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Old 03-10-2011, 04:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
 
Location: Amsterdam, NL
gas heater defective - replace or repair?

I bought a used direct vent gas heater to keep my one room apartment warm in 1985. I replaced the thermo-coupler about 15-20 years ago.

The pilot will not stay lit. I mean it acts like the thermo-coupler is bad but it does produce 20 millivolts unloaded. I am not qualified to go further.
I suspect a good cleaning and perhaps replacing the pilot electric valve is necessary. This heater must be older than 50 years.

Question is, should I have a new heater installed or have this one repaired?
When working this heater does a fine job.

Last edited by dlish; 03-11-2011 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I would replace. The way that you describe your heater, it sounds like more permanent appliance similar to a furnace. Does it have a quick release valve coupling? I know that I replaced my natural gas furnace 4 years ago, it was 25 years old and needed it. The cost was around $2000. Not too expensive to get more efficient heating and get peace of mind.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
 
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Thanks for the response, Leto.

Not exactly quick release. It is a floor standing unit. Vents to a hole in the wall.
Connects to a natural gas inlet. Don't know the technical terms for the subject.

Kind of looking for a local store that sells/installs used heaters.
A new one for less than 400 Euros might be nice.

I'm thinking this threat should be moved to Knowledge.
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Old 03-10-2011, 10:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thread moved
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: tentative, at best
Always err on the side of safety when it comes to gas appliances. Replace it.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
 
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Bought a used heater for 180 Euros. A friend moved it and installed for 25 Euros.
I did offer him 50 :-)

Now I just have to remove the old one from the hall. It is HEAVEY.
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Glad too hear you resolved the issue safely!
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
 
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Thank you, genuinegirly.

I don't know why so many people are afraid of old heaters.
I have never heard of one causing an explosion.
That thing was very heavy and it took two moving men to get it downstairs.
Everybody told me to be wary of old heaters so I replaced it.
I think, if I could have gotten the pilot flame just right the heater would have lasted another 50 years.

The heater I have now works well and looks much better.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The reason why people are wary is not fear of an explosion, but rather carbon monoxide, and rightfully so. My in-laws' furnace just broke, and it developed a carbon monoxide leak. My mother-in-law couldn't figure out why an alarm in her house was going off when there was no fire or smoke. She called the fire department, and they came out to the house. When she opened the garage doors, enough CO got out of the house that the alarm turned off. She just thought she had a headache. It was a very near miss.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
 
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Interesting. My apartment uses a direct vent natural gas heater.
The heater grabs and vents air from a hole in the wall that pipes to the roof.
It should be cleaned every few years.
So I should get a smoke/CM warning device...
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:38 AM   #11 (permalink)
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YES, you should. very little cost for something that plugs into the wall for detecting carbon monoxide. You can get integrated smoke detectors and CO detectors as well to mount on the ceiling. Those things are law here.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
Very Insignificant Pawn
 
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Right after posting I hit Google.
I have a lead on two stores that sell the combined detectors.
I expect to get a battery only version.
Seems the CM detectors only work for 7 years.
That would be because they are chemical devices, me thinks.
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