Gas fireplaces are an excellent way to add extra coziness and warmth to your home. Additionally, they’re convenient and straightforward to use.
Some gas fireplaces come with convenient wall switches that make turning on and off the unit a breeze. But if the switch doesn’t work, you may need to perform some troubleshooting.
Locate the Switch
Gas fireplaces are an excellent way to add atmosphere and coziness to your home, while providing convenience with no upkeep required. If you’re searching for an easy way to turn on your gas fireplace, the key is locating its wall switch.
Wall switches are small pieces of metal with two wires that connect to the control panel of a gas fireplace. They may be installed directly in the wall or recessed into it; regardless, make sure it’s situated according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Depending on the type of fireplace, the switch may be in a small box or part of an integrated remote control unit. Either way, it will be located below or beside the control knob or key for easy access.
Gas fireplaces typically come with an ignition switch, which is typically a red button that lights the pilot light or flame when pressed. Lighting up a gas fireplace is relatively straightforward and can be done through either a wall switch, control panel or metal key.
First, check that the fireplace’s gas valve is open. If not, you can always call a professional to shut off the system for you. Ideally, this valve should be reachable with one arm in an adjacent position to the gas line.
Next, twist the control knob to “pilot” position and push it in order to release gas into your fireplace’s system. Once full of fuel, press ignitor button to light it – this may take several pushes if it has been some time since you used your fireplace.
Once the fire is lit, hold down the control knob for 15-30 seconds to guarantee it stays lit. Doing this will prevent it from going out during cold weather.
Remove the Cover
Modern gas fireplaces typically come with a control panel that lets you ignite the flames and adjust their height. These functions are usually hidden behind a decorative screen or cover that can be removed for access.
Before taking the cover off your gas fireplace, make sure you understand how to operate its controls safely. Doing so can help avoid potential accidents and protect you from injury. Read through the user manual for your particular model, and reach out if any questions arise.
Once you are comfortable with your unit, it’s time to remove the cover from the fireplace. Doing this allows you to see inside of the fireplace and clean any necessary parts if needed.
If you’re not confident taking off the cover on your own, hiring a professional is recommended. A trained specialist can work safely and efficiently while keeping both you and your family secure.
Never attempt to remove a gas fireplace yourself unless you are experienced with working with gas appliances. Doing so could pose serious safety risks and may require the services of an authorized gas installer or plumber for safety.
When taking out a gas fireplace, the type of venting used (natural vent or B vent) and any connections that must be disconnected before removal can begin.
For a direct vent (D vent) gas fireplace, you’ll need to disconnect the gas line connecting your house to your fireplace. Doing this ensures there is no risk of leakage and could save you money in the long run.
When taking apart your gas fireplace, be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. These can usually be found either in its manual or online.
To take the door off your fireplace, fold it and push up on the top tension clip. This will reduce pressure on the doors and enable them to slide off their frame. You’ll need a screwdriver for this step; however, be careful not to damage any parts in the process.
Connect the Wires
The wall switch on a gas fireplace is an unassuming electrical device that allows you to turn on or off the fire with just the push of a button. It looks almost identical to a light switch and may include multiple features like an on/off igniter button and buttons for adjusting flame height.
The primary function of a wall switch is to send an electrical signal from the thermopile, which generates between 650 and 850 millivolts when heated by the pilot flame, to the gas valve. This helps prevent excess accumulation of gas when there’s no ignition source available from the pilot light.
This safety feature helps maintain a consistent temperature in the room, thus saving you money on heating bills since you won’t need to invest in an expensive furnace.
When using a wall switch to turn on a gas fireplace, it’s essential that the wires be connected correctly. Otherwise, they could break or become damaged and prevent you from using your fireplace properly.
First, ensure the wires are connected to both TH and TP terminals on your gas valve. If not, use a jumper wire or paper clip to connect the bare ends of these wires to these terminals.
Once all wires have been connected, test to see if your gas fireplace works by turning on the burners. If not, you’ll need to fix or replace the wiring.
Sometimes, loosening of a wire lead is to blame. To check for this, unscrew the flat screws holding your cover plate and switch. If the wires are still snug, tighten the screws once more to secure everything in place.
Another frequent issue is corroded or broken wires. This can be due to improper installation or by home builders rewiring the switch.
Fixing a wire problem requires using hot glue, which uses heat to secure the twisted end of the wire together. This method is reliable and won’t damage your wires. Alternatively, soldering can be used which involves heating the connection in order to create an airtight seal.
Turn on the Fireplace
Modern gas fireplaces often come with a wall switch that you can use to turn on and off the unit. This makes it simpler than using a control panel or key valve, though always read the system manual before making any modifications to your fireplace.
First, locate the switch. Usually hidden behind a cover that blends in with the fireplace frame, this can easily be taken out for servicing or maintenance. Furthermore, some models even feature an interior slide-out feature that lets you open it from within the unit itself.
Next, locate the red pilot-igniter knob. It should be labeled either OFF or PILOT (depending on the manufacturer).
To turn on the fireplace, flip the switch from OFF to PILOT and push the igniter button once every second until it lights up. This may take multiple attempts since you must wait for the thermocouple to warm up and generate enough electric voltage to ignite the flame.
Once the pilot lights, hold down the knob for 15 to 30 seconds to keep it lit. Doing this helps warm up the thermocouple and makes ignition easier in future attempts.
If you’re having trouble lighting the pilot, there could be several causes for this. These could include a defective thermocouple, wiring issue or improperly set thermostat.
Another potential explanation for why your pilot light may not be lighting is a malfunctioning gas valve. If the valve is leaking, it could allow gas into the room and eventually fill up all available space; in such cases, open a window and evacuate until the valve has been fully shut off.
Once identified, contact a professional to resolve the issue. It’s also essential to inspect your chimney vent for damage; ensure it remains in proper working condition in order to prevent an uncontrolled fire from spreading out of control.
Some gas fireplaces come equipped with battery backups that will ignite the pilot flame when power goes out. While this can be a useful feature, make sure to only use it during power outages and remove it once power returns.