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Old 06-19-2009, 07:14 PM   #1
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PLS HELP!!-73 Pilot light won't ignite gas refrig

Hello-
I am hoping someone can assist- I have a beautifully restored '73 25' and the last issue we encountered on the maiden voyage id the LP of the refirdge....

The frig works well on electric(110v) but will not light on propane.
I can open the "hatch" and ignite the pilot; holding the lighting mechanism to keep the pilot flame on. Once I let go of the lighting mechanism; the pilot goes out- I have kept this on for a painful 8-10 min at a shot attempting to get it going.

The flame is a good blue color- yellow at the very tip (1/8" or so)
Any ideas to get this running would be GREATLY appreciated-
as I am in the middle of AZ ..2500 miles from home- and usually 250 miles from the nearest grocery store-

Has anyone had Kraft Mac & cheese for a week and survived??
Many thanks to all
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:50 PM   #2
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Why yes you can survive on Mack and cheese! If the milk stays good!

Is the thermal copule in the "path" of the pilot flame? If not it should be. If you held the botton for ten minutes and it doesent stay lit on its oun, there may be a problem with the thermal couple. Try to get the little probe over the flame, if it is not geting hot enough it thinks the flame went out and will shut off the gas.

This is just a quick thought. I am sure that there will be some more shortly. The people here will take good care of you!! Oh and by the way Welcome to the site!

Mike
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Old 06-20-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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Working on cleaning the thermal couple with a small brass brush....
The milk is powdered...so I am in luck...
I never thought it would be 125 miles to the nearest "anything"
Thanks to all for the warm welcome...My father has been a WBCCI member for over 40yrs... I guess blue runs in the family blood-
Any other suggestions are GREATLY appreciated-
IF I need to replace it - does anyone know "where " to get one- Inland andy??
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Old 06-21-2009, 04:09 AM   #4
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Okay, on my '64 safari I had to remove the burner orifice and blow it out. It had a very small piece of dirt or something in it and it wouldn't light even with a strong and well directed pilot flame. If there is an adjustment for the main burner gas flow it may need to be adjusted.
Don't throw it away yet. I'm still using the original 45 year old refer in mine. I think the old ones may be better than the new ones.
Rich
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Old 06-21-2009, 01:51 PM   #5
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I had the same annoying problem with my '68 Safari. The plunger that you push in with your thumb has to push in far enough that it will hold the valve open when the weak current from the hot thermocouple activates the electromagnet in the valve. I found that by using a small screwdriver to push the plunger in just slightly deeper than my fleshy thumb could, the flame stayed on after about 30 sec of heating. Try it and let me know if it works.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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There is an issue with the thermocouple. Either you're not getting it hot enough to keep the valve open, or it's shot. It should take about 30-45 seconds for the pilot flame to get the thermocouple hot enough to keep the valve open. If you're holding it for over a minute, and the pilot flame goes out after you release the button, you need to replace the thermocouple. They can be gotten at any RV store, and most places like Ace Hardware carry them as well.

Roger
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:32 PM   #7
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UPDATE:
I had the whole "system " apart today... hoping to stock up on some real T-bones at the market-

Here is the status:
1. The thermalocouple is in its proper place- it is located over a "J" shaped tube where I initially light the pilot.
2. On the top of this "J" tube is a small screen aprox 1/4" in dia.
3. The gas flow is reaching where I need to light; it is lighting...HOWEVER it has what I would call a "WILD" flame now. 1/2 blue 1/2 yellow.

Side Notes:
I did manage to clean out this "J" tube the best I could with a long screw and a bit of an old T shirt- I dug out what appeared to be a insect wing; along with some "mud" - not a lot but enough.

I can not seem to remove the "J" tube; as it is held in with 2 36year old screws- Now wanting to come out even with break away lube....

I remain frustrated but ...plugging along on this...I do believe it will work...just need to be able to get the little "box" where you light the flame apart to clean the pilot and "J" tube.

Forgive my ignorance here...is the Thermocouple the actual unit over the initial flame; or the unit that is attached by hard wire? if it needs replaced...is this a DIY or do I need a shop....( are there different sizes??)

Many thanks to all for the continued support and help-
Still in AZ...for now...
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Old 06-21-2009, 09:57 PM   #8
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Spiders love LP gas appliances. I have cleaned countless spider webs out of the burner on water heaters... just make sure the burner on the fridge is clear of webs and mud dauber nests. Bottle (test tube size) brushes and pipe cleaners are a big help.

The thermocouple is the little gizmo that sticks into the flame cone and is attached by a long wire. The differences in them has to do with the length of the "wire". They're easily replaced (usually).

Roger
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Old 06-21-2009, 10:54 PM   #9
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Do not take my post here seriously

I just had the exact same problem with my water heater. As I was investigating, every camper in a 50 mile radius came over to tell me how to fix it. I got annoyed. I started coughing, and apologized, explaining that I was sick with swine flu. It wasn't long before all of the helpers decided that I knew what I was doing ......which I don't. Anyway I am thankful to be learning from you all. Thank you!!! I am curious to see how you fix yours.

Take this part seriously...... I lightly burnished the thermocoupler( which is known to go bad). It looked liked it had oxidized. That did the trick. I scrubbed the nozzle with a friends tooth brush ( I don't know if that helped because I couldn't see the nozzle.) What you called the J tube was clean as a whistle.( the tooth brush....not so much )

I don't actually know how clean a whistle is, I suppose it depends on the whistler
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:24 AM   #10
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ROGER:
I am off to wally world in the morning to get my
bottle clener brush.... the next step would be to replace the therocouple...
Question to ALL-
How the H#@@ do I get the thermocouple out- it has a hex nut on one end and ir Larger on the inside of the "Box" I described...seems if I could get into that box 99.9% of my problems would be solved....

I am On PST...neeed we say this issue is keeping me up and keeping me from stocking up on T-bones... I must have ticked off the refridg gods ... ;-)
All for now..
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:23 AM   #11
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A word of caution... There is an orifice that jets gas into the burner tube. The orifice is typically brass, and is quite soft. Don't mess with it. Even the slightest damage to the size of the hole will ruin it.

I don't know specifically how you get into the box where your pilot burner on your fridge is, a photo might help a lot.

And yes, the thermocouple has a hex nut on one end, and attaches in some fashion on the other in the flame cone.

Water heaters are SO much simpler than refrigerators...

Roger
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:26 AM   #12
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Roger-
I found the small orifice. it is in a brass coupler....
I will see if i cant take a photo or two today and post them.

I believe I have narrowed it down to the "J" tube being clogged at the top where I can not get to it- OR the thermocouple unit. The thermal couple is mounted like a door knob if you will....think of looking at the locking bolt straight on; with the knobs on the left and right.

The "BOX" is to the right it contains the portion where you slide the small door up and initially light- It also contains the larger portion of the thermocouple.....meaning that to remove it one must get into pandora's box.... The hex nut is to the left side.

My other thoughts were to buy a dremmel; grind the head of the 36 year old philips screws off; then be able to access both the J tube and the thermal couple-
Also need to pick up an inverter- as I am at a National forrest withe NO POWER-
Did I mention my love of Mac and Cheese with powered milk? its getting quite a challange every day-

Oh least we not forher the ocassional PBJ sandwich ...this is true motivation to get this thing done...or I will face the same diet at every non- electric location,
All for now -
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:11 PM   #13
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UPDATE:
There was some type of HARD MUD caked under the screen....hmmmm I got the box open....awaiting daylight to see if all goes well....
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:22 AM   #14
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ANY HELP ....The pilot is lit- stayed on all night- fridge wont get cold-
however it does work on electric....
I am confused now...thought it wold be an all systems go at this point-
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