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My darn Jotul Firelight won't stay on!

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by flipper, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    I bought this Jotul 600 Firelight used about four years ago and it's never run right. I'd like to see if I can't get it going the way it's supposed to. The pilot stays lit and when I push the on/off button to on, the fire pops up okay. But after about half an hour or so, it just dies. What could the issue be? Some pix are attached.

    Also: The log setup doesn't match anything in the manual for the stove, and it's too complicated for me to figure out without help. Can I just stack em like I have em or should I call some 4rth grader over to puzzle them all together in about 10 seconds flat?

    thanks!

    Attached Files:

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  2. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    if you have a multimeter, check the thermopile reading... and how does the pilot flame look? doe it float off the tc/tp assembly at all?
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Take the logs out & see if she runs ok.
    If she does, you know where the problem lies.
    Those logs are designed to be installed one way ONLY.
    If it doesn't run right, follow Summit's advice...
    Look for 500- 550 on the pilot & 200 - 250 on the burner,
    with the multimeter probes on the TP & TP-TH terminals...
  4. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    Thanks, guys. I've been called away suddenly but will for sure check things out upon my return home Monday. Will report back.

    btw/ it's safe to fire up the stove with no logs ... right?
  5. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Yep. Just make sure you put the glass back on if you're gonna burn for more than a few minutes...
  6. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    okay, i tried it w/ the logs out and the flames still die after a while. i then tried it w/ the logs still out and the glass lifted up an inch or still. flame still dies.

    now i want to try testing with the multimeter. while i've got one, i don't know how to use it. can someone explain the settings i should use on the meter and where i should put the probes?

    thanks!!!
  7. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Set the meter to Millivolts.
    With the burner off:
    Put one probe on the terminal block at the TP connection.
    Put the other probe on the terminal block at the TH-TP (or TP-TH) connection.
    Read the number & tell us what it is - should be 500 - 550 & steady
    Turn the burner on:
    Take a reading across the same terminals & tell us what it is - should be 200 - 220 & steady...(YMMV)
    My bet is that you will have a gradually dropping Mv reading on
    the burner until it gets down to 135 or so & then it'll shut everything down.
    If so, ya gotta replace the thermopile...
    Good Luck!
  8. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    i can email you a gas service tech book, showing how and why to take the tests
    pm me
  9. Install fire 1

    Install fire 1 Member

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    It could also be a high resistance on the switch circuit, which steals too many mv off of the main burner magnet causing it to close or go "out".
  10. pyrotom

    pyrotom New Member

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    Summit raised a good question about the pilot flame staying in contact with the thermocouple. If the pilot holds while the stove is sitting idle, there's a good possibility that the draft of the stove is pulling the pilot flame away from the thermocouple when you fire up the main burner. If you can see the flame flickering or pulling away from the thermocouple while the stove is burning, that's a pretty likely cause.

    Does it have the SIT pilot assembly that looks like a little disc with flame coming out on three sides? If so, you may be able to remove the cap (it snaps on from the top) and blow out the pilot orifice to get a stronger flame. If it hasn't been professionally serviced since you purchased the stove, the pilot hood may be rusted on there tight, so don't destroy the hood trying to get it off if it doesn't come off pretty easily!

    If you can only cause the problem when the main burner is on, a millivolt reading on the thermocouple is only going to give you a clue, not confirm the diagnosis. You would need to install a special thermocouple tester in-line with the thermocouple so you could read the voltage changes while the stove is in operation.

    Unfortunately, having the logs out of the stove might make the problem worse with nothing in the way of the incoming air.

    I concur with the other comments about getting the logs back in the right place.

    If the stove really has NEVER run right, I wonder if you don't have some venting issue, although you seemed to indicate you tried it with the glass cracked and still had the same problem.
  11. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    okay, some new stuff here to think about, which i will. meanwhile, i did as bob suggested and here's my report:

    1/ with just the pilot on, the reading was 381 millivolts -- not 500 to 550 as hoped for.

    2/ with the main burner on, first reading was 202. five minutes later it was 190. then i got a phone call and when i came back ten minutes later the main burner was out.

    so that's where it stands. anything new to conclude?

    thanks again!
  12. pyrotom

    pyrotom New Member

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    I missed that just the burner is going out, not the pilot. My bad.

    The thermoPILE sounds weak, so the same concerns apply. Either the flame is pulling off, cooling the tip, or the base is overheating, making the difference in temp from the tip to base smaller, which will also drop millivolts.

    How does the pilot flame look while the unit is running?
  13. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I'd say that you need to replace the thermopile...
    Probably about $50. Need a 7/16 wrench & Philips screwdriver...
    & a small goob of RTV to seal the hole where the wiring passes thru the stove bottom...
  14. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, make sure the venting system conforms to the manual.
    Some stoves have restrictors (other folks here can say if this one does).
    If the venting is wrong, then the chimney can suck too strong and the fire lifts and goes out (I think)......

    Just make sure the venting falls within the chart in the installation manual....and look to see if a restrictor is mentioned for particular pipe runs.
  15. pyrotom

    pyrotom New Member

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    . . . true about the restrictors being set properly to prevent pilot flame lifting & fluttering . . . but if only the burner is dropping out, the venting may not be the major issue, since the thermocouple is usually more sensitive.

    DAKSY is right. The thermopile is a cheap fix.
  16. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    I'll do some more noodling around to see what I can see.

    Where does one buy a thermopile? Is the safest best to buy one from a Jotul dealer?
  17. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    If you get one from a Jotul parts dealer, you know it'll work.
    If there's not one near you, some True Value Hardware Stores carry
    a "Universal" Millivolt Generator for about $50 that'll probably work.
    You'll have some extra parts left over with the True Value one, but don't worry about them.
    Take the old one out & bring it with you. The threads on the retainer HAVE to match
    or you're SOL...
  18. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    okay here are some pictures and a link to two movies. maybe these will help the diagnoses. everything is pretty self explanation. there are some shots of the thermopile without the main burner on and some with it on. hope they're clear enuf. what do you think? btw/ this time i was there when the burner shut off; it last about 15 minutes; i didn't see any flame lift off or anything, it just went off.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aa1hHNYy6is

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJuyliRP_QY

    Attached Files:

  19. pyrotom

    pyrotom New Member

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    Excellent photos!

    Pilot flame looks a little small to me, but pretty normal. Have you tried popping the top off of the pilot head & blowing out the pilot orifice? A little WD40 helps to loosen it up if it's rusted. You can also pull off the retainer clip to help get it free . . . it is a small wire about the diameter of a paper clip around the neck of the pilot. Make sure to put the clip back when you're through.

    This still seems like more of a thermopile issue with the voltage dropping so much.

    Another thing that can cause the thermopile to drop voltage is a a loose retainer nut, which will keep the pilot bracket from acting as a heat sink. After the pilot has been off for a while, check to see if the nut is tight underneath. It doesn't have to be super tight, but a little more than handtightened to get good thermal conductivity.
  20. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Replace the thermopile & after you do that we'll
    tell ya how to TRY to increase the millivolt readings...
  21. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    Okay, will do. Thanks. And, I will be back ...
  22. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I just saw this thread and thought I would check it out I do not have a gas stove but a wood unit. I usually do not come to this section of the forum. So what the heck is my point? I saw the title and thought "this guy needs a new thermocouple" or thermopile as your calling it. I have a little experience with furnaces and it is the same principal, monitoring the temp of the fire. Sorry to come in here and spout off but I just had to see the conclusions of the pros. :shut:
  23. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    Thanks for weighing in!

    Meanwhile, how the deuce do you get the thermopile out? it's got that plate in front of it and there's vvvery little operating room to the side. is there an easy way to get to it or should i just unbolt and remove the heating element?

    Attached Files:

  24. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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  25. flipper

    flipper New Member

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    man o man. i removed the burner tube and i *still* can't get at the thermopile nut. crap. well, i'll go back to it later, when my temper has gotten a little longer.

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