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Author Topic: Gas, oil, heat, stoves, electricity.  (Read 5161 times)

John Edward Mercier

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Re: Gas, oil, heat, stoves, electricity.
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2013, 10:38:44 am »

Typically the standing pilot heats up a thermocouple or thermopile. That once heated creates millivolts of electricity. That electricity holds the gas valve open and pilot stays lit. A gas top cook stove could still spew gas if turned on without a pilot but a gas fired water heater, for instance if operating correctly, will not spew gas in the event the pilot is out.
If the pilot went out, shouldn't the millivolt loss cause the gas valve to close?
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MaineShark

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Re: Gas, oil, heat, stoves, electricity.
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2013, 10:45:58 am »

Typically the standing pilot heats up a thermocouple or thermopile. That once heated creates millivolts of electricity. That electricity holds the gas valve open and pilot stays lit. A gas top cook stove could still spew gas if turned on without a pilot but a gas fired water heater, for instance if operating correctly, will not spew gas in the event the pilot is out.
If the pilot went out, shouldn't the millivolt loss cause the gas valve to close?

Yes.  That's the idea - if the pilot goes out, the gas turns off.

To re-start it, there's a manual bypass on the gas valve that lets you force it open for lighting purposes.  You have to hold the button in for a minute while the pilot flame re-heats the thermopile, then you let go of the bypass and it springs back out, allowing you to turn the valve control from "pilot lighting" to "on," returning the valve to automatic operation.  Since you have to turn the valve, and press in a spring-loaded button in order to put it into bypass, there's no way that the valve can accidentally be left that way.
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