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Blue flame only on older propane fireplace

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by wickman, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. wickman

    wickman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    I have a Heatilator GNRC33 in propane and rear vent and standing pilot. It's about 10 years old. When new and for the first 5-6 years it worked great with pretty yellow flames and looked like a real fireplace. After six years or so the flame size started to diminish to a smaller, bluer flame. This year the flame is completely blue. I don't see any ghosting or lifting but just a blue flame. I opened up the glass and blew everything out. I pulled the logs and burner and blew it out. I closed the air shutter on the burner tube a little. It was opened all the way. Nothing has really altered the blue flame. I can try closing the air shutter more but I think it's odd that the fireplace worked fine for many years with the shutter in the full open position. Is there any other possible cause of blue flame?
    THX> Eric

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  2. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    685
    Loc:
    Northern CA
    thats odd!
    usually it goes the other way :)

    not familiar with that model, is it b-vent or direct vent?

    some how more air is mixing with the gas,
    or you are getting less gas thru the valve now so the mix is cleaner
  3. wickman

    wickman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    It's a rear direct vent. And it is very odd. The pilot seems to be working and lighting as it should. I do notice that when i flip the switch the burner portion closest to the pilot comes on first but doesn't travel around the whole burner for a few more moments - say 30 seconds or so. It does light up all the holes eventually but just not immediately.

    With propane is it more normal to have to air shutter more open or closed?
  4. wickman

    wickman New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Well i may have fixed it. I took out the logs and burner again tonight with the intent of another cleaning and closing the air shutter a bit more. I noticed that the gas pipe protruding into the burner pipe (where the air shutter is) has a real tiny hole where the gas flows. The little hole had some white residue in the hole. I took a tooth pick and pushed it slightly into the hole and twisted a bit. It came out pretty dirty. I shut the air shutter a bit more and put everything back together. I now have pretty yellow flames again. I may need to remove that little nipple piece and actually clean it out on the inside and open the air shutter back to the original position. I think cleaning that piece may have done the trick.

    THX> Eric
  5. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    313
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    That piece with the little hole is the orifice, which controls the gas flow. It's made to a very precise size; be careful cleaning it because it's soft brass and any damage will mess up the gas flow (as you found out).
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
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    4,994
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    You might want to shut er down & pull the orifice. If you had build up around the hole, it came from the gas line behind it. Pull it & run a Q-tip in there...probably be the remains of a spider's nest. Not uncommon in a gas unit...
    Bret Chase and A1Stoves.com like this.
  7. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
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    648
    Loc:
    Maine
    frickin spiders... they LOVE to build nests in the burn tube of my grill...

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