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Question DetailsAsked on 1/19/2016

gas heater-the gas comes on, the pilot is on , but burner does not light

vermont castings indoor heater - I have to gently blow the gas toward the pilot in order for the burner to light. I have cleaned out all the holes to no avail.

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1 Answer


That is dangerous - sounds like the gas is going up the flue, or maybe backdrafting due to cold air coming down the flue and going out the combustion air intake, assuming this is a unit with outside air intake. Since you say you have to blow the gas to the pilot, sounds like not a sealed unit - in which case you may have too strong a draft through the unit when lighting it.

Your problem likely is the pilot is sitting too far away from the burner or too low, or the pilot flame is too small - read instructions (in owners manual, commonly available on manufacturer's website too) on setting for the pilot bracket. Generally the pilot flame, but not the thermocouple and pilot bracket, should be in a position so the gas contacts the pilot flame as soon as it comes out the burner holes.

Once you have started it by blowing the flame to the pilot, look to see if gas is coming out the holes close to the pilot - could be you need a longer pipe cleaner to clean the passages all the way back to the intake tube if those ports are sooted up. Also, with natural gas, if sooting up more often than about every 10 years or so, your combustion is poor - with natural gas you should have a basically blue flame with only very small or intermittent yellow tips on the burner flame, no significant orange or red or yellow flames.

Also look to be sure no rust or other debris is blocking the gas from the pilot flame.

If this does not help, then a Heating and A/C contractor, or a specialty Gas and Wood Stove vendor who both sells and services them (not an AL category) is what you need.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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