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Archive for August 2010

Used to be the family grill seemed destined to hold very little beyond burgers, hot dogs and big, fat steaks. Now, adventurous grillers are whipping up everything from starters to dessert. Even fruit is getting into the backyard act, adding flavor, fragrance and even glamour to the outdoor meal. Glamour? Well, yes, explained chef Jamie Purviance, author of five grill cookbooks produced for the Weber-Stephen Products Co., makers of the iconic Weber kettle grill. More

Anna Herman wrote in The Philadelphia Inquirer, "I haven't gotten around to building my ultimate outdoor kitchen with its wood-burning oven, nor am I planning on heating my oven up to 500 degrees again until autumn, but I sure am making a lot of crisp, thin homemade pizzas this summer, on the grill." More

Making mouthwatering smoked and barbecued meats in your backyard is easy, so long as you don't mind being a control freak. Tender, flavorful barbecue is all about slow cooking at low temperatures. That's why it is essential that you be able to carefully control the heat in your grill or smoker. The good news is that no matter what equipment you have, it's possible to get great barbecue. More

Surprisingly, we are almost through August already and it is nearing the time to turn our thoughts to getting our homes ready for winter. If you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, now is a good time to get it ready for winter use. Fireplaces are warm and inviting and most of us can watch the flames for hours on end. Over time though, the glass doors can cloud up with a build-up of soot and other deposits. When this happens you will need to clean the glass. More

"There is no place more delightful than one's own fireplace." This declaration from Rome's great orator Cicero remains true even today. What can be considered the heart of the home, the fireplace is too often a neglected spot. What a pity. The fireplace not only warms a room, it also shows off a homeowner's personal style and decor. Designed properly, it can be a focal point. Fireplace upgrades, from inexpensive quick fixes to total rebuilds are an easy way to personalize and improve the value of a home. More

Today's patios, the trend in outdoor living, have gone well beyond the concrete slab. With outdoor kitchens, built-in seating, fancy pavers and subtle lighting, homeowners are building outdoor rooms they can enjoy every day. "The possibilities are pretty much endless," said Tim Starr, landscape specialist with Marquart Concrete Products in Clear Lake. "It seems like the trend is definitely more elaborate in outdoor places." Furnished with chairs, tables, outdoor TVs and ceiling fans, patios are a "huge" trend right now, said Shawn Davis, owner of Outdoor Designs of Charles City. "You can incorporate a lot of the elements you have in your home." Top trends include the following. More

Pilot light won't light

  • Check gas supply is on.
  • Check for air in line by bleeding gas through ember burner until all air is out of line. Bleeding through the pilot burner is not effective.
  • Check aluminum tubing for kinks or cracks, replace if present.

Pilot light won't stay lit after releasing knob

  • Check contact between valve and thermocouple by tightening the fitting that connects them.
  • If pilot flame is too strong it will blow itself out. Adjust the flame on the pilot burner in accordance with the pilot control instructions, or replace the pilot orifice with a larger orifice.
  • Check that pilot flame is not too low, as it will not transmit enough electricity to pilot valve. Adjust the flame on the pilot burner in accordance with pilot control instructions, or replace the pilot orifice with a larger one.
  • Check that pilot flame does not hit thermocouple too close to cold junction. The cold junction is located on the lower 1/3 of the thermocouple. The pilot flame must hit only the top ¼ of the thermocouple or the cold junction will overheat and shut the system off.
  • Every thermocouple has been factory tested prior to shipment, however there are rare instances where the thermocouple needs to be replaced.

Pilot light goes out after being lit

  • Check for down draft that may be blowing out flame and correct chimney draft problems.
  • If pilot flame is too strong it will blow itself out. Adjust the flame on the pilot burner in accordance with the pilot control instructions, or replace the pilot orifice with a larger orifice.
  • Check that pilot flame does not hit thermocouple too close to cold junction. The cold junction is located on the lower 1/3 of the thermocouple. The pilot flame must hit only the top ¼ of the thermocouple or the cold junction will overheat and shut the system off.
  • Turn gas to ember burner on slower as it may rob gas from line feeding the pilot light.

Pilot light is noisy

  • Adjust the flame on the pilot burner in accordance with the pilot control instructions, or replace the pilot orifice with a larger orifice.

Delayed ignition of ember burner (Gas should ignite in 4 seconds)

  • If gas is not getting to pilot light quick enough, clear passageway through sand to allow easier and quicker access for gas from ember burner to pilot light.
  • Assure pilot light directs flame over ember burner pan as well as properly hitting the thermocouple.

System shuts down after burner 0-5 minutes

  • Check for overheating of cold junction on the thermocouple by assuring thermocouple and pilot burner assembly are mounted on the back side of the ember burner pan per safety pilot control instructions. Assure the assembly is free from contact with sand or other materials.
  • Check for leaks resulting in improper flame hitting the thermocouple.

System shuts down after burning more than 5 minutes

  • Assure front log is positioned on its edge such that the flat side is facing the back of the fireplace; this reflects the flame and heat onto the thermocouple.
  • Assure thermocouple is in its assembly so that the grate does not interfere.
  • Assure copper tubing is not touching any materials and is routed approximately one inch off the fireplace floor and has a minimum of ½" air space surrounding the tubing.
  • If your fireplace has glass doors they must remain fully open. Make sure the damper is completely open during burning. Do not install safety pilot controls in stoves.
  • Check for down draft that may be blowing out flame and correct chimney draft problems.

Pilot valve will not shut gas off

  • Shield the valve from heat, or move valve out of firebox. Assure that gaskets or seals have not been damaged and are causing leaks. Turn off gas at a secondary shut off. Correct reason for overheating and replace valve.

Owners of Columbus, Ga., based Masterbuilt Manufacturing, a company that produces charcoal, gas and electric barbecue grills, smokers and indoor electric turkey fryers, the brothers brought with them an entourage of employees recently and hosted Grillin' for the Gulf at the Erie Meyer Civic Center in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Hundreds of local residents and guests filled the facility, enjoying the free lunch that consisted of Butterball deep-fried turkey, smoked Smithfield BBQ ribs, corn on the cob, and green beans. More

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