I had the same problem when it would not light by itself I could press the sparker and it would light. I stold the limit switch from another one i was not using and put it in and it has not done it since. I think it was just getting weak.
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The reason the control valve is opening slowly is the the Thermopile needs to be replaced. The Thermopile generates millivolts of electricity from the heat of the pilot flame, which then opens the gas valve when heat is called for. Also, check the pilot flame to make sure it's engulfing the thermopile. If it's not the pilot needs to be cleaned.
The Empire Comfort Systems, Thermopile part number is 672063
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Sounds like a millivolt system. If it is, there is only two wires that go to the thermostat. There should be two wires to connect the thermostat wires either down by the valve or on top of the furnace. Make sure the valve is turned to "on" and not just "pilot"
It could be several things: Is the Control Knob turned from Pilot to ON? If that is the case, wait a few minutes after turning it to ON. That will allow the Thermopile to heat up sufficiently. Be sure the flame is touching the Thermopile. If everything looks correct turn up your Thermostat to higher than the ambient room temperature and see if the burners light. Remember to turn your Wall Thermostat down to the lowest temperature setting before turning the knob from Pilot to ON.
FYI - That Wall Furnace does not have a Thermocouple. It uses a Thermopile instead to generate millivolts of electricity to open the gas valve and maintain the pilot flame.
If it is the Thermopile, you can order it directly from Empire Comfort Systems, as well as download your Owners Manual at www.empirecomfort.com
If thermopile generates 700mv...the stat is ok and no open limit then it is bad valve...touch the 2 thermopile leads direct t TH and PP on valve to bypass limit and stat...if it works direct...then a limit or stat is open
You need to replace the thermostat if you have to force the contacts to close.
Make sure you get the right type of stat. It appears this is a thermopile millivolt type, as opposed to a standard thermocouple. The stats are not interchangeable. I noted stats were available at Sears, but there I am sure there are other sources to purchase from.
It sounds like the gas valve is dropping out. Make sure the system is venting the exhaust(no restrictions). Then make sure all your wiring connections in the unit are tight. In a millivolt system if all wiring connections aren't tight and clean your circuit will drop in millivolts and the gas valve will drop out. The gas valve requires a certain millivolt to stay open. I hope I was of some assistance!! Good luck!!
Your unit has a "vent safety limit switch" which is a high temperature limit. It gets hot enough to trip over time because you do not have proper venting. It is a safety switch and SHOULD NOT be disabled - instead find and fix the venting problem(chimney bad?)!
check all limit switches to see if they can be reset if so reset it ,if problem reoccurs wich limit is going out ? make sure all wires are connected well to your gas valve , use a low voltage tester to make sure your firing circuit is operating properly , if you have a thermocouple it may not have enough juice left to open your gas valve
Pilot won't light - natural gas or propane. check for a spider web in the burner tube. check no dust in burner tube. check surface igniter is lit. if pilot lights check flame detector - may be a millivolt generator - it is a small capillary with a copper tip in flame path. no fire will keep the pilot valve closed. replace the generator.