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  • Thermostatically Controlled Gas Stove Question.

    We have a Hudson Bay, Quadra-Fire gas stove, that we are experiencing a slight problem with. As opposed to having to power the unit on & off, via the stove's power/toggle switch, I wired a programmable thermostat to it. That pairing had been working just fine, for nearly two years - but now, the stove doesn't always respond to the thermostat's order. There are times when I can raise the 'Set-Temp' to just one step above 'Room-Temp' (i.e., 66-67 degrees), and the stove would light. But there are also times (and more than just a few), when raising the 'Set-Temp' to any raised degrees, that the stove will not light. Consequently, the stove would have to be turned on & off from its toggle switch. I need that "Set & Forget" feature - with the ability to 'Over Ride', such as is on the thermostat that we do have, and I wonder if anyone might have an idea as to what is going on here. I don't believe that our unit (thermostat) features a "Low Battery" warning (lost the user manual), because we have never seen such a notice. But that could, largely, be due to the fact that we automatically change our batteries after a certain period of time, anyway.

    Any thoughts, though, would be much appreciated.
    ~Blessings~

    Nathan

  • #2
    Re: Thermostatically Controlled Gas Stove Question.

    any low voltage transformers anywhere in this set up? transformers on their way to failure can sometimes act erractically and provide inconsistent appliance performance.
    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Thermostatically Controlled Gas Stove Question.

      Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
      any low voltage transformers anywhere in this set up? transformers on their way to failure can sometimes act erractically and provide inconsistent appliance performance.
      Finer,

      Thanks for responding.

      You inquired about any low-voltage transformers being present, in the mix of things, and I am not actually certain. In fact, I know very little about such things . When we bought the stove, we had considered one thermostats that the seller had available for our unit, but it would have set us back about another $200 for it. They were kind enough, however, to inform us that any after market thermostat - of the Millivolt (or Milliwatt? I can't remember which) - would work just fine. So, being armed with the proper wiring instructions for one, I purchased a RiteTemp Programmable Thermostat, of the proper Low Voltage (or Wattage), rating - and installed it.

      As mentioned earlier, this thermostat worked flawlessly - for near about two years, but is now rather 'iffy'. I wouldn't have a problem purchasing another therrmostat - such as the type of what we have - if I knew that the problem rested within the thermostat itself. Are these type of units known for dying out - or becoming, in some way, problematic - in just time frame of just a couple of years? If you think that it may be the thermostat indeed, then I will purchase another. Don't worry...I won't hold it against you if you are opinionated on the thermostat being the culprit - and I find that the same problem exists . I think that we'd like to have a 'lighted' one better, anyway. Let me know your thoughts.

      And thanks again.
      ~Blessings~

      Nathan

      Comment


      • #4
        Two possibilities

        Ok, the above information helps.
        You have a powerpile (some call it a thermopile) in your space heater.
        The pilot flame touches the powerpile and creates electricity. The package says that it's capable of 750 milivolts DC, (3/4 of a volt) but I can't remember if I've ever seen that. They usually give about 695mv at best. This voltage does two things: Fist it powers an electromagnet that holds the safety valve open. (inside the gas valve) This allows gas to flow out of the pilot, and the pilot flame to stay on. The other function of this voltage is to energize another electromagnet that will pull the operating (main burner) valve open.
        When this happens, you have heat. The voltage only goes to the main valve when the switch (either the rocker switch on the side, or the thermostat) closes to complete the circuit.

        Now to the two possibilities:
        1. The voltage has dropped; you no longer have 750 (0r 695 or 500) millivolts.
        • Low voltage is usually caused by dirty pilot and small pilot flame or failing powerpile.
        • Most gas valves are rated to operate in the 250 to 750 millivolt range.
        1. The voltage is fine, but there's a loss in the circuit.
        • The wire going to the thermostat is very thin 18g if it's proper thermostat wire, or 20g or whatever phone wire is. The finer the wire is, the greater the resistance to electricity flow. The wires to the rocker switch are both shorter and thicker, so this may explain why it works with the switch.
        • The thermostat may have a heat anticipator, which adds more resistance than the voltage can overcome and still open the valve. There are thermostats intended for use with millivolt systems and they don't have heat anticipators. You can use the "wrong" type of thermostat by adjusting the anticipator setting all of the way down.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Two possibilities

          Originally posted by Kneescar View Post
          Ok, the above information helps.
          You have a powerpile (some call it a thermopile) in your space heater.
          The pilot flame touches the powerpile and creates electricity. The package says that it's capable of 750 milivolts DC, (3/4 of a volt) but I can't remember if I've ever seen that. They usually give about 695mv at best. This voltage does two things: Fist it powers an electromagnet that holds the safety valve open. (inside the gas valve) This allows gas to flow out of the pilot, and the pilot flame to stay on. The other function of this voltage is to energize another electromagnet that will pull the operating (main burner) valve open.
          When this happens, you have heat. The voltage only goes to the main valve when the switch (either the rocker switch on the side, or the thermostat) closes to complete the circuit.

          Now to the two possibilities:
          1. The voltage has dropped; you no longer have 750 (0r 695 or 500) millivolts.
          • Low voltage is usually caused by dirty pilot and small pilot flame or failing powerpile.
          • Most gas valves are rated to operate in the 250 to 750 millivolt range.
          1. The voltage is fine, but there's a loss in the circuit.
          • The wire going to the thermostat is very thin 18g if it's proper thermostat wire, or 20g or whatever phone wire is. The finer the wire is, the greater the resistance to electricity flow. The wires to the rocker switch are both shorter and thicker, so this may explain why it works with the switch.
          • The thermostat may have a heat anticipator, which adds more resistance than the voltage can overcome and still open the valve. There are thermostats intended for use with millivolt systems and they don't have heat anticipators. You can use the "wrong" type of thermostat by adjusting the anticipator setting all of the way down.
          Hello Kneescar ~ and many thanks to you, also.

          I just checked the wire, and it is 18-AWG. Behind this new info (that you've, by the way, so thoughtfully provided me with) I am wondering if I should try rewiring the thermostat with a heavier gauge wire. I think that this would be the cheapest avenue, in the problem-eliminating process. Even if the rewiring doesn't effectuate a favorable change, I gather (from what you've written) that a heavier gauge wire would be better, anyway.

          At least you've given me some direction, and I really do appreciate you.
          ~Blessings~

          Nathan

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Thermostatically Controlled Gas Stove Question.

            You're welcome.
            If it's 18g wire, you should be fine, but I would look for any breaks in it.
            Also look at the thermostat; take the cover off and if it has a slide lever (besides the one that's visible with the cover ON) then that's the heat anticipator I was talking about. To eliminate this function (and the voltage drop) you should set that lever past the lowest number (usually .2) and if possible make it touch the screw or post at the extreme end of it's travel.
            (I went and got one off of the shelf so I would be sure I was telling you correctly).

            Good luck.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Thermostatically Controlled Gas Stove Question.

              Originally posted by Kneescar View Post
              You're welcome.
              If it's 18g wire, you should be fine, but I would look for any breaks in it.
              Also look at the thermostat; take the cover off and if it has a slide lever (besides the one that's visible with the cover ON) then that's the heat anticipator I was talking about. To eliminate this function (and the voltage drop) you should set that lever past the lowest number (usually .2) and if possible make it touch the screw or post at the extreme end of it's travel.
              (I went and got one off of the shelf so I would be sure I was telling you correctly).

              Good luck.
              A mountain of thanks, again. I will do just as you have suggested, tomorrow, and see what I come up with. You're something else, Kneescar ~ really something else .
              ~Blessings~

              Nathan

              Comment

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