Natural Gas Odor, Bad Valve on Empire?

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by molo, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    857
    Location:
    cold new york
    Hello All,

    I have a natural gas Empire heater (5-7 years old). A stand-up space heater. I'll be back with some photos, just realized the valve might be working (pre-edit subject)

    TIA,
    Molo
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Possibly, or there might be a piece of foreign matter holding the valve open. When the thermocouple cooled, the valve should have automatically returned to its everything-normally-off state.

    Again, it is more like the valve self-closes when the thermocouple cools and releases its hold-it-open grip on the valve.

    I have never had a bad thermocouple hold a valve open, but you might try a new one before spending a lot more for a new valve.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  3. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    857
    Location:
    cold new york
    More info on Empire Heater

    Upon closer inspection the valve is shutting down if the pilot blows out (I manually blew the pilot out and listened to the valve shut-down)

    So, I am confused about the source of the gas odor, I will use soap to check for leaks. Apparantly there is a small valve on top of the main valve that will stick occasionally. The purpose of this valve is to let the occasional bubble of air or gas out of the main valve (according to Empire tech. support). Any ideas on where to start with the soap? Are there specific problem areas?

    Also, I included a photo of this wire that is not connected. I know this is related to venting, but it is not connected, any insight on this wire would be appreciated,

    TIA,
    Molo

    Attached Files:

  4. Phil H2

    Phil H2 New Member

    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Tujunga, CA
    Start at the gas cock where the gas pipe comes out of the floor. Work your way toward the heater. Those old valves are prone to leaking.
  5. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    the wire is (not sure of proper name) a spillage sensor. If vent gas backs down the little black tab that wire is part of should turn your heater off. looks like they never hooked it up, forgot, or it was not ment for your model.

    soap all joints that have gas flowing through worth taking the time
  6. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    Molo, your gonna hurt yourself or your family.
    You've saved alotta money, and thats good.
    Miss one detail and that could be a bomb or gradual co hazard, get a service tech or plumber in.
  7. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    857
    Location:
    cold new york
    I've turned gas off at the meter, the gas company will come tomorrow to test for leaks, that is the real problem, a gas odor. There is a CO alarm next to the unit, as you know that doesn't cover un-burned fuel.
  8. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    My Close Call

    Back in the early 70s I rented a home and was in the basement looking at the furnace. I saw the gas cock and thought I would try it to see how hard it might be to turn. I grabbed it and barely started to turn it and it popped off in my hand and raw gas started pouring into the basement. I replaced it and it stayed then I wrapped it with tape and called to have it fixed.

    That could have popped at any time with out me knowing and boom. There goes the house and maybe me.
  9. GrumpyPlumber

    GrumpyPlumber Licensed Grump

    Messages:
    1,404
    Location:
    Licensed Grump
    Good man, very relieved to see that.
    Also, pretty sure the gas co won't charge.
  10. molo

    molo Member

    Messages:
    857
    Location:
    cold new york
    Well, the gas guy came and put 3lbs of pressure on it. He said there was a small leak. I then (with the apliance shut-offs in the off position) put 10lbs on it and soaped all of the accesible fittings, no leak. So I have determined the leak is in the inaccesible crawl space. The gas enters the house and immediately goes into the inaccesible crawl space, only to surface at the gas heater and the gas range (only 2 appliances).
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