Help with fireplace set up


(Maroshu) #1

Hello all,

First, I’d like to thank everyone on here for all of the information and solutions being shared.

So, I recently started thinking about how I can get my fireplace tied in with the ST hub. I have a gas fireplace, and it currently has a remote which can turn it on or off. That remote is a Skytech and from what I can tell about it, it’s RF, so a tie in with the Harmony Hub and then passed through to ST is not an option.

On the front of the control panel that’s located in the base of the unit, there are three connection labeled:
TPTH
TP
TH

These three connections are running wires to a box also inside the fireplace that appears to be the receiver for the RF remote. That box has a physical switch that can be set to OFF (leaves the fireplace with the pilot lit), ON, and REMOTE. When that switch is set to remote, I can use the On/Off buttons on the remote to turn it On, or in the Off position, it just leaves the pilot lit.

I imagine there is a way either with the remote or tapping into the receiver box that I can get this linked up to ST somehow, but was hoping anyone could share some insight or recommendation for my set up.

Thank you very much in advance for reading and any information you can provide!


(James) #2

Without a wiring diagram I cannot suggest anything. However if you need something that can work with Smartthings and allow you to customize something here is an option for you. I have used it for a few modified projects.

It is a relay and you can put up to 20Amps through it. Via Smartthings you can even use is as a Momentary Contact Switch.


(Maroshu) #3

Thank you so much for the response. I’ve located a document that shows this RF receiver box and the wiring diagrams:

I really appreciate the response


#4

Are you in the US?

Many US cities prohibit out of sight remote control of gas fireplaces for safety reasons. You can have a remote to use from the couch in the same room, but not from upstairs or the office.

So I would look into that before doing any modifications, as you can also void your homeowners insurance if your home automation includes code violations.

Also, The fireplace unit itself may include a statement in the warranty that no other remote controls are to be used with it, so that’s worth checking as well.

It is likely that controls that are currently built into the fireplace, including wall switches, are not using standard 120 V, but are rather millivolt controls. That’s why you can’t usually just swap out another switch.

Just some things to consider.


(Maroshu) #5

Thanks for the thoughts–my fireplace is in the living room with most of my other devices being automated. I have a dedicated tablet that I use to control things, and was hoping to just add the remote feature with that so it’s all together. It’s kind of silly when you think about it as having another remote isn’t that big of a deal, but with most of this stuff, it’s really just making things that are already pretty simple even more so.

Thanks again for the thoughts and caution


(Pizzinini) #6

Definitely follow warnings/causion by @JDRoberts!

In case you decide to proceed with automation: From the labels it looks like you have a millivolt valve for your gas fireplace. Note of caution: Only use a dry contact relay and do not apply any electrical current to the millivolt valve connections (THTH, TP, TH). This may damage the valve and you are in for an expensive repair! (and maybe a fire!) The cables on the millivolt valve are connected to the fireplace pilot valve and the remote control receiver box.

A good device to use is the zmf-80 relay becaus it allows for an external switch (or connecting your RF remote receiver that is currently connected to the millivolt valve) in addition to z-wave. It is often sold out but is usually back in stock after a little while.

You will still need 110 V power near the fireplace for the dry contact relay relay.if you don’t have that, it is a little more complicated and you will have to do some soldering with your remote…

If you search the forum, there are some other solutions described in the forum including using a FS20Z-1 (see above) and a relay to connect to an external switch.


#7

The issue is that even though your intention is that the tablet is in the same room with the fireplace when you use it, once you put it on the network it can be fired by the tablet when it’s 1000 miles away, or even fired because of a ghost event in the network.

Just as an example, several people reported ghost events last week like garage doors opening in the middle of the night, lights going on and off by themselves, etc. What happens if that’s your fireplace control? It’s just a possibility you have to plan for, which is why some jurisdiction do say that only fireplace remotes that cannot work from more than about 20 feet away are allowed.


(Maroshu) #8

Thank you very much for the information, this is incredibly helpful if I do proceed!


(Maroshu) #9

That makes a lot of sense, thanks for sharing the additional insights.

If I did proceed, it sounds like perhaps a check that does something like turn the fireplace automatically every 1 hour or something could be a good thing to add in case of a phantom event? Hm, what would be even better is a fail safe like that on the fireplace side to be extra cautious. Great discussion and points, thank you