Natural Gas Valve

I’m looking to install an outdoor natural gas fire pit and I’d like to be able to turn it on and off with SmartThings. I’d prefer not to run power out to the location. Is anyone aware of any devices (preferably battery powered) that would allow me to turn on the gas and trigger the igniter?

I’d be real careful with something like this. Automatically starting fires is generally not a good idea. But I’d think any valve device would work with the right fitting. As an igniter you could use a servo (on smart outlet?) with a cam on it that is attached to a grill igniter, power the servo for one revolution, and cam will push the button once. Have it do that 3-4 times to make sure it ignites. Also probably have a temp sensor SOMEWHERE so you know if it’s actually on, then have it shut off it not after 30 seconds or something.

I think @michaelahess is on the right track. Other than using a standard push button igniter, I’ve seen some things that will use a filament to get really hot and light the gas, then turn off. Think of it as a light bulb without the glass, but that can survive the heat of a persistent flame once lit. Would require a battery, but so would running a servo. Fewer moving parts though.

Thanks for the input everyone.

The gas is stubbed out on the existing patio, so I guess I could install the valve there before the underground line, but I wonder if there would be an issue with the other end of the line (about 30 feet away) being open with residual gas in the line. I’m not terribly concerned about the ignition source, since I think I could take a push button igniter and modify it, then use some modified Z-Wave or Zigbee device to close the circuit where the switch was.

So I found something that could work. There apparently is a fire pit that can be controlled via smartphone, remote or wall switch. Maybe I can use a Z-Wave dry contact controller to replace the wall switch that they normally use. Unfortunately, instead of a $100 gas fire ring, this thing looks like it’s around $1500-$2000, but that sounds cheaper than my deductible for burning down my house.

Wise move. This is a dicey idea to begin with!

I was just talking to a firefighter buddy of mine about this in fact, and even though I told him the safeguards I suggested, the whole time he was shaking his head “Nope, nope, nope, nope.” :slight_smile:

Yeah, this thing looks like it’s UL listed and everything, so I think it should be pretty safe. If I’m just replacing their wall switch with something controlled by smartthings, it should be a no-brainer.