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Pilot lights main burner doesn't ignite - Heating & Cooling

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It would really help to know what type of heater you have. Manufacturer and Model Number are very important in trying to help you solve the problem. As, not all heaters are alike.

Thanks

Posted on Mar 20, 2011

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1 Answer

Gas smell when igniting burner.


Hi Jerry

Warning : Gas systems are generally safe but any gas smell should always be investigated by a certified technician as you can never be too safe.

That being said, let me try to assist you as best I can from my experience with gas appliances.

If the smell has been there since you bought the unit, it is probably the pilot you are smelling. Generally, a pilot light is first ignited using either an electro-mechanical switch or using electricity to create a spark.

While ignition is taking place, a small amount of gas is allowed to flow through the ignition pilot nozzle. The spark is meant to ignite the pilot flame. When the pilot flame is lit, a thermocouple is heated up and then allows gas to flow to the main burners. The gas in the main burners then ignites directly from the pilot flame. This is generally how gas burners work but there are many types of equipment and not all of them work on the same principles.

Generally when you smell gas before igniting the main burner but detect no smell after the main burner is on, it has to do with problems in the ignition stage. This could be caused by a number of things but often the ignition probe is the problem. The ignition probe arcs a spark between two probes or between a probe and the burner which is meant to ignite the pilot gas nozzle (or in some cases ignites the main burner directly). Everytime this spark is made, a small amount of carbon forms at the connection point of the sparks. The carbon can build up over time and cause difficulty sparking the ignition of the pilot burner. Spilled food can also cause this or speed up the buildup of carbon.

If the gas can't ignite the pilot immediately, the pilot keeps allowing gas to pass into the air until ignited which is what you could be smelling. Check to see how long after you try to start the burner does it actually ignite. More than a couple of seconds and you will be smelling the gas that escaped without being burned off.

You can try disconnecting the unit from mains power and cleaning the ignition probes on each burner. If the unit has a mechanical starter you should take extra care not activate it during cleaning as you could get a electric shock. Clean the probe with a damp cloth or paper towel and don't use any cleaning agents.

If this does not eliminate the smell you are getting before ignition, you should get a technician to test the unit. The explanation above is also very general as I don't know what specific system you are using so use the explanation given as general knowledge only and get a technician to perform the repairs.

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Jul 17, 2016 | Kitchen Ranges

1 Answer

Pilot light will not ignite water heater


the pilot light serves to purposes. it is the source of ignition for the main burner and is a safety device that detects wether there is a flame or not. if the pilot light stays on when you stop pressing the pilot light button then you need to turn the knob to the on position to light the main burner. the pilot light is not the on position. if the pilot light goes out when you stop pressing the pilot light button then the thermocouple or flame sensor needs replacing. good luck

Nov 30, 2013 | Raypak Pool & Spa

1 Answer

Napoleon Fireplace propane Pilot won't light main burner even though gas flows in?


  • I'm going to assume your fireplace has a pilot light.
  • Follow the little holes in the burner that lead to the pilot light.
  • Make sure the pilot flame is pointing directly at the closest burner hole. (adjust if necessary).
  • Often, you will need to sprinkle a layer of "glowing embers" in this area. The embers will help the gas travel to the pilot light and ignite.
  • Always start your propane appliance on "High" never "Low". Cold propane likes to drop to the bottom of the firebox and accumulate until it reaches the pilot (this is called delayed ignition). Keeping it on "high" will help the fuel travel over to the pilot without buildup.

Jan 21, 2013 | Napoleon 36" Zero Clearance Top/Rear Vent...

1 Answer

Pilot lights but no main burner


Is there a way to check for gas pressure even if just a slight loosened connection to hear it then quickly re-tightened. Otherwise the main valve is not working as it should and will need to be serviced or replaced. Thats all i got.

Dec 02, 2011 | Empire Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

My uniflame has two burners and one does not ignite. Everything seems to be tight. What can I do to get this to ignite when turning ignition knob? Thanks!


When you say two burners, I believe you are referring to the pilot flame and the main burner. The pilot flame has to light and heat the thermocouple befoe the main burner will ignite. The pilot flame will not light if: there is not enough gas in the tank, the pilot jet is clogged, or the regulator is bad. Check the tank to make sure it has gas. The next thing to check is the pilot jet. You have to take the heater apart, somewhat, to get to the pilot jet. The tube and the orifice need to be cleaned out, compressed air in a can and a pipe cleaner make the job a little easier. If this does not work, replace the reglator and hose.

Jul 22, 2011 | Uniflame GWT501A Open Flame Patio Heater

1 Answer

Pilot lights but gas does not ignite main burners


After lighting the pilot, has the control knob been turned to the ON position? If left in the Pilot position, the burners will not ignite.

May 31, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

2 Answers

What causes delayed ignition, causing a slight boom on lighting main burner?


There will be a web or bug or debris in the pllot asssembly /rail that blocks the path of the transition to main burner or ignition of pilot assembly itself, when it does ignite, theres too much gas built up in the pilot ignitor area and it explodes, clean the orifices in the pilot asssemblt / and or the pilot rail or main burners orifices at the pilot area.

Jan 01, 2010 | Cozy Enclosed Front Console Heater 20,000...

1 Answer

No hot water, pilot light lights but no burner ignition


Thermo coupler may be defective. it controls the main gas valve by closing main if pilot is out. make sure thermo coupler bulb is positioned over and near tip of pilot flame, but not in the flame. Thermo couplers are inexpensive and easy to change out.

May 05, 2009 | Bosch & Tankless LP Hot Water Heater

1 Answer

Main burner will not ignite Tempstar(NTC5075BFD1)


try cleaning the pilot oriffice it sounds like the flame is weak

Jan 15, 2009 | Goodman GMS90703BXA Heater

1 Answer

Pilot flame starved out after burners ignite


The declining pilot light might be an indication it is being starved of oxygen by the main burners or some other sort of circumstance.

I have noticed how in a closed room without ventilation the pilot light soon begins to decline and then springs back again when a window or door is opened while the main burners are hardly affected.

This is the gas equivalent of sending canaries down coal mines and is an essential safety feature. If the pilot light declines very much the thermocouple bulb will not be heated and the gas supply to the main burners will be cut off. This is why the pilot light is set at an angle and the thermocouple bulb is slightly offset.

I am not sure if this helps but I hope it does.

Mar 08, 2017 | Ovens

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