Gas fire place difficult to light


I have a gas fire place that is operated by a switch (light switch). It worked fine until last year. I have the pilot lit, and when I turn on my switch, nothing happens. I have to open up the lower louver and hit the red ignitor switch a few times. Last year, I only had to do this the first time after turning my pilot back on. So far this year, I have had to do it every time. Is this a simple fix, or do I need a fixit guy?
Thanks
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Bad thermocouple, I'd guess.
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Charles Schuler wrote:

Didn't he say pilot is lit?
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Not only is the pilotl it, it is a larger flame than in the past. I always shut if off in the summer. Dave
Hmmm, Didn't he say pilot is lit?
Tony Hwang wrote:

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The thermocouple sits in the flame of the pilot light. If there is no pilot light, the thermocouple is cold and the gas solenoid valve will not open. It's a safety feature to prevent the gas from being turned on when the pilot light has gone out.
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First thing to do would be to clean the pilot burner. Basic style fireplaces use a powerpile generator to create millivoltage to power the control circuit. A low pilot flame can result in low power to the control resulting in intermittent opening or complete failure to open.
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I replaced a switch this year in a house we sold. I could "rock" the switch with a little pressure and get the fire place to light. It may be as simple as changing the switch or checking the wires to the switch.
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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dave wrote:

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dave wrote:

Dave: I bet the Ignitor-Flame Rod assembly has seen its days. I have a gas fireplace also and the ignitor has got to be replaced every few years. They can be ordered at arnoldservice.com. Cost plus shipping is about $47.00. It's best to have a spare on hand. You will need to know what the gas valve is before ordering it.
Gary
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