I need help automating my gas fireplace. It is currently manuall in every way shape and form. What I want to do is automate the gas valve to open, the ignitor to ignite, and then to be able to adjust gas valve for low, medium, or Hi with google home. Please let me know what I need to purchase to make this happen.
Where do you live? Out of sight remote operation of gas fireplaces, meaning more than about 20 feet away, is illegal in many places in the US for safety reasons, and is the reason that the nationally sold remotes all have a very short range.
By definition, any gas fireplace controlled by SmartThings would violate this law, since you could sit in your office 10 miles away, press a button, and start the fireplace. You might not intend to, but just being able to is enough to put you in violation.
If you search the forums, you’ll see a number of reported instances of “poltergeist events” where garage doors open or lights come on all by themselves when you didn’t have any rule scheduled to do that. It doesn’t happen to everyone all the time, but it does happen to some people, and with any project you do need to consider the consequences if you happen to be one of the unlucky ones.
I was thinking of how to automate my fireplace too. Your perfect emojis persuaded me to give up that idea!
missing the one for the exploding house
If you were to consider moving forward with a fireplace automation, I would look through the posts about it and locate the push button relay being used by some. It’s simple in that it allows on/off control, even remotely, but you can also hard program a timer into it. Meaning, irrespective of how it’s turned on (physical or programic), it will turn off after the preset time. Since it’s a hard programmed attribute, it takes a programming remote to do it, but it’s a safety measure built right into the relay that’s completely independent ST.
I forget specifically which relay it is, but I’m sure you’ll find it with a search…or maybe someone can chime in with it?
Hmm, didn’t think about all of the bad things mentioned above when I did mines.
Since my fireplace has a switch to control the gas valve on/off (no 120v) and a switch to control the fan (120v), I wired a 120v to 24v transformer from the outlet (powered by the fan switch) and a 24v coil relay from that to open and close the gas valve circuit (basically another switch in parallel with existing switch). I connected a smart switch to the fan (120v) which allows me to turn on/off the fan (smartly).
So when the fan is supplied power, the transformer sends 24v to the 24v coil relay which closes the circuit which opens the gas valve. When the switch is off the relay opens which turns off the gas valve switch… This is a 100% mechanical process. The actual fan, which is clueless of the “extra stuff”, doesn’t come on until the fireplace reaches 120 degrees via a thermal coupler that’s mounted to the underbelly of fireplace.
Con, outside of the many listed above:
The existing wall gas (on/off) switch still works but if the smart switch turns on the fireplace then it can not be turned off via the old switch.
I have 2 temperature sensor and 2 motion monitors in the area of the fireplace and I have 5 CoRE safety pistons.
- If fireplace stays on for 3 hours, turn off
- If smoke detector detects smoke, turn off
- If temperature reaches 74 degrees, turn off
- If presence sensors (3) are not present, turn off (this makes it so you can’t turn it on remotely if no adult is home)
- If motion sensors stay inactive for 30 minutes, turn off
I didn’t worry about the fan speed (set with variable motor speed controller inside fireplace) nor the intensity of fire (set by the gas valve inside fireplace).
Find a 24v coil relay that work in conjunction with a 3-way switch. So either the existing (dumb) or the smart switch can turn the fireplace on/off no matter what.
Works pretty darn good but I do understand the safety and code issues this poses. Proceed with great caution!
The reason why I wanted to hook up a Smart Switch in the first place is because my entire family is UNSAFE!
The fireplace just ran all dang day, without a care in the world! However, I do understand that I should have more checks in place. I actually thought I was doing good with the ones that I had but I see how they can be better.
I use the GE Switches which will operate like a normal switch outside of Smart Things or if I unplug the relay circuit then all is back to normal.
Our fireplace is in the Den where the TV watching goes on with big cozy recliners so motion will often stay inactive for more than 1 hour because we are watching a movie but I periodically get up and activate the motion sensor purposely or the fireplace will cut off…
However, I will take all of the above and implement it this evening. Thanks @anon36505037!
I am following the piston outside of this part:
(Happens every 30 seconds OR Fire outlet turns ‘on’)
variable @killfire is ‘true’