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There are two instances where you will measure resistance when checking a valve for faulty main burner operation.

On natural vent appliances incorporating a vent safety switch (VSS) as part of the thermocouple circuit, you can use the ECO (energy cut off) or terminal block on the thermocouple as a test point for gathering information. By removing the VSS wire on the pilot assembly side of the terminal block and then touching your meter probe to this point, and with your other on the thermocouple casing, you can obtain the open circuit reading.

The open circuit test will tell you the amount of voltage that the thermocouple is capable of producing without any load, or when it is disconnected.

As with the thermocouple, the open circuit test will tell us the potential output of the thermopile. While most thermopiles are designed to produce up to 750 mVDC, a minimum reading of 325 mVDC open circuit is generally acceptable as long as the switch is located close to the appliance and connected with properly sized wire.

When it comes to fireplaces, the options truly are endless - both for existing fireplaces or those being installed from scratch. Choices range from Gas and wood freestanding stoves and zero-clearance pre-fabricated fireplace. Most are manufactured from steel components and can be placed just about anywhere in the home.

Thinking about a pellet stove this winter? You may want to consider it, they burn cleanly, produce tons of heat and do not require much maintenance. Most people that already own a pellet stove say they love it.

Fireplace blower can make a difference, however it will not be a huge difference. Blowers do not make heat, if they did, all you would need is the blower and forget about any device burning fuel. That being said, the blower can move the heat away from the appliance into the space where the heat can be felt.

After three woodstove collections, the Allegheny County Health Department is offering county residents a chance to dispose of old wood stoves and outdoor wood-fired boilers that do not meet current national emission standards in return for cash incentives.

“The Health Department’s ‘bounty’ program has been extremely successful in terms of helping residents switch to better performing equipment, but also benefiting our air quality as well,” said Health Department Director Dr. Karen Hacker. “I’m proud that we are able to offer these opportunities to our residents and that these collections allow us to continue moving towards the goal of reducing or eliminating fine particulate pollution.”

Q. Our fireplace surround is outdated brick. Should we replace it before selling?

Best products: Soap, Water and Elbow Grease

Soap and water with a good scrub brush  will take soot off of bricks.l also need to employ a scrub brush. This will be a daunting task but you will be happy with the results.

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