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The pilot light of my boiler cuts out quite regularly when in use and I have to reset it to get fired up. Is this indicating a serious fault?
According to click here it's gas related problem so I would take dms_05's advice.
There can be several reasons for this including dirt/dust build up in an around the various components, but as a general comment relating to many gas fired appliances that incorporate a flame failure device (i.e. if the pilot flame goes out, the gas is automatically cut off) quite a common failure is for the thermocouple to break. This device generates power that holds a gas shut-off valve open whilst it is hot (i.e. a flame is playing across it), if it cools (i.e. the flame goes out), the power drops and the valve closes shutting off the gas.
It can suddenly fail, so you will never be able to light the appliance, or it can start reducing its power output. In this state it just about works but is very unreliable. One symptom is if you have to hold the “light up” button in for a long time before you can be sure the appliance remains alight. Other symptoms are that windy days seem to blow the pilot out more than they used to (the wind can move the flame, the temperature on the thermocouple drops, and because it is so close to failing, it can’t supply the power to the shut-off valve), or even the action of the main flame starting can move the pilot flame.
In other words, unpredictable and unreliable operation; a bit like what you are describing!
A very quick Google led me to: click here
I’ve only quickly scanned the link and it has some relevant stuff, but I’m not endorsing it contents such as to say “go ahead and change it”; also remember that it may not be the thermocouple that is at fault.
Some thermocouples are relatively easy to get to and you don’t have to touch any of the gas carrying equipment, others are much harder and you have to take half the appliance to bits.
Others have pointed out the potential dangers of tinkering with gas systems; only you know your full capabilities!
Do not touch any gas appliance unless you are fully qualified, get some one who is.
If you take the front cover off a boiler you ARE committing an offense under the gas regulations.
Thanks for some very good info g and for the warning. I shall get B. Gas to take a look. It was serviced only 2 months ago so they should do it for free.
Interestingly, if you were not having the problem until the service, it is possible that BGas may have introduced the problem. This is extremely difficult to prove, and also by pure coincidence, something can fail just after someone has looked at it. The hapless owner will obviously blame the person doing the service, but it won’t be their fault at all!
They may have changed the thermocouple as part of the service, but irritatingly, new thermocouples can fail shortly after installation, in this case it will (sort of!) be the fault of the service person.
You must let us know the outcome; it will be interesting.
Ususually it is the gas pipe leading to the pilot light that needs cleaning or renewed.[Just where the spark ignites it]
usually awkward to get into.
The new copper pipe should not cost any more than £10 but you need to get a proper gas fitter to fit it.
This is what I am talking about.
Maybe the old one just needs the head cleaning.
but the boiler fires normally when it's on, the chances are that the thermocouple needs to be replaced.
It's a five minute job, and the cost is low.
from Speakers Corner.
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