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Any advice in selecting a new Propane fireplace insert?Faulty electronics in some?

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by CamanoCJ, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. CamanoCJ

    CamanoCJ New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Camano Island WA
    We have a 2003 Heat n Glo fireplace insert with a delay and boom when propane ignites. It sometimes shakes the glass and is scarey! It has been cleaned, with pilot a mix of yellow and blue, and noticable dust below the stove where wires are, which the serviceman didn't bother to clean. We are looking for a more efficient unit, and were told that Valor Legend G4 series has been reliable. And, that Lopi and other manufacturers that use Travis(Travers?) Industry's electronics are having problems with reignition in many models. Any suggestions for us? Any one have a stove using propane that doesn't go boom? Thanks!

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  2. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,119
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    One of the problems with LP is that it's heavier than air & it "puddles." Your delayed reaction is a result of this puddling. The gas from the burner orifice drops into the cavity below the pilot flame & doesn't ignite until that cavity is almost full, & all of that gas ignites at once. I would (or have someone who is a gas certified tech) drill another gas port in the burner, closer to the pilot flame & angled so it's aimed AT the pilot flame. This will allow the gas flow from the burner to get to the pilot BEFORE it can puddle. I have a Heat n Glo from the same time frame as yours & although we heat primarily with pellets, that LP burner keeps my man cave warm when I need it...That being said, if you're worried about electronics, I believe there are STILL some standing pilot units available...
  3. CamanoCJ

    CamanoCJ New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Camano Island WA
  4. CamanoCJ

    CamanoCJ New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Camano Island WA
    Your suggestion makes sense, to aim the gas AT the pilot, so it can't pool. We are interested in replacing the insert because it isn't very efficient, and because its booms, though understood, are still loud and unsettling.

    We went looking at gas stoves, and a salesman told us that many manufacturers use the same electronics in their gas stoves, and an updated version has given big problems with stoves not relighting when the thermostat calls for heat. They lock out, so are unreliable. He said Travis Industries is the leader in these electronics, and the "improvement" has ba problem in many gas fireplaces, but not in all. He said there has been a delay in manufacturing the earlier version of electronics, and that they recommend avoiding these products until a fix has been made. A Valor unit was recommended, which is designed to maximize radiant heat, instead of relying upon a fan to move the heat into the room. (A fan can be added, too, if needed for a large space.) We just want to know what other gas fireplace inserts to consider. And, since the electronics have given sporadic problems, we wonder if eliminating Lopi plus several other brands is sensible or not.

    Thanks for your reply. You are so clear in your explanations, and offer solutions that make sense. Neat forum. Thanks for making it stronger!
    CJ
  5. sticks

    sticks Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    Central IN
    Most of the electronics are made by two companys. They both seem to constantly upgrading their stuff. We highly recommend standing pilots in our store. The IPI units seem to do okay if you leave them in continous pilot. If you are going to do that why not just get the standing pilot.
  6. CamanoCJ

    CamanoCJ New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Camano Island WA
    We were hoping not to waste gas burning a pilot light. Sounds like there isn't a reliable way to avoid it, for now. Thanks for the reply.
  7. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    The Great Pacific North Wet
    Not having a standing pilot, is smart when you are on propane. Given a 1200 btu pilot, 91600 btu's gallon = 76.33 hours per gallon. 720 hours in a month = 9.4 gallons per month to run the pilot. 3 bucks a gallon for propane = $28.20 a month to run the pilot.

    I would not be scared of IPI. SIT has had some issues over the past few months, but it is worked out now.

    Brad

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