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Propane Fireplace

Cameron Member Posts: 5
Hey everyone.  I work for a resort in New York and they have a propane fireplace.  The problem we have with it is that it doesn't stay lit.  If we have a fire going in it it stays lit, but if it is just the pilot light it goes out.  I noticed tonight when I shut it off the pilot light was fluttering, like air was being pushed through the line.  Does this mean it needs to be cleaned?  It also has a glass front on it that clamps tight to the frame.  We thought that it wasn't getting enough air so we spaced the glass off the frame so more air could get through.  Just trying to figure this problem out, I am tired of taking it apart to re-light it everyday.  Thanks for the help...


  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,224

    There are two basic reasons that the pilot won't stay lit:

    1) the flame is not properly impinging upon the thermocouple.

    2) the thermocouple is bad.

    See Tim McElwians article about thermocouple testing under "Resources/ Hot Tech Tips" on tab above.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Propane Fireplace:

    Tim is the expert, not me. But the pilot shouldn't be "fluttering". Sounds to me like the pilot assembly needs to be cleaned or replaced. The pilot orifice is very small. Like the diameter of a human hair. If it gets restricted, it will change the air/fuel ratio and screw up the bunsen charicteristics of the flame. If the pilot flame is very blue, it may be obstructed. And the regulator pressure needs to be checked.

    You need to call a pro to look at it. Hopefully, you will get one.

    I see this on my prestolite torch all the time. Dust gets sucked on to the orifice and closes down the gas while there is pleanty of air. I get a long, yellow weak flame. Clean it out and it is like new.
  • Slimpickins
    Slimpickins Member Posts: 335
    3rd reason

    The 3rd reason could be a bad valve. The aluminum body valves seem to fail often. The brass valves seem to last longer IMO 
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,597
    These pilots are actually

    ODS pilots (Oxygen Depletion Safety) which means that if the level of O2 goes below 18% they will go out. From what is being described the system needs serviced by a professional from hopefully a propane company who also understands the fuel system.

    When cleaning the pilot DO NOT stick any metal objects into the orifice for the pilot. Some are actually a small piece of Ruby and it will shatter.

    What I am saying is the pilot is probably doing its job to safely shut off the equipment.

    There should also be a combustion analysis done on the equipment.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Propane Fireplace:


    Well, like I said, the hole for the pilot orifice IS small. I would never F with one. I was suggesting that they get a professional take care of it. I really do not like screwing around with LP and especially gas fireplaces. The has runs out on the floor and goes off all around you. Nat Gas goes up.

    HO's and H-men should leave gas servicing to the trained pro's. Me being a licensed Master Plumber in Massachusetts says that I am qualified to work on gas but I don't claim that. Though 3 houre of my 6 hours of yearly continuing education to keep my license is devoted to gas. Natural. I never see that. Just LP.

    As far as gas, when I need help, I call Nat. All else, I usually call me. 
This discussion has been closed.