain LP gas fireplace hearth(DVD36FP30P-1). The pilot lights and stays lit just fine. I can manually turn the control knob to ON and the fireplace lights up and stays on. I can manually turn the knob to PILOT and OFF goes the burners with the pilot remaining on. Turn it to OFF and everything goes OFF as should be. However, my fireplace is controlled by a thermostat and with the fireplace rocker switch set in remote mode, it does not respond to the thermostat. I have the demand temperature set higher than the room.
Any suggestions, please?
Steve

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allen October 19, 2014 at 10:33 am

Steve,
I have the exact same problem, tested the thermostat and the wires have continuity when it is calling for heat. It actually lit once when on the thermostat setting, but then went out after a few seconds. I am thinking bad thermocouple, but not sure, did you get yours solved?

Allen

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Steve long October 9, 2014 at 5:10 pm

My fireplace has 2 switches,1 for the fireplace itself and the other for the blower fan.The one for the fireplace just flips on and off not doing anything.The blower works fine.I can turn the gas valve on and start the pilot and the fireplace will run fine, but the switch does not shut it off or anything still.I then just shut it all off manually.I replaced the wall switch and still nothing.Would it be something with thermophile? Something I could do myself or use home warranty and have it completely serviced? The house is 13 years old.It worked during the walk thru and the fireplace in the basementis fine.I shut both the pilots of in July and recently turned them on to find the switch problem wrong with the upstairs fireplace. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.Thank you

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D October 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

I had a similar problem on a home we recently purchased. I found that there was a metal panel across the bottom of the fireplace. Removing that panel revealed a battery holder with a couple dead batteries. Replacing the batteries fixed the problem. Our home also had a gas fireplace in the courtyard that would not spark. There was a switch in the garage to turn on the sparker. Opening the panel the switch was mounted on also revealed a battery holder with 2 dead D sized batteries. Replacing them fixed the problem.

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Bob Fahrni October 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm

I have had two Valor Gas Fireplaces installed ( one upstairs ) ( one downstairs in rental unit ), the exhaust / intake pipe were installed up the existing chimney. We immediately noticed a creosote smell coming from the units, it seems that although they sealed both the Chimneys at the top ( around new pipes ) there is air infiltrating from the apartment below, probably through a break in the lining between the two fireplace flues. How can I seal each unit at the fireplace opening? Or what can be done short of removing the units and having the gap sealed ?

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karlacarpenter October 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm

I have a ventless propane heater in my living room, brand new. When its been running about 2 hours our eyes start burning. Is there an easy fix for that?

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Doug September 30, 2014 at 6:27 pm

My fireplace lights and comes on ,no problem,new thermal pile and thermocouples ,it runs comes up to temp then shuts down but the pilot light goes out also, light the gas has been cut off,is there a high temp control valve or something I am missing

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philip October 8, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Hi Doug
I seem to have the same problem, when the fire is on full for a while ,it just make a sound like “whoof” and every thing goes i.e the fire and the pilot light. Then when it cools down , we can light the pilot light and the fire.
I would be grateful if you could tell me how you sorted your problem.
Many thanks
Philip

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Rhonda October 11, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Mine is doing the exact same thing if you find out what it is would you please let me know My son doesn’t know much about these stoves Thank You Rhonda

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Clyde P September 10, 2014 at 8:38 am

My Superior gas fire place lights fine but, parts of the burners do not have flames and there is intermittent blue flames well above the burners. what needs adjusting and how?

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maryanne Hendrickson September 22, 2014 at 5:32 pm

my vent less fireplace only lights half way and.you can smell alot of gas. how do I get the flame to go the whole way across?

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John Saari September 28, 2014 at 9:13 am

I have the same problem. I took the burner apart this morning and blew it out with a strong compressor. Tried it again, same problem. I ran a wire with a small steel wool ball on the end all the way into the burner. Tried it again same problem. My burner is U shaped. The front(lower) portion of the burner lights great but the Back(upper) portion of the burner won’t light without a match. I bought the Comfort Glow fireplace used but it looks like it has never been used.

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Pat August 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

I live in a condo which has a gas fireplace. I noticed this past winter that soot is appearing outside on my balcony wall which backs the fireplace. A box sticks out – which is probably a vent – it too is covered in soot. I need to call a tech, but I wondered if I could get a clue as to what this might be. How big of a problem am I dealing with. I would like to avoid being taken advantage of because of my lack of knowledge about fireplaces .

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Mary stewart April 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I’m having a metal roof put on my modular home and I need to know how I can find out if my gas logs are ventless or not because we are taking out the pipe( chimney). Please help

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John Saari September 28, 2014 at 9:18 am

If your unit has a vent or chimney, it is not ventless. A ventless fireplace has an oxygen depletion sensor and turns the gas off if it senses low oxygen levels. An ordinary gas log installed into a masonry fireplace, needs the chimney or vent to be safe.

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Randy Pribbernow March 25, 2014 at 7:27 pm

I have a fireplace extrodinaiare fireplace insert with a remote thermostat, the pilot is working but for the last few months with the thermostat in the on position the only way for full flame to come on I would need to tap the high / low knob on the gas valve than the flame would work. Now taping will not even make it come on. I did also notice the flame would be somewhat inconsistent in volume. It is a Robert Shaw gas valve and it looks like they had recalls for models like mine

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Paul March 19, 2014 at 3:59 am

I have a Heatalator Model NDV4842lL Direct Natural gas fireplace that is 8 months old. When it is operating, the surround tile, the mantle and the wall above the fireplace get extremely hot. Had technicians out here several times and they say the system is fine and I need to add a blower to alleviate the problem. My issue is that the mantle and wall should not be as hot as they get, even without the blower.
Wall temp was at 180 degrees, mantle was over 200 degrees, and the fireplace was at 350 degrees. This was measured with a heat gun. No one seems to have an answer as to why this is the case, only to purchase a blower. Any ideas?

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Frances Decerio June 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Uint installed to close to combustible material.

Not enough air space from top of unit to wood

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frank August 30, 2014 at 10:01 pm

check with the codes for your area and for that fireplace. Gas is supposed to be more efficient with the heat generated and its release. Id try another company. There are recalls on gas fireplaces. Check on that

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Brett March 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Hello,
I have a majestic 360DVS2 and would like to update the look of it. I am wondering if it is possible to swap out the current burner and log set for a more modern looking burner and glass instead of the fake logs. I spoke to one fireplace repair person who said you could not do this. But the tech at RH peterson (who sells the new burners) said that it could be done. Who should I believe?
Thanks,
Brett

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Peter Forbes-Smith March 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Heatilator Model NB 4236I – Intermittent Lighting – A Very Simple Fix!
I have used this natural vented (through the roof) gas log fire for about 7 years, the first 4 or 5 without any trouble. The about 2 or 3 years ago it started not always lighting even though I had a good spark. If I turned the wall switch on and off a sufficient number of times it would eventually light, usually. If it didn’t, all I had to do was wait a while and then try again, and it would light up immediately. The intermittent nature of this problem lead me to believe that the main gas valve was sticking, and that it was not the pilot light, which in this fire is NOT normally lit until the wall switch is turned on. It gradually got worse until finally, this year I had to take remedial action which prompted me to search for solutions. After getting a better understanding of how these fires operate, I decided to investigate. I could not see at first where the pilot light was located, but traced it from the wiring. I then found that it was covered up with fibrous material that is placed at the front of the main burners to create a glow effect. This material had shifted around so that some of it had accumulated on top of the pilot opening, thus preventing the spark from lighting the pilot sometimes. I cleared this debris and ‘presto’, it now works every time! I can’t believe how such a simple problem could have caused me so much aggravation and inconvenience. I feel embarrassed that I let it go for so long without investigating properly. I truly hope that this helps someone else with a similar problem.

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Gary Finley March 8, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I have a Monessen propane fireplace BDV400

The problem is the fan will not come on.

The fireplace is selected on.

I have jumpered across the thermostat fan sensor which should start at 110 and the fan comes on .
I bought a new thermostat sensor and the fan still doesn’t come on. I jumpered across the thermostat sensor and the fan comes on no problem.
I have measured the temp by the thermostat sensor and it is 160 so I am at a lost as to what is wrong.

Gary

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Amy C March 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

My pilot used to be just a blue glow when the fireplace was off. But now a small flame is always burning. I haven’t changed anything. Why is it doing this and how can I fix this?

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John Saari September 28, 2014 at 9:22 am

I believe the blue glow was a small efficient flame . Now the flame is inefficient and thus orange. This can be caused by soot or improper balance of gas and oxygen.

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Robert March 2, 2014 at 12:50 pm

When I turn it off my Majestic DVRT36RN gas fireplace it bangs once loudly as if something metal has cooled off. It just started doing it this winter after 10 years working perfectly. Any idea how I can stop this?

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Bill March 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm

The pilot remains lit on my electronic ignition fireplace after the power supply has been shut off. This has just started happening, how is this fixed?

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Howie February 24, 2014 at 4:41 pm

1st when I try to light the pilot with the starter it will not light. So I start the pilot with a lighter. It then stays on. 2nd when I then turn the flames on they come on and only burn for a couple of minutes and then flames go out including the pilot. Fireplace is a heatalator propane with direct vent through roof.

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kristen March 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Howie, I’m having the same problems. I have to light the pilot with a lighter, which lights it immediately. I turn it up and the flames come on like normal, but within 2 minutes at the most, everything goes out abruptly – the flames and the pilot. I’m not sure the brand or venting of my fireplace, but I know it uses natural gas. Have you figured out what is causing your issues? Thanks

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Mike March 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

I’m having the same problem. Would love an answer.

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John Saari September 28, 2014 at 9:24 am

Sounds like you need a new flame sensor.

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philip October 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Hi Kristen
I seemed to be having the same problem as yours, my pilot light, lights up with the starter,and then when the fire is on for a while as normal,then abruptly every thing goes out i.e the fire and the pilot light.
Please let me know how you fixed yours.
Philip

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Robert February 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

My mother in law has Cedar Ridge natural gas vent free logs and hearth. We are having to replace the batteries in the receiver and the remote on a very frequent basis. This last time it was less than two weeks. We are purchasing up to date Duracell batteries. This just started this year. The logs were installed last year. Does anyone have any idea why the batteries are draining so quickly?

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Mohsin Ladha February 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm

I have a 13 yrs old direct vented natural gas fireplace with a standing pilot. 4 years ago I decided to turn off the pilot and close the gas line valve in spring when it gets warmer. First winter after turning off the pilot in previous spring I was able to ignite and turn on the pilot. After that I did not use the fireplace for 2 years. This winter I turned on the gas line valve and tried to turn on the pilot it would not come ON. I even removed the glass and checked the ignition. I can see a spark when I press the ignition button, so it is working. When I depress the gas button, set it to pilot position, and press ignition button the pilot does not light at all. I cannot smell or hear any gas noise. I have vacuumed and cleaned all the dust inside. Should I press and set the gas button to ON position to clear the air in the gas line and wait till I can smell gas like odor get the gas flowing again?

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Bruce Milam February 16, 2014 at 11:20 am

you may have soot blocking the thermocoupler or thermopile. Look for a small hole behind the pilot light. Blow into it with a thin straw, like the ones you stir coffee with. That may seem too simple of a solution but often its the correct one. That hole is the safety, because its drawing oxygen at that point for the flame. When its blocked it will not draw oxygen adequately and the pilot will not stay lit.

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Carl Kasprzyk February 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm

My battery in the receiving end of the remote keeps going dead. It lasts about 1 day.

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Carl Kasprzyk February 9, 2014 at 4:49 pm

The remote battery goes dead in the fireplace. It lasts about a day.

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Gina February 7, 2014 at 12:01 am

Have a Valor, direct vent, installed 3 mo ago. Worked fine. Woke up in the night to a loud constant hissing noise, like the sound of something frying…not a screech or whistle. Turned off pilot lite. No change. Turned off gas line with key. No change. Constant hissing that can be heard from everywhere in the house. I don’t seem to smell gas but it sure sounds like a gas leak. Called the company who installed it– they are not concerned. Said they might get to it in a week. Can you imagine!? Paid $5k for this kind of service. I am actually worried about safety. What could it be? There are of no help.

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Billy Parker February 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

I have a Heatilator gas log fireplace with a wall switch to turn on fire logs and another to turn on blower. Today, the fire logs started a loud squeal. I turned off the blower and squeal stopped. What part of blower can cause this problem or does entire blower needs to be replaced?

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Pat McIntyre February 5, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Hello, I have a gas insert in my fireplace. The fireplace is on the north side of the house. Whenever we have a north wind of 15-20 mph, the pilot light blows out. Only a north wind blows the pilot light out. To help stop the downdraft, I have almost completely closed off the vent at the top of chimney. Any suggestions?
Pat

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Lee February 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

Hi a blower was being installed in our majestic fireplace by a family member and the schematic was off and showed the blower wire connected to the gas valve. When the switch was flipped to on the fireplace popped and smoked. We initially thought the natural gas valve was broken. We bought a new one and either the valve doesn’t work (new one) or it’s something else. Could it be the thermopile or the snap discs? Is there anything else like a safety valve or something that may be on?

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Robert Swann February 3, 2014 at 10:40 am

I have and Unvented gas fireplace that takes a long time to light. It used to light as soon as the switch was turned on and now it takes more than a minute to light. Any ideas?

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Mitch February 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

I have gas logs that are controlled by light switch. I hear this strange noise 1 or 2 times a day. It sounds exactly like a breaker that had just tripped coming from the logs. It’s not the same sounds that you hear after logs have cooled down. In fact it does it even if I haven’t run logs in days. Any ideas? Thanks.

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Rickey C February 1, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I have a vent-less fireplace. When I turn the piolt light on I can not get the burner to light up, is this something to do with the light switch or is gas not getting through the burner and I need to blow it out with commpressed air, Need help
Thanks- Fireplace will not light up just the piot light.

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Marc January 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

I have a set of natural Gas unvented logs, the pilot will stay on and the burner will ignite for about 5 seconds the I hear a click and the burner goes out. Any ideas

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Mark Ellis January 31, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Sounds like your flame sensor is dirty or bad, you can try cleaning it with a piece of emery cloth or fine grit sand paper. This should be located next to your pilot light and igniter.

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Sam February 3, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Try turning your blower fan from high to low . . . Mine kept doin what you re sayin when i turned mine to high.

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Caitlyn January 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I have a gas fireplace that is turned on via a switch on the wall. I have only lived in this house for a year and the pilot light is on all year long. I have maybe used the fireplace a handful of times. I went to use my fireplace the other day after not having used it for a few months and it won’t ignite. The pilot light remains on, but when I flick the switch to turn it on, nothing happens. I have already tried changing the electrical switch with no resolution

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Darrel January 29, 2014 at 10:01 am

Sounds like the switch. The $2.00 light switches usually used for these fail quite often. Install a new one and you should be OK.

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john Doesky January 25, 2014 at 8:39 am

I have two Heatilator vented gas fireplaces with intellifire ignition. One is 4YO and one is 2 months old. Both worked perfect until we ran our propane dry and had to get it refilled. Our propane kitchen cooktop runs as normal. Both fireplaces will not start. Attempted multiple times on each fireplace to RESET the controller (mains power off/wait 5 mins/turn on) and also the OFF switch on the controller it self. When we try to turn on we hear some solenoid type noises and we get good sparking in the log set. We usually will only let it spark for 30 secs at most at one time. The kitchen cooktop is about 20 feet from the outside tank and the fireplaces are another 40 foot of pipe away from the cooktop.

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john Doesky January 25, 2014 at 8:45 am

I am an engineer with meters and I can check stuff but it makes no sense to me that both fireplaces have an electrical issue. It seems like it would make more sense that it is a gas supply/flow/venting issue. I believe I saw the original installer pop off the front glass when he started things. Do i need to wait a lot longer for gas to migrate to remote fireplaces.

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john Doesky January 25, 2014 at 8:59 am

I removed the glass from the 2MO unit and when I turn the remote on I can HEAR the gas, I can SMELL the gas, and the sparker is sparking. I’m very confused.

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john Doesky January 28, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Answering my own question for people who have similar problem.

The primary issue is that air got into the piping lines from the tank being emptied. After getting the main tank refilled and even though I could smell gas coming out as I stated above, the gas was not at the appropriate density to start a flame. What I had to do was loosen a fitting of the flexible pipe at the very end where it feeds the fireplace and let the gas & air bleed out. I essentially let it bleed out for about two minutes to the point that the room was very smelly. Opened windows and had ceiling fan on to air the room out for 15 mins. Then I flicked the switch and the FP started in about 10 seconds of sparking. I was told that it may take 1-4 30 sec cycles of sparking before it ultimately fires up. Mine fired up in the first 30 second starting attempt.

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mirella January 25, 2014 at 6:40 am

our gas fireplace is making a loud ticking noise. it kind of sounds like water dripping. We also heard something fall down the liner that sounded like metal. Any ideas what could have fallen and what is making that ticking sound.

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John January 18, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I have a question regarding TEMCO propane log set and fireplace, with entertainment build in
The unit is direct vented through the ceiling to the outside when I burn the fireplace the wall and TV get hot any suggestions as to the cause
Thanks for any help you can offer.
John

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Kenneth Payne January 15, 2014 at 12:54 pm

The home we have bought has a gas fireplace , the valve which turns on and off the gas supply is froze and will not turn. Can I spray WD-40 or something like that where the stem goes into the body of the valve or what? The person I bought the house from never used the fireplace. The house is now twelve years old.

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Brian Snook January 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I have a freestanding Jotul gas stove purchased 15+ years ago. Been great except last 4-5 years seem to have the same issue. Either the stove won’t light at all, even though the pilot light is on and has been burning, or the fireplace lights when i turn the switch on, however within 20-30 minutes it shuts down and then won’t come back on sometimes till the next day. I’ve worked on the stove myself and replaced a couple items upon the advice of my local gas stove store (can’t remember the name of the parts, maybe thermocoupler?) Any general ideas or suggestions? thanks!

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sue January 12, 2014 at 7:14 am

I have an Empire Comfort System gas log insert. My pilot light went out recently. Was able to restart it but now my remote won’t work. It makes a clicking sound but nothing happens. Any advise?

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Dave January 9, 2014 at 10:10 am

My dad has an Intertherm natural gas fireplace. It was working fine but then the pilot light went out. I’ve tried to re-ignight it with no luck. The peizo ignighter does work as it creates a spark, there is just no gas going to the pilot. I’ve turned the valve to pilot and held the button in as directed. Just no gas at the pilot to ignight. Can anyone assist? Thanks!

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BILL February 6, 2014 at 5:12 pm

WHAT IS YOUR REPLY TO NO GAS? YOU CAN NOT SMELL GAS AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO IGNITE.

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Tony January 7, 2014 at 7:20 pm

We have a White Mountain Hearth vented gas log fireplace. We turned the gas on, both at the tanks, and in the area below the logs. The knob has “off”, “pilot” and “on”. We push the igniter while having the button pushed in fully at the pilot mark. The pilot light works, but when trying to turn the knob to “on”, the flame goes out as soon as I let the knob out to turn it to “on”. Any help is appreciated.

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Jim January 10, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Either the thermo coupler is bad, or more likely soot has built up in the pilot jets. I replaced mine once, only to have same issue reappear. Mine has one coupler to deal with both flames, and was 35 for the part. If you’re handy, it can be done. Does the pilot have two or more flames showing? If so, one flame is the pilot and heats a thermo couple device that will shut pilot off if it does not stay hot enough. The other does the same for the burner. They both (mine has four flames, a Napoleon) The flames should be bright blue, and coming out with some force, maybe an inch or longer flame. If not, when cool use a toothpick and clean the little holes/tubes where fire come out. I use a straw and vacuum cleaner to them out, too. If the fire now comes out stronger and brighter, you have a cheap and easy fix!

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Leo January 6, 2014 at 12:58 pm

I have a Discovery direct vent gas fireplace insert that the burner does not stay on. When I take off the glass it will turn and stay burning. As soon as I replace the glass it goes out in a few seconds. I hear a clicking noise that turns off the gas. Is the thermopile bad? I am thinking there may be an oxygen sensor?

Also there is a lot of cold air around the bottom of the slide in unit. Can I insulate below the burner and with what?

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troy January 7, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Hi Leo. I have a very similar problem with mine. My pilot will not stay lit when it is Minus 20 Celsius or colder. If I remove the glass the pilot will stay lit, but when the burner comes on it shuts down. Also there is a huge huge downdraft which I suspect mite b blowing out the pilot. Once it warmed up it works fine again. I was told the inlet air was mabe accumulating frost when it gets cold and choking off the inlet air. I turned the main burner on and left it running 24/7 and when it got cold again it continued to run but now I can hear water dripping behind the unit coming from up above somewhere. Do u have the same issues ? Have u got your unit fixed ? I am at a standstill and running out of ideas. Any info or advice on what u have learned would b kewl ! thx

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Kathi ALvin January 6, 2014 at 6:58 am

I have a Majestic fireplace with blower in my 5 year old house. When the fire is going the room is nice and warm, but the marble and wood mantle around the fireplace unit is so hot I get worried and think something maybe wrong. Hardly use it because I don;t know if this is normal or not. What do you think?

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Bobbie C January 3, 2014 at 10:29 am

Hi. I have a new Heat n Glo DV gas fireplace. It has battery backup so I can use it when the power goes out. The instructions on the battery box say “Do not leave batteries in this box. Insert them when the power goes out.” That’s a pain in the back! If the power goes out after dark, it’s difficult to see to insert the batteries. Also, the front to the Heat n Glo has to be removed to access the battery box.

I’ve owned two other gas fireplaces with battery backup. Neither of them required removing the batteries. My Mendota DV fireplace was 20 years old. I changed batteries every fall. They remained in the battery box all year long and I never had a problem. If the power went out while I was asleep and I woke up due to a cold house, all I had to do was push a button on my remote and the fireplace came on.

In another house, I had a gas DV fireplace. I left the batteries in all the time and had no problems.

So why, 20 years later, has the technology gone backwards? Thanks.

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travis January 2, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Have a continental lp gas fireplace.In the past it took it took longer and longer to hold the pilot lite button in to stay lite. now no matter how long I hold it in , it goes back out.

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Tim Gustafson January 1, 2014 at 6:06 pm

I have a jotul GF 300 dv freestanding propane stove that the pilot light works fine but the burner will not ignite. I have also installed a new thermopile with the same results any suggestions?

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Lynette January 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm

We have a 8 yr old home, I really don’t know what kind of fireplace other than it’s in the middle of the home, it has a chimney which the silver venting pipe goes from the top of the fireplace up and out the chimney in the roof. The fireplace is a Heat n Glo with a fan. We either turn it on remotely or with a switch on the side. It is hooked up with propane and we’ve had a fireplace repairman come out several times but we still smell the propane when we open the valve and fire it up. I can smell the propane coming from under the fireplace where all the components are. He replaced the pilot couping as well as check for bubbles on the flexible hose that goes from the gas pipe to the pilot. We’ve let it burn for along time thinking it could just be a build up but we don’t leave the pilot burn all the time. We turn it on when needed because we fear the smell as well as loss of propane. The flames are yellow and blue at the base. Any other suggestions would be helpful and appreciated. Should we just have the whole thing replaced? We have lived here for 8 yrs and have never been able to enjoy our fireplace :(

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troy January 7, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Kinda wondering if mabe the burner was made for gas and wasn’t changed to accommodate propane. It will also cause yellow flame .

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Brian December 31, 2013 at 3:09 pm

I have a kinsman direct vent clean view firebox with no blower. I light it and close the glass door… 20 minutes later the whole surround is shoot you can’t touch the metal.even the wall gets hot. I want to leave it on for the look of it, butitgetstoo hot. Can I replace the burner with a different one that doesn’t burn so hot? I’m not looking for it to heat the house, just look nice. Thoughts? I have a feeling I had the wrong firebox type installed.

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Scott December 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

My gas fire place ignites and burns well but for no apparent reason goes out then reignites. It may continue to do this or it my run fine. There just doesn’t seen to be any pattern. Anyone have an idea?

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Susan January 9, 2014 at 5:43 pm

My logs did the same thing.Brand new. I called customer service and they said it was thermostat controlled. When it reaches a certain temp.the logs automatically turn off. When the room cools they come back on. So if you want your room in the 70′s turn it to the highest #. If you want your room cooler upper 60′s turn it to 1.
The guy that installed was clueless also.
Look on your box or your user guide and see if they are thermostatically controlled.
I’m not sure if I like this feature or not as I just called customer support tonight. I wish I had know this when I lost electricity and it was sub.zero weather and was freezing. I was under the impression the unit was overheating and was scared to use it. Hopes this helps.

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Neal December 24, 2013 at 10:51 am

We have a Mendota X-62 fireplace insert with electronic ignition powered by a battery pack and a remote. The pilot light does not shut down when pushing the off button on the remote. The main valve opens and closes properly and the fireplace burns well. Could this be the thermocoupler? I know a defective one causes a pilot to go out but could the opposite also happen in a unit with electronic ignition?

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cbaker December 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Pilot light should only go off when you turn it off. The remote should never turn the pilot off.

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Bobbie C January 3, 2014 at 10:42 am

Well, the pilot lighting system is different on almost every fireplace. With my old Mendota, the pilot light was on ALL the time. I turned it off manually every spring (saves a lot of gas, and keeps the house cooler) and on again when weather got cold. I had battery back up to spark a fire, but the pilot light had to be on.

Now, I have a Heat n Glo (don’t buy this brand–cheaply made and arctic winds, strong enough to make a bath towel flap, blow from top, bottom and sides!) dv unit with a remote control. The pilot light is NEVER on. It’s provided electronically when a pilot flame is needed, when you push the “On” button on either a remote control or a wall controller.

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Schiffy December 16, 2013 at 9:48 am

Have 11 year old gas fireplace. Just changed the batteries in our wall remote and it started right up. Next time it wouldn’t star at all.
Most often it takes several minutes to start up or it won’t star at all. Can the configuration of the logs make any difference?
Our flame is yellow. Could that be a cause?
Right now it is burning nicely,yellow flame and all.
The biggest problem is that it seems to have a mind of its own and works sometimes and not others.
Thanks for listening…we welcome any advice you have to give. We are trying to ward off a very costly repair bill.

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Larry K December 21, 2013 at 5:32 am

Schiffy, did you ever resolve your problem? We have the same issue. Stove works most of the time but other times will not fire up when the thermostat “clicks”. If we simply turn the stove to “on” it may take a minute or more to fire up.

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Jo Anne Thibeau December 12, 2013 at 11:03 am

I purchased a ProCom vent free gas stove. It will only stay lit on the high settings. When put on the low setting it cuts out. It is mainly used for ambiance since we live in the FL Keys and just want it for looks and to take a damp chill off. If on the high setting we could only keep in on for a short time. We have it hooked up to a Propane BBQ gas tank. I’ve tried calling the manufacture, only to be left on hold for 45 minutes and then disconnected. This has happened 3 times. Please help!

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Somary December 10, 2013 at 7:46 am

I have a gas fireplace and I am having trouble turning it on
the part where you put in the key to turn on the valve is stuck
when I insert the key I can feel like something pushes in but I cannot turn the key
how can I fix this problem?

Is it ok if I just put firewood in it and light it without turning on the gas valve?
My furnace doesn’t work so I want to start my fireplace to keep my place warm.

what can I do?

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Phil December 10, 2013 at 6:57 am

I have a rear vented majestic NG fireplace. Pilot lights just fine, burners light too. Sometimes, it runs flawlessly. Other times, it lights, runs for a minute, then, the flames turn blue and everything shuts down. Pilot won’t re-light until things cool down, fire won’t remain lit. Techs have been out more than once. Can’t find a problem with anything. I hate my fireplace.

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Tina January 19, 2014 at 7:03 am

Hi,
We have a Sienna direct vent insert. Our unit is doing the same thing you described above. Did you find the answer to the problem? Thanks.

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Patrick December 8, 2013 at 8:05 am

I have a switch that starts and stops flames to my propane gas fireplace. I light the pilot and hit the wall switch and the fire starts without a problem. But, when I turn the wall switch to off, the flame continues to burn. I’ve switched out the electrical wall switch to no avail. Currently the only way to turn it off is to turn off the gas supply line. Any suggestions to assist me in repairing it myself would be most appreciated.

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Tim Diekmann December 9, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Just worked on the neighbor’s fireplace. There were two switches: a wall switch and a small one on the fireplace. Either will turn the gas to the main burner on. You may have to turn the small switch on the fireplace off in order to control with the wall switch. Hope this helps. Tim

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Tricia December 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I have a majestic fireplace that I haven’t used in the 3 years I have been in my home. I re-lit the pilot; however, when I switched to “on” the pilot doesn’t light the main burner. Any suggestions? I wiped the burner and removed the “dust bunnies”.

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mary tarrell December 7, 2013 at 8:16 am

I have a wall propane heater vent free at the pilot light does not want to stay lit of blown into the thing to make sure that there’s no sit in there but I still cannot get any gas to come through neither works fine but the rest of the it doesn’t want to light up for me I am on a low income and I’m freezing to death can you help me out if not let me know what I must do thank you very much God bless you iam also a I’m also a senior citizen and I need some help kind of trap to my house up thank you very much anything you can do I really appreciate it

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Dean Randalls December 7, 2013 at 8:14 am

My NG vent free gas logs will sometimes not light fully . The front burner will light but the second one just floods gas . I have inspected the burners and found them to be clean . It will work fine sometimes but then it will just barely light and flood . I may just replace the unit but just wan to see what the cause is ….

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Michael January 4, 2014 at 9:38 pm

I saw your post about your gas logs. I was wondering if you figured your problem out my logs do the exact same just needing some help figuring it out. Thanks Michael

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Kevin December 5, 2013 at 5:39 am

we have a vent free gas fireplace. For the last 2 nights it has made a loud popping sound (metal). I used a flashlight and discovered the top inside metal casing has separated and there is a gap and heat is going right into the wall. No blower on this model, so it gets really hot.

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Glenn December 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

My fireplace keeps cutting out, or will not turn on at all. My pilot light is on and the rheostat is appropriate.
It has worked flawlessly for the past month, then all of a sudden it just stopped. If I turn on the wall switch and it doesn’t light, I can push the pilot ignition and the fire will light.
If the fire doesn’t light, is gas seeping into the house?

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Jeffrey December 7, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Glenn; Gas leaking in is highly unlikely. All modern (after about WWII) are manufactured with strict safety guidelines that include safety valves which automatically cut the flow of gas if the pilot goes out. The mechanism is very simply designed and failure is rare.

There are 3 common issues that can cause the flame to go out
1. Make certain the compartment where the controls and pilot are is CLEAN. We have 2 gas fireplaces and one very hairy golden retriever. With hardwood floors her hairy tumble weeds collect in every nook & cranny. Even a coating of household dust in this area can restrict airflow signalling the safety mechanism to kick the burner off after a few minutes.
Be sure to use small brushes, pipe cleaners or hatever necessary to get as much dust out of the tight spots as possible. A vacuum hose, damp cloth and canned air will clear the larger spaces.

2. Your thermocouple could be bad and there are plenty of videos on youtube and other info on the Web to show how to change it. It’s a simple procedure if you have any skills at all, requires no special tools and the part is readily available at many hardware and appliance stores usually around 12 bucks. Most are 30 millivolt with the only difference being the length of the copper wire which (with the heat of the pilot flame) generates the low voltage necessary to keep the burner burning.

3. The third common problem is related to #2. That is if the pilot is not making contact with the tip of the thermocouple. The thermocouple is essentially a non-mechanical switch made of two types of metal that heat at different rates causing it to warp (bend) when heated and connected to the gas flow module, They do wear out over time, but if it’s not warping due to being defective it will kill the gas supply via the safety valve. The same effect happens if the pilot is restricted and not making contact with the thermocouple.

If you have a voltage meter (and presuming you know how to use it, you can check the current potential of the thermocouple to determine it is or is not, the issue. But a thermocouple is cheaper than a voltage meter, so you can take a chance, But before replacing it, light the pilot and look to see if the tip of the flame is reaching the thermocouple. If not, the pilot orifice may need cleaned or the pilot may need adjusted. There are two ways to do that unless it is a “fixed position” thermocouple you can try loosening the screw on the bracket and slide it up until it contacts the flame. Or try increasing the gas flow by first cleanig it. Presumably it was originally set correctly by the installer so an obstrucyion should be the first consideration. The second adjustment is to turn the screw on the side of the orifice. This allows more or less gas flow. The flame should be mostly blue.

Hope that helps.

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Julie December 9, 2013 at 1:56 pm

This is exactly what’s happening to our fireplace. When we first bought the house, the fireplace worked well. The next year, we had trouble lighting it and did not use it for fear of explosion. Now that it’s finally cold enough in Phoenix to use it again, it is slow sometimes to start. After 4 or 5 minutes is shuts off. We then cannot restart it. We don’t know how to fix it or who to call in our area to diagnose and repair the problem. Do you have any recommendations?

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jeff jewell November 30, 2013 at 8:09 pm

my pil0t light wont light , what could it be?

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Sloan November 28, 2013 at 8:40 am

I have a Desa gas fireplace. Works well on electric but on manual the pilot light lights but goes out when you let go of the manual override. Can’t figure out why – any ideas?

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Jay Wood November 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Thank you Karie for a helpful and informative article.

While visiting my elderly mother-in-law this cold Thanksgiving week, her 20-plus-year-old ventless gas fireplace set stopped working. After reading your article, I was fairly certain we needed to replace the thermocouple… the pilot light had gone out, was difficult to re-light and would not stay on for more than a few minutes. The local fireplace shops I contacted said they could order a replacement part, but it would take over a week to get it.

Not wanting to leave MIL to fend for herself (we’re only here for a few more days), I kept searching and came across a local technician who gave me a VERY helpful tip that enabled me to fix the problem the same afternoon, and it needed just a small amount of time, effort, money, and (most importantly) skill.

He suggested the problem was likely just a dirty supply line to the pilot, and that he was “99% sure” blowing it out with compressed air would fix the problem. Sure enough, it worked like a charm, the previously weak-looking pilot flame is now twice as high, and the logs have been burning happily for a couple of hours now.

Here it is in 5 simple steps:
1. Get a can of compressed air, commonly found at home improvement and office supply stores for a few bucks.
2. Install the tiny plastic straw attachment that comes with the can of air into the nozzle.
3. On your gas log set, remove a log or two as needed to reveal the small supply line for the pilot light.
4. On the side of this pipe near the base, is a tiny orifice (probably an air vent? I’m not sure). Insert the straw into this orifice and give a few good blasts of air. For good measure, I stuck it down the middle of the pipe and administered another good blast or two.
5. Re-light the pilot, replace the logs (and enjoy a warm, cozy Thanksgiving – or whatever!)

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Jaime Flowers November 26, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Thanks for the tip! It solved my problem in 7 minutes. Glad I didn’t have to spend money on a technician!

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Andy December 3, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Worked for me – just got my air compressor and blasted the nozzle and the orifice. Thanks

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Rich December 9, 2013 at 8:45 am

Thanks as well. Easy fix and it works better than ever.

We called our propane dealer, Rural Gas in Monroe, CT, over two weeks ago. They were too busy to schedule a maintenance visit and told us they’d get back to us when they were able. Checked back with them a week ago and they said they had our information and would get back to us. We’re still waiting for them to schedule a visit. Thankfully, we don’t need them anymore.

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Glen December 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm

This was a great piece of advice! I thought I would give it a try–would only be out the $5 for the spray can of air if it didn’t work–but it worked like a charm! Saved the $190/hour technician charge! Thanks for posting!

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Cheryl NEPA January 11, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Jay, I was given the exact tip from my propane company and have been doing it for almost 10 years now. Before using the compressed air I also vacuum over the burners and dust everything in there as well. Usually you’re good for a year.
Another tip, when I re-light the pilot is to depress the button and hold it down “only” after you see a spark from the ignitor and then keep it depressed for at least 60 seconds before turning the dial to a heat number. If it does not light after one or two attempts, turn it to the off position for five minutes or so to give it a rest and repeat. One last comment for propane users, I did have an issue one year when no matter what I did would work and it wound up being the floater in my propane tank was stuck showing I still had gas but in reality was empty. Swapping out the equipments was a quick fix, the fireplace was fine.

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Adam Wilson November 26, 2013 at 12:29 am

Hello, can’t find the name brand of the gas fireplace. But the manufactor is Heatilator Inc, Serial: GA154708 Model; GNDC33NAT
Lost the remote to start it, so I just slide the remote sensor to on to get the fireplace to start up. The battery on the sensor had gotten old and leaked battery acid on the bottom of the battery, but didn’t get any on the connections. I Replaced the battery, but the flame still won’t start up. The pilot light stays lite, but I can’t get the main flame to come on. I’m thinking it is the remote sensor that has gone bad, if not that then it the gas valve itself that has gone bad.

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C.D. November 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I have fire logs that are lit with a long metal pipe with holes in it. When lit, there is a roaring sound which I feel might be caused by the air mix. Could this be the case or something else?

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Karen Lichtenberg November 22, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Someone broke the metal turner inside the wall to my gas fireplace. How do I remove the piece broken inside?

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Charles Staskel November 22, 2013 at 3:53 pm

I have a comfortec CDV34RN gas fireplace. I have been trying to find manual, parts ect. It seems like this is the worlds best kept secreat. Pilot lite will not stay on. No part #s I think the thermopile needs to be replaced and maybe the thermocouple? Does anyone know about this fireplace?

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Arlin Brown November 21, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I have an old set of gas logs that does not have a thermostat or anything except a valve to control the flame. When I lit the pilot light and then turned on the burner, it lit but went off after about 30 seconds. I tried this several times with the same results. I replaced the thermocouple and the same problem happened again. Does it sound like the gas valve is defective?

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Karl November 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

I have a Monessen DLX18NVASB gas log with millivolt control when turning on the pilot stays lit but once the control is turn on, the burner does not come on. The millivolt is wire to a wall switch with two wire 18awg wire to TH/TP and TH. Also the wire from the on/off switch to same terminals. The wiring diagram shows a red wire going to TP from ODS Pilot, but the actual is connect to the back of the millivolt control. I perform the complete millivolt test and did not get any voltage readings. This is the first time the system have been operated since install by homebuilder in 08, could this be a bad millivolt control?

Thank you
Karl

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Dwayne November 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Hello I have a freestanding direct vent propane fireplace that we had installed a few weeks ago and it works fine while plugged in, it has a remote control that allows me to adjust the temperature. B ut when I unplug the fireplace the pilot is all that will work not the main burner, we called the tech back and he says we need an ignition module to be able to operate it without hydro because it has an electronic ignition, is this correct.
Thank you

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Rob November 18, 2013 at 5:06 am

We have a newly installed gas fireplace. Our flame is more blue than orange. Why is this? Also, we have had it on 3 times now and some of the holes for flame won’t light up. Thirdly, it seems like there is a lot of oils burning off. It still smokes enough to set off the fire alarms after a while. Any ideas?

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Don Hamilton November 8, 2013 at 9:48 am

I have a Vermont fireplace that will not turn on most of the time. There is only sufficient flame to keep the pilot lit, but not enough flame to heat the thermopile to allow you to turn the knob to on.
Is it possible to increase the pilot flame?

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Don Hamilton November 8, 2013 at 9:45 am

I have a Vermont fireplace that will not light most of the time.
There is only sufficient flame to keep the pilot lit, but there is not enough flame to heat the thermoplie and allow you to turn the knob to on.
Is it possible to increase the pilot flame?

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ukh October 27, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Bought this 2.5 yr old house in summer and when I tried to start fireplace last week my smoke alarm started beeping within 15 minutes. I have tried three times since then, but same result. Any suggestion!

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lynette dulaney October 26, 2013 at 10:33 am

my remote for my fireplace will not work on the manuel setting once i got it on it wooden cut off,so what to do.

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SAS October 25, 2013 at 4:47 am

Light switch for fireplace does not always work. Found that tapping on gas valve ignites fire. Pilot working OK. Thoughts anyone? Does a gas valve go bad with little use?

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Jason November 18, 2013 at 7:08 am

Don,
There is a little brass flat head screw on the valve thats says pilot that is the pilot adjustment screw. I would guess if nobody has been playing around down there you probably have webs in the pilot assembly. In some cases you can shut off the pilot flame and use dust off, air in a can to spray around and inside off the pilot tube. Beware that air is flammable!. There is a little hole on the pilot tube about an inch or so below the pilot hood that takes air in this is where most little spiders create webs.
Good luck

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Jason November 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

It sounds like you need a new thermopile. I wouln’t keep tapping the valve. Sometimes the valve does go bad and this is the remedy for a little while. You can test the thermopile. You should be getting at least 400 milli volts
Good luck

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Rebecca October 22, 2013 at 9:02 am

We have a gas fireplace that wont heat. We have a wall thermostat that registers the room temperature. The thermostat also controls the fireplace. The polite light is working but when we want the flame to start nothing. Any suggestions?

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Jason November 18, 2013 at 7:14 am

I would make sure you are not in the pilot position on the valve. Sometimes when the fireplace gets old the thermopile starts generating less voltage that could be the problem also

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Marcia October 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I have a remote controlled gas fireplace that won’t turn on via the remote. I have changed batteries in both the remote and the remote box, nothing. It will turn on manually on the remote box but what a pain to have to do that every time, plus it gets hot after it’s been on a while and I’ve burned myself more than once turning it off. This isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with the remote, the box and remote were replaced once while the house was still under warranty. What I was wondering is how hard/easy is it to install a wall switch? Keep in mind that I’m a 48 year old single mom and while I do a lot of DIY (installed light fixtures, kitchen faucet, etc.) my knowledge is limited but I cannot afford $70 an hour to have a tech come out if it’s an easy installation. Any instructions and websites where to find the switch kit would be helpful! Thanks!

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Hans October 23, 2013 at 7:26 am

A separate on/off switch is usually supplied along with the remote setup. It typically mounts on the back of the fireplace (assuming that it is not a built-in model) Manual should tell you how to replace remote control with on/off switch. It is quite simple and if they did not give you the on/off switch with the installation, any two way switch will do. Can’t tell you how to wire it without model/manual information.

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Jason November 18, 2013 at 7:16 am

it sounds like you have to synchronize the remote to the hand held.

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Marguerite Pohlig October 21, 2013 at 6:59 am

My daughter moved into a house that has a Majestic gas fireplace witha glass front.I don’t know how tk get to the model #.so I can download the manual.when j turn it kn it works beautifully, but thenglass gets very hot, so I turn it off immediately.i dont know if the glass opens or not…Thanks for your help
Marguerite

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Marcia October 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I’m no expert, just a homeowner with a gas fireplace and I do know that the glass front DOES get very hot…just ask my son. When he was about 7 he was standing bare butt in front drying off after his bath and the dog jumped on him and he backed into the glass, burning his little cheeks pretty bad (that was an embarrassing call into school telling them he couldn’t come in because he couldn’t put pants on because he burned his butt on the fireplace). If it’s a new house, for your own peace of mind, I would definitely recommend getting someone to inspect it to make sure everything is in working order. I, myself, purchased a fireplace screen to keep kids and pets away from the glass front. Good luck!

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Hans October 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

The Majestic fireplaces typically have clamps to fasten the glass front on each side. (I’m assuming that it is not a built-in model) There will be two doors on the sides which hide these clamps and can just be opened. (Make sure fireplace is not hot!) Inside one of them typically will be all the model information.

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Mike Riley October 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I have a gas furnace that just has a swithc to turn fireplace on.The switch is at the bottom of fireplace.Could i take switch off there and replace it there underneath with a manual thermomoeter or is it safer to use a wireless one instead

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Wendy October 20, 2013 at 3:38 am

My Grandaughter has managed to remove a small section of my gas fire back (the black bit), leaving some of the metal showing. Can this be repaired or will I need to replace the back. Any advice appreciated.

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sherm October 17, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Ihave a york furnace ,old but works ok. the furnace man said cold air coming down the chimney keeps it from starting back up. I have to push the reset button. What can I do to the chimney to stop this problem.

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Brenda October 17, 2013 at 6:08 am

Have a Superior direct-vent fireplace that is approx 17 years old. Purchased house in 2010. Previous owner did not use fireplace. During home inspection prior to purchase the fireplace would not light—had to replace the thermopile. I did not use until winter 2012—had gas smell and glass front smoked completely up. Call gas company and was referred to get a technician that worked on gas fireplaces. Tech did testing and replace bad termocouple. Cleaned glass front. Relit fireplace. No gas smell but within a couple of days the glass front smoked up completely. Tech came back out and check outside vent but found nothing. Fireplace has been shut off. Want to use this winter. What could be problem?

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Hilda August 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I have the same smoked up glass problem with a Heatilator double-sided fireplace installed in 1995. We bought the house 10 years ago. We have used the fireplace successfully several times over the years. I have cleaned the glass but the smoked up glass remains. Last time we used it was during a 4-day power outage two years ago. The glass smoked up and remains so.

I am in the middle of house renovation and want to get the smoked up glass problem fixed. Did your problem get fixed–what was it? I am looking forward to your response.

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Cindy October 16, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I’ve had my Real Fyre manual control gas logs for two years now and a problem has arisen. I went to re-light the pilot light and the control knob won’t turn. I can push the knob in, but I’m unable to turn the knob to any of the positions. The knob is on the end of a square rod that goes into this long casing. I apologize that my description is so basic; I’m hoping that someone out there can read between the lines and provide me some help. Please? Thank you, in advance.

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Patti Smith November 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

We have this same problem. Did you get an answer yet?

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Suzanne December 5, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Hi…
My key for the gas valve won’t turn ether. Did you ever get an answer or figure out how to loosen it up? I have tried WD40…but it didn’t help. Have an app’t set for the gas company to come out on Dec 23rd.

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Jack October 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I have a gas fireplace with air vent in the back. There is an on/off wall switch and blower switch next to it. The pilot is always on and I can see it thru the front glass pane. The problem I have is when I turn on the wall switch, the fire place lite up for 20-30 seconds then goes out and come back for short while and goes out again unless I turn it off. I don’t think it causes by the wall switch (it looks like a normal light switch) because I think this switch is just to the current flow and activate a gas valve switch to let the gas into the fireplace chamber but I’m not 100% certain on this. I think it most likely a valve switch might be faulty or something. Anyone has the same experience and know what causes this/how to fix it and don’t mind sharing that would be awesome.

Jack

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Bob Swicklik November 26, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I have a Heat-N-Glo direct vent propane fireplace my problem is after the flame goes out when the desired temp is reached two or three minutes later I hear noise like a loud pop or bang from somewhere in the fire place. Can you give me some reason for this. Thank you, Bob

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Julie Futscher October 11, 2013 at 5:16 am

I chipped a gas log. What can I use to attach the loose piece?
Thank you.

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Laura October 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I turned my freestanding fireplace on to make sure it worked good for winter. When I turned the switch to off the flame went out but the pilot light did not go off nor the fan to the fireplace. The fan and pilot light has been on now for about six hours no gas smell but I am concerned.

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Rick Biron October 6, 2013 at 6:39 am

I have recently installed a pro-com gas log set into a firebox. Previously I had the fire logs installed in a fireplace and it worked fine. With the new firebox install, the pilot light goes on fine and the unit will start OK. It runs for about 20-30 seconds and dies completely – pilot light and all. If I run the unit without the logs installed it keeps running as it would in normal operation. Any ideas on what’s causing this?

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Steve Smith September 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I have a natural gas Quadra-Fire fireplace insert using the IntelliFire Plus RC300 multifunction remote control. Last summer the fireplace just came on all by itself without anyone touching the remote. The remote itself showed on the face that it is in the off position. I opted to unplug the unit and sorta forgot about it for safety sake. I recently plugged it back into 110v power and the unit started automatically once again. Has something gone wrong with my remote system that would be causing this? The insert is only a few years old and has been used very little. Any advice or troubleshooting thoughts, or information would be appreciated. This seems dangerous to me and I do not want it starting without me being here to monitor it. I am losing faith in this unit completely.

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Karie Fay October 12, 2013 at 4:07 am

Hi Steve,

Any time that something comes on when it isn’t supposed to, it’s a dangerous condition. Have you tried contacting the manufacturer? That’s where I would start. Email or call them — it’s a serious safety issue.

Hope that helps,
Karie Fay

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Vinnie September 23, 2013 at 11:02 am

I have a fireplace that does not start with the electric switch on the wall.However I can start the fireplace with the switch located on the fireplace itself. Once the fireplace is duly warmed, I can control the on/off of the fireplace with the wall switch.

Tells me that there is nothing wrong with the burners, gas or the pilot lamp thermocouple. Otherwise I wouldnt be able to control the fireplace with the wall switch after the fireplace is warmed. I dont think there is any issue with the electrical connection either, as it does control the warm fireplace.

What could cause the issue of the electric switch not working until the fireplace has gotten warm? Any thoughts?

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Vinnie October 8, 2013 at 10:06 am

Replying to my own question, as this may be helpful for someone….

I had my doubt on the thermopile, and decided to take the voltage measurement. As soon as I touched the wires to figure out which one was the one going to the wall switch, the fireplace flicked into life .. turns out I had loose connection which was preventing the wall switch to work. Still a mystery as to why this would work when the fireplace was warm … but at this point, I will gladly take what I have and not worry too much about it.

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Sat September 14, 2013 at 9:08 am

I have Majestic 500 DVW fireplace. When I turn it on the pilot will come on and the flames come on but it only stays lit for 20 sec or so and the flames go out. It tries the same process 3 times and will shut down with green and red lights flashing on the command center. The manual indicates it to be “pilot lockout-flame loss” condition if it makes sense. Please help.

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Eric Wright September 9, 2013 at 8:01 am

I am a certified fireplace tech with 25 years experience and can’t believe what I am reading in these comments. To tell a home-owner to service something that could result in loss of life or injury is unimaginable. Also your answers are mostly incorrect and misinformed.

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Phil December 10, 2013 at 6:48 am

I would love to find a technician that can actually fix the problem. So far, all I get is, “the unit checks out just fine, that shouldn’t happen” still, with no consistency except a light breeze perhaps, the fire turns blue and extinguishes itself. Never happens when the tech is there. Only when he’s cashed his check.

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Connie September 8, 2013 at 11:39 am

We have a gas fireplace and keep the pilot on all year long. Recently, we have noticed that there are flashes of light coming from the fireplace and the only thing on is the pilot because we have not turned on the actual fireplace yet. Does anyone know what these flashes of light are? It does not happen all the time but once it starts it will continue to flash across the front of the fireplace coming from the back left hand side. It looks almost like a flash of lightning! Any suggestions? We have turned of the pilot now because we don’t know what is happening.

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Ron Knox September 3, 2013 at 10:46 am

While operating the flames go off for a minute or so then start up again by themselves. Would you please tell me what the problem could be. Thank you.

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JILL August 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I have a gas fireplace and I always see a tiny blue flame and I understand that stays on but tonight I noticed three of those flames and they look longer than usual and some red light as well. I felt the outside of the fireplace and it is warm.
Should I be concerned?

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Tim July 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

my direct vent fireplace has a 4″ flexible foil w/wire reinforcement vent that is about 3′ long [ house is 12 yrs. old-we just moved in ] it feeds horizontally into house-outside vent was not covered & birds made a nest in vent & destroyed it-how do I replace this flex vent & is it supposed to be of this material? Thanks.

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Mark July 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I have a Majco GAS36TV gas log fireplace. I just moved into this house and I have no clue how it works. Is there a website that might have an owners manual I can download? Or do you know where I might get one?

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mike July 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

New to fireplaces. Bought a house with a direct vent on house rear. The ‘vent cap’ on the rear wall is pretty hot with just the pilot light going (fireplace not on). Is that the usual condition ? Feels like it could burn skin.
Thanks

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Karie Fay October 12, 2013 at 4:29 am

Hi Mike,

Have you resolved your question yet? If you haven’t, I would urge you to have a professional take a look at your setup. The vent cap can get hot when the fireplace is in operation, but I am thinking it shouldn’t be as hot with just a pilot light. Perhaps the pilot light is too strong — I am not sure what you have or the specs involved. It’s always better safe than sorry, however.

Good luck!
Karie Fay

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TIm June 30, 2013 at 9:13 pm

My gas fire will not stay alite,has no problem starting but won’t stay ignited,flame sts soon as I remove finger from igniting button

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Karie Fay October 12, 2013 at 4:20 am

Hi Tim,
I would suspect that it could be either a bad gas valve or, more likely, a bad thermocoupler. That could very well cause any heating appliance (fireplace, furnace) to go out once you let off of the pilot.
Hope that helps!
Karie Fay

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brian June 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I have a DVF36 having trouble with pilot staying lit. If it stays lit turn wall
Switch on burns for a short time and stops knocking out pilot.
I have cleaned flame sensor and thermopile. Should thermopile
Be replaced ant advice?

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Pat June 5, 2013 at 2:41 am

Hi,
We have a Heat n Glo Captiva 900…it is shorting circuit-breaker evrytime i switch from low heat to high heat ..otherwise working fine ..starts up ok can switch from low fan to high fan ok but when I switch from low heat to high heat it trips circuit -breaker.
Friend mentioned there is a part that needs to be replaced..do you know what this part is called a/ Can you advise of a reputable company that could perform this work ?
We are in the northern suburbs of Melbourne…Any advice greatly appreciated…Pat

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Charles A Brown May 8, 2013 at 8:19 am

I cant find a tech support number.30 years of heating and a/c work,butwill never know everything.as a tech,it should be easier to find an answer

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Karie Fay June 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Charles,

What tech support are you looking for? If you can give me the make and model, I am usually pretty good at hunting up obscure bits of information and trivia. I am definitely willing to give it a try! Just let me know and I will get right on it.

Regards,
Karie Fay

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colleen May 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm

help. had a tech come out to solve my problem. he is stumped. pilot stays lit, but it won’t stay on. sometimes it does stay on. wall switch was fine. he cleaned it. still have the same problem. would have been nice if he had come back to help. i accidently went a week over 30 days and he said he would come back, but he did not return my call. weak. anyway, clearly he doesn’t know what he is doing. but this thing does what it wants. IT WILL GO OFF AND THEN MAGICALLY GO BACK ON. PILOT NEVER GOES OUT. help, please. can’t afford to call another tech.

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Karie Fay October 12, 2013 at 4:32 am

Colleen,

If you’re still having problems with your system, I urge you to call the same tech and insist he come look at his work. If not, at least report him to your local chamber of commerce and better business bureau.

You don’t mention what type you have. If nothing else, I would suggest you call them. I would think they should be able to help you. Something, I would think, is wrong with either in the ignition system or the electronics. Please don’t let it turn itself off and on.

Good luck,
Karie Fay

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Terri Ruqus April 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Hi Karie,

My husband and I have a majestic direct vent gas fireplace. A few weeks ago the fireplace would not light but the pilot light would light. My husband researched and replaced the thermocouple but now the pilot won’t light most of the time. Once or twice it did light but it would not stay lit when he let go of the ignitor. Any suggestions on what to do next? He has tried cleaning everything but it still won’t light.

Thanks,
Terri

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Karie Fay June 2, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Hi Terri,

Thanks for the question. Are you still having problems with your Majestic? Thankfully it’s getting warm outside now!

When your husband replaced your thermocoupler, did he clean out the area it inserts into? Did he make sure it was properly situated?

The thermocouple is nothing more than a safety device that is connected to the main gas line valve. It should be pointed to the pilot light with the tip exposed to the flame.

It was a good call to replace it — that’s usually the cause. When the pilot light is on, it heats the thermocouple, which creates electricity, which causes the gas valve to open. Or at least, it should.

In your case I am thinking you might actually have a bad gas valve. Those can also be replaced. First, however, I would take a look at the thermocouple. Try lighting it again, holding the gas down for at least a minute. If that fails, try the valve.

Hope that helps,
Karie Fay

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marvin kanne April 23, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Ihave a majestic d/v propane gas fireplace that seems as if the remote and sensor on the burner get out of talking the sane language I will reprogrammed it according to the directions and press the learn button on the box with the switch in the remote position and after a minute or so press the mode button on the remote but never get a beep sound at any time. I have purchased a new 3001 skytech remote and have installed it but still don’t get a responding beep that the two recognize one another. would the unit on the burner not be accepting the signal from the remote?

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Karie Fay June 2, 2013 at 10:28 pm

Hi Marvin,

Sorry to hear about your remote problems. To answer your question, yes, it’s possible that the receiver isn’t recognizing the signal so to speak — but it should. You might want to check to ensure it’s compatible with your setup — I am not totally up on all the remotes and fireplace makes, but that should be easy enough to look into. I would also take a look at the receiver on your fireplace. Make sure it is receiving power (whether battery or electric) and that it isn’t obstructed.

Also check switches to ensure it’s set to remote operation. Are you sure the remote itself is working? If all else fails, try contacting the remote manufacturer or the fireplace maker. They can often quickly and easily point you in the right direction.

Hope this helps,
Karie Fay

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Jon Volden April 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm

I have a procom ventless fireplace. I push the button in and light the pilot and it will stay lite. But when I turn the value to get the gas going to the fire place the pilot goes out and the gas seems to stop. Any suggestions?

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Karie Fay June 2, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hi John,

If the pilot lights but the gas seems to stop once you try to get the burners going, there can be several causes. I would suggest you review the article and try troubleshooting it. It’s fairly generic information, so it will apply to your fireplace as well (See specifically the troubleshooting section). It could be anything from a dirty orifice to problems with your thermopile or thermocoupler. You’ll save a lot of money if you take a look yourself before calling in a professional.

Hope that helps!
Karie Fay

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S Johnston November 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Gas Fireplace Repair: Do-It-Yourself Troubleshooting

When cleaning a ventless gas log fireplace with compressed air, do you need to turn the main gas value off at the propane tank or just have the pilot light off? My flames keep going out. I believe it just needs cleaning.

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Diane April 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

I have a Heat & Glo 4 year old fireplace. It was on continually for about a month (flaming on and off as the thermostat regulated). It over heated and I couldn’t turn the fireplace off except a neighbor dismantled it from under the glass front. The thermostat won’t go to “off” and there is no flame. Do you have any insight as to what is wrong?

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Karie Fay June 2, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Hi Diane,

If you still have a problem with your Heat & Glo, it would be great if you could give me a few details. How do you know it overheated? How did the neighbor dismantle it? What specifically is it doing now, and what steps have you taken to troubleshoot it?

I am just wondering if something happened during the dismantling. I have a feeling your thermopile failed, which is why you can’t get a flame. (See the section above on thermopiles.) I am not exactly sure what you mean about the thermostat won’t go off, however.

I would suggest you replace the thermopile, and go from there.

Hope that helps,
Karie Fay

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Rob S April 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I own a direct vent (horiz.) Canadian Heating Products Inc. Model # E38DVM natural gas fireplace (16,600 BTU) which is about 16yrs. old. Last weekend I noticed the top 2 rows of roofing cedar shakes on the fireplace doghouse where burnt black, which seemed to indicate overheating from the fireplace. Would anyone know what the issue might be. Is there a blockage in the vent or could the fireplace just be getting too old and starting to malfunction. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you

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Jim wilde April 15, 2013 at 3:43 am

if this problem is new you most likely have a soothing problem, may be log placement (this is critical on direct vents) it could also be your air mix . Also it could be a drafting issue that can worsen as trees nearby grow larger. Sorry but this one may require a tech to take a look.

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C Nasiatka April 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm

My gas fireplace makes a little popping noise when just the pilot light is on. Not loud, kinda like releasing air from sealed lips. It has a flu and is wired to a thermostat.

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Jim wilde April 15, 2013 at 3:51 am

Sounds like you have a blockage of your pilot air mixer , these are a magnet of tiny spider nests believe it or not but small amounts of dust or animal hair amongst many other things can cause this. They can be hard to clean and may require a visit from a tech, over time this may worsen and cool the pilot safety sensor ( a thermopile or thermocouple ) and the unit should cut off.

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Sondra Lorensen March 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

I have a Heat and Glo gas fireplace. Three years ago it started to make a beeping sound. Called out the repair man he had no idea what was wrong.He also called Heat and Glo but they had never heard of it. I changed the batteries and moved the remote closer and didn’t have any problems for 3 years until now. Can you please help.Sondra

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Jim wilde April 15, 2013 at 4:03 am

Your first step would be to change the batteries ( most likely 4 AA in the receiver and a small 12 volt in the transmitter ) these may require you to re introduce them to each other, most on the receiver you will see a learn hole in the front after you put in new batts press lightly in this hole with a tooth pick , it should beep 4 or 5 times then press the on button on the remote and they should recognize each other. You may have a remote failure and need a new remote , search the Internet for sky- tech they are about 1/2 price of Oem and most likely made it for hearth and home in the first place.

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Christine Mills March 20, 2013 at 7:18 am

I have a ventless propane fireplace, it was installed December 2012. Sometimes all the flames will be lit and other times the front row of flames go on and off. I have called the company the logs came from and they said to use an air compressor to blow dirt out of the holes. That didn’t help. We tried turning up the pressure and that didn’t help. It wouldn’t be a problem except it burns your eyes when not all the flames are lit.
Thanks in advance for your help.

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Jim wilde April 15, 2013 at 4:16 am

If you purchased these from a dealer and had them installed call them . If you did the install yourself check your log placement you may have a blocked runner pilot, these help the flame travel from one point to another. Please don’t turn up the gas pressure this will cause over rateing which causes carbon monoxide to form. If your eyes burn you may already have some being formed. These manufactures use powder coat paint often on burners and may have slightly blocked holes but the hole size is critical and you should not try to alter them. If you keep these logs purchase a carbon monoxide detector and place it in a wall plug outlet in the same room . This is like a seatbelt,hope you don’t need it but glad to have it when you do. Good luck and be careful.

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Karie Fay May 7, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Hi Christine,

When you mention your eyes burning and not all the flames are lit, that throws up red flags to me as well. Combustion gasses are flammable and deadly. Please don’t operate your fireplace when it isn’t working properly — it’s just not worth it. Also, get a carbon monoxide detector — I assume you have a smoke detector already — CO is colorless and odorless and a particular danger when you are asleep.

You didn’t mention the fireplace manufacturer, the type of logs, or other details. In general, I agree that it sounds like there’s a problem with your pilot light holes. Your best bet is to have a technician look at it IF the fireplace maker, the original installer, or the log maker cannot help.

Good luck with your fireplace!
Karie Fay

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jeff March 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

i have a gasvalve with a powerpile.the pilot will light but when i turn the gasvalve to the on position the pilot goes out.could this be a bad powepile or is there anotehr problem im not thinking about?

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Karie Fay March 28, 2013 at 12:42 am

Hi Jeff!

Thanks for the question. You didn’t mention the model or manufacturer, but in this instance, the troubleshooting is fairly universal. A powerpile is nothing more than several thermocouples combined in a series. When you hold in the button to light the pilot, you’re heating the powerpile, which produces electricity to tell the gas control valve that it’s safe to work. This prevents the main gas valve from operating if the pilot is malfunctioning.

When the powerpile wears out, it’s no longer able to produce this electrical current. However, I would also visually check that the pilot is covering about half of the tip of the thermopile. Also try holding down the pilot light for a minute to get it good and hot. It’s worth a try, especially if the room is very cold. Before replacing a thermocouple or powerpile, I would also clean the pilot light.

Less likely is a bad gas valve. A weak coil inside the gas valve can prevent the pilot from staying lit when you turn your gas valve on. I would try cleaning the pilot and holding down the button first, then test the gas valve by pushing the button down and releasing. It should spring back up immediately — if it doesn’t, the valve is likely bad. If all else fails, have the powerpile changed. It’s fairly inexpensive.

Hope that helps!
Karie Fay

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judy March 3, 2013 at 2:39 pm

I have a non vented gas stove which has covered inside of my house with soot..
now i am aware of how dangerous this is, i`m planning on buying a vented gas stove…my ques. is..can i run the vented gas stove constantly? the non vented stove can run 5 hrs daily…please answer me via email thank you judy

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Karie Fay March 11, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Hi Judy,

Thanks for the question! Short answer: I wouldn’t be afraid to run it as a primary heat source for as many hours as needed. But, I would keep a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home nevertheless.

The soot bothers me. If you have it coating your home interior, you’ve been breathing it as well. I would like to see you get rid of that stove and clean your walls as well — as much of a chore as that is. Even though ventless stoves have been promoted so much, the fact of the matter is, emissions must go somewhere. Even when you run it only a few hours a day (most recommend 4 hours or less) you’re still introducing moisture, carbon monoxide, soot, and other emissions into your home. And for what? A heater that will not keep you home heated, in most instances, for the full 24 hours. It’s just not a good tradeoff, in my opinion.

Do some homework before you purchase your next system. Not only the specifications, but check reviews as well. When you’re spending that kind of money, and it’s an item that affects you and your family’s health, I would take my time deciding on the one to get.

Hope that helps!
Karie Fay

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Brian February 23, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Hi Karie.
I iave a 7yr old Vermont castings Majestic furnace (DV 360) which has ceased to ignite even when then pilot is lit. I have tried to have this repaired but the problem appears to be that some parts of the ignition system are no longer avaliable in canada. Do you know of:- a) companies which would still sell replacement parts for this furnace in the US. b) any way of replacing the burner system without sacrificing the entire fireplace

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Karie Fay April 9, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hi Brian,

I am curious if you know for sure that the problem is in the ignition system? That would be my first guess too — specifically I would wonder about the thermopile (a round, metal probe about the size of your pinky) which uses the heat from the pilot light to create enough electricity to open the gas valve and allow the burner to ignite.

However. As I touched on in this article, there are other potential causes. If the gas valve sticks the burner won’t light. You can actually spray a little WD-40 on the valve, according to some people, to help sticking. I wouldn’t do this with the pilot on, however! Have you cleaned the pilot light system as well? Has a technician looked at it?

I did a little searching and found that the Vermont Castings website says they do not sell directly to customers. However, they have a customer care page that tells you where to find manuals, who to contact with problems, along with a question-and-answer section. They make it quite easy to find an Authorized Representative — just fill in your area code for a list. For specific help, I think this is your best bet. I found them by entering “Vermont Castings Customer Care.”

And for your second question, yes, you can replace the burner system. I found a few authorized representatives that offer the burner system. If you’re wanting to do the work yourself, you can also get a manual for your DV 360 online. DON’T pay for it. You will find places that want to charge you about $10. However, a neat site called “Manuals lib” offers manuals for so many things, and they have a copy of the DV 360 for free. In fact, under the section for troubleshooting, it mentions checking the burner orifice, the thermopiles, the valve, and to look for grounded wires. A quick search and you will find this site, then plug in the search term Vermont Castings DV580, DV360. It’s 56 pages so it is full of information!

Hope that helps you.
Karie Fay

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Josephine February 2, 2013 at 3:35 am

I have an Allen& Roth gas{propane} fireplace. At times the fireplace won’t turn on or off even though the remote shows that it should. Have replaced batteries in both the remote and receiver at lease 2 times this month. Don’t understand what the prob. could be. Can u help please. Thanks

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Karie Fay February 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Hi Josephine,

Good question! I will do my best.

You say your remote won’t turn your fireplace on or off even though the remote shows it should. Is the remote indicator light shining or what makes you say it shows it should be – ?

You also say you have replaced the batteries in the remote and receiver twice in a month…. were the batteries dead when you changed them? Did replacing them cause it to suddenly work – ?

Some things are more difficult to troubleshoot — particularly from a distance. Still, your comments keep leading me back to the batteries. If the batteries are going dead that quickly, that’s a significant clue. Your fireplace remote batteries should last 6 to 12 months in most cases. IF your batteries are draining this fast, figuring out why should solve your problem.

Some users have experienced the same thing as you have and discovered their receiver was too close to the fireplace. Excessive heat (say above about 140 degrees F) will drain batteries very quickly. To compensate, some receivers include a heat shield. If yours doesn’t — either it was removed or it’s an older unit, for instance — and you mount it underneath or beside the fireplace, that is likely the problem. Move the receiver for a simple fix.

I assume that when you change the batteries it works a while, and I assume that when you turn it on manually the fireplace works fine. That leads me back to the heat draining the batteries. Nevertheless, other potential causes of remote failure include a remote that needs reprogrammed (especially if the remote was dropped, which may push it off frequency), the receiver’s slide switch — which allows the remote to work — is slid the wrong way, or even a problem with the thermopile not generating sufficient power. Simply to light the fireplace it must create at least 200 millivolts. If you use a remote, it adds resistance meaning you need more millivolts. Cleaning the gas burner and troubleshooting the gas supply pressure and system may increase your power, as will replacing a defective thermopile. Testing the thermopile will confirm or eliminate that potential cause.

If you eliminate the switch and the thermopile as the problem and you know the programming is correct (If it sometimes works, this is evidently not the problem) then consider replacing the entire remote system. You can purchase the receiver and remote for under a hundred dollars, typically, and they are fairly easy to install.

Still, in the end I keep coming back to the batteries. If the remote works sometimes and doesn’t sometimes, especially with fresh batteries, it’s likely the problem. Each battery should produce a given voltage and if it’s only slightly less (1.5V to 1.6V versus 1.3V to 1.35V) it can cause intermittent remote operation.

Hope that helps!
Karie Fay

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arnold casey January 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I have a Desa gas fioreplace (model # VL36LZNR) no longer in business as of 2008, the fireplace works but is inconveniant to turn on and off, I have to get down on the floor to get to the controls. The remote is missing (Desa proflame unit there is a switch on the side of the fireplace wall which is wired for low voltage but the switch will not turn the foreplace on, the low voltage wiring appears to be connected properly at the receiver and the thermocouple. I may need a remote to activate flame, is there a universal remote available? According to the information on the Desa website which is still in operation for reference only I need a Desa proflame
# LMFP33 or a LDL39 series control.
Do you have any suggestions?

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Karie Fay January 16, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Hi Arnold,

I did a little research and looked up the DesaTech website as well. If you open the manual for the VL36LZNR, on page 41 it lists the replacement remote as either the HRC100 or HRC200 series.

You say the remote receiver appears to be wired correctly and that the switch will not turn it on. Is this the switch to turn it to manual so you can bypass the remote?

Here’s my idea. You should be able to find replacement remote for your exact fireplace. There are a couple of parts companies that continue to sell Desa parts, even though Desa went out of business (these companies are not Desa). I found the HRC100 and HRC200 remotes new and used when I searched the Internet.

I also found universal remote systems that will replace your current receiver, if it is still wired in, and give you a remote that works with it. These run around a hundred dollars, but the remotes aren’t cheap either.

I am concerned about the possibility that you have a wiring problem in the current receiver. It needs power coming in and a way to send directions to the fireplace, and if anything is wrong a remote will not work. So you can try to get the remote by itself, but if it doesn’t work you will need to look at the wiring closer. Or simply buy a new receiver and remote and wire it in place of the old one.

Hope this helps!
Karie

There are universal remote controls that work with most fireplaces. Be sure and get one compatible with your fireplace gas valve.

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