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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2
    My fireplace has a light-switch that turns it on (really, releases the gas, because the pilot light is already going). A couple of months back we noticed the switch would only work every couple of tries. I replaced the light switch and it worked fine for a couple of days but now it is not working entirely (ever).

    Being fairly new to homeownership I'm not sure whether this is a problem for an electrician or a gas fireplace expert. I imagine it's actually a problem with the fireplace but was curious if anyone else has seen similar issues.

    Not sure on the brand of the fireplace -- I'm away on business at the moment...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    First, always turn the power to the fan off when working on the gas (millivolt side)of the fireplace. The "decor" switch is a problem on gas fireplaces. Use a toggle switch if not there already. Otherwise, see what happens if you take the switch off and touch the wires together. If still not lighting, check those same wires where they attach to the valve at the f/p to check their connection. Still no flame? Take a 3inch piece of wire and jumper the top and bottom terminal. Still nothing? Tap the pilot tube (Aluminum tube) lightly with a screw driver to the beat of your favorite song ( I like "MONY MONY"). If that doesn't open the main burner than you should call a technician because you have a lazy pilot flame, or a weak thermalpile, or a bad valve (wont be the valve).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    2

    that worked!

    Okay, so tapping on the pipe after flipping the switch worked ... only, it appears I need to do that every time to get it going. Any idea on a better long-term solution?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    Your pilot is likely a little dirty and therefore your millivolts are hoovering around the minimum required to open the valve (explains intermittent flame). Taking the pilot assembly apart is easy for experienced tech. If you don't know how to you can do more damage than good. Just use this knowlegde to not get screwed by the tech you call to fix it. Don't let them sell you parts , just tell the tech you want to see the pilot orifice and have it cleaned. Calling a company that sells that unit will give you a better chance at a quality repair. Also a "Service Expert" is not a fireplace expert. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    if the fireplace is like 5+ years old you might just need a new pilot assembly to deter recurring problems. They are usually not very expensive. Sometimes the pilot orifice is corroded into the pilot hood and there is no way to get it out to clean it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    hence the need for a "fireplace expert"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Originally posted by natgastech
    hence the need for a "fireplace expert"
    yeap, i was just clarifying that so that if the poor guy tried to sell him the pilot he didn't say "Some guy on a forum told me not to let you sell me stuff", heh.

    Now if the fireplace is near new then I doubt it needs new parts, probably just some cleaning out. But then again I doubt it is near new

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    447
    In your original post you stated that you replaced the switch..did you connect the wires to the side terminals on the new switch and did you tighten the screws securely? Also it's a good idea to cut off about 1/2" of wire, strip it back & start with clean bare wire.Make sure your connections at the control valve are tight & secure. As others have mentioned if the unit is older it's probably in need of a service call from a qualified tech who can SAFELY clean & sevice unit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1
    Make sure that there is not a door switch on the unit also. If the door switch is bad it will not alow the valve to open. The door switch is usually in the lower corner of the door. If so, do not replace it, just bypass the switch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    447
    DO NOT bypass the door switch if there is one and you feel it may be faulty as it is a safety & rendering it in-operative is not allowed as per gas code & manufacturer.

  11. #11

    Confused my switch stopped working also

    I was going to call a repair man but my son says he can replace it, the one that starts the flame. Is that just like replacing a toggle light switch?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    348
    Call a tech and get it serviced properly. To start with, there are special millivolt rated wall switches that work much better than a standard wall switch.

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 2

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    199
    there are lots of possible causes to "switch not working" but replacing the switch is easy and very cheap. I would recommend getting a "millivolt" rated wall switch. any switch will work, but the millivolt switch will last longer.

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