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 Aqua Quip Gas Fireplace Repair 
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We have a gas fireplace in our family room that was here when we moved in, so I'm not sure how old it is. A few months ago it stopped working, which I considered to be a blessing but really distressed my girlfriend; that fireplace is the best way she knows to get the room up to 125 degrees, which is how she likes it. :frust:

<The rest of this post will be long and boring, so I advise you to quit now unless you geek out on this stuff.>


The problem was that the pilot light would not stay on once the "pilot" button was released. You're supposed to push in the pilot button, push the ignitor button to light it, then leave the pilot button depressed for 30 seconds. When you release it, the pilot light *should* stay on, but it wouldn't and therefore there was no way to make the stove light for normal operation.

So being the manly man that I am, I pulled the surround off of the fireplace, pulled it away from the wall a bit, pulled out the fake logs and determined for sure that I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. I did a little YouTubing, though, and decided that the thermocouple was probably bad. Well, that sounded like something that a professional could fix in a jiffy, but was still scary to me so we called Aqua Quip. A few weeks later the AQ repairman showed up, spent a bunch of time and finally decided that the thermocouple was bad. :doh1:

That visit cost me $177, and all I had was a diagnosis.

AQ told me that they couldn't replace just the thermocouple since the stove is so old, so they ordered an entire pilot assembly which consists of a thermocouple, a thermopile, the pilot light and the ignitor.

That part cost me $195.80. This little project is seriously cutting into my gun budget at this point.

Then AQ came to install the pilot assembly. They got it installed and looking good, but the original problem still persisted: The pilot light wouldn't stay lit. The AQ team decided that the main gas valve must be bad.

That visit, to install the new pilot assembly, cost me $179. We're up to a total of $551.80 now. :angryfire:

And then I got the quote from AQ for a new gas valve: $409.10 for the labor and $275 for the part, for a total of $684.10.

At this point, I'm getting pretty damned suspicious that these guys don't REALLY know what they're doing. Also, I was able to find a brand-new gas valve on eBay for $99 . . . . icon_eek

So today, after staring at a disassembled fireplace for several months, I decided to tackle the project myself. I pulled the whole damn thing apart (about 3x what I really needed to, in hindsight). I checked the thermocouple with help from a propane torch and my multimeter, and concluded that it was working. I pulled the gas valve apart and concluded that it was working properly. I then pulled the actual valve out of the big valve assembly, connected the valve to the thermocouple, and it didn't work.

Then I noticed that there was a little square connector on the end of the thermocouple wire that hadn't been there on the old one:

Image

I removed that square connector and plugged the thermocouple directly into the valve, and suddenly the valve seemed to be working properly. :thumbsup2: If you look at the pic above you might be able to see that there's a small gap between the thermocouple tip and the contact inside the connector; look into the little window. That's when it's hand-tightened; when cranked with a wrench, it makes contact but not very good contact.

I put the whole thing back together (more work that it sounds like), hoped for the best, and finally:

Image

So yeah . . . I'm feeling good about myself, and I'm not very happy with AQ at the moment.

We're going to contact them to tell them the story, and see if they'll refund some of the $551.80 as I really don't think it should have been that expensive if they had diagnosed it properly.

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Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:09 pm
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Congrats Steve! Now i just want to sit in your Sauna of a Family room with your GF. :bigsmile:

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Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:37 pm
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Happy GF, happy... wink wink...


Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:22 am
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Odd design for sure. Good work. Your GF needs to become a hippie, turn left and save energy...... :bigsmile: Wait I'm an energy saver as well. :thumbsup2:

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:28 am
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Excellent! This should go in the DIY section. :bigsmile:

I'll be installing 2 pellet stoves before next winter... Come down and lend your expertise visit us! We'll have some cold ones ready.

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:30 am
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You know, Steve, had you simply posted the problem here in the first place, you would have gotten 15 different opinions on how to fix it, 3 offers for help, and 6 slightly-related but inappropriate jokes. That's how things work around here. What's up with fixing it first and THEN telling us??


Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:52 am
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DGM33 wrote:
You know, Steve, had you simply posted the problem here in the first place, you would have gotten 15 different opinions on how to fix it, 3 offers for help, and 6 slightly-related but inappropriate jokes. That's how things work around here. What's up with fixing it first and THEN telling us??

Because he is an engineer?
:ROFLMAO:

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:00 am
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AR15L wrote:
DGM33 wrote:
You know, Steve, had you simply posted the problem here in the first place, you would have gotten 15 different opinions on how to fix it, 3 offers for help, and 6 slightly-related but inappropriate jokes. That's how things work around here. What's up with fixing it first and THEN telling us??

Because he is an engineer?
:ROFLMAO:

See that's the part that confuses me, he just fixed it. Where are the blueprints? Where is the verbal abuse of the designers and 3 page rant about how he would have designed the valve? Where is the completely rebuilt valve system made from 27 more parts than the original that is 2% more efficient for 1200% the cost? What kind of engineer are you Steve!?!?!?

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:37 am
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sinus211 wrote:
AR15L wrote:
DGM33 wrote:
You know, Steve, had you simply posted the problem here in the first place, you would have gotten 15 different opinions on how to fix it, 3 offers for help, and 6 slightly-related but inappropriate jokes. That's how things work around here. What's up with fixing it first and THEN telling us??

Because he is an engineer?
:ROFLMAO:

See that's the part that confuses me, he just fixed it. Where are the blueprints? Where is the verbal abuse of the designers and 3 page rant about how he would have designed the valve? Where is the completely rebuilt valve system made from 27 more parts than the original that is 2% more efficient for 1200% the cost? What kind of engineer are you Steve!?!?!?

:ROFLMAO: Perfect!

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:43 am
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See, this is why we don't have a DIY section. :angryfire:

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Leave it cleaner than you found it.


Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:04 am
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MadPick wrote:
See, this is why we don't have a DIY section filled with useful Engineering equations about turbulent fluid streams and PV=nRT :angryfire:


Fixed that for you.

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:12 am
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MadPick wrote:
See, this is why we don't have a DIY section. :angryfire:

I was actually commiserating... Doesn't that count? :4couple:

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Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:23 am
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I would research the cost of the parts.

At the very least, if they added a profit margin to the parts,mthey owe you that.

But I would go for a lot more of a refund, and ask how they would like to handle it before you start posting your reviews online :bigsmile:

Also, if I didn't get satisfaction there, I would try to contact corporate (if there is a corporate, since they're a small chain)


Sun Mar 18, 2018 11:27 am
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Wow! Dude...

Good job! :thumbsup2:



My mom's place had a fireplace and it stopped working, called a local place and they came and diagnosed the problem... said it would be $450 to repair and they had to order the part too boot...

My brother got down there and looked up the basics and checked around (Youtube, etc)... figured it wouldn't hurt to go get a $10 part that was recommended...

Got it installed and it's worked perfectly... My brother called the local place and gave them an ear ful.

It's too bad - starting not to trust people..

On the flip side... it's recommended to have it routinely cleaned and checked by a certified person.


Sun Mar 18, 2018 12:57 pm
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oldkim wrote:
On the flip side... it's recommended to have it routinely cleaned and checked by a certified person.


:ROFLMAO:

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Please support the organizations that support all of us.

Leave it cleaner than you found it.


Sun Mar 18, 2018 1:40 pm
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