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  #1  
Old 10-22-2010, 01:42 PM
LegendHasit LegendHasit is offline
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Why Does My Gas Fireplace Go Out?

I have a gas fire place ("faux place") that runs really well for about 10 minutes after I turn it on, but then it goes out (licking flames stop and just the pilot remains on).

Amazingly, stomping once or twice on the floor in front of the mantle like the Fonz usually fixes the outage because after a quick "Whoa, hey" stomp it turns back on. Clicking the igniter also works.

Oddly, this scenario often repeats once or twice before the fireplace settles on staying on indefinitely.

So I'm wondering, is the gas flow somehow getting interrupted? The pilot light stays on when the flames go out, and occasionally, it will reignite by itself within a minute without the Fonz foot.

Thoughts?

LH
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  #2  
Old 10-22-2010, 02:42 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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My mom has a gas fire place and had a similar issue. Do you have a remote or a mounted thermostat somewhere? Her problem was that she left the remote (with thermostat) on the mantel over the fireplace, it got hot, fire cut off. Working as planned. Now she has figured out where to leave the remote so that it will cut off if she forgets and falls asleep.
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  #3  
Old 10-22-2010, 10:25 PM
LegendHasit LegendHasit is offline
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shiftless,

Thanks for that info. Mine has no remote or thermostat connected with it. It's a basic key-in-the-carpet with a compartment underneath with the usual on/off/pilot gauging and manual clicker.

LH
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2010, 12:22 AM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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I'm not familiar with gas fireplaces, but I'd guess it has a high limit switch. That is a safety switch that will kill the main flame if for some reason the combustion chamber temperature gets above where the fireplace designed to operate at. It's usually a mechanical device with a bi-metal element that automatically resets when it cools, which is why the flame will reignite without the Fonz foot. The Fonz foot probably works because it jolts the mechanical part of the high limit switch.

You have a problem that needs to be fixed. I'd guess that the flue is blocked. Maybe a critter made a home there during the summer, or the fireplace has an automatic damper that failed. Maybe it's something else.

It's serious as either a fire hazard or a carbon monoxide hazard (or both). Get a gas repairman to look at it ASAP. Stop using it until then.

Last edited by Dag Otto; 10-23-2010 at 12:23 AM..
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2010, 10:21 AM
CWN CWN is offline
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It could be a faulty thermocoupler
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2010, 01:43 PM
Magiver Magiver is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWN View Post
It could be a faulty thermocoupler
This. If it has a pilot light then it has a thermocoupler. Check to see if it is located withing the pilot light flame. You may have knocked it out or it's defective. Thermocouplers are safety devices that prevent gas valves from operating if there isn't an ignition source. It has to be heated before the gas valve will work.

Last edited by Magiver; 10-23-2010 at 01:44 PM..
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2010, 02:17 PM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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No, it's not the thermocouple. The OP said the pilot remains on. A bad thermocouple would kill the gas to both the main flame and the pilot.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2010, 02:20 PM
robcaro robcaro is offline
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I had a problem similar to the one that you have and it turned out to be too much gas pressure. It was blowing itself out.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2010, 02:44 PM
LegendHasit LegendHasit is offline
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Thanks for all the input here. Fireplace has been turned off and we're going to call in the professionals.
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2010, 06:54 AM
fireman11 fireman11 is offline
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Congratulation!finally you got the solution........
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2010, 07:33 PM
LegendHasit LegendHasit is offline
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Indeed, I do, fireman11. Dag Otto was pretty close.

A wad of wiring (wow) with the potential of becoming a wall switch seems to be the culprit. When installed, the wow was just left underneath as a lateroption with exposed ends that, when touching the metal fireplace wall would cause a short and shut off the gas, a safety feature. The Fonz stomp jarred it loose.

A li'l bit of electrical tape over the loose ends seems to have solved it. Glad it wasn't the thermocouple. Thanks for the helpful info!

LH
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  #12  
Old 10-31-2010, 01:23 AM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Well, I don't think I was close at all. After I posted I was second guessing myself, wondering if the fireplace had a flame sensor.

On the other hand, I doubt anyone could have diagnosed the wad of wire over a message board, and the call to a professional turned out to be the right thing to do. Thanks for posting the update.
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2010, 08:13 AM
CWN CWN is offline
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Well the "wow was just left underneath as a later option with exposed ends that, when touching the metal fireplace wall would cause a short and shut off the gas"
That was going to be my 2nd guess
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2010, 01:49 PM
LegendHasit LegendHasit is offline
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CWN,

I knew you were close too . You should have gone with the second guess first!
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2010, 01:54 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto View Post
Well, I don't think I was close at all. After I posted I was second guessing myself, wondering if the fireplace had a flame sensor.

On the other hand, I doubt anyone could have diagnosed the wad of wire over a message board, and the call to a professional turned out to be the right thing to do. Thanks for posting the update.
Not without a lot of back and forth troubleshooting...before we even decided that it would have been electrical. My guess was going to be for a bad gas regulator. At work our stove will periodically have a very very small flame. A couple of light smacks with a hammer or screwdriver handle gets it working again. In that case, I think the diaphragm is gummed up and knocking it a few times breaks it loose. I was thinking it could be something similar with the fireplace.
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