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  1. #1
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default How to check gas log lighter valve

    Texas SOP requires HIs to report as in need of repair any gas log lighter valves that do not function or leak gas. How do you all do that?
    Thanks,

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  2. #2
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Matt, as far as functioning, its pretty straight forward (it either works or it doesnt). To test for leaking gas, there are several methods. A combustible gas detector, snoop liquid, or some of the old school guys use a match (definitely not recommended). Typically on un-occupied homes, I cant locate the key to operate the valve.


  3. #3
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    Matt, as far as functioning, its pretty straight forward (it either works or it doesnt). To test for leaking gas, there are several methods. A combustible gas detector, snoop liquid, or some of the old school guys use a match (definitely not recommended). Typically on un-occupied homes, I cant locate the key to operate the valve.
    If the key is turning the valve, it means it is functioning. Is this correct? or you have to lite the gas to inspect it?

    Thanks,


  4. #4
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Matt, just turning a valve doesn't mean its functioning, it just means the handle turns. I have seen lots of valves with handles that turn, but dont operate correctly.

    You really need to make sure an adequate amount of gas is flowing. Lighting the burner is the best method I know. Look at the flame and make a decision based on that. It will be pretty obvious.

    Open the damper first and take a good look up the stack. Use a pair of gloves or paper towels to open the damper. It only took me once to realize that the soot from the damper got my hands really dirty and difficult to wash. You sure dont walk around someones home inspecting with filthy hands.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    If the pilot is not lit, I'm not the one that's going to light it. After a water heater burned the crap out of me, I decided I will no longer light pilots.
    JF


  6. #6
    M Kelekci's Avatar
    M Kelekci Guest

    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    If the pilot is not lit, I'm not the one that's going to light it. After a water heater burned the crap out of me, I decided I will no longer light pilots.
    JF
    Jack how do you check it then?
    How do you all turn on the gas logs assuming pilot is on?


  7. #7
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    M Kelekci,

    In Tennessee We are not required to light Pilot Lights. Don"t Know about Texas SOP.

    If it whatever IT is does not function using Normal Operating Controls we may state could
    not operate using normal operating controls thus a defect.

    That doesn't mean if we detect a gas leak we don't have to Report Gas leak.

    If IT operates as intended INSPECT IT.

    If IT does not operated as intended Defect.

    Texas maybe different someone with knowledge of your State SOP might explain the
    requirements of reporting you are bound by.

    Last edited by Billy Stephens; 09-22-2007 at 10:20 PM. Reason: space/spelling
    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  8. #8
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    I guess when I say I light the burner I am referring to some of the older (pre 70s,80s) vintage gas fireplace installations. These typically dont have any standing pilot light. You turn the gas valve and put a match,lighter to the burner holes.

    On the ones that are remote controlled, or have an automatic igniter, if it doesnt fire off on its own, I consider it non functioning.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Quote Originally Posted by imported_John Smith View Post
    These typically dont have any standing pilot light. You turn the gas valve and put a match,lighter to the burner holes.
    Would not catch me doing that.

    Case in point: About 16-17 years ago I had a client who asked me to light the gas pool heater, and politely said no, I do not light pilot lights, and explained why not. He insisted, *I* insisted. He stated he would get another home inspector out who would light it and test the gas pool heater.

    I finished my inspection (he wanted me to inspected everything else).

    A few days later he called me and told me he now understood why *I* did not light that gas pool heater pilot ... that he was standing behind the home inspector who did come by to light it and test it, it flashed out and burned that inspectors hair mostly off, burned his face, and that he (my client) had to take the other inspector to the emergency room for his burns. Not seriously burned (no scarring) but it was an awakening moment in both of their lives (the inspector and my client) - both of whom learned not to light unlit pilots (unless you know it worked, turned the pilot off, and then turned it back on and lit it) - that there *are reasons* for some pilots to be 'off'.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Matt:

    I open the gas valve. If I hear or smell the gas I'm satisfied. Sometimes the gas flow sounds a bit high in which case I will ignite the gas. What I will often find is that the flow is too high causing the flame to contact the back wall of the firebox and/or extend out far enough towards the front to spill combustion gas out of the front of the firebox.

    Now you will find many inspectors who strongly oppose this practice and it is a personal decision.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  11. #11
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    Exclamation Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Have the Realtor open the valve with you standing on the other side of the room. Shoot a few bottle rockets into the fireplace. When the lighter pipe is going good, tell the Realtor they can shut it off.

    Ok, that was a joke.....

    Some valves are 1/4 turn while most older ones are 21 throws of the wrist from full off to full on or back. There are two sizes of square valve shafts out there: 1/4" and 5/16". You can get a "key" from your hearth shop for less than $10.

    Once you operate that valve, you are married to it. Since these valves are notorious for leaking. I would hesistate to test them if you are not prepared to fix it or call someone qualified ASAP. Since these valves are usually mounted in floors or walls, the joints are concealed and inaccessible for inspection and testing in all but a few cases. If it is LP, you could fill that space without every sniffing it from the room side even with a meter.

    Personally, I think log lighters should be outlawed but the CPSC has not recorded enough injuries yet to recall them. FYI, they don't recall all those near misses such as when someone loses their eyebrows. When it is lying bare on the firebox floor and is not covered with ashes, you have an approx. 100,000 BTU flame thrower. If it is LP, I've seen where the operator turned it on and waited to smell the gas (which has spilled out and is around there feet) they finally ignite it and themselves.

    Are you going to leave unsupervised minors, esp. boys, playing in there where they could turn it on and have fun throwing things into the fire such as Barbie dolls, candy bars, army men, paper? Log lighters are unlisted and do not have safety pilots. That ought to be enough to condemn them right there.

    -Back from teaching and sick as a dog so it's a shower, Nyquil and hopefully my first sleep in three days.....ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  12. #12
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Bob,

    Your posts are always well recieved and welcomed. Glad to have you back posting and I hope you get well. And if you don't, what size are you?

    rr


  13. #13
    Richard Rushing's Avatar
    Richard Rushing Guest

    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    By the way, you can count me as one of the one's who USED to lite the pilots...

    Three years ago, I singed all the hair off my right arm, eyebrows and burned by forehead when trying to lite a newly installed water heater.

    I've lit a few since, but only for myself or family...

    rr

    Last edited by Richard Rushing; 09-24-2007 at 08:20 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: How to check gas log lighter valve

    Matt,
    If the pilot is on, I turn on whatever it takes to start the gas logs - THAT'S IT.
    If the gas is off, I tell my client to get the utility company to come out, check it out and give it an OK.

    I once did an inspection, turned on the gas valve in the floor and was getting ready to light the pilot in the fireplace. But, I noticed a very strong gas odor. VERY STRONG!!.

    I turned off the gas, told my clients to get out of the house and called the utility company. When they came out, they found that the gas valve under the house was not piped correctly, and was spewing gas into the crawlspace when the valve was opened.

    I might have lit pilots after that, for a while, but then I got burned, and only light my own now.

    As far as those logs that have no pilots - I agree, they should be outlawed. There was one in the condo I bought for my 80 YO mother when she moved to TN. I replaced it with a remote unit as soon as I saw what it was.

    If the Sellers want to light pilots and demonstarte the logs while I'm there, go for it - but I'M NOT going to be the one that lights them
    JF


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