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just moved in to a gas fireplace problem


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Just bought a foreclosed house with a natural gas fireplace installed - looks like it's the vermont castings radiance RDV40... maybe 5-7 years old from what I can tell...

Tried to start it up and the pilot lights fine, but the burner flames are quite small.

Ran a manometer and the inlet pressure is right at about 10" WC but the burner pressure is too high at about 7-8" WC (should be 3.5).

Those pressures seem about right for LP but not NG... did the previous owner foolishly install an LP stove on a NG line? There are no markings/stickers that say it's been converted to propane, but there is a red line in marker on the bottom of the valve... see photo

So is that my problem? or is it just a broken valve/regulator? Double checked the venting and everything seems fine... the only problem seems to be the pressure at the burner.

I might just get a technician out here, but I'd like to know if I'm completely screwed before I pay someone to come out ? it's getting cold!

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tn_2013112414347_IMG_20131123_234416686%20(1).jpg

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If you are getting the outlet pressure that is on par with what propane regulators are designed for, and you have a low flame at the burner & pilot, then there's a good chance you have a propane kit in yours

The orifices of a propane fireplace will be smaller, so you could check them as a start point to see whether you have the right ones.

When everything is set up right, and you just have low flame at the burners, a common cause is orifice/ burner blockage from spider webs.

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Hi,

The pointer that you say is marked with red marker sounds like the common pointer I see on more than half of the gas fireplaces I look at. I see a lot of those. In fact, I see more houses with gas fireplaces than I see with wood burning fireplaces or without fireplaces.

If you were running propane on a natural gas fireplace the firebox and wall outside of the vent would probably be covered with lots of black soot - at least that's been my experience the few times I've found it. I'm not sure what would happen if you're running a fireplace set up for propane on NG.

Were the ceramic logs set up properly or were they impinging the flame? It's usually easy to tell. They are like a jigsaw puzzle and usually only stack properly one way. Did it have a flame height adjustment on the control valve - I can't tell 'cuz your photo didn't display. Change the name of your photo to something simple like FireplacePhoto with no gaps or special symbols and try editing your comment and it might display.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hi,

The pointer that you say is marked with red marker sounds like the common pointer I see on more than half of the gas fireplaces I look at. I see a lot of those. In fact, I see more houses with gas fireplaces than I see with wood burning fireplaces or without fireplaces.

If you were running propane on a natural gas fireplace the firebox and wall outside of the vent would probably be covered with lots of black soot - at least that's been my experience the few times I've found it. I'm not sure what would happen if you're running a fireplace set up for propane on NG.

Were the ceramic logs set up properly or were they impinging the flame? It's usually easy to tell. They are like a jigsaw puzzle and usually only stack properly one way. Did it have a flame height adjustment on the control valve - I can't tell 'cuz your photo didn't display. Change the name of your photo to something simple like FireplacePhoto with no gaps or special symbols and try editing your comment and it might display.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Thanks for the photo tip - should show now... that's the bottom of the valve. I've seen stoves converted for propane that have the telltale red screw on the high/low adjustment knob... but this one doesn't have anything obvious if it has been converted.

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Oh,

That's not what I thought you were referring to. Do you have a picture of the side of the control valve where the pilot/on/off control knob and piezo igniter are located?

Back off a few feet and take a few establishing shots from different angles before going in close.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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You say propane is not very common in your area.

You say the fireplace was installed and used by the previous occupants.

Any signs of an amateur installation?

If not, it is likely a NG unit with blockage somewhere.

Gas line running to the fireplace looks pro, doped connections, well-supported (I've seen amateur gas lines held up by wire coat hangers a few too many times). I would have probably run 3/4" instead of 1/2" - but the system only has a range and a water heater on it and it's a small house... so it's not like there are lines being run 60' out anyway.

Venting is framed through the wall, a little sloppy, but has all the proper components and clearances (double checked before even thinking of turning the thing on).

It's weird. Inlet pressure is fine, pilot runs strong, just a high outlet pressure and tiny blue flames at the burner.

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Oh,

That's not what I thought you were referring to. Do you have a picture of the side of the control valve where the pilot/on/off control knob and piezo igniter are located?

Back off a few feet and take a few establishing shots from different angles before going in close.

OT - OF!!!

M.

hah yeah makes sense

this is what it looked like when it's running - logs are in like the manual says... hard to see the flames, but they're just about 2" tall and blue

here's a close up of the front of the valve too

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Try contacting the manufacturer. They may be able to explain the red and should be able to provide you with the orifice sizes to check whether they are correct.

Unfortunately they were bought out a few years ago and the models are different and some parts are discontinued. Not much help there.

I'm going to call a specialist tomorrow and get to the bottom of it once and for all.

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