I have a gas fireplace that operates on two switches. I’ve yet to take the wallplate off to see what’s going on, but should I be able to just put two GE z-wave switches on there to be able to integrate it with SmartThings?
As long as what is there now are just plain light switches I don’t see why you couldn’t. You might want to be sure you know what the current draw of the fireplace is to make sure the switches are rated to handle it. Also, make sure there are neutral wires as they are required on GE switches.
I have a gas fireplace as well and it operates on a single switch (no blower). I’ve always wanted to replace this with a Z-wave switch, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t a safety issue before doing so.
There are a number of threads in the forum on fireplace projects that will discuss the various issues. As far as just replacing the switch, it depends. You have to check the exact specifications, fireplaces are often a different voltage.
First, though, check with your local jurisdiction. In many places in the US, it is illegal to put a remote control on a gas fireplace that could be operated from more than 20 feet away. This is a safety feature, you’re supposed to be able to see the fireplace when you turn it on. In these jurisdictions you might not even be able to have a remote that operates from two floors up in your house. This restriction is why most of the fireplace remotes that are sold nationally will only work from a very limited distance.
As soon as you put in a Z wave switch of any kind, you are in violation of this kind of law. You might not ever intend to use the automation when you weren’t actually in the room with the fireplace, but just the fact that you could be at your office 10 miles away and Open the app and have your fireplace come on would be enough to create a violation. And that type of violation is also likely to void your homeowners insurance. So it’s just something that you need to check before you start the project.
with regard to the safety issues, again check the forums, there are quite often reports from community members of lights going on and off when they shouldn’t, garage doors opening unexpectedly, televisions going on and off by themselves, etc. it does happen. I personally don’t put anything on SmartThings that wouldn’t be safe operating unattended for 24 hours just in case it did come on by itself. So I don’t use it for gas appliances. But that’s just me.
Again, check the existing threads, but you’ll see that most of the people who do automate a fireplace (again, first checking to make sure that that is legal in their own jurisdiction) will add an additional device with an automatic nonnetworked shut off as a safety feature.
What JD Roberts said is spot on. I did put a GoControl FS20Z isolated switch on my fireplace, but I do have a separate shut off switch that shuts off power to the fireplace independent of the z wave switch. The z wave switch I plugged into an outlet that was open in the fireplace using an old computer cable to give it 120v power. Then the switch plugs connects to the igniter switch at a lower voltage, because 120 would fry it.
The separate switch that shuts power off to the unit it always on, and the z wave switch ends up controlling things. But if I am gone for any period of time I can manually flip the switch to make sure nothing turns on accidentally.
It wasn’t very hard, but my installation wasn’t standard because the builder of my house wanted to have a separate control to make sure the kids didn’t blow anything up.
I have had this setup for 3 months now and its been nice to tell Alexa to turn on the fireplace and make it happen!
Thanks for all the info. For the limited amount of time I actually use my fireplace, it’s probably not worth it.