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Wall heater pilot lite goes off

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  • Wall heater pilot lite goes off

    I bought this older home that has two wall is in the living room and the other in the kitchen hall..both where cleaned by service guy...the pilot lite goes off once a week..the heater guy told me their ok and keep them uner 70 so they dont turn off..but they keep on turning off..can anyone give me some advice??he told me that it might be the plumbing in the back of the wall that needs to be replaced and thats 600 to fix,,,
    Last edited by ciscolokz; 12-28-2009, 01:20 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Wall heater pilot lite goes off

    First of all I am not an expert on this,
    but I will tell you my experience with similar,

    I had a heater in the barn, and it would go out more often than liked, and mostly when it most needed,

    my first thoughts is or was the thermocouple, (I think I swapped it out with a know working unit, and conclude it was not the cause),

    (some times there is an adjustment on the pilot light to adjust the flame. some times it is an orifice).

    I readjusted the flame correctly,

    I have found the position of the pilot was causing problems, in that it would not light the burner easily but with kind of a "WOOF" in other words a lot of gas was being light at once and not smoothly, and it would blow out he pilot light,

    I have also seen where it when it would shut down that some times it may not shut down as quietly as I thought it should, blowing out the pilot,

    I ended up readjusted ing the position of the pilot (in my old floor heater it helped a lot), and yet at times it would still go out, I made a shield out of "hard ware cloth" heavy wire screen and that helped to keep the flame from being blown out,

    there were times drafts would blow across the floor and blow it out as well,

    by readjusting the flame size and reposition the flame for better lighting and building the shield made the heater I had usable, (and I located some items to block the draft from the door, but I was suspecting some thing not totally working correctly with the valve it self, (talked to the person I got the stove from and he had had the problem for some time as well), (and did not feel it was worth of the money to replace the valve).

    My ending solution was to replace the 40 year old heater for some thing I could trust,

    I would really doubt if the piping in the wall is the cause, (not saying the piping in the wall should not be looked over and examined for soundness),


    First one needs to determine what is exactly happening.

    when is it going out, when the heater is off, when it starts when the flame shuts down? or does the thing just shut off on it own?

    once when you figure it is going out then you need to conclude why it is doing it.

    and remedy the problem,

    I would check or have the gas pressure checked at the valve and see if it is in specification for the appliance. and not just static, but run it through it cycle, and see if the pressure is effected, if you have other gas appliances run them through the cycle as well and see if it holds steady,

    then depending on the conclusion of the problem, go about repairing or replacing the needed parts to make it work,

    but if the units are old one may want to consider replacing the unit with a modern efficient unit, (I have found old wall units are very very inefficient if vented type).


    when I moved back into our old farm house, there were two wall heaters, in the house my dad had had, the first year I heated with wood heat, on the ground floor of the house, about 1100 square feet, and the upstairs we continued to use the wall heater upstairs,
    It is three rooms in a story and halve house, so the floor space is about 480 square feet,
    cost us about $60 a month on cheap propane to heat the upper floor poorly,
    the next year I bought a Lennox Pulse Furnace and put in duct work, rated above 96% efficient. and heated the entire house comfortable for the same cost the next year, and that was before I insulated,
    so we added over double the space to heat, and it cost us a 1/3 of the cost on the square foot with the efficient furnace, over the old wall heater, (my estimate was the wall heater was less than 30% efficient, or it dumped 70% of it heat up the chimney.


    but I would get a real heat man in the place and study the heaters out and see if there worth fixing or even fixable, and consider a upgrade on the heating system,


    what you have could be a dangerous situation, or it may just be an aggravation, but regardless, have them checked out by some that knows what there looking at.
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    • #3
      Re: Wall heater pilot lite goes off

      take a picture of the heater and the pilot so we can see what you have
      it might just be a thermocouple

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      new work pictures 12/09


      • #4
        Re: Wall heater pilot lite goes off

        Thanks for the replies, the pg&e guy told me it might be the way the pilot lite is position..but the heater guy came over again and re lite the pilot and adjusted the pressure. He says that they are working ok and it might be the rear plumbing on the heater that were the gas comes in theres some bents and it should be a straight shot down.


        • #5
          Re: Wall heater pilot lite goes off

          Any leaks in inlet, outlet or heat exchanger will cause a draft and blow out the pilot. Everything must be airtight to the outside of the house. Same air pressure on air inlet and vent outlet equals no air movement in heat exchanger if everything is airtight.
          Best Wishes, Dennis...
          Retired HVAC Tech