When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

How To Fix A Gas Fireplace That Won't Stay Lit

by Clara Fernandez

If you desire roasted chestnuts by an open fire, you don't want the light to keep malfunctioning. However, a pilot that won't stay lit is a common fireplace problem. A healthy pilot light has a bluish orange glow. A yellowish flame is not healthy, and it will fail to light the fireplace. Before you call an HVAC repair service, try these troubleshooting tips.

Inspect the Gas Valve, Drip Loop, and Burners

Be certain the gas valve is turned on so the unit operates properly. If the gas is on, but the fireplace is still not working, the valve could be faulty. Gas valves very seldom malfunction, but they still need replacing. Contact a professional to replace valves.

Gas fireplaces have a drip loop, a capped pipe on the T-shape part of the gas meter, to keep access moisture out of the gas lines. Turn off the gas, then use a wrench to open the cap, and drain excess liquid. Replace damaged drip loop pipes. 

The burners, located below the pilot assembly, have several small holes that may get clogged. Spray compressed air into the holes to unclog them, or wipe the surface with a damp rag, and let it dry.

Reset the Pilot

The thermocouple is a safety feature that regulates the flame. The pilot assembly is commonly installed under the logs near the point the gas lines run into the fireplace.

Look for a copper tube, which will be the thermocouple, running from the valve to the pilot assembly with the tip sticking out beside the pilot. Gas fireplaces don't have many electrical components to cause shock, but if you prefer, unplug the fan.

To determine if the thermocouple is faulty, turn the gas valve to pilot. Press the red reset button, and keep it down for thirty seconds to release gas into the system. 

If the pilot doesn't light, wait several minutes and try again. Also, inspect inside of the tube for debris. Turn off the gas, and detach the thermocouple with a wrench. Use an emery cloth or steel wool pad to clean the tip, insert a stiff wire into the tube to clean debris, then spray compressed into it.

Check the Flame Color

Observe the color of the flame, which should be blue on the top third, and the flame should reach the thermocouple You may need a flashlight to see into the pilot hole. 

Yellowish flame indicates the pilot assembly needs cleaning or the sensor isn't making enough heat. Blow compressed air into the pilot, wait a minute or two, and try the fireplace again.  If the flame turns normal bluish orange, or it still won't light after several tries, replace the thermocouple.


About Me

When Your Air Conditioner Won't Work

My name is Maura, and I am certified in HVAC installation and repair. I have many clients who call me in a panic because they have turned on their air conditioners and nothing has happened. Your air conditioning technician will get to you as soon as possible, but there are some steps you can take while you are waiting. You might just find that you are able to fix the problem on your own, although you will still want to have a professional assess the situation. In this blog I will take you through some common reasons your air conditioner might not be working and show you some easy temporary solutions.