Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: gas fireplace not igniting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    United States, Indiana
    Posts
    327

    gas fireplace not igniting

    My customer says the gas fireplace sometimes does not light when using the wall switch. It worked fine today for me. I told her it is a gas appliance, and should call a plumber or HVAC. She said she had it serviced by a plumber and he said the problem is electrical and she should call an electrician. Help! I told her it's not a house voltage switch but a switch that sparks on its own in the unit. How can I help her?? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    985
    Last fireplace I looked at had a battery operated igniter that just needed a new battery, but in this case the battery that was in it corroded the unit beyond repair so I was able to order a new one on the Internet after I located make/model on the igniter.

    what type of fireplace is it. A standing pilot that a switch just opens the gas valve or does this switch actually ignite the flame?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placerville, CA, USA
    Posts
    19,208
    Quote Originally Posted by Stevenfyeager View Post
    My customer says the gas fireplace sometimes does not light when using the wall switch. It worked fine today for me. I told her it is a gas appliance, and should call a plumber or HVAC. She said she had it serviced by a plumber and he said the problem is electrical and she should call an electrician. Help! I told her it's not a house voltage switch but a switch that sparks on its own in the unit. How can I help her?? Thank you.
    Unfortunately a residential wireman (electrician) may not be qualified to diagnose and repair an electrical problem inside a listed appliance, and I would be reluctant to go inside the gas fireplace mechanism.

    If no technician is available who knows the gas fireplace (more likely HVAC than plumber!) I might look up the model online and see if there is something simple like a battery needing replacement. And I would be willing to check the operation of the wall switch as long as it is not part of the fireplace assembly itself.

    Do you know if it fails to spark or sparks with no ignition (leading to suspicion of the gas valve.) Also since there is no standing pilot to run a thermopile for electrical power there would have to be either a 24V AC supply, a battery, or a 120V supply with an internal control transformer. Try to find out which it is.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC & IN
    Posts
    3,380
    It's likely something simple.
    Tell her it was your job to run 120 volts to the switch. That's where you stop.
    Or ask her if she has the number on the paperwork that came with the unit. A fireplace installer likely installed it, even in Indiana.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    118
    My first guess would be the pilot went out or bad thermopile.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Fl
    Posts
    17,132
    Quote Originally Posted by Buck Parrish View Post
    Tell her it was your job to run 120 volts to the switch. That's where you stop.
    And that is the end of the story. An Electrician should not go any farther than that, the liability if something should happen could be unimaginable.

    Roger
    Moderator

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    36,695
    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDigger View Post
    Unfortunately a residential wireman (electrician) may not be qualified to diagnose and repair an electrical problem inside a listed appliance, and I would be reluctant to go inside the gas fireplace mechanism.

    If no technician is available who knows the gas fireplace (more likely HVAC than plumber!) I might look up the model online and see if there is something simple like a battery needing replacement. And I would be willing to check the operation of the wall switch as long as it is not part of the fireplace assembly itself.

    Do you know if it fails to spark or sparks with no ignition (leading to suspicion of the gas valve.) Also since there is no standing pilot to run a thermopile for electrical power there would have to be either a 24V AC supply, a battery, or a 120V supply with an internal control transformer. Try to find out which it is.
    Unfortunately I seem to get asked by several HVAC guys to help them with almost anything electrical on their appliances. Simple two and 4 wire 24 volt controls maybe they can handle, newer PC board controlled units often flash a code that helps them diagnose what component may need replaced, but outside of that, many are stumped really easily.

    Gas fireplaces they GC or carpenters set the unit and build any surround, the HVAC guy connects the gas and any venting, but they all seem to think it is the electrician's job to connect most the optional components, so I seem to do that most of the time.

    One thing that is common right away is it won't ignite, but on a new unit often the reason is you need to purge the air out of the gas line, and it will take forever for a pilot valve to purge it, so I end up cracking open the line to purge it because the HVAC guy is already been there and gone and they expect me to connect accessories and start it for the first time.

    To OP if this happens to be a LP system and they had ran out of LP or had line open for any reason - it maybe didn't work because line wasn't purged but after you showed up it had eventually gotten purged and now it does work. (just one possibility)
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,466
    tell her to call the place she bought it
    they likely have a service tech or can recommend one
    The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    36,695
    Quote Originally Posted by Ingenieur View Post
    tell her to call the place she bought it
    they likely have a service tech or can recommend one
    Majority of the ones I see came from a big box store, home center, etc. nobody on staff is really qualified to give service advice though.
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    5,438
    Try calling a fireplace guy. I have trouble shot very simple or minor problems with these, a lot of the time is simply the battery pack is corroded and needs new batteries. Other major fail points are the igniters. I have no problem doing either repair, however past that, I refer the work to somebody who works on fireplaces for a living.

    , edited to add... Neither plumbers nor HVAC guys should be messing around with a fireplace. call somebody who specializes in these type of repairs.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •