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Old 30-03-2011, 15:46   #16
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Re: Dickinson 2 burner stove woes

I had a similar problem after I had the cook top install for a couple of years. I lifted the unit out removed the bottom and there was a loose wire for the thermo couple. I reattached it and have had no problems since.

The tip of the thing needs to be pretty much in the flame for it to work. There is a dedicated hole in the burner that must be positioned so the flame will heat the thermocouple.

I don't think the thermocouple is powered by anything other than heat as my stove is not wired to anything and even when the battery died the thermocouple still worked.

I have had this particular cooktop on two different boats and beyond the loose wire I've had no problems........m
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Old 30-03-2011, 23:31   #17
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Re: Dickinson 2 burner stove woes

Finally heard back from Dickinson. They are puzzled too.

Their first suggestion is the contacts where the wires from thermocouples meet the solenoid/valve assemblies. They say, "try re-seating them". (grmph).

If that doesn't work they are prepared to ship new valve assembly and new thermocouple. (I was almost hoping for new stove, but I guess it's been more than a year since I bought it...)

They say that no external power source is needed for the solenoid (???), that the thermocouple puts out 1.5mv dc when heat is present and this is enough to hold the solenoid closed once it has been (already) manually closed by the push-knob mechanism. So the 9v battery is strictly for the igniters and doesn't interact with the thermocouple setup.

So tomorrow I'll (sigh) disconnect from the propane again and take the unit apart again and fool about with the thermocouple wire connectors. If that fixes it, good... if not, I'm in for more tinkering and cussing.
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Old 31-03-2011, 07:52   #18
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Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Best of luck with the "operation".
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Old 31-03-2011, 22:42   #19
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Thumbs up Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Success! I have fixed the darned stove.

Here's the scoop, in case anyone else needs to solve the same problem.

First, there are no removable connectors on the thermocouple/valve assemblies. They seem to be a prefab unit -- 2 wires, thermo tip, and fancy valve with solenoid. I saw no way to disconnect the wires so I left them alone and scratched my head some more.

Something the Dickinson rep said on the phone stuck with me: "If the valve unit rotates on the manifold and drops away from the cover panel then the knob might not be able to press down far enough to activate the solenoid."

I realised that one of the knobs (the one for the burner which would not stay lit) was leaving scrape marks on the face panel, but the other (for the burner which worked ok) was not. So one knob was bottoming out while the other could be depressed all the way. Hmmm.

I couldn't *see* any difference in the travel. But I threw a couple of small washers over the knob shaft for the afflicted burner. Now the knob stands proud of the panel by about 1/8 inch even when fully depressed.

I reassembled the stove and Ta-Dah! it works perfectly. Both burners auto-ignite *and* stay on w/in a second of being lit. So, here's my inference:

The voltage from the thermo is so small (1.5 mv) that it is not enough to trigger a solenoid to close; but it may be just enough to *keep* a solenoid closed that is already energised. So the knob vertical travel is actuating some kind of slider that not only opens the gas valve but *also* forces the solenoid closed. After just a second or two the thermo heats up and the solenoid will now stay closed even when the actuator is retracted -- by a spring which returns the knob to its normal elevation.

The knob has to go *all the way* to the end of its vertical travel to close the solenoid. Anything short of that -- even a millimetre -- apparently is not enough. This one must have been marginal all along. I could see no evidence that the valve assembly had rotated on the manifold; but if the darned thing ever fails again in the same way, I will know exactly what to look for.

BTW the manifold and valve setup looks intimidatingly fragile, complicated, and precise. I hope it never fails. I would not want to try any parts swaps on it :-)

I hope this cautionary tale may prove useful to someone someday :-)
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Old 01-04-2011, 00:26   #20
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Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Congratulations on successfully tracking down the problem.

The gear seems poorly engineered - a cautionary tale indeed.
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Old 05-04-2011, 20:48   #21
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Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Update on our stove saga. After trying unsuccessfully to adjust the thermostat to regulate the heat in the oven more accurately and trying once again to get two of the three ignitors for the top burners to work, I gave up and emailed Dickinson. I was polite (they have always been immediately responsive and have generally done an excellent job of customer service, the problem has been the stove(s)) and just told them I was extremely disappointed and frustrated after buying what we thought was the "best" stove on the market. True to form I had a reply email within 20 minutes and they have offered to give us a brand new stove complete with a personal inspection and oven test by the woman I have been corresponding with (we are well beyond the warranty period so this was a total shock). She asked what they could do to restore my faith in Dickinson and understood that this has been a very time consuming and frustrating experience for us. She made the offer of a new stove, I didn't ask for one. She also said that they have not had many complaints on the stoves so maybe we were just unlucky enough to get two that had problems (I'm willing to believe her). After we get the new one installed and operating I'll report back. I truly hope that all the issues with the stove are resolved with this next one because their customer support and service is outstanding.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:49   #22
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Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Update on our stove saga. After trying unsuccessfully to adjust the thermostat to regulate the heat in the oven more accurately and trying once again to get two of the three ignitors for the top burners to work, I gave up and emailed Dickinson. I was polite (they have always been immediately responsive and have generally done an excellent job of customer service, the problem has been the stove(s)) and just told them I was extremely disappointed and frustrated after buying what we thought was the "best" stove on the market. True to form I had a reply email within 20 minutes and they have offered to give us a brand new stove complete with a personal inspection and oven test by the woman I have been corresponding with (we are well beyond the warranty period so this was a total shock). She asked what they could do to restore my faith in Dickinson and understood that this has been a very time consuming and frustrating experience for us. She made the offer of a new stove, I didn't ask for one. She also said that they have not had many complaints on the stoves so maybe we were just unlucky enough to get two that had problems (I'm willing to believe her). After we get the new one installed and operating I'll report back. I truly hope that all the issues with the stove are resolved with this next one because their customer support and service is outstanding.

It's been 11 months. How is the new stove operating???
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:11   #23
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Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Thanks for the reminder Del. The stove has operated flawlessly, we're very happy with it. The oven is spot on for temp., Laurie is a baker and pretty particular about how the oven works. Haven't had a single problem at all and have really come to appreciate some of the design features of the stove. For example, the grate on the top of the cooktop just snaps out which makes cleaning under the burners really easy. The large 11K btu center burner is fast to heat a large pot of water and even though all the burners are much higher btu output than our old Seward Princess one tank lasts the same amount of time. After a rough start we're very happy Dickinson fans now, and I've really never had such a positive experience with a companies customer service before.
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Old 06-04-2012, 18:01   #24
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Re: Dickinson 2 Burner Stove Woes

Glad to see you got it worked out, I love my 2 burner Carib. The oven worked fine from day one, I even make braised lamb shanks in it which need 3 hours to cook and steady low temperature.
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