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Fireplace Fizzle

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Last Updated on: Thursday, November 30, 2017 07:43 AM

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Problem:   Gas fireplace won't turn always turn on consistently. The pilot light was always on.  As illustrated below, a typical gas fireplace has a small pilot light flame.

 

Over time, the output current from the thermopile would degrade to a point where it would no longer produce enough current to turn on the valve.
Solution:  The long term solution would be to replace the thermopile.  But, in the short term, the modification below would keep the thing going for another year or two.  As shown below, the solution was to connect a supercapacitor across the thermopile. This device acts like a battery and would provide the needed peak current to open the valve.  A 4.7 farad device was sufficient.

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DC Magazine, Issue 4, Page 7:  Fireplace Fizzle


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