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Basic Problem with Gas Insert

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by SageyPoofs, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. SageyPoofs

    SageyPoofs New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Texas
    Hey! We built a house and moved in February 2010. We have a gas fireplace that is not intended to heat -- basically just for aesthetics. While it does produce a bit of heat, it does its job of being "pretty" very well.

    There are seven of humans and four dogs -- we can generate a fair amount of dust. Herein lies the problem....

    Many times, the fireplace will not ignite. The pilot light is on and burning beautifully but the flame won't expand out and dance among the logs (I don't know the technical words). I have usually removed the front glass and vacuumed dust out and received flames for a while -- then nothing again.

    Last night, by sheer luck, I found the problem. There are two wires that are coming from the very top exterior of the insert (I have to removed the top decorative vent and the glass cover to see them). From what I can see, they go from the top of the right side of the fireplace (between firebox and brick wall) and travel down to under the fireplace. I jiggled those last night and suddenly -- FIRE! Today, no fire. Jiggled wires -- FIRE!

    What is wrong? How do I fix it? Is my house going to burn down? I've attached three pics to (hopefully) make more sense of my rambling post.

    It does have a wall switch that is supposed to make flames. First picture is underneath of firebox. Second picture is looking down at top wires, between firebox and house wall. Third picture is make and model.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for any help in advance!!!

    Beneath Firebox.jpg Looking Down on Right Side.jpg Make and Model.jpg

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    All of these types of wire are low voltage connections which "prove" something - these may sense that heat exists or too much heat exists, etc. at a certain location. Everything may be fine except the connections. First thing may be to clean and check where those wires connect to at both ends. This means those three wires and the spade connection coming into them on the left of that valve (th, etc.) as well as the connection on the other end....

    That may fix it for you! If it doesn't. you may need a new themocouple, which is the little brass thing that the pilot flame hits. Also, check the connection where this ties into the main gas value.....

    If you or anyone in the household is handy, read....
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/how_gas_works
  3. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    665
    Loc:
    Northern CA
  4. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    665
    Loc:
    Northern CA
    ps, really odd wiring on that stove, typically overheat or spill switches interrupt the pilot circut and not the main burner....
    that way you have to re-light the pilot and you know there is a problem w/heat or venting.

    or is the disc a manual reset type with a button you depress?
  5. SageyPoofs

    SageyPoofs New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Texas
    Wow! Y'all are awesome! I won't be able to try any of this until this weekend but I downloaded the troubleshooting guide and I bookmarked the "How Gas Works" page. I'm guessing I should turn off the electricity and the gas to the fireplace before I start messing around. Do I have to trip the fuse in the main panel (in the garage) or is there a different way? Also, this is my first house to live in with a gas fireplace. How do I turn off the gas to the fireplace? Would that be located to the right of the box thing under the fireplace (first pic)? Or is it something I have to do separate from the fireplace?

    I'm not sure of the "disc" mentioned in the last reply. We have a wall switch (looks like a light switch) and my neighbor told me last year that there is a reset button under those wires on the side but I CANNOT feel it/find it. I was wondering if it is the little stubby pole thing between the two wires on the second picture.

    Did they wire it WRONG? Seriously -- do I need to have the builder come out and rewire?
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,894
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    In the first picture you can see a corrugated tube coming off the valve...There should be a shut off at the other end of the tube. If not, directly below in the basement (maybe) there should be a shutoff...There shouldn't be any 110 in that bow, unless there's a blower...The reset that Dave is talking about is in the 2nd pic in the middle of the thermodisk between the spade connectors...HTH

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