A Dumb Fireplace


(Dave N) #1

I have a gas fireplace with a plain old mercury thermostat. My wife believes that because I have half the house converted to ST that everything is automated so I find the fireplace merrily heating a dark living room at 1 in the morning. :frowning: I need to cut the heat cct when I go into night mode.
Can’t decide the best route to go as I have one must have. I need the internal fan (on an ST dimmer currently) to run about 15 minutes after the fireplace reaches temp and turns off. I would install another z-wave thermostat but I can’t find one that is supported and runs the heat fan for more than 90 seconds after cut-off. There is also no C power (24 VAC?) available at the thermostat except AC.

My only option, I think, is to put a temp multi by the fireplace vent and install a z-wave relay on the old thermostat to interrupt the cct then use a smart app to turn the fan off 15 minutes after the multi temp comes down to a set point and kick out the relay when night mode is triggered. This unfortunately still leaves the manual temp set to come on as soon as night mode is over.


(Chrisb) #2

See, I’ve got the benefit of having a fan that already does the on/off automatically by itself so I just have a relay on the switch to turn on/off the fireplace and I can forget about the fan part.

In your situation, here’s what I think would be the easiest way to handle it:

Put a relay on the fireplace. Then write a (very simple) smart app that watches for the fireplace to turn on. When it does, it waits 10-15 minutes, then turns on the fan. Additionally, when the fireplace turns off, wait 10-15 minutes, then turn off the fan. This would be VERY easy on the software side and should work for you quite well.

The down side to this is that it isn’t super special automated. It won’t start the fan when a specific temp. is reached, nor will it shut off when a specific temp is reached. But generally it’ll work pretty well I think. And the upside is that you don’t need to get another temp sensor and try to figure out what the points are with that in terms of when to tuirn on or off.

You also don’t need to worry about getting the sensor close enough to the fire place that it’s accurate, but far enough away so that it doesn’t melt.


(Dave N) #3

Thanks for the suggestions. I have heard so many comments about the documentation and examples that I am hesitant to spend many evenings swearing at declarations, methods and events just get “Hello World” :wink:
I spent 35 years learning code the hard way and I’m kinda done with that. @Ben has eluded to proper tutorials and documentation so I’ll jump in then.
I think I will stick in a relay at the very least so it can’t stay on all night.


(Chrisb) #4

Honestly, Daven… We’re talking piece of cake code for something like this. If you want, I can probably whip this sometime in like an hour or so.

There’s already a SmartApp out there that nearly does this called the Big Button app. This lets you setup a master switch. When you turn that on, it turns on other light. When you turn it off, it turns off the other lights.

All I’d need to do it add in a delay sequence.


(Dave N) #5

Thanks for the kind offer but since the goal is to have it temp regulated in the long run I don’t want to impose on a stop gap measure.The answer here may be to just buy a thermocouple and wire it to the fans so they come on and off autonomously then put a CT30 in place of the old manual thermostat. I can program that in ST to obey modes and temp.


(Darc Ranger) #6

I guess my gas fireplace is old school. My fan and fire actuator are on different switches.


(Dave N) #7

If you have an older fireplace like mine there is a controller and power supply at Coolerguys.com for 40.00. Looks like the answer to update the fireplace as I installed 12V DC fan motors years ago. Then I’ll just put a CT30 in and use the built in ST functions to solve my problems.