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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5

    Heatilator Hi/Lo Flame

    Hi,

    New guy here, so you may have covered this once, but scanning way back, I didn't see a reference.

    I have a Heatilator NG fireplace. It's 1.5 years old, but only about 10 hours on it. Model ND4236.

    Basically the problem is that I can't change the flame from Low to High. When I click the remote I hear the (solenoid?) click, but the flame doesn't change. I can change the fan speed and set temp limits with the remote, but the flame doesn't change. I've clicked it a dozen or so times, thinking it may be stuck and work loose, but nothing. The main gas valve is full on and the "pilot/gas" knob is full on.

    I turned off the pilot last Spring and haven't used the fireplace since. When we lost power a week ago, I turned it on and found this problem.

    The Hi/Lo solenoid, itself seems to be working, but whatever it controls isn't. Is this something that can be homeowner replaced? or are there gas pressure adjustments that need to be done?

    I called the company that installed it and they want $150 plus parts to make a service call. So I thought I'd check here first.

    Thanks for any information.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    78
    You may not be able to see the change. You need to check it with a manometer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    18
    I agree. If you have a RCT-MLT installed, or any other control with electronic adjustment of manifold pressure, the first step is to check manifiold pressure with a manometer. When the solenoid was installed at setup, the tech should have set manifold pressure to spec.

    Sometimes, even when the solenoid is working properly, the change from high-low isn't visually noticeable, even while manifold pressure and consequently BTU input is changing normally.

    It's also possible there's something blocking gas flow from the valve to the burner. If there's a partial obstruction in the supply tube or orifice, overall gas flow can be cut down to the point where the change in manifold pressure isn't noticeable.

    One way or another, any service at all on the solenoid or regulator absolutely requires a manometer and must be performed by an experienced tech. Improperly setting manifold pressure too high or too low WILL create a very unsafe condition.

    Good Luck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    It used to work well, with a clearly visible difference when I selected high or low flame. Now, no difference.

    I guess I'll have to have a service call. I had hope it would be something more mechanical.

    Thanks for the replies. I appreciate you folks taking the time to respond.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,458
    Quote Originally Posted by Tin_Courier View Post
    I agree. If you have a RCT-MLT installed, or any other control with electronic adjustment of manifold pressure, the first step is to check manifiold pressure with a manometer. When the solenoid was installed at setup, the tech should have set manifold pressure to spec.

    Sometimes, even when the solenoid is working properly, the change from high-low isn't visually noticeable, even while manifold pressure and consequently BTU input is changing normally.

    It's also possible there's something blocking gas flow from the valve to the burner. If there's a partial obstruction in the supply tube or orifice, overall gas flow can be cut down to the point where the change in manifold pressure isn't noticeable.

    One way or another, any service at all on the solenoid or regulator absolutely requires a manometer and must be performed by an experienced tech. Improperly setting manifold pressure too high or too low WILL create a very unsafe condition.

    Good Luck
    Spider nest

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    18
    spider web behind burner orfice

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    Well, that's two replies concerning spider webs.

    I've had some experience with a spider web over my pilot orifice on my trailer's hot water heater. I cleaned that up and all was well.

    But with this fireplace, the pilot sits over some of the front gas holes, and when I turn on the FP, the pilot ignites the gas and all of the holes have flames coming from them. Since it appears that the whole system is closed otherwise, where should I look for spider webs?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,142

    Cool qualified tech

    Pay the pro to come check it. Ask them to bring a replacement regulator solenoid just in case. Sometimes, the pin in the solenoid does not throw. Othertimes, we've seen these regulators simply not respond. A pro can verify this with a manometer as Blueflame suggested. Often, these units do turn down the BTUs without a major visible change in the flame.
    HTH,
    Hearthman

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    I called the installation folks. On the phone, they also told me that sometimes there is little to no change in flame. I had to think, "this is a fireplace, what's the point if it doesn't visibly change the flame?"

    They were pretty good about it. Houses are still being built in my development and they are still installing Heatilator fireplaces in them. And since they are usually very close by, they said they would drop by when they are in the area and see if there's a problem - no charge. If there is a problem, I'm glad to pay to have it fixed - spider web (that I can't find) or plunger problem - whatever.

    Thanks for your replies.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    23
    The presidential suite here has a FP as well, i had same problems getting it to lite correctly. What i did, is i held down the knob manually, until i could hear gas comming out. then clicked it to ignite, then spunk it quickly to the left turning the gas fully on. it works for me every time now. but i have to cut it on and off a few times before i can hear the gas comming out....... after u hit ignite, wait a couple seconds for the pilot lite to stay lit. then switch it to hi fire....try that maybe.

    good luck

  11. #11

    Hi/Low Flame

    There is not much difference between the hi and low fire. They do this on purpose though. The hi/low knob on the gas valve is adajusting the manifold pressure by a couple inches water column. If the valve were to lower/increase the manifold pressure by a huge swing, it would also have to adjust the air to fuel mixture. Heatilator fireplaces really don't have much of a difference in high/low. Is the fireplace a builders model?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    5
    dfryan: Thanks for your reply. In response to your question, the model is shown in the Heatilator booklet among other models, so I figured it's a standard model they make.

    It was 9 months or so, since I ran the fireplace. I looked pretty carefully for bugs, spider webs or anything that might be obstructing the flow - without poking anything that shouldn't be poked!

    I checked with my neighbor's Heatilator fireplace and the flame pops up enough to see a difference between Hi and Lo.

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