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Any ventless wall heater gurus out there...........

terminator012terminator012 Senior MemberPosts: 3,929 Senior Member
Around Thanksgiving 2017 I installed a Mr. Heater wall heater in the game room-man cave. It's the type with the bricks or some call them plaques. 30,000 BTU 5 brick heater with thermostat. It's in the same room with the wood stove so it doesn't have to run a lot. Just installed it so if I got lazy and didn't build a fire I could Turn it on. I keep it set on setting 2 just in case the temp drops in here when we are not home.

It worked fine all last winter and has been working fine up until a few days ago. When it kicks on sometimes the flames dance around before all the bricks light. Sometimes the middle brick, where the pilot is, lights and the 2 to the right light but it takes forever for the 2 on the left to light. While they are taking forever to light the room gets a gas smell from it. Being in the HVAC business and having eyebrows singed a few times working on gas heaters I know this isn't right. The pilot flame is fine. Cleaned it again today just to rule that out. Blew the bricks off with air to get all the dust out. I have worked on 100's of these for the public ans normally it is as simple as cleaning the pilot assembly and they are good to go. I'm stumped on this one and Google doesn't offer any help on this. Must not be a common problem. Two calls to Mr. Heater today and was on hold forever til I gave up. Anyone ever had this problem and could offer some advice that would be great.

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,713 Senior Member
    How does the gas get to the bricks?
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    Pilot light. The bricks light up when gas comes through them.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,164 Senior Member
    Never with a heater, but have had gas grilles do that from spider webs
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    cpj said:
    My only experience with eyebrow removing heaters has been to clean them well. Seems even the smallest bit of spider web in the wrong place cause them to act up. But if you are sure youve cleaned everything well, Im at a loss. Theres just not that much to them. 
    I agree. That's why I'm stumped. Never been afraid of gas stoves but this one I'm not leaving on til I figure out something. 
  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio said:
    Never with a heater, but have had gas grilles do that from spider webs
    There is no telling how much money spider webs make repairmen in a year. If there is one in here I don't know where. Wish I could figure out how to remove the bricks individually. Maybe something going on behind them. This heater looks like all that is sealed in.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 16,128 Senior Member
    I have installed them but have not had to service them. I wish you luck.
    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
    -Thomas Paine
  • rberglofrberglof Senior Member Posts: 2,658 Senior Member
    I have the one with burner, when temp drops below zero pressure drops on tank and will not stay lit. First one I bought was a red stone and that thing never did work right. Put a Mr heater pilot in it and it improved but still not right.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    edited January 2019 #10
    I was going to mention the gas valve sticking/malfunction, but you've got that sorted out now. I've had one gas heater go out from bad thermocouple that appeared to be made of unobtanium as I could not obtain a replacement, and one heater that had a bad gas control valve, also made of unobtanium. The one with the bad gas valve made a big flame on shutoff as the gas valve opened wide open and then shut off. Disconcerting, to say the least. With those ventless heaters it's either stopped up ceramic brick holes, thermocouple, or gas control valve. Yours being in one setting all the time, to me, would indicate a sticky gas control valve.
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  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    Never thought of that. Maybe I need to adjust the setting more often.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    Assuming your heater has a round dial to set the thermostat, then what happens is kind of predictable. The linkage from the knob works the thermostat and, through the thermostat linkage, the gas valve. Over time that linkage gets roughened up from being stamped metal parts and no lubrication. Over time that linkage will get rough enough to not let the gas valve go wide open like it's supposed to as the spring tension on the thermostat doesn't have enough pull to do it, and in worst case, won't completely close the gas inlet valve when the thermostat calls for it to close. And they make for danged sure that the mechanism isn't accessible for 'Safety Reasons' so ya can't lubricate it. That makes them good for about 2-4 years before they go bonkers and you have to buy a new one. I think most places call that 'planned obsolescence'. Can't be having those heaters last 20 years; cuts into new sales too much. :)
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  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    Ran to town and grabbed a bite of lunch today. Got back home and the new heater was sitting on the deck. That's fast if you ask me since I first talked to them Thursday morning. Got it hooked up this afternoon. To warm to try it out. Hit 72 today.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    Glad you got fast service. But it is hilarious that you got it when the temperature changed about 50 degrees in the positive direction in only a couple of days! :D
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
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  • terminator012terminator012 Senior Member Posts: 3,929 Senior Member
    Yes. Worked outside all day in a t-shirt. Got hot doing that.

  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,395 Senior Member
    I rode a tractor pulling a bush hog on a friend's property today cutting down briers and small thumb sized secondary growth trees. Had to wear a thick denim jacket and gloves to protect against the briers. It got uncomfortably hot in the sun, and all I was doing was sitting on the tractor steering. The guy and his wife are moving up here from SW FL and it just seemed like the right thing to do to clear some of the land off where they plan to build. Hiring that work is stupid expensive, and the tractor and bush hog needed the exercise! :D
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
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