Why Does My Gas Fireplace Keep Going Out?
Why Does My Gas Fireplace Keep Going Out?
Your gas fireplace might keep going out for a number of reasons. On a home gas fireplace, many components work together to allow the unit to burn safely. That means that when you experience this sort of problem, you’ll have several places to check to find what needs to be fixed or replaced.
Keeping your gas fireplace lit is accomplished when all the parts work together to supply gas to ignite the flames. The other components are there to keep you safe from the effects of harmful gases and the fire itself.
To learn how to fix your gas fireplace when it keeps going out, you need to know which parts to inspect, what they do and how a few of the most prominent issues might affect you. This guide is here to help you find the answers and more.
Common Parts of a Gas Fireplace
When your gas fireplace keeps going out, you need to know where the problem might be coming from. The best way to find out is to familiarize yourself with the common parts of your gas fireplace.
- Pilot light: A pilot light is a feature found in most modern gas fireplaces. It is a small, blue flame that is ignited at the push of a button, though some may have a key-based setup that keeps your pilot light running as long as the key is in place and the gas is switched on.
- Thermocouple: The thermocouple is the part of a gas fireplace responsible for monitoring its temperature.
- Thermopile: A thermopile is a component that regulates the flow of the gas delivered to your fireplace.
- Oxypilot: The oxypilot is an important safety feature of your gas fireplace that protects you from carbon monoxide. If there is insufficient oxygen present, the oxypilot will halt gas flow to the fireplace.
What Parts to Check and How to Find the Problem
Now that you know the components that make the system work, you know what parts to examine when your gas fireplace turns off by itself. When you start evaluating whether each part is working as intended, be sure to consider these other insights into what they do and some common problems that might be causing your fireplace to keep going out.
The thermocouple and pilot light are arguably the two most crucial parts of your fireplace when it comes to lighting and maintaining a flame.
Pilot light issues
If you’re struggling to light your gas fireplace, there may be a problem with your pilot light. Often, the culprit in this situation is a clogged pilot light gas tube. The pilot gas tube provides the small amount of gas needed to keep the pilot flame lit. However, this tube is thin and could easily be clogged by dust or debris, which will prevent you from lighting your fire.
If your gas fireplace pilot light keeps going out, you may have a problem with faulty pilot controls. The pilot control failing due to age or a mechanical issue can cause your pilot light to keep going out and prevent it from being relit. Fortunately, this problem is easy to solve for professionals who have the right skills and tools to safely handle gas fireplace installations and repairs.
Clean or replace your thermocouple
The thermocouple controls the main gas valve and plays a critical role in keeping your gas fireplace working properly. This piece is a vital safety component that ensures gas will not flow to the fireplace while the unit’s pilot light is unlit. The thermocouple is a thin metal probe that always has an electrical charge running through it. That charge allows the thermocouple to sense the pilot flame’s heat to ensure the pilot light is on.
This probe is a sensitive component, and it must directly touch the pilot flame to work properly. Because it is thin, however, the probe can easily be bent, which may prevent it from touching the flame. If you try to light your pilot light and your thermocouple is bent in the wrong direction, your gas fireplace turns off by itself. Because the thermocouple’s probe cannot detect the heat from the flame, the flame will extinguish whenever you release the pilot control knob.
Thermocouples can wear out with age. There is only one way to know if the component is worn out, which involves testing it for a current using a multimeter. A fireplace repair professional can perform this test and determine whether your thermocouple is to blame for the fireplace shutting off on its own.
Gas supply interruption
A pilot light must always have a constant flow of gas to remain lit, so you should be able to smell gas while the unit’s pilot light is on — if you can’t, there could be something interrupting the gas supply to your fireplace. This issue might be specific to your fireplace or the entire house’s gas flow. Check for any gas lines that aren’t fully opened or any kinks or damage to your gas line.
You can see if this problem is affecting the rest of your house by checking the pilot light on other gas-powered appliances, such as a furnace or boiler. You might also want to check the gas regulator valve outside.
When checking the unit’s pilot light, if you notice a fully yellow or red flame, you need to investigate the problem urgently. This is a sign that contaminated gas is making its way to your fireplace, which means you need to contact a professional heating engineer as soon as possible. Contaminated gas is a serious problem that is dangerous to handle if you don’t have the right training.
Your pilot light flame should be blue with a very small amount of yellow. The more red or yellow your flame, the more contaminated the gas is.
Trust Chimney.com to Keep Your Fireplace Alight
Chimney.com is here to help you with all your fireplace needs. From repairing faulty parts to burning your fireplace fires bright, you can always rely on our expertise. We offer everything fireplace owners need, including gas line services, fireplace maintenance, gas fireplace repairs and installations, and full fireplace remodels.
With over 30 years of experience, we are the go-to chimney and fireplace restoration, installation, maintenance and repair experts in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. When you call our team, you can rest assured that your fireplace is in the right hands. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you, schedule a service or request a free quote on a new fireplace installation.
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