If you have gas logs as a heat source in your home, you know that they provide a wonderful source of heat, they’re attractive, cozy and economical. But.. what do you do when your beloved logs suddenly stop working!?
Our gas logs are about 6 years old and you can imagine our frustration when we lit the pilot light, it cycled one time, then shut itself off, leaving the house rather cold by morning! At first, we thought it was the regulator since the pilot light would light and run through a cycle but then quit.
No, there is a much simpler explanation for this annoying behavior, dust. That’s right, a little bit of dust hitting the Thermocouple sensor is what was causing it to quit unexpectedly.
The thermocouple is a small metal sensor that tells the gas valve it’s safe to let gas flow. If this sensor is dirty, it won’t stay lit!
Here’s how to clean it out:
First, remove the logs and wash them thoroughly, just rinsing them under running water and then wiping them down is sufficient, no need for any actual cleaning products.
With the gas OFF, take a can of Compressed air and slide the nozzle into the opening and give it a brief squirt. You want to avoid shaking or jostling the can around (do not tip the can either) as you don’t want moisture to be blown into the fireplace.
Wipe down all of the areas around the logs, cleaning it thoroughly. Put the logs back into place and wait about 10 minutes before relighting them.
If they don’t stay lit after cleaning, try the air trick at least one more time. Occasionally the sensors get a spec of dust on them and it causes them to shut down.
It’s highly unusual for the regulator in the log base to go. 50¢ worth of compressed air later… we now have a roaring fire in the fireplace again!
Disclaimer, I’m not a gas service technician, I’m a Mom who was tired of the fireplace going out and the temperature drops 30° on one side of the house by morning.