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gahdzila

12:04PM | 10/02/02
Bvhvac
The house we bought recently has installed an in-ground hot tub with gas heater. I can't seem to get the heater to operate properly.

It is a milivolt system. The pilot lights fine, and stays lit...which leads me to believe that the thermopile is operating properly. Although the pilot light stays lit, the burner will not light. I replaced the gas valve (which is the same type of valve used in home gas furnaces).

I've gone around and tried closing all electrical connections (to rule out a faulty thermostat); I got the burner to light for just a few moments while shorting the two thermostat leads on the front of the gas valve...but for some strange reason, I havent been able to do it again at all.

Any ideas?

TIA!

gahdzila

01:00PM | 10/02/02
"shorting the terminals where the thermostat wires went would open the valve"

Yes, it is a millivolt valve...it WAS faulty (the guy at the appliance parts store checked it) and needed replacing. I replaced it with an exact match for the valve I took off of it. And shorting the thermostat terminals does open the valve (it seems that it has a delay of a few seconds...I just now realized that when checking it again).

There's a thermostat that could be faulty. There's also another switch that (I assume, from what it looks like) closes when there is sufficient water pressure in the heater. Either of these could be faulty, I suppose.

"Most problems are from bad connections and wire that is too long with bad thermostat contact"

I don't believe that there are any bad connections...I've looked things over pretty well.

Wires too long? hmmm. The thermostat control and pressure switch are on the unit, so only a couple feet or so of total wire would be necessary. However, there's extra wire under there (wire to the thermostat, and to the water pressure switch), coiled up and tied with a cable tie...probably two feet extra or so. It's (approximately) 18 gauge aluminum wire.

The wires being too long would cause the unit to not function properly? The wires ARE long...and could be shortened. But I can only assume that the unit was functioning properly at some time with it wired like this...so I doubt the wiring is the culprit.

Smartcore

06:32PM | 10/02/02
Member Since: 08/30/02
16 lifetime posts
Are we talking about a thermocouple or a thermopile here?

gahdzila

05:15AM | 10/03/02
eureka! blind dumb stupid luck prevails!

After fumbling stupidly with the damned thing yesterday until I was ready to kick it to the curb (which was pretty much where I was when I started this thread), I gave it a rest till this morning.

I figured I should try to jumper every single connection/switch till I found out which one was faulty. I turned the on/off switch to "on", BEFORE I turned the thermostat all the way up to HOT (ie--the thermostat was set all the way to COLD). Abracadabra, the burner lit!

I can only assume that the thermostat was serviced/replaced at some point; as everything is working perfectly, except that the thermostat dial has to be turned completely the wrong way. Turning the thermostat to HOT immediately turns the burners off...turning it to cold turns them on.

Thanks anyway guys!

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