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how about... wall furnaces?


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4 replies to this topic

#1 itchy

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 09:29 AM

I have searched your forums for heaters, wall furnaces, gas heaters and I am wondering if you contain wisdom in this area of dastardly confoundedness.

I have a "wall furnace" in my home that is many many.. many years old. I can't find a name on it, or much of anything else. We have bypassed the thermostat and were turning it on manually for the first two days with off and on (literally -hee) success.. but that no longer works. the burner will not come on, I hear no gas flow coming from the unit, although the pilot remains faithfully lit. My home was built in the fifties and we live in California so the need isn't great... YET. I could post pictures if they are so desired. :?


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#2 Ron

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 03:13 PM

Itchy,  I don't know if I will be able to help you without a model number but I assume this is a stand alone gas heater.  I have seen some models where the pilot remains lit but the valve does not open.  On the model I worked on, the gas valve itself does not have 24 volts coming to it to open the valve.  Instead it relies on the thermopile which sits by the pilot and opens the valve by measuring resistance of the thermopile.  If this goes bad,  no flame up.  This part is about 2 inches long looking like a cylinder,  sitting above your pilot.    You have a couple roll-out switches on these heaters, but I believe the pilot would go out if they were bad.   Like I said,  with-out a model #,  this is a shot in the dark,  but I might put you on to something.....Ron


#3 itchy

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 06:37 PM

Sublime Master Ron,

it sounds as if we are both on the same page. I really wish I knew what the brand of this wall heater is... and I wish I had some inkling of it's model number, I have lived in this house for twenty years and the heater has never had a problem before this... I believe it has been painted by the previous owner... a bronze color and I think it's probably original to the house. anyway I am attaching a photo.

the yellow arrow is pointing to what I think you're referring to as the thermopile. the red p and arrow indicate the pilot. I have been calling this whole unit.. a pilot generator, my husband has been calling it a thermo couple. There are numbers written on the silver box ... which connects the pilot to the thermopile? ... am I correct in assuming this is what you are referring to? it doesnt seem to actually sit in the flame of the pilot.

We will be parts shopping locally tomorrow, since we can't identify the brand and we weren't even sure of what the part is called, we couldnt shop online for it. It would be great if there were somewhere online that could help us identify the unit. I have never heard of a rollout switch, would that be like a gas valve? I mean this unit is pretty basic.. it can't be too hard to fix, if we can get the parts.

I appreciate your help! I will check back here tomorrow. If we figure this out I will post it here.

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#4 itchy

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Posted 09 November 2005 - 06:48 PM

and here is a pic of the whole unit in case it rings any bells with anyone. There is no writting on it anywhere!

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#5 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 10 November 2005 - 01:09 AM

Most likely you will need to change the "Pilot Generator/Thermopile". This is a real basic (Very OLD) system and it doesn't have any safety systems at all it appears from your picture.

From you picture I believe this unit has a standing pilot that even if the pilot flame goes out the gas will still be flowing out the pilot oriface and into the room.

You can verify this by turning the main gas valve off and waiting about 5-10min to make sure the pilot generator is cold. Then turn the gas back on and try to light the pilot flame. If the flame lights without having to push any controls or buttons then that means you have non-safety system pilot unit.

If the above is the case then the pilot generator only supplies the gas valve with the power to open the main burner valve when the t-stat calls for heat and a bad pilot generator would be the most likely cause.

If not the pilot generator itself then the main gas valve internal coil has gone bad.

You would really be doing yourself and the occupants of your home a great service by replacing that old unit. I know that's not what you want to hear but for your own safety you would be better off paying the price to have a new modern wall heater with all the safety systems installed. That unit is way past it's time.

You won't need a model# to order a pilot generator, they are universal and you should be able to pick one up at any hardware store for around $15-$20.

The model# plate on wall heaters are usually on the flat plate area just under the main burner, as old as this unit is it very well have been lost long ago.
William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501




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