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Buck Stove 36ZC Pilot Issues

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Tylan, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Tylan

    Tylan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    United States
    I have moved into a house with a Buck Stove 36ZC fireplace in the basement. The home was built in 1994, and I think the Buck Unit was produced/installed in 1995 or 1997. I ordered propane, and it would not light. I then had it serviced and was told it was most likely a shot gas valve.

    We had the opportunity to get tapped into natural gas, so I figured I'd replace the dead propane burner. I managed to find out that Buck would trade me a new burner for a good price if I sent them the non working burner base. So, here I am with a working natural gas base.

    When I put my original logs on it the pilot would get "sucked out" when the thermostat temp was satisfied. I sent some pictures to Buck and they said that the logs were not correct for the burner base they sent me. I ordered a set of logs from them.

    With the correct logs it is harder to light, and once it lights there is a lot of turbulence on the ODS pilot. It shuts off within a few minutes, but with no logs it runs much much better. Still turbulence, but runs cycles successfully. Since I've been playing around with this for a few weeks I haven't really tried to let it on and let it run more than a few hours. So I can't confirm that the pilot would stay lit indefinitely.

    The room the fireplace is in roughly 16x19, there is a doorway to a bathroom, and a doorway to the rest of the basement, and the stairs. No fresh air other than what comes down the steps. We keep the doors open at the top of the steps, and the one going into the room with the 36ZC. The oil boiler is in a room with a closed door on the opposite side of the basement.

    Is the ODS doing its job or is the Buck burner just a poor design? I don't understand why the logs being on the burner base make it impossible to use, but it works good without them.

    Sorry for the long back story - thought it might be helpful.

    Thanks in advance
    Tylan

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  2. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    786
    Loc:
    Northern CA
    Not alot of vent free gas stove experts here as far as I know..

    have you checked inlet/outlet manifold pressure after the gas change?
    can you turn the pilot up or down on the valve? (not sure what valve the buck used, but i'd guess its a Robertshaw(there is a slotted screw cover(pilot adj) that you remove and can adjust the pilot with a micro slotted screw driver, just be sure the cap goes back on or it can leak))

    sometimes a small sheetmetal shield can be fabricated to protect the pilot, but i'm not sure if that is safe or possible w/your model.
  3. Tylan

    Tylan New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    United States
    I haven't checked the pressure. What issues does low pressure cause?

    There isn't anything marked as pilot adjustment, but there are two very small screws on the gas valve. They are not marked. The gas valve is a Modulating SIT Valve and it's made by Maxitrol.

    Oddly enough, a local hardware store that sells gas logs mentioned the same thing about making a pilot shield. Does (should) a pilot light get more gas flow when the burner is on to offset the pulling of the main burner?

    Since it works well without logs, I keep coming back to it being some sort of air flow issue. Its like the logs form a wall blocking fresh air from getting to the pilot.

  4. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    786
    Loc:
    Northern CA
    No, the pilot shield stops turbulent air from blowing the pilot around.

    low or high pressure can effect the flow of gasses, which can lead to turbulent air flow in the firebox/ lifting flames/funky pilot issues

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