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Help me turn off my Vermont Castings fireplace! Ack!

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by MiamiBeach, Sep 5, 2008.

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  1. MiamiBeach

    MiamiBeach New Member

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    Newbie here. Builder installed -- in a new tiny summer cabin -- Vermont Castings ExtremeView 33XDV gas fireplace. It's converted to propane. No remote control or remote wall switch is installed - operates via thermostat. No fan is installed. Unit works fine.

    We want to turn unit off for winter. The manual tells us to turn the gas knob to Off. (The biggest knob in photo below.) Nothing happens. Pilot is still going the next morning. There is nothing in the manual about turning the pilot light knob. We call dealer. He can barely remember the setup and tells us to turn the pilot light to Off, says it will stop the gas flow by doing that. He doesn't know anything about the gas knob. (!) Dealer insists this is what manual says to do, but it doesn't. (And cheat sheet attached to the unit itself also doesn't say this.) We call CFM and of course they are out of business and return you to the dealer. For the time being, we've left the pilot on and everything running as usual.

    My questions: 1) If turning the gas knob to Off doesn't do anything, does that mean it's incorrectly installed? 2) If turning the pilot light knob to Off turns the fireplace off, why doesn't the manual SAY that? 3) Should I turn that gas knob to Off anyway, when I turn off the pilot light?

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
    Ruth

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It looks like there is a supply valve to the right of the control panel. It has a red handle. Have you tried turning that off? I would also turn off the valve on the propane tank for safety sake.
  3. FireWalker

    FireWalker New Member

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    By the looks of the photo on the right, the gas valve is on. When you turn the red handle on the valve shown in pic. does it turn 1/4 turn and stop or will it go all the way around to where you started? Do you have a tank, or are you on city gas? Go outside and turn gas off from source.
  4. MiamiBeach

    MiamiBeach New Member

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    We are back in Florida now so I can't fiddle with that red lever. Never noticed that - it makes sense that it's a shut-off valve. (I was going to have my brother try to figure it out.) We didn't want to turn ALL the propane to the house off since he was still going to use the propane stove, but I guess we could. We are on a propane tank. It's a remote area in northern Vermont.

    My concern is that the instructions are very specific about turning the big gas knob (that's next to the on/off switch) and doing something completely different instead. I'm sure you are both right about the red lever, but... Would it be possible that during the conversion from gas to propane, the Amerigas guy changed the setup so I have that red lever now and the old gas knob is disabled?

    Maybe I should call the Amerigas guy.
  5. coreystaf

    coreystaf New Member

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    Miami,
    look at the fireplace controls, on the far lower right, there's a knob that has OFF PILOT ON in white letters -this is the main control knob for the fireplace, become familiar with it, because even if you find another way to turn off the pilot, you'll have to use this knob to relight in the fall. Turn that knob to the off position, but you will also have to push in a bit to get it to go all the way around. If you get it into the of position and the pilot is still running, then 99% of the time the control valve is faulty. Make sure you push in on the knob when it feels like it wants to stop turning, it should be fine.

    Also, if you use the red knob to turn it off, you will have a harder time lighting the pilot next season, it will bleed some gas out during off-season.
  6. MiamiBeach

    MiamiBeach New Member

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    Thanks everybody. I went back and re-read the instructions and the "knob" they are referring to is indeed the Off-Pilot-On knob on the far right. (In my defense, if you just read how to turn the thing off, it's ambiguous. But if you read how to turn it on and THEN how to turn it off, it's clear they are referring to the pilot knob.)

    I still wonder what that larger knob over on the left side is but I guess I won't worry about it. Doesn't seem to do anything anyway.
  7. coreystaf

    coreystaf New Member

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    Let me clarify for those who thought I was being misleading to Miami. If you shut down this gas fireplace with the red emergency/service valve, the pilot control in the main valve will remain open until the t-couple closes it, letting the gas between the service valve and the pilot bleed a bit, only till the t-couple closes it down, not much. The control valve in the fireplace IS the way to control the pilot.

    Joe if you read back, the homeowner just wants to shut down the pilot in the off season, He's not removing the unit. Pretty harsh by the way man
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Right - the gas valve SHOULD be able to turn it off, but I also turn off the supply valve (the red thingy) on mine.

    So shutting it off should not be a problem.....but, sounds like you also want to make certain it is working right.

    In that case, it is that knob which says on,pilot,off. There are three positions there. The indicator is on the bottom. Some position require the knob to be pushed in and then turned. When it is off, the pilot should be off - if not, the fireplace is defective.

    When it is on pilot, then you should be able to hold it in (gas flows to pilot) and light the pilot. After 20 seconds of so, you can release it and pilot should stay lit.

    Then you can turn it to ON if you want the the thermostat or other control to function.

    From the looks of the pic, it is somewhere in between the settings!
  9. MiamiBeach

    MiamiBeach New Member

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    Got it. I turn the fireplace off using the knob that says Off-Pilot-On that is over on the right side. I misunderstood the manual instructions and was using the wrong knob (over on the left, larger one that just say On-Off).

    Thanks to all. I'm sure I confused some people about which knob I was turning. All the advice is good.

    I still wonder what that larger knob is over to the left. I will call the dealer again just to check. His advice was correct after all, so he should know.

    Ruth
  10. MiamiBeach

    MiamiBeach New Member

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    I think I figured out what the big knob over on the LEFT side is. Could it be the on/off knob for an optional blower/fan? We didn't install one which would explain why it doesn't do anything...
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the hole with no knob to the left of that with the fan icons is for the optional fan. I'll have to figure out what that big knob is......

    So, as per the title of the thread "Ack", is that an Irish Ack? (my friend from Belfast says ack or ach in every sentence).
  12. MiamiBeach

    MiamiBeach New Member

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    Well my heritage is Scottish but not enough to affect my speech. Ack was more of a frustrated, how-can-I-not-figure-this-out, hair pulling exclamation!
  13. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Follow the manufacturers manual...

    Go to the VC website and download an fresh, possibly revised copy in pdf.

    Call VC when in doubt.

    Safety first!
  14. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    I may stand to be corrected here? When my Napolean insert was installed 5 years ago, the tech advised me that if I shut the propane off at the tank outside, then I should remove the glass door before igniting to purge the system. and I suppose to not blow the door off the insert? Whereas, shutting it down from inside that wouldn`t be a factor. Make sense?

    He didn`t really elaborate on the reason, just said that was the procedure. any comments? or explanations?
  15. coreystaf

    coreystaf New Member

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    Sonny
    Picture the gas line as a garden hose hooked to a faucet(propane tank) with another valve (pilot) on the other end. If you have the faucet turned on and the other valve on also, you have a free flowing hose. If you turn the faucet off, some water will drain out before you can walk over and turn of the end valve. When you turn everything back on, you may have a few air bubbles in the line. Same with the propane; when you turn the tank off, the pilot valve stays open (even tho the flame is out, the pilot valve is open) until the thermo-couple cools down, 15-20 seconds and some lp will naturally bleed out the open valve. If you shut it off right at the fireplace control valve, the gas is alway under pressure, just there waiting to be let out again
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