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propane heater won't stay lit (Vermont Castings Prism)
Our kitchen is heated by a propane "decorative appliance" - specifically a Vermont Castings Prism (5340 if I recall correctly) - that came with the house when we bought it. The unit is connected to its own chimney. For the first two years, the unit worked most of the time, although occasionally the pilot light would go out and be unable to remain lit. By jiggling and bending the thermocouple, I was able to restore the unit to service every time - although some times it took hours of repositioning the thermocouple, sparking it and holding the knob for 10 seconds, watching the pilot die, and trying again.
Then things got worse: the pilot simply wouldn't stay lit. I called for backup. None of the local stove shops were able to fix it; most simply said the unit was older and unrepairable, all without even looking at it. We were able to find two technicians who were willing to come out to the house to see the unit. The first replaced the thermocouple and got it to work for a few months, but soon the same situation reappeared: the pilot light would go out, and then the stove would be unlightable even after extensive thermocouple fiddling. I then replaced the thermocouple myself, with similar results (a few months of operation, followed by ultimate demise).
It's getting cold in Maine. I'd like to be able to heat the kitchen comfortably, especially since our family just widened to take in our newborn daughter.
What are my options? I'm willing to make the rounds of calling local stove shops again this year, but I'm hoping someone here has an idea that I can either try
myself or suggest to a tech to get this unit to work again.