Furnace Pilot


My lady friend has been having trouble keeping the furnace pilot on. It is not near an outside door where a gust of wind when the door is opened could be the problem. This started happening after a indoor gas fireplace was installed a few years ago. It seemed that whenever she would turn the fireplace on high it would go off. But she stopped using the high setting, and it still goes off. Trying to relight the pilot is a bigger problem, because, I have to make 7 more trys before it will stay on. That buttom that has to be held down for one minute, is hard to do. Doing this part of lighting the pilot can be hard on the thumb. When I let the red buttom up all the way the pilot light gors out. Should I turn the knob to on before I let the red knob all the way up?054
Guido
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GuidoPasqual wrote:

Remember this is just a wild guess from miles away.
The gas fireplace installation may have disturbed the gas piping so as to allow small particles to get into the furnace pilot orifice, making the flame too small.
Repairing that may be outside your experience level (I don't know).
The other possibility is that the thermocouple has gotten weak or is not placed in the optimum location in the flame.
Jim
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Hi Guido,
The thermocouple on the furnace may simply be bad. It's a piece that sticks in the flame of the pilot to sense heat. If there isn't heat, the gas valve will cut off the supply of gas to the pilot. That mechanism is what you're overriding by pressing the red button during lighting.
Thermocouples go bad routinely, and do need to be replaced. The issues starting with teh fireplace installation may have been coincidental, or there could also be another problem there.
I was just talking with someone the other day who has a set of gas logs in a fireplace that they can't seem to keep the pilot lit on them despite several trips out there from the installer who's replaced the entire gas valve, replaced thermo-somethings and I'm not sure what else.
Thermocouples can be purchased at nearly any hardware store. Measure the lead length of the existing one and try to match it. If you have any hesitation, get a furnace pro out there for an annual clean and inspect -- the thermocouple replacement will add $15 at most to the clean/inspect service charge in my experience.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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GuidoPasqual wrote:

There are several possible problems. Lets start with the most important.
It appears there is a safety issue. That fireplace and the furnace are both trying to use the same air. One will win the other will loose. The one that looses may put CO gas into the home. That is very bad.
I would not really feel good about this until a qualified professional takes a look at it. The gas company may offer this service and maybe for free. They like their customers to live long enough to pay their bills. Besides dead people don't help business.
At the very least, stop using both at the same time. Makes sure the furnace is off anytime the fireplace is in use. Also add makeup air anytime the fireplace is in use. You can crack a window near it.
Don't get complacent and think that turning the fireplace on low is safe. It is not.
If there is not a CO detector in the house, get one. It would make a great after Christmas present, and it will let her know you care to keep her around a little longer.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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While holding down the red button while the pilot light is lit, take a screw drive and gently tap the pilot light gas pipe. This might clear the pipe of whatever and increase the flame.
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