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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Exclamation What to do if a pilot light fails to light?

    I use natural gas in my house for heating, hot water, and for a fireplace. My house has heat and hot water but when I went to turn my fireplace on this year nothing happened when I turned on the gas. I could also see that the pilot light had gone out. I checked the instruction manual for my (Desa GA9050A-1 series) fireplace and it shows that the gas control knob should be able to be turned from 0 degrees to 180 degrees to let the gas in to light up the fireplace and that to turn the pilot light on you need to wait for any natural gas that is left to dissipate, then turn the knob 90 degrees, press it in for 5 seconds (or 30 when you first install it) and then, while holding it in to also press in on the igniter button. If it doesn't light up at first it says that you should keep pressing the igniter button. The first problem is that the knob only turns 90 degrees, not 180. I have been in the house for about 1.5 years and I know that the previous owner installed the fireplace, but it worked fine last year so I didn't know that it was supposed to turn 180 degrees. I tried lighting the pilot light using the instructions in the manual by turning the knob 45 degrees and also 90 degrees, but the pilot light never lights up. I can see a spark when I press the igniter button, but I never smell any natural gas. I checked the gas lines and all of the valves to the fireplace are set to allow gas to go to the fireplace. I also do not smell gas in any other parts of the house either. I do not know when the pilot light went out, but I know that it was on for all of last winter without any problems. I am something of a novice with home repair, but I do learn fast. Is there anything else that I can check or try, or is it time to call in a HVAC professional?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    4,045

    Default Re: What to do if a pilot light fails to light?

    Quote Originally Posted by yonse View Post
    I use natural gas in my house for heating, hot water, and for a fireplace. My house has heat and hot water but when I went to turn my fireplace on this year nothing happened when I turned on the gas. I could also see that the pilot light had gone out.
    Perhaps there maybe some confusion as to how the fireplace was shutdown.
    If what is meant by " turned on the gas " from the shutoff valve on the gas supply line or the control valve to "off " ..... would explain why the pilot
    light was out.

    I checked the instruction manual for my (Desa GA9050A-1 series) fireplace and it shows that the gas control knob should be able to be turned from 0 degrees to 180 degrees to let the gas in to light up the fireplace and that to turn the pilot light on you need to wait for any natural gas that is left to dissipate, then turn the knob 90 degrees, press it in for 5 seconds (or 30 when you first install it) and then, while holding it in to also press in on the igniter button. If it doesn't light up at first it says that you should keep pressing the igniter button. The first problem is that the knob only turns 90 degrees, not 180.
    I have been in the house for about 1.5 years and I know that the previous owner installed the fireplace, but it worked fine last year so I didn't know that it was supposed to turn 180 degrees. I tried lighting the pilot light using the instructions in the manual by turning the knob 45 degrees and also 90 degrees, but the pilot light never lights up. I can see a spark when I press the igniter button, but I never smell any natural gas. I checked the gas lines and all of the valves to the fireplace are set to allow gas to go to the fireplace. I also do not smell gas in any other parts of the house either. I do not know when the pilot light went out, but I know that it was on for all of last winter without any problems. I am something of a novice with home repair, but I do learn fast. Is there anything else that I can check or try, or is it time to call in a HVAC professional?



    I'm also thinking there is some confusion here as well.
    The control valve likely does move the 180 degrees but not as you're thinking.

    Many fireplace valves operate in a similar fashion.

    The 0 point is the PILOT posistion and if you push the control valve in and turn it clockwise ( right) 90 degrees ..... this will be the OFF position.

    From the OFF position ......

    turn control knob counterclockwise to the PILOT position and press in for five seconds......... longer if need be ....... while pressing the Ignitor button.
    If it doesn't light or goes out while holding the control knob in .... there may be a problem with the valve or the orifice in the pilot line connection.



    When the pilot lights ........ keep the control knob pushed in for around 30 seconds and release the knob...... making sure the knob springs back .... the plilot should be a nice strong blue flame and contacting the thermocouple probe next to the pilot light flame

    If the pilot goes out repeat the process again.


    Once the pilot stays lit .....

    move the control knob counterclockwise to the ON position and the burner should light.



    As you see it should move 180 degrees.



    If it refuses to light or stay on there may be a problem with some debris in the orifice or the valve itself.

    If it does light and stay on for a while then goes out there may be a problem with the thermocouple probe. This probe keeps the valve open enough just to allow the trickle of gas needed for the pilot flame to burn.


    Hopefully this makes sense and helps.


    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: What to do if a pilot light fails to light?

    Gotta agree that from the sounds of it (no gas smell & spark seen from piezo igniter)....there is likely some gunk/debris blocking off the orifice... or perhaps inside the valve itself. If the gunk is just inside the pilot orifice, it will likely require some disassembly and cleaning...and that will likely require calling a serviceman in this instance. If there is gunk inside the valve body, a new valve is in order.

    Any chance there is a stop-valve upstream somewhere that got turned off?

    (If in doubt about the functioning of the piezo itself.... try lighting the pilot flame with a match or similar.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,796

    Default Re: What to do if a pilot light fails to light?

    When you turn the control , turn it all the way clockwise that should be the off position. then turn it CCW and you should hit a stop and it shouldn't turn all the way to high temp. At that position push in the knob. Some require a good deal of pressure to go all the way in, on mine it goes half way in easily then takes a great deal of pressure to go the rest of the way. Hold the control pressed in an push the igniter button until the pilot is light could be several times. Once the pilot is lit hold the control in for 30 seconds then release. If the pilot goes out try again. If it still goes out get a can of air or and air compressor hose, hold it so it blows air down in the hole the pilot light comes out . It may be the oxygen depletion detector is dirty. I have to blow mine out about every 2 or 3 years. Then try to light again. If it lights and stays on let it set for a couple of minutes then turn the control to heat.
    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 11-29-2008 at 12:11 AM.
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