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Pilot light and gas-line safety-help!

paigegirl
paigegirl Member Posts: 14
I just had a vent-free natural gas heater installed (a wall unit). I have an old gas furnace in the basement-the installer spliced a line from the furnace gas line to the new unit, with it's own on-off switch. What I'm wondering is, should I turn the pilot light off if i will be gone for 1 or 2 days? There is a control knob on top, so I think I can manage turning it on & off. Also should I turn off the gas flow at the same time? I have never had a pilot light burning in the house, that's why I am concerned-it just seems strange to leave for the day with that flame burning. . Really, are those lights safe, in regard to fire and leaks? It's a DynaGlo unit, from Lowe's. This probably sounds paranoid, but I am really concerned about fire, and gas leaks. Thank you for any help!

Comments

  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,477
    When you say vent free we assume you mean products of combustion are vented into the room in which the heater is installed. Is that correct or is it side wall vented to outdoors?

    Leaving a pilot lit on gas equipment is not usually a problem and is done on many gas appliances. It is not unsafe as long as everything else on the installation is correct. Some pictures of the installation would help.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    The last standing pilot device I owned had a safety feature that if the pilot somehow got blown out it's gas supply stopped too.

    I can't imagine something being sold in 2018 does not have a safety feature that a 1960's gas appliance had.

    https://home.howstuffworks.com/pilot-light.htm
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,477
    All gas systems today and for many years are 100% safety. That means if the pilot goes out all gas flow is stopped. Years ago on natural gas systems we had what we called constant pilots or "wild pilots". Those would still have pilot gas flow even though the pilot had gone out. They would however not allow main gas flow as the lack of a pilot would cause the main gas flow safety to drop out and stop gas flow. Those wild pilot systems were never allowed on LP gas systems those have always had to be 100% shut off.
  • paigegirl
    paigegirl Member Posts: 14
    Thanks guys, I'll post some photos. My little house is all I have, so that's why I'm concerned. If i understood how things work, maybe i wouldn't be so paranoid. Thank you again.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,686
    It should be safer than the old furnace which may have a standing pilot anyway.
    Pilot lights are common in older furnaces, older gas cooktops and just about all, even new, gas water heaters.
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    I just picked up & installed one of these units in my garage last week. I’m running mine on propane (they have single & dual fuel versions of the same units, mine is the dual fuel model).

    The Dyna-Glo units are “vent-free”, so combustion products are vented into the space being heated...make sure you have adequate fresh air and/or ventilation in that room. The manual has a worksheet for computing how much air exchange is needed.

    They are equipped with a “Low Oxygen Detection System” so the burner will shut off if the unit has consumed too much oxygen from the room.

    The pilot can be left on, and it will cut off fuel flow to the pilot if it gets extinguished somehow. Personally, I shut it off on my unit unless I’m going to be around the garage. It’s easy enough to re-light with the igniter.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,477
    What is referred to is called an ODS (Oxygen Depletion System) that if the oxygen level in the space goes below 18% (normal around 20%) it will cause the flame to be pulled away from the quick shut off thermocouple and the entire gas system is shut down and has to be relit for future use. That is the safety system to prevent possible Carbon Monoxide issues. It is still a good idea to have a CO detector in the space.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    it is also a good idea for your installer to explain safe operation of the unit and leave the manual with you. I also recommend a co detector near your bedroom so that you can hear it at night..cant be to safe..
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    I know from reading the manual (so few people do that nowadays) that DynaGlo only makes one unit that they permit to be installed in bedrooms. They’re VERY specific about that and mention it about 5 times in the manual and in the laminated instructions that are attached to the unit itself. They also advise installing a good CO detector.

    So far I’m very happy with the one I bought (the 30k btu model). It’s silent and the thermostat feature actually does work...”Step 1” shuts the burner off at 60°.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems