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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    959

    ventless space heater pilot problem

    I recently checked out a friends basement space heater. I figured it would be no big deal the pilot keeps blowing out. Checked the heater, it was ventless type bought at homedepoit, no model or anything. The guys is retired from the gas company and he changed the thermocouple 3x already. I checked it and found the thermocouple is short and does not sit in the flame. I think its more like a powerpile type sensor. I noticed the flame is about 1/8-3/8" away from the sensor. Gas valve is none adjustable....Gas pressure is OK. Feeling like an idot, I pulled the pilot thinking it had to be adjusted only to find out its stationary, no adjustment. As a commerical guy, this puppy gots me stumped?
    An astronaut stuck in space was asked by a reporter, "How do you feel?"
    "How would you feel," the astronaut replied, "if you were stuck here, on top of 20,000 parts each one supplied by the lowest bidder?"

    "do it right or do it twice"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    No tag? Is it UL listed, if not I would get rid of it. Non-vented appliances
    are trouble waiting to happen. Besides that, has the unit worked properly
    in the past? It sounds like the pilot flame is too small, the sensor needs to
    be in the flame. It could be an adjustment of the pilot or a restriction in the
    pilot line or orifice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    959

    Thumbs down

    Unit is only 3 years old, pilot is non adjustable and is plenty to keep t-couple going. However, the sensor does not sit in the flame or path. If the pilot tends to float just a little it kicks out the pilot and does same during operation the flame pulls the pilot away and kicks out the unit. That sensor seems rather short, its maybe 3/4" tops and the bracket does not allow it to be moved up or down since a clip holds in place. Piece of crap if you ask me! Its white panel cover with flame in center with baffel plate with glass cover. Control is on top with pilot spark button.
    An astronaut stuck in space was asked by a reporter, "How do you feel?"
    "How would you feel," the astronaut replied, "if you were stuck here, on top of 20,000 parts each one supplied by the lowest bidder?"

    "do it right or do it twice"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Does home depot still carry this unit, maybe thay can get you in touch
    with the manufacturer. Sounds like the heater is doing what it's supposed
    to do... no pilot flame sensed gas goes shut. It maybe the wrong
    thermocouple. Good luck, these things always haunt you when your
    trying to be the helpful friend.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Is there a name on the gas valve? You maybe able to type the thermocouple
    frome the gas valve manufacturer. If the pilot flame is changing during operation
    and the inlet pressure is correct it could be the gas valve, hard to tell
    over the net.
    Last edited by mbarson; 01-29-2007 at 01:54 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Temporaly Misplaced in NJ
    Posts
    138
    OK, School is open.

    What you have is an "ODS" pilot. oxigen depletion system. when the O2 drops below a set limit, about 20% I think, the pilot flame will have shrunk and will lift off the thermocouple and shut down the heater to prevent all the O2 being used up.

    Only the very tip of the thermocouple should be in the pilot flame. Blow out the pilot with compressed air at about 15 PSIG max. Do not try to take it apart and clean it. Some of these pilots are made to break if you try. Also some of the orifaces are made from shaved rubys. This is to make them inpervious to temp changes.

    If blowing out the pilot does not work, the pilot assembly MUST be replaced as a whole with thermocouple attached.

    Also, be aware that it may be doing it's job. There must always be some fresh air coming into room for proper and safe operation.
    Ephesians 2:8,9

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    959
    Thanks for the help, it makes sense now. I will do some research on this. I do know the pilot flame varies it could run a day then die out, relight then its fine. Will keep you posted.
    An astronaut stuck in space was asked by a reporter, "How do you feel?"
    "How would you feel," the astronaut replied, "if you were stuck here, on top of 20,000 parts each one supplied by the lowest bidder?"

    "do it right or do it twice"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,909
    Funny how people go nuts over cracked heat exchangers which operate under negative pressure in most cases yet don't condemn ventless gas heaters as dangerous.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    959
    Thanks all, it was the oxygen sensor pilot gizmo. I don't residential work nor would I ever install or recommend on of those ventless heaters. Thanks for the schooling on this 1.
    An astronaut stuck in space was asked by a reporter, "How do you feel?"
    "How would you feel," the astronaut replied, "if you were stuck here, on top of 20,000 parts each one supplied by the lowest bidder?"

    "do it right or do it twice"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,248
    Quote Originally Posted by amd View Post
    Funny how people go nuts over cracked heat exchangers which operate under negative pressure in most cases yet don't condemn ventless gas heaters as dangerous.
    Ditto, it being installed in a basement compounds the problem due to CO2 displacing O2 at the burners.
    You may want to check this ventless appliance for CO levels that it is putting out.
    The levels of CO in the ambient air could be easily in the hundreds before that ODS will trip.

    Your friend has a timebomb in his basement.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,359
    no such thing as unvented..... it's lung vented

    we never touch them ....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    415
    Thank god for school. Just don't show mom the report card!

    You learn more here by accident than the other forums by design.

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