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andrew30
Gas fireplace ignition

I have a gas fireplace with a pilot light. The gas is turned on and off by a light switch on the wall. The switch stopped working and I have replaced it several times with a standard light switch I got at home depot. It works for a little while, and then seems to short out.

Am I using the wrong kind of switch? Or could there be a problem with the wiring?

Thanks for your help.

dj1
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

Your set up resembles the old floor/wall heating systems so many old homes used to have. A simple "heat only" thermostat is all you need to close a circuit that opens a gas valve, and viola - your fireplace comes on with the help of the pilot light.

Still having problems? call a plumber.

Don
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

There is a name of the manufacturer on the valve body - mine is Rosschild or something like that.

I am having the same issue with mine, but the Google-searched ****** docs say to take a multimeter and test leads/contacts on the valve body. They even have a diagram of which to check and nominal readings.

bill
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

If you have a standing pilot and the flame goes out i would suggest changing the thermocupol . this will resolve most issues with a standing pilot burner. If this does not work then change the gas valve.

Re: Gas fireplace ignition

I agree with all the responses but what the OP said has me confused.

Does changing the standard single pole wall switch really fix the problem? The unit load should be very light and the switch should last a lifetime, unless we're talking about a 1.5 HP fan.

In fact the load my be so small that something like an occupancy sensor may not work.

BTW if the system works on Butane not Propane it may simply be too cold outside to develop enough vapor pressure to supply the heater.

nelsonpitter
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

I too have doubt on changing only single pole wall switch really fix the problem.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

It may be a low voltage circuit. Switches can fail when used on low voltage due to oxidation on the contacts with not enough voltage to keep them clean.

Jack

Don
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

I had problems with mine, too, but I had an electrician come out and he didn't see anything wrong. While he was there, I flicked the switch in rapid succession and it started working again.

The troubleshooting matrix I found ****** for my igniter actually suggested that...

Re: Gas fireplace ignition
JLMCDANIEL wrote:

It may be a low voltage circuit. Switches can fail when used on low voltage due to oxidation on the contacts with not enough voltage to keep them clean.

Jack

Good point Jack, the standard SP switches have tungsten contacts which can drop a lot of voltage.

Maybe a higher quality switch would help.

Mastercarpentry
Re: Gas fireplace ignition

If you an find one, some old "silent" wall switches used encapsulated mercury vials in a sealed tube like you see in old mechanical thermostats. One of those is best for low-current applications but it no longer meets code because of the mercury- you're on your own if you go there.

Phil

Re: Gas fireplace ignition

If the switch is indeed low voltage and the contact resistance is the problem you could simply twist the wires together under a wire nut to test the circuit without a switch.

If a standard 120V single pole switch has too much contact resistance you might try a high quality DPST (double pole single throw) switch and tie both switch poles together to half the effective contact resistance. With the cover on it would look the same.

Or, go to Radio Shack and buy a high quality toggle switch which will have either siver or **** contacts.

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