Fireplace insert


  #1  
Old 02-04-24, 04:41 PM
C
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Fireplace insert

I started this with a post in the Rant forum because I was unhappy with the repair guys trying to fix my fireplace insert. Today I did a little investigating and got confused enough to decide to post here looking for some help - mostly just trying to get smarter. I don't intend to do the repairs myself. I do all my carpentry, electrical and plumbing work but I don't do gas. So I called the "experts."

I have a 3 year old Enviro E30i fireplace insert. It quit working (no ignition spark) a couple of weeks ago and a couple techs came out to fix it. They ordered a replacement battery holder/receiver but the new one didn't solve the problem. The insert beeps once when attempting to light remotely and the fa comes on. No spark and no gas. The same response in the manual position. After that fail, they told me that I needed a new "circuit board" which I am thinking is what the manual calls a Proflame 2 IFC. I found the part on the internet and since the manual said the IFC (not sure what "IFC" is) provided diagnostic LEDs I thought I would check it out.

I opened the skirt on the bottom and easily located the battery holder on the lower right of the insert. According to the crappy diagrams in the manual the IFC is installed on the left side of the same shelf as the battery holder. There is nothing there! Also there is no wiring harness or any sign of electrical connections just a blank space with four holes in the shelf that appear unused. I can see the gas valve in the back and some wiring but does anyone know where the IFC might be located?
 
  #2  
Old 02-25-24, 11:15 AM
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An update - I located the control board and the diagnostic LEDs blink twice. All the manual says is -
"Parasitic Pilot Flame: the LED indicator will blink two (2) times in intervals." I have no idea what that means. The tech working on the insert says it means the igniter is bad and they ordered a replacement pilot assembly. It has now been 6 weeks since their first visit and this is their 4th attempt to fix the insert.

I looked at the igniter and it appears to be nothing but a couple of electrodes that spark when told to by the control board. There are no active components that I can see. Other than getting crudded up (it isn't) or the gap somehow being changed what can go bad? The wires from the control board are connected and undamaged. Is this part prone to failure? My guess would be that the control board isn't providing the HV that creates the spark but they have not replaced it even though they have a new board in hand.



 
  #3  
Old 02-25-24, 12:32 PM
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The ignitor assembly on my insert is similar to yours (different brand). It senses the pilot flame by sensing conduction between the sensor (hook shaped rod with the white wire) and ground. When the pilot is lit, there will be slight current flow through the flame. The sensor in mine occasionally gets dirty enough that the pilot flame isn't sensed, and the main burner won't turn on.

But it sounds like you aren't even getting spark or gas to the pilot. Doubt that is a pilot assembly problem; more likely control board or perhaps the pilot valve.
 
  #4  
Old 02-25-24, 02:10 PM
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I'm not getting any spark and my understanding is that the control valve will not allow gas to the pilot assembly gas port if there is no spark.
 
  #5  
Old 03-10-24, 03:19 PM
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Now starting month #3 w/o the insert. The heating season is just about over and we still are having problems.

A service tech installed the new igniter and it worked! I was wrong, apparently the igniter was the problem. When he started the fire it was a much nicer (higher) flame then we had before. He said that he adjusted the gas flow and rearranged the log placement. He left and within an hour the insert glass was so sooted over the flame was barely visible with 90% of the glass completely blacked out with soot. Once again the insert is unusable. In the 3 years that we have had it there has been zero soot problem.

I looked in the owners manual and it says that the most common cause of heavy sooting is improper log placement. The manual,which I provided to the service guy, is very explicit with photos on how to place the logs.

Is there another factor that can cause this soot other than log placement?

 
  #6  
Old 03-14-24, 12:56 PM
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I have the same insert. I can't help much with what you described but I can related my experience. Ours was 7 years old last spring, just about a year ago. It is in a seasonal house so its used only Sept-Oct and Apr-May, more or less. Anyway, last spring it would not light. We went to the original supplier where there are essentially two guys, s superb salesman, and the 'boss.' First visit was good, the salesman was there and told me, try this, try that, try this next.... None of those ideas worked so we went back. But this time the 'boss' was there and immediately interjected himself into the discussion. Almost immediately he says 'thermocouple'. Up to that time I had essentially no clue how the ignitor or any of the components worked. So he says very quickly I will send someone out to take a look, not.... do you want me have someone?.... but I will send our guy. OK....I had no idea so I agreed....When...? gave me a first available date about a month out. That was his mistake. I went home and started researching the issue and found a zillion videos on the subject. Bottom line, I have the same sort of experience with just about everything...wood, cars, paint, plumbing, electrical....and one or two gas range changeouts: simple rehook up the supply line. So once I learned how the pilot/ignitor/thermopile/gas valves worked I looked for replacement Enviro parts.......bring your check book. The shop guy told me.....probably $200 for parts.....$185 an hour for the worker.....likely 2 hours......huh? After some poking around the internet and such I got a replacement thermocouple/thermopile assembly for under $50. Cost a few bucks for some new gasket material and some high temp gasket cement. It took a couple of hours work to replace the assembly but its been working like new for the past year for under $100. I guess my input is this. The thermopile and/or thermocouple presumably last about 5-10 years if you are lucky. They are wear items. If you get to where they need replacement or suspect any part is iffy, buy the whole assembly, its not worth it considering the effort to just change out one part. And the $50 part aside from pretty much the color of the insulation, looked exactly like the OEM part. As far as soot? I dunno, I suppose if the flame tube is burning right onto a 'log' it would produce some smoke. There is a diagram as to how the logs are supposed to be arranged. And for a touch of ambience, you can add some rock wool near the flame to get a nice glow when the insert is burning. Buy the cheapest you can, its all the same and waaaaaay over priced. If you can find some rock wool insulation, I'd just pull some of that apart and use it. There ought to be some adjustment on the pilot size, my understanding is it is not supposed to be too big. Check some youTube videos to get some ideas. Hope my experience helps
 
 

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