Recently I arrived at a customer in Denver who explained that another company had come to fix their fireplace and it did not go well. The other company dissembled their fireplace and then said it could not be fixed. The solution was to have the customer buy a new fireplace that would cost $4,500. As you can imagine, this customer was quite distraught. After an exchange of words, the other company just left – without even putting things back together. This is a good example of not loving your customer.
So, here I am. The fireplace is in a million pieces and it’s pulled apart so that I cannot even run diagnostics to narrow down the problem. This is worse case scenario for me. The problem is massive and another company already called it quits. That said, the customer called Gas Fireplace Doctors and if we can’t make things right – who can?
With that I started reassembling the fireplace so that I could run diagnostics. This entailed reconnecting all the wires, gas lines, and chimney flue. Unfortunately, I found that the other company had also left with some important parts, which made my job a little more difficult. Putting the aforementioned pieces back together wasn’t too bad. The biggest problem was trying to figure out how the front of the fireplace was assembled. There were a ton of trim pieces and brackets that all looked very similar and could possibly fit in many different ways. After about an hour I figured it out and could start my diagnostics.
First I tested to see if there was gas and that the gas pressure was adequate. I then ensured there was no gas leaks. Next I checked to see if we had spark. We did. Finally, I lit the pilot. Unfortunately, every time I depressed the pilot button the gas would shut off and so would the pilot light. As a result, I tested, cleaned, and adjusted various components and determined that the gas valve needed to be replaced.
This gas valve was built in Canada and had to be special ordered. Once received, I returned to the job and pulled the entire fireplace apart so that I could complete the repair. The new valve was a retro-fit meaning it was not exactly like the old gas valve. This entailed installing a new sparker and gas valve mounting bracket. Getting these parts installed was difficult due to the tight space. After several hours I got everything back together and tested the system. Did it work? Yes – if I bypassed the switch. After some more tinkering I got the switch to work, too.
In summary, this job was difficult and time consuming. In the end, the customer got a really good deal and we were happy to help. It felt great to save the customer thousands of dollars and to help re-instill their confidence in humanity.