Question about Vanguard International Blue Flame - Large Open Flame Mid-Size Heater

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My heater wont stay lit .the pilot will light but wont stay lit when u release it to set the temp. ive double checked the gas supply and all is well there . i did get it to light once but after 30- seconds something clicked and it shut down .any guess as to my problem ?

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Thanks for choosing FixYa

There are a few different issues that might be the cause of your problem.

The way that the gas control system works on your unit is with a millivolt system. The thermocouple is a located in the pilot flame. When the thermocouple is heated it generates millivoltage to magnetize the gas valve so it will stay open. This acts as a safety system to shut off the heater burner gas in case of pilot outage.

The thermocouple could be defective and need replacement. The part is fairly common to obtain from most home improvement stores as long as your heater uses a unviersal style thermocouple. Some have wired connections instead of a threaded one and others can have a inline safety switch connection so make sure that the one that you purchase is the identical style.

But before you go changing it there are a couple of things to test before doing so...

1. Is the thermocouple is getting proper flame impingement? Make sure that the pilot flame is making good contact with the thermocouple for proper heat transfer. There can be debris in the pilot flame causing it to be restricted so give it a light tap with something hard while it is on. Also make sure the thermocouple has not slipped down out of position.

2. How are the connections to the gas control valve? Check the wiring to the control valve and make sure the screws are tight. Loose connections can cause this problem. If the thermocouple threads into the control then make sure it is not loose. Do not overtighten it. Just make sure it is not loose.

2. Check to make sure the room is not too small for your unit. This unit has a built-in oxygen depletion sensor. It will detect a problem with open oxygen in the room for the burner flame by detecting a smothering condition. Some of these switches are self-resetting and some are manual(push button on the sensor). There could be a problem with the switch(loose wiring,defective switch) or a smothering/restricted burner flame tripping the switch.

If all of these things are testing good then I would lean toward the problem being with the thermocouple. You can test the thermocouple with a fluke meter. Just heat the end with a flame and test the threaded end of the thermocouple(removed from control) with the fluke or multimeter probes(center and side contacts). Set the meter to the millivolt setting and you should get at least 150 millivolts. If you get less then more than likely it is dead.

If you replace the thermocouple and you still have the same issue then it is possible that the control mag head is defective and the gas control valve will need to be replaced.

And here are a couple of things to consider...

1. How comfortable do you feel about making repairs on this appliance? Not to talk you out of trying to make repairs yourself but a gas appliance can be dangerous. There is a chance of fire or explosion if repairs are done improperly or safety precautions are not taken.

2. Is the appliance still unbder warranty? You might still have a warranty and the repairs could be covered.

Well I hope my information is helpful and thanks for using FixYa

Posted on Dec 31, 2010

  • Jim Lee
    Jim Lee Jan 30, 2014



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Sorry to read about your problem, I hope this helps you out.

you may have a defective thermocouple, its that little rod bar, that the pilot lite touches....

I tried to help you. Please help me and Rate/Vote on my response. We take the time to answer your question. take the time to rate us.Thanks and good luck

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Posted on Dec 31, 2010

  • clive beech Nov 03, 2011

    THANKS Barrett very helpful

  • David Hohenbrink
    David Hohenbrink Jan 07, 2015

    not repaired yet thank you for your help


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I have a vangrard bule flame heater works great on LP but won't work on natl.gas is there something I can do for it to work on natl. gas???

Posted on Dec 10, 2012

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