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Why Isn’t My Fireplace Working?

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Gas fireplaces add all the warmth and ambiance of a fireplace without the mess and hassle of wood. However, they aren’t perfect, and sometimes they’ll have problems that keep them from working as they should.

If you’re having trouble with your gas fireplace, here are some troubleshooting steps to take.

The Gas Isn’t On

First, check to make sure the gas is turned on and is running to the fireplace properly. You wouldn’t want to call a repair technician only to learn that the problem was with your gas line. Sometimes, insects can lay nests inside the pilot tubing during the off-season, which can cause the gas not to flow to the pilot light.

There Are Problems With the Pilot Light

Like most gas-powered appliances, the pilot light in your gas fireplace is responsible for igniting the flame. If the pilot light blows out, your fireplace won’t light. To check, open the vent and see if the small flame is burning. If it isn’t, re-lighting the light may resolve the problem. If so, you can start using your fireplace again. If not, there’s likely a more serious problem.

One common issue after the off-season is having air in the pilot tubing. If you suspect this might be the problem, hold the pilot button down for about three minutes. This lets the air bleed out of the line and should restore gas flow and allow the light to function.

If you can tell that gas is flowing, but the pilot light won’t light, the spark igniter is often the culprit. Check for debris between the igniter and thermocouple, and clean it if you find it.

There Are Problems With the Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a temperature sensor between the gas valve and the pilot light, and it will generate electricity to ignite the gas when necessary. If the thermocouple isn’t screwed in properly, the fireplace won’t work. Check to make sure it’s screwed in properly and placed correctly.

There Are Problems With the Thermopile

The thermopile generates voltage and may be used in place of a thermocouple if your fireplace is fairly new. If you’ve ruled out all other problems, this is probably where your issue lies. However, replacing or testing the thermopile isn’t easy and may require a call to the pros, so rule out other problems first.

Call the Pros for Fireplace Repair in Maryland

If your issue still isn’t resolved, it’s time to call in professional help. James A. Wheat & Sons offers comprehensive fireplace repairs for gas fireplaces in Maryland and Washington, DC. No matter the problem, our seasoned professionals have likely seen it before and can help you get your fireplace back in good working order.

Need gas fireplace service in the Bethesda, MD, or Washington, DC area? Call (301) 241-9636 today for prompt, reliable service.

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