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I was trying to light my pilot and was having difficulty. The steps I followed.

  • Turn on gas
  • Turned pilot button from "off" to "pilot"
  • Pushed in pilot button
  • Pushed igniter
  • Pilot will light but when I release pilot button it goes off.

I can not turn main fireplace on because pilot won’t stay lit.

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  • Please edit your post to provide make/model of the fireplace. – FreeMan Oct 29 '20 at 12:18
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You'll have to hold the pilot button pushed in for some time, maybe as long as 20 seconds, so that the thermocouple will heat up and act to keep the pilot lit.

If the pilot still will not remain lit even after holding the button for a long time then the thermocouple probably has failed. Generally a thermocouple is a replaceable, semi-universal part. They can be found at big-box home centers, online, at plumbing supply stores, etc.

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  • Just a footnote: Current from the thermocouple holds open a magnetic safety valve. Should the pilot light go out (or be turned off at the end of the heating season), it prevents gas from flowing out, unlit, until it meets a source of ignition... bang. – DrMoishe Pippik Oct 29 '20 at 3:21
  • I have seen professionals, who are in a hurry and don't want to wait too long for the thermocouple to heat up, use a hand-held lighter to assist the pilot flame. – Steve Wellens Oct 29 '20 at 4:38

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