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I have a Charmglow 300TQ unvented gas fireplace. It worked beautifully until I had the 100 lb bottled gas tank refilled three days ago. I am now having two problems, which I imagine are related: 1) The pilot burns just fine but the flame won't come on by itself when the room temperature drops. This has never been an issue before. 2) I have to turn the flame on manually. It stays lit for 5 to 10 minutes and then the entire heater--both the flame and the pilot--shuts down. It lights again immediately and again, the pilot will stay on but the flame doesn't come on automatically.

I take the fake logs out and clean the pilot assembly (including the nozzle the gas emerges from) every time I refill the tank.

I've done all the troubleshooting steps I can do without a multimeter, but I'm ordering one today so that I can do those steps, too.

One note: If the pilot assembly needs replacing, I'm going to have to do it myself. I'm ... let's say financially challenged right now. I can't afford labor to have someone come in. Is this something I'll be able to do myself or am I up the proverbial creek? Anybody have a rough idea of the cost of a pilot assembly? I've looked online but I can't seem to find my model Charmglow anywhere. I suspect it's pretty old since it was here when I bought the house four years ago and the guy who sold me the place didn't leave anything new behind.

I'd be grateful for any input anyone has.

  • Can you post a picture of the pilot assembly? If it's just a basic thermocouple you can likely replace just that part. Depending on "which" thermocouple you need it could be $5 to $30 USD, although fairly standard, there are some oddballs and hard to find. What's important is the nut where the thermocouple connects to the gas valve being identical. Be very careful NOT to mess up the threads where the thermocouple connects to the gas valve, that is an expensive mistake. – Tyson Feb 7 '17 at 1:00
  • Thanks, Tyson! I'll try to get a photo of it. The other thing I probably should have mentioned is I see people on various sites talking about a wall switch, but mine doesn't have one. There's just a dial to light the pilot and then dial up the flame. I don't know whether that makes a difference. Anyway, I'll try to get a picture to post. Thanks again! – Lizzie Mills Feb 7 '17 at 18:47
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Standard gas log sets are fairly simple. If the gas fireplace shuts off after a few minutes, it's pretty much always going to be a pilot head issue, or a valve issue. Take note that it’s the pilot head, not the thermocouple. The whole assembly is usually replaced, and they usually come at the same price. New models usually come with improved designs.

It is recommended to replace the whole pilot head instead of just the thermocouple. If you're still having issues that the gas fireplace will not stay lit, then the valve needs to be replaced. There are just no other moving parts that can go wrong on this.

One thing you can try gas fireplace shuts off after a few minutes: there's a small screw on your valve that regulates the size of your pilot flame. You can turn that screw to make it bigger. This can be done in case the pilot flame is too small to do its job. Be careful though, sometimes the screw has a spring behind it and will shoot out and you'll have a difficult time finding it. If you mess with the screw, slowly relieve pressure and make sure it's still threaded into the valve.

If this doesn’t resolve the problem, you may want to consider replacing the valve. Here’s a useful article regarding DIY valve replacement. Hope this helps.

  • Thank you for this great info. I'll try each tip, starting with the easiest and stopping at the one that works. Thank you again! – Lizzie Mills Apr 16 '17 at 11:08
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I had the same problem -- the fireplace would light and then turn off. I replaced the thermocouple because it did not know the flame was lit. This did not work.

I replaced the control box, model DS 845, and it works great. I bought it on Amazon for $160.

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My pilot would light, main burners would come on for about 30 seconds, then go out. Sometimes if you turned the thermostat all the way up it would burn slightly longer. I used some contact cleaner I had handy, and blew out the orifice for the pilot light. Now have a nice blue flame, and no more issues! Apparently the pilot flame was not quite hot enough to keep the valve open. I thought it looked ok, but I was mistaken.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Oct 16 at 16:34

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