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  • wall heater problems

    Bought my house about 15 years ago, the 2 1/2 car garage was insulated and heated. It's a Kenmore vertical wall heater worked fine for years, last winter it died, pilot wont stay lit , changed the thermal coupler I believe its called the little copper line that sit in the pilot lights path to keep the gas flowing to it , I had to change it before a few years prior, that fixed it then,But didn't fix it this time.
    My cousin has a friend who is a heating guy, he came over last year changed the same part looked it over quickly it cycled once he left, I went out to the garage a few hours later to find the pilot light out once again, was without heat in the garage last winter , god I hated that. Sears wants $65.00 just for a service call , even if they cant fix it. I was wondering if you had any ideas or were I should start a sears service center is about 5 minutes from my house so I could order parts and install them just dont want to parts chase it to death . I light the pilot light holding the knob in, soon as you release the knob to turn it from "pilot" to "on" , the pilot light goes out, no matter how long you let it warm up before releasing it to be able to turn it to the "on" position. Union carpenter flooring installer here sitting home on workmans comp, I'm gonna go nuts around here if I can't tinker around in my garage this winter , any clues or steps for me to follow to track down the problem and order the parts myself? IF there still available from Sears. I saw some ceiling hung garage heaters at Menards for around $500.00, I'll buy a new one if need be but if I can get my wall unit running cheaper , i'd rather fix it for now. Detached garage 24x22, Chicago area south suburbs.Any help greatly appreiciated, Thanks.(unit is natural gas)
    Last edited by American and Proud; 10-15-2006, 07:21 AM.

  • #2
    Even though the termal couple is new it could still be bad. They are very sensitive if you bend them to far or kink them.
    SSG, U.S. Army
    Retired
    K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

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    • #3
      Agree, really sounds like a thermocouple problem. The only other part is the gas valve but I suggest you have someone qualified change that

      Comment


      • #4
        First make sure your pilot is at least 18" off the floor or dont even try to use the heater.

        The thermocouple only makes about 250 millivolts so they are fairly sensitive. Make sure your pilot is clean and has a good flame. The flame should be blue with a slight off colored tip at the top. If the pilot is positioned right it should be wrapping around the area around the bulb.

        If everything checks out you could buy a thermocouple tester to see if the new thermocoupling is bad but it would be cheaper to buy a new thermocouple. If you have a multi-tester you could check the ohm resistance of the thermocouple. If it is okay the resistance will be next to nothing. If the thermocouple is not bad the only other part which could have gone bad is the gas valve.

        Mark
        Last edited by ToUtahNow; 10-15-2006, 12:15 PM.
        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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        • #5
          Thanks for the replies , i'll try another thermal coupler on monday.The gas valve, is that a "standard" part or will I have to order it directly from Sears to match that exact wall heater? Heater was here when I moved in, pilot is well above 18 inches off the floor,flame is blue with a whitish tip.How much do those valves cost ? Thanks again guys.

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          • #6
            Another thought is to make sure you even have a thermocouple. Since it is a wall heater it is possible you have a pilot genterator instead. If it's a thermocouple it screws in while a pilot genterator has two wires that attach to two contacts. All of the testing is done the same.

            Mark
            "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

            I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

            Comment


            • #7
              I replaced the thermal coupler ,no luck ,went to sears parts they have it listed but looks like the gas valve isnt available.
              Model # 629.756880(wall heater)
              Have a look at it they show three gas valves, mine looks like the one on the far lower left in the diagram.
              I took the botton assembly apart last night and can take it with me , the sticker on it fell off but I have it .
              In south burbs of Chicago here, where can I go for parts? I called around , but you got to be a heating contractor to buy .
              After install it lit but after firering up for a minute it shut off and the blower would start , tried relighting several times , but same thing.
              Thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Based on the 629 prefix the heater was made by Jenn-air, try contacting them

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                • #9
                  Well I know this unit is at least 15-20 years old,(if not older)curious as how much these gas valves even run, a ballpark figure?
                  then theres at least 3 sensors at mid point in the unit detecting how hot it is I guess to tell it when to turn on , blow, and shut down.
                  My local Menards has the ,Beacon/Morris-Residential Garage Gas-Fired Unit Heater,Model-BRU-75.
                  75,000 BTU
                  "Low Profile"design(hangs from the ceiling)
                  Natural Gas or LP(with a conversion kit sold separately)
                  80% Efficient.
                  Power vented(can be vented Vertical or Horizontal)I already have a vertical mounting from the tall vertical wall mounted heater, its in good shape with no leaks.
                  the BRU is Approved for use with UL Listed Type "B" vent?
                  10 year heat exchanger warranty
                  115V power supply
                  Made in U.S.A.
                  I can get this unit for $579.00, looks to be an easy install , build a mounting support (only needs 1 inch of clearance off the ceiling)the old units near the corner of the detached garage.
                  I'm wondering if the parts they use in this unit are locally available and not Only available through them, like sears or the old schwinn bikes used to be, couldnt go to K-mart as a kid and buy a inner tube you HAD to go to schwinn to get there off sized ones to fit? The wall unit is old ,a kenmore with 1/2-3/4 of the parts not available , calling jenn-air , and running around searching and then one of those sensors goes out would it just make sence to buy this Bru75 unit?, hang it from the ceiling, get the wall space back, I could put the new bandsaw in its place., Just want to know if this unit is a well made and reliable? Is it more efficient?
                  My garage is 24x22, has R-11 insulation, walls and ceiling.
                  Seperate electrical box with breakers and I have 220 out there as well . Whats your thoughts ,would you repair or replace ? and thanks to all of you who have replied.
                  www.beacon-morris.com - http://www.beacon-morris.com/html/garage_heater_bru.asp
                  Last edited by American and Proud; 10-17-2006, 01:26 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I can't see a valve being all that expensive but if you pay to have it installed you may be about half way to the price of your new heater.
                    I plan on going with this one when I build my shop Easy Radiant Works
                    No air to blow dust around the shop and no cleaning sawdust off the heat exchanger

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                    • #11
                      That looks intersting WB, how much are they ? I keep my garage at 50 degrees all winter, then up it if im in there, the old wall furnace I could keep at 40,but I never had a manual it was there when I bought the house, a big reason why I chose the house 15 years ago , it was all set and ready to use , I have at least 25 recepticals all over the place , havent a clue what they did in there ,but it sure made it nice , can move a tool anyplace and have a plug within easy reach.
                      Can you use those 24/7 or are they more for heating while your in the shop? I cant let stuff freeze flooring glues custom candy paints , arent freeze thaw stable ,had to toss a 1000.00 or so's worth of stuff last year , have you heard of the one im looking at ?I read that i'll have to keep it at 50 to prevent moisture in the unit , I was a body fender combo man for 12 or so years befor going into flooring so I use my garage for a multitude of things , between tile work and storing the glues, patch, materials , working on cars and now a pretty well equipped woodworking shop, I'm in there alot. I noticed that they are in Canada are they used in the U.S.? Thanks
                      Still have those questions on the Beacon/Morris unit if anyone knows about them? Thanks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        They can be left on 7/24 and work very well. I think they are around 800 but offer better fuel economy. They do not heat the air but instead heat objects (works like the sun). Check out the FAQ page.
                        I believe they ship to the US and they have also been known to attend wood shows

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Update

                          Decided to just go ahead and buy this one at 75,000 BTU>
                          http://www.beacon-morris.com/html/garage_heater_bru.asp
                          Thanks for the help.
                          Just came home with my New heater!
                          Last edited by American and Proud; 10-20-2006, 02:42 PM.

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