Know Your Gas Fireplace and Its Issues

Gas fireplace repair can be daunting!  While a gas fireplace is a simple to use solution for providing the beautiful, illuminating glow that a fire provides, there are some issues that are less-than-simple. Finding the source is the usually what makes it so daunting.  One issue could have any number of root sources, so it’s a matter of covering your bases.  Covering your bases can take a lot of time, and you may not quite have the expertise to troubleshot or repair anything we are going to review.

There are three primary areas that we are going to focus on in this article.  They are the pilot light, the thermocouple, and the thermopile.  We need to reiterate that you are working with gas, and gas is obviously very combustible.  Please, please make sure to turn off your gas line before proceeding with anything we are going to discuss.

Pilot Light

The pilot light is an ignition source. If your fireplace won’t turn on, it may be a simple matter of the pilot flame having been blown out. Reigniting a pilot light can be done in a matter of minutes, and you can simply troubleshoot by opening the vent and taking a look.  Re-lighting a pilot light is as simple as igniting it with a match or lighter.  After lighting it back up, see if you are able to turn on the fireplace.  If the pilot won’t stay lit, you may be facing a bigger issue that would require professional assistance.

The Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a small metal rod that intersects the gas valve and the burning pilot flame. It acts as a temperature sensor and generates electricity to ignite the gas when needed.  The thermocouple is small!  It also interacts with many components, so it really can impact your fireplace in myriad ways.  It can be something as simple as the thermocouple not being screwed in tightly or having been knocked out of place.  When inspecting the thermocouple, make sure that the wiring is also correctly placed.  If anything looks awry and cannot be simply adjusted, professional intervention will be required.

The Thermopile

Similar to the thermocouple, a thermopile is a sensor that generates voltage. The thermopile has replaced the thermocouple in many newer gas fireplaces. A thermopile is much more complex than the aforementioned pilot light and thermocouple.  Repair and diagnosis are much more complex, so proceed with utmost caution when looking at troubleshooting and potential repairs.

As a thermopile has a generator function, utilize that to check how much energy it’s providing.  That can be a good way to figure out if your current wiring is adequate. Loose or inadequate wiring can be the root cause behind a burner that won’t come on at all.

Even though these three components can comprise a lot of the issues with a gas fireplace, but there are many, many other issues that can arise.  Gas valves malfunctioning, or the scary possibility of a gas leak can be other culprits, both of which are difficult to diagnose without the assistance of a professional you can trust.

Ignite Fireplace is the company of professionals that you can trust.  As a locally-owned and operated company with an emphasis on family-oriented service and reasonable prices, we want to take care of your needs.  No job is too big, and we provide the best service in the state for your Heatilator and Heat & Glo fireplaces.  Our Heat & Glo fireplace service in Utah, Salt Lake, Utah, Davis, and Summit Counties.  Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.  See the Ignite difference.