gas fireplace electric starter


My gas fireplace is sometimes difficult to start. It appears that the automatic electric starter is arcing at the wrong place, perhaps affected by the humidity. Is it possible the starter wire has insufficient insulation? Is this a common problem? If so, what is the recommended repair? Can the wire be wrapped with additional insulation, or should the starter wire be replaced?
Best, Christopher
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It is not uncomment to tweak these by bending them slightly to get the arc in the correct position. You may also want to check the position of the flame sensor to make sure it is in the flame.
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On Tue, 5 Jan 2010 08:19:42 -0800, Christopher Glaeser wrote:

From your description it sounds like the insulation is damaged and arcing in the middle of the wire instead of the contact point. I would think you will need a new wire as any insulation you would use would have to handle high temps.
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In the few inches of space below this gas ceramic log fireplace where this wire is located, there are paper tags, a plastic remote starter unit with plastic coated household 120V wiring, and even an old plastic parts baggy left from the installer, so it does not get very hot in this space immediately below the fireplace.
Best, Christopher
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Can you smooth the edges of the hole, and wrap some high temp electrical tape around the wire? Ideal would be a Romex connector for the hole.
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Christopher A. Young
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Is it sparking from the wire?
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Yes. The wire comes up through a round hole in a galvanized metal plate. On nights when the unit repeatadly fails to ignite, the wire arcs to this metal plate. Since the wire feeds through the center of this hole, it is not possible to move the wire away from the metal plate.
Best, Christopher
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Hmm. Sounds like the wire wore through. Not worked on one of these, so I havn't got a mental picture. Sounds like time to make the hole a bit larger, and smoother. And to find some high temp insulation for the wire.
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Christopher A. Young
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