Eric & Sons


Thermocouples and thermopiles are common parts in millivolt pilot systems, but they are not always to blame for a pilot issue and are often not even present in modern electronic ignition systems. The pilot can have difficulty staying lit due to wind & airflow, a clogged pilot hood or even dirt or debris due to a lack of regular maintenance on the fireplace. This is why it’s important to have regular preventative maintenance on your fireplace as well as to have it diagnosed by a qualified technician.

All thermocouples usually put out a similar range of voltage, but they often differ in the size of the tip, how much of that tip needs to be in contact with the pilot flame, their length, how they screw into the pilot assembly as well as their Safety Dropout Time. Dropout times vary with different valves, and this dropout time is critical in making sure that dangerous amounts of gas do not build up when the pilot flame is lost. This is why it is strongly recommended that only the manufacturer-specified thermocouple is installed.

Your fireplace has numerous safety features built into the pilot system and valve to prevent gas from flowing when your pilot has blown out. The gas valve will close in the event a pilot flame is not detected, and will not allow gas to flow again unless the pilot is relit. In the unlikely event that your valve is failing to close, you will typically detect the signs of a gas leak, which can be found here. If you believe you have a gas leak you should open your doors and windows and head outside immediately. Then call your gas supplier and emergency services for assistance.

While direct-vent gas fireplaces are known for their high efficiency, they do need to be regularly maintained just like any other heating appliance. The glass front for your fireplace can build up a film over time from condensation and carbon, so having the glass cleaned on a regular basis can prevent permanent fogging. Direct-vent fireplaces also use outside air for combustion, which can introduce dust and other unwanted materials into the firebox that will adversely affect combustion and efficient operation. An annual maintenance is also a good opportunity to perform a safety check to make sure your appliance components are operating correctly.

Most gas fireplace manufacturers recommend an annual maintenance by a trained service technician. You can think of it like regular service work on your vehicle – the more miles you put on the vehicle, the more frequent the maintenance. The same holds true for your fireplace – the more you use it, the more frequent the maintenance.

 Our commitment to use only factory-authorized parts ensures the highest quality and safety standards for our customers and enables us to provide future warranty support for the products that we install. This not only guarantees that the part provided is the correct one and that your fireplace will continue to operate properly, it also means that if the part experiences a failure during the warranty period that we can provide an exact replacement in a timely manner.