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Unstable pilot and possible causes. Do regulators fail?

Crispy Member Posts: 17
Greetings, I have a Utica DV125 on propane that is 27 years old. I clean the burner tubes, pilot assembly and fire box every year. The heat exchanger is always unbelievably clean.
The last couple years, I have had an intermittent failure about 8 times total where the power venter and circulators are running but the pilot is out and the burners are off. It always re-fires and runs fine.
I suspected the thermocouple and or gas valve might not be operating properly. A year ago I replaced the gas valve. This year I replaced the pilot assembly after reading a Service Bulletin from Utica about unstable pilots. My intermittent problem just happened again. Then, once or twice, I caught the pilot flame looking weak. Also, I don't think this has ever happened in the warm months (system has an indirect hot water maker). I have not checked the pressure but my gas guy looked at it and didn't think that was necessary.
I am now suspicious of the regulator(s), either the primary, secondary or both. I live in Northern NY. The primary lives on top of a buried 1000 gallon tank. When you open the access, it's a nasty environment in there with frost and moisture. The secondary regulator is pretty well covered under a porch but did get blasted accidentally with a power washer two years ago.
Does this sound like a regulator problem? Do regulators get replaced over time?
Thanks in advance. This forum has been very helpful to me. C.


  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Get in touch with your Propane provider and let them check things out.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
    edited February 2020
    Yes regulators fail. And always do what Mr. McElwain says.
  • Leonard
    Leonard Member Posts: 903
    edited February 2020
    At relatives in Maine noticed gas stove pilot was smaller than usual. Found sun melted ice on roof, it dripped on ~ 300# propane tank and splashed under cover onto pressure reg vent. In the shade tank and regulator temperature were below freezing and reg vent iced over. I melted ice on vent and all was well again, I added a splash shield.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,819
    Check the vents on all the regulators for spiders, ants bees nest or other debris. If the regulator can't breathe it can't regulate
  • nibs
    nibs Member Posts: 499
    Also you might get your supplier to add some alcohol (methyl hydrate, or methanol) to your tank, it will clean up any water which may be freezing and giving problems.