Propane Fireplace logs

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Old 01-21-19, 11:18 AM
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Question Propane Fireplace logs

We have propane fireplace logs that keep shutting off in cold temps...when we need them to be back up for peace of mind. We have checked the logs...checked the thermocouple...even had the propane company come and change the regulator. We are out of options as to what might be causing this. New thermocouple didn't fix it..new logs and unit didn't fix it...new tank regulator didn't fix it...what else could it be that we are missing? Any help would be greatlyl appreciate...feeling very frustrated! We do have a gas furnace...but need the peace of mind in cold temps that the propane will keep us warm if needed!
 
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Old 01-21-19, 11:32 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

A make and model of the log set/fireplace is needed.
Is this a standing pilot unit ?
Is the pilot staying lit ?
 
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Old 01-21-19, 01:56 PM
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Do you have other gas appliances in the home? Do they quit working or do their pilots go out at the same time as the gas logs? I'm trying to narrow down if it's the gas logs or a gas supply problem.
 
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Old 01-22-19, 09:08 AM
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I do have a gas stove and furnace. This unit is a propane fireplace log set. This is my back up system. I don't have any other appliances that use propane to know if they would be affected...(good question) The logs work function all other times. Thought maybe the old unit was the problem...so we purchased a new set . The issue continues. The logs do have a thermostat control...the pilot stays on with a consistent blue flame. Husband hears a "pop" when the logs start to light then shut off....(but only when its much colder,my best guess is when temps 20 degrees or lower)
 
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Old 01-22-19, 12:44 PM
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Is there something else we should be looking at besides the line now? I wish I had something else propane for an easy check to see if it is the line. Thank you guys for your input..its is greatly appreciated!
 
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Old 01-22-19, 02:06 PM
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Where are you located?

Years ago I got a contaminated shipment of propane that had moisture/water in it. The moisture would freeze in the regulator at the tank on cold mornings and would only allow the tiniest bit of gas through. When the problem was occurring heating the regulator with a hairdryer resolved the problem and confirmed that the regulator was freezing up.
 
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Old 01-22-19, 03:42 PM
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I live in Pa...I wondered if moisture would be the cause! Trouble is..it usually happens in the AM when we are sleeping. My husband will get up in the middle of the nite to look and the pilot will be out! The other nite it did it as he was shutting off the TV to go to bed! That's when I decided to see if there was something that we were not aware of thru Q&A.....Hes to the point now...we replaced everything else....hes thinking next warmer day..(tomorrow maybe) of replacing the propane line and seeing if it solves the issue!
 
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Old 01-22-19, 03:52 PM
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Which propane line ?
The problem is more likely at the tank regulator.
It may have worked fine if they tested it and it wasn't cold out.
 
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Old 01-22-19, 04:21 PM
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We use Amerigas in Westmoreland Co Pa. The propane company came out and replaced the old regulator..and checked for leaks. I was not terribly cold when they did that....like I said..it seems to act up in the middle of the nite...when on one is looking!!!LOL
 
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Old 01-23-19, 03:37 AM
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Will the propane log set work properly in warmer temps? Do they only fail when it's cold outside? Will they work some of the time during cold snaps. The only thing I could add is to make sure that the gas log set is using the correct pilot assembly and that the propane regulator is set for the correct pressure Is there a 2nd regulator that came with the log set. ( check with the company that made the logs)
 
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Old 01-23-19, 05:01 AM
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If the problem returns and appears to be a freezing regulator advise your propane supplier that you think you have water in your tank.
 
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Old 01-23-19, 10:50 AM
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Yes...the logs do work in warmer temps with no issues. We have always made sure we were using the same pilot assembly...not sure we ever saw a second regulator. But I will check. He is replacing the line today, these next few colder days will give me more to go on. If there is water in the tank, Amerigas should know, as I will call them back and tell them we have replaced everything possible. Thank you guys!!!!
 
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Old 01-23-19, 10:58 AM
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I don't see that you ever told us what make and model gas logs you have. We are working blind not knowing what you have. Does it have a pilot light that burns all the time? Does it have electronic ignition? If you can post a picture of the front of the gas valve (that has the knobs) and the pilot thermopile area it would be helpful. Here are instructions for posting pictures.

Do you have a multimeter (electrical tester)? If so we can help you test your thermopile and/or thermocouple. I know you replaced the thermocouple but I more often see the thermopile cause problems.

 
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Old 01-23-19, 01:22 PM
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The "old log" set was I believe called Comfort Glow. The new set is called "Emberglow". Husband took the entire line off and it is not blocked anywhere. He has since put the "old log" set back in to try it! Of course now he can't get it the pilot to light! I'll try to upload an image of the unit. I did get the replacement parts from Tess Tools in CT....
 
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Old 01-23-19, 01:26 PM
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I don't have that tester.....we have always found the thermocouple to need replacing when we have had issues in the past! Husband has been keeping it functioning all these years just by replacing the thermocouple. Never had anything like this before!
 
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Old 01-23-19, 03:40 PM
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Is your pilot light on all the time or does a controller lite the pilot each time you call for heat?

If you have just swapped gas logs it can take longer than usual to light the pilot. The line/hose connecting the gas logs is filled with air and can take several minutes holding down the pilot button to purge out the air and get propane to the pilot.
 
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Old 01-23-19, 04:25 PM
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Yes the pilot stayed lite all the time...with a thermostat that would kick the logs on when depending on how high the setting was. If the room got chilled...they came on automatic. He has held the pilot button down..but so far its not come back on. We can smell the propane, but it will not ignite. I'm moving to FL!!!LOL Hes wondering if he should put the new log unit back into the fire box! The frustration is building!
 
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Old 01-23-19, 05:42 PM
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If you smell the propane and it won't light..... the piezo spark system has a problem. You should push the button and see a spark at the pilot. No spark - no light.
 
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Old 01-24-19, 02:59 AM
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A few more things: The picture you posted #14 of the pilot, is that the new pilot assembly? If it is the new pilot, that element with the wire is probably the flame sensor and should be located in the pilot flame and not touching anything else. It looks to be bent down and not in the pilot flame. If that is a replacement pilot, make sure that they sent you a propane pilot and not a natural gas pilot. Call the company that supplied the pilot and give them any numbers on the pilot to be sure. Also look on the bottom brass fitting, it should have a number or other marking. If the size is shown it should be between .006 to .013 or it may have another reference number indicating its size. If the piezo igniter is sparking and the propane is not lighting the problem may be the pilot itself, so call the supplier just to be sure. Also, what is the size of the gas line feeding the gas logs and how far is it to the propane tanks outside? How large isn the propane tank or tanks supplying the propane. My last question is, if you have natural gas for the rest of the house, why are the gas logs propane? ( Just trying to get to the root of your problem)
 
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Old 01-24-19, 04:40 AM
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The wire shown touching the pilot is supposed to do so. They are spot welded to the pilot shroud and cannot be bent away.

One thing I do not see is a thermopile. Are your gas logs battery powered?
 
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Old 01-24-19, 07:32 AM
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The image was of an old thermocouple to show what we have been replacing. The ignitor is sparking...but not lighting.... The logs are propane. I made sure to order Propane. We do have gas in the home too..this is our backup heating source.
I'll going to have to print out some of that message from Steamboy to show my husband....
 
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Old 01-24-19, 08:14 AM
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The ignitor is definitely for propane logs...we have kept many of the used ones for reference. The gas line is 1/2 and it runs about 12-14 foot from the tank. We did get the ignitor to light this morning....wondering if there isn't enough pressure in the tank to keep the flow? Seems like it might have taken all nite of not being lite to get enough buildup in the line to light the pilot. Its lite now...just the pilot. I'm calling the propane company to see if the can send someone out...with our limited knowledge and help from all of you...we are thinking TANK!!!!! I'll let ya know how this plays out....if any other ideas come to mind...any little propane log secrets that can be shared...I would thank you in advance!
 
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Old 01-24-19, 08:17 AM
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The tank also is 100 gallon and is at 60 %. We have been told they fill it to 80% each fill up when I call. Usually its once a year. This is a back up heating source. We live in a very rural area that is prone to power outages....the logs are almost a necessity out here!
 
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Old 01-24-19, 09:48 AM
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Where are you located?

My brother in law worked at a cold weather research station in Alaska. He had some unusual propane issues at his house related to the extreme cold. It is almost unheard of in the lower 48 but it can be so cold that liquid propane won't provide enough gas/vapor to run an appliance.
 
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Old 01-24-19, 11:31 AM
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My wife and I had propane for the kitchen range in our last house in Butler, Pa. from 1978 to 1998 and we never had an issue with the pilots not lighting or the burners not working unless we ran out of propane. I will be curious to find out what the problem is with your gas logs.
 
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Old 01-24-19, 03:23 PM
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How big is the propane tank that you are utilizing and what is the gas input of the log set you have? Another question I have is do the gas logs fail to light after a long usage of the logs, say being lit overnight or after many hours of continued use. If that is the case, the propane tank you have may not be big enough to support a long firing of the logs and may allow the tank pressure to fall low enough to cause the problems you are having. When you contact the propane dealer ask them if this could be the problem and if it is a larger tank may be necessary.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 08:09 AM
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Or tank is 100 gallons and the only thing we use it for is the gas logs. They are usually in just pilot mode...but do on occasion kick on to take the chill out of the air in Living room....we don't ever just crank them up and let them run. Our tank reads 60% right now. Amerigas is coming out next Wednesday...I guess due to the fact this is not an emergency...I do have a friend on FB that works in at a Suburban Propane in Maine. She did relay all this info to them as well and they are in agreement that it is the regulator. Something about it needing Methanol? This tank and one set of logs to heat have been sufficient for us and worked for almost 20 years now...we find it hard to figure out what is different now. We have certainly maintained them this long...thus the reasoning for questioning of a tank issue! I will be sure to let you guy know what they have to say...Wednesday should bring some answers..I HOPE!!!!
 
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Old 01-25-19, 09:48 AM
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All it takes is one delivery of propane that is contaminated with water. Once that water is in your tank it can freeze the regulator. Alcohol is added to the tank because the water will bind with the alcohol.
 
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Old 01-25-19, 11:29 AM
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We actually have a gas well on the property...and the gas workers that come down and check on the system have showed us how to keep the shut off valve from freezing..and where to put the alcohol...no one ever mentioned any up keep to the propane tank! But I can assure you..we will be asking a lot of questions when this guy shows up!
 
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Old 01-31-19, 04:51 PM
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Amerigas was suppose to show up Wednesday to look at this issue...of course..they didn't make it.....I called and they did send someone out today! We told him all this and hubby has more to say too...LOL...anyway..he insists that Methanol is already in the propane...he did adjust the regulator....and said the tank looks "good...better than some he has seen"....Husband again told him all that we had done...along with the last few cold days...we ended up putting a chicken light on top of the tank and a old quilt/comforter to keep some of these frigid temps in check. We did notice a difference in the lighting of the logs when the temp dropped below 10....they almost went out! Thus the extra covering and light in the hopes it would at least allow them to work for us. Hes going to explain all this to his supervisor and possibly get us a new tank! He insists the methanol is put in the propane before delivery! As for now..the logs are lighting fine....for how long...I don't know. If this happens again..I think husband will be making the next calls! Thank you all!!!! Your information and thoughts were useful and appreciated!
 
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