Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

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TxInjun
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Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by TxInjun » Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:54 pm

Hey Bogleheads,

I have a gas fireplace with an electric-only start. The unit is the Heat & Glo 6000C-IPI. It's worked fine in the past, but hasn't been fired up for a while. So when I turned it on recently, the "starter" flame ignites, but none of the main area lights up. I then opened up the glass, took the logs out, and tried my best to vacuum the small vent openings (switch is off and gas was turned off during this process). I had marginal luck getting a small flame from some of the vents occasionally, but nothing stuck.

There is a sort of hollow plate which distributes the gas to the vents - I think I need to open that guy and probably clean up any spiders or gunk accumulated there, but I can't seem to get those screws to extract. Does anyone have experience self-maintaining these fireplaces? Any advice or pointers is appreciated. I've tried some local fireplace guys but they're all $200 to show up, and the guy I made an appointment with didn't even show up!

Thanks in advance,

TxIn

Jimmie
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by Jimmie » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:06 pm

Did you search through YouTube videos to find someone who solved a similar problem?

I used "fixing fireplace flame" as search terms and found a bunch of videos. Go pop some popcorn and have a blast watching them. :D

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Kenkat
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by Kenkat » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:28 pm

It is possible that you have clogs in the gas line but often a low flame is an issue with the gas valve and/or regulator depending on the system employed. A regulator system has a safety that is pushed open when sufficient pressure builds up; this prevents the release of gas if a leak exists. If the safety doesn’t fully open, only a small amount of gas is allowed to pass through, resulting in a low flame. Sometimes the regulator goes bad and the valve doesn’t fully open. Other types of systems will use a glow plug that opens when it gets sufficiently hot, opening the valve and insuring the gas is ignited. These can become weak and not fully open the valve, also leading to a weak or low flame.

DIY gas work can be tricky. It might be time to call someone in.
Last edited by Kenkat on Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

IMO
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by IMO » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:50 pm

I'd second the thought to search youtube to see if the issue is addressed by someone.

Even if you are not planning on DIY the actual problem, having an understanding can be helpful of what
seems reasonable by a technician estimate.

shunkman
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by shunkman » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:53 pm

Possibly a problem with the pressure regulator? Maybe try shutting the gas off at the source for a five minutes and then turn it back on slowly?

Dave55
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by Dave55 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:04 pm

My gas fireplace would not light up last year (although it worked fine the year before). I called a service guy and for $140, he cleaned it out and it worked all last year and all this year every time I turned it on. I would call a service and not mess around with gas.

Dave

123
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by 123 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:16 pm

Gas appliance that have a pilot typically have a copper thermocouple cable that has a sensor that sits in the middle of the flame and the other end of it goes into the actual gas on/off valve. The purpose of the thermocouple is to avoid turning on the gas if the pilot light is not ignited. In todays electric start devices the sparker ignites the pilot light. The thermocouple tells the gas valve that the pilot light is lit so the gas can go on. So I might be tempted to replace the thermocouple if you can see it. Thermocouple are in all kinds of devices from waterheaters to gas furnaces. The thermocouple is less than $25. If you can take the old one out you could get a replacement that is the correct length.

https://www.amazon.com/Heat-Thermocoupl ... ermocouple

If replacing the thermocouple doesn't fix it then a service person may need to replace the gas valve control unit in the fireplace.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Offshore
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by Offshore » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:58 pm

I had exact same issue. Hired a guy who specializes in cleaning gas fireplaces. Disassembled the unit and cleaned everything. It functioned better, but has never produced as big of flame as when it was new.

mortfree
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by mortfree » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 am

There is a dial that controls the flame height. In case anyone overlooked that.

mrmass
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by mrmass » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:15 am

mortfree wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 am
There is a dial that controls the flame height. In case anyone overlooked that.
Came here to say this.

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abuss368
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by abuss368 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:24 am

Dave55 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:04 pm
My gas fireplace would not light up last year (although it worked fine the year before). I called a service guy and for $140, he cleaned it out and it worked all last year and all this year every time I turned it on. I would call a service and not mess around with gas.

Dave
We experienced this as well. It appears that there are not too many components to the fireplace. We do an annual cleaning. The Thermocouple on a fireplace usually (depending on use) goes bad approximately every two years. A cleaning and replacement runs a $150 or so.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

BIGal
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by BIGal » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:52 am

There are several things that could be causing this problem. Most likely the valve is not operating as it should. Several years ago I sold Heat -N-Glo fireplaces so I am somewhat familiar with them. If the general cleaning did not work I would recommend calling a professional to check it out. Please remember that your safety is the highest priority and if you caused a gas leak when trying to "fix" the unit you could cause severe results.

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abuss368
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by abuss368 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:52 pm

BIGal wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:52 am
There are several things that could be causing this problem. Most likely the valve is not operating as it should. Several years ago I sold Heat -N-Glo fireplaces so I am somewhat familiar with them. If the general cleaning did not work I would recommend calling a professional to check it out. Please remember that your safety is the highest priority and if you caused a gas leak when trying to "fix" the unit you could cause severe results.
Heat-N-Glo is the Manufacturer of our unit. It has worked well thus far.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

Topic Author
TxInjun
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Re: Gas / Electric Fireplace only produces a low flame

Post by TxInjun » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:13 pm

Thank you all for your helpful responses. I’ve since discovered that the burner unit can only be opened up with a specific tool, a safety torx screwdriver. Methinks the mfr made it extra childproof for a reason, so I will bring in the professionals on this one.

TxIn

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