Vented Propane Wall Heater: Season Startup Question/Problem

homebrewz Posted By homebrewz, Sep 30, 2008 at 5:02 PM

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  1. homebrewz

    homebrewz
    Minister of Fire

    Nov 29, 2005
    1,052
    75
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    My neighbors have an outbuilding which is primarily heated with a vented wall heater running on propane. Its the kind that you might
    find in an engineer's field office trailer.. actually, I think thats where it came from. Every summer they shut the flow off at the heater
    and tanks, and every fall, turn it back on again and try to re-light the pilot light. However, every fall it seems that there is no flow of gas
    coming back through the line. They usually call the heating guy, but I'm trying to get it figured out first. I've checked all of the connections.
    All of the valves are on and gas should be flowing. Is there anything else I should check?
     
  2. homebrewz

    homebrewz
    Minister of Fire

    Nov 29, 2005
    1,052
    75
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    Oh yeah.. they got a delivery over the summer.

    I'm going to take a wire and try to snake-out some of the line.
     
  3. Joey Jones

    Joey Jones
    New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    237
    0
    Loc:
    New hampshire
    Instructions for lighting these gas stoves usually say turn knob to pilot and hold for 15 seconds while hitting piezo-electric spark switch. And if stove doesnt light turn off and repeat.... Here is how you do it... Hold gas pilot switch in for 50-60-70 seconds while continuously pressing start spark....at about 50 seconds the sucker will start.


    The thing about a gas pilot lighter is this: If the stove fails to light during the alloted time , a mechanism shuts off the gas to protect the lighter of the stove and you do have to wait 5 minutes before starting the process again as gas is heavier than air and settles in the bottom of the stove ,so an explosion could occur, but is most ridiculous.... ...IT TAKES 5 MINUTES IN THE OFF POSITION TO RECYCLE THE STOVES PILOT LIGHT TO lIGHTABILITY.

    Just concentrate on your first light and leave the stove pilot depressed up to 90 seconds while continuiously pressing the spark igniter.... That sucker will start, I garunntee as the Cajun Cook would say

    You'll be a hero
    Joey Chang
     
  4. homebrewz

    homebrewz
    Minister of Fire

    Nov 29, 2005
    1,052
    75
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    There is a black knob at the gas inlet marked "pilot" and "off", but there is no spring in it,
    so I don't need to hold it on.. its either on or off. I'll try it again later on. Thanks for tip.
    I didn't know about the safety mechanism.
     
  5. Joey Jones

    Joey Jones
    New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    237
    0
    Loc:
    New hampshire
    how old is the stove? Hold the pilot in not on
     
  6. homebrewz

    homebrewz
    Minister of Fire

    Nov 29, 2005
    1,052
    75
    Loc:
    East Central, NY
    Maybe 15 years old? There is a push-button igniter, similar to that on a gas grill.
    There are two gas valves that control flow.. they are typical (ball?) valves.
    Anyway, one controls flow into the stove, and the other is right at the last point
    where gas line in enters the stove. It has two settings: off, and pilot.
     
  7. colebrookman

    colebrookman
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 7, 2008
    776
    0
    Loc:
    Middlefield, Ma
    Try using a propane torch with a small flame; at 15 years the igniter may not have enough spark. Also if there is a drain line for any gunk, shut off the gas and drain.
    Ed
    Check for dead spiders and webs which glog the orfice if there is no propane smell.
     
  8. InTheRockies

    InTheRockies
    New Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    366
    0
    Loc:
    Northern US Rockies
    Dirt can affect propane appliances when you're trying to light the pilot. If they have a shop vac with the right sized attachment, maybe they should clean it.
     
  9. PaulRicklefs

    PaulRicklefs
    New Member

    Sep 24, 2008
    68
    0
    Loc:
    La Ronge, SK Canada
    All I can say is have patience. In every propane system if there is no pressure on the piping system air WILL get into the lines. Either crack the union or fitting loose at the appliance until the air clears the system or hold the pilot down until hell freezes over and away you go.

    It's a very common problem, one which I face at this time of year over and over again in my gasfitting profession.
     
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