My parents had a ventless gas log system installed in their fireplace 3 yrs ago, purchased from Lowes. The main burners are ignited by a solenoid located in the gas valve. This solenoid is powered by a remote controlled receiver box wired to the solenoid, which takes 4 AA batteries (six volts).
The burners stopped working and did not work even after fresh batteries were installed in the remote and the receiver. I disconnected the wires to the solenoid and used my voltmeter to check the voltage coming from the box. It read 6 volts in both the "on" and "off" positions, which means the solenoid should be able to open and close, if working properly. I then touched the solenoid wires to the terminals of a 9 volt battery, and the solenoid opened and closed and the burners turned on and off.
I lined up 5 AA batteries (7.5 volts) and the solenoid still worked fine. However, when I removed one of the batteries, the solenoid turned off the burners but would not turn them on unless I increased the voltage.
I have four questions:
1. Why would the solenoid work in one direction, i.e., close, but not open, with 6 volts?
2. Why would increasing the voltage to 7.5 volts allow it to open and close, when it is designed to open and close with 6 volts?
3. Does a solenoid wear out slowly, or does it go all at once?
4. Is there a way to add an additional battery to the receiver, so I don't have to mess with trying to replace the solenoid, if the solenoid is defective?