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OT- Any gas log fireplace experts?

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  • OT- Any gas log fireplace experts?

    Pretty much way OT, but someone here seems to something about everything...

    Helping out a friend. They have a gas log fireplace that stopped working. It has a millivolt gas valve and controls. I can get the pilot to light and hold when I release the button. The thermopile generates about 300mV. If I jump the thermostat terminals at the valve, it opens, burner lights. There is no thermostat, it just has a switch to light it, which is in series with a microswitch that is used to make sure you cannot open the main burner unless the flue is open. Once I reconnect the control/safety switch loop back up and close the switch, it will not light. The loop is closed, I checked both with a meter and by bypassing the microswitch and the on/off switch, still nothing.

    My thinking is that the thermopile should be generating more voltage than 300mV, and the loop resistance is just enough for it not to allow the valve to open.

    Any idea what the voltage I should expect from the thermopile would be?

    There is no nameplate on the thing I can find, no brand or other info. There was no paperwork for it included when the house was built (house is not that old) and even the builder has no records of where the guy(no longer available...) who installed it got it.

    Any general ideas?

  • #2
    Thermopiles for those pilot lights 'burn out'. I had to replace the one in my furnace every 2~5 years or so. Only a couple bucks, very standardise item. Give a shot before anything else.
    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


    • #3
      Because the voltage is so low, the connections have to be perfect or the relay will drop out. I have fixed 3 or 4 systems just by cleaning mating contact surfaces. A purple or grey scrubbie could be your friend here.
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I tried cleaning up all of the connections even though they looked good, to no avail. From what I have found online, these thermopile generators are supposed to be good for 750mV, this one is just making 300. So that is likely the problem. They are only about 30 bucks, going to get one on order tonight.

        Appreciate your taking the time to reply.