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#128392 - 02/22/03 10:33 AM Gas fireplace and its switch

A guy called me today and asked if I could fix the switch that ignited his gas fireplace. I told hime I didnt have a clue how they even worked. Is this soemthing that we as electricians should know how to fix? If yes, then could someone please explain how such a thing works. Im guessing you flip the switch and the gas comes on , and then an igniter lights it? If we dont work on them, then what trade works on these gas fireplaces so in the future I can advise a customer who to call? Thnaks. ----Its saturday night, gobble, gobble, the turkey is comeing out!

#128393 - 02/22/03 11:47 AM Re: Gas fireplace and its switch
WebSparky Offline

Registered: 02/21/03
Posts: 144
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio

If it is a self-contained manufactured metal type fireplace (the kind where you do not use real wood), then it is simple. The electricity is supplied via the pilot flame sensor and the switch completes the cicuit to the gas valve. The voltage generated is millivolts. Any standard snap switch will do.
Chances are, the switch may be good. Usually the connections become loose or dirty, causing resistance and effectively cutting the millivolts to a low level and the gas valve will not open.

If it is the real wood type, then the switch is typically used to supply power to the glow or spark gas igniter for the purpose of starting the gas pilot flame which is lit prior to the main gas valve opening.

Hope this helps!

#128394 - 02/22/03 11:04 PM Re: Gas fireplace and its switch
Scott35 Offline

Broom Pusher and

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 2724
Loc: Anaheim, CA. USA
Curious if this Ignitor would be like the ones used with Barbecues (a basic Piezoelectric "snapper"), or if the Ignitor is a High Voltage Pulse device.

If Piezo, the only remedy (beside meaningless tweek time of disassembly and maybe fixing) would be to replace the Ignitor assembledge.

If HV Pulse Ignitor, verification of an operating switch, interlock(s) and High Voltage assembledge would be in order, then replacement of defective item(s).

For the latter of the cases, the HVAC trades persons would be my best guess for repair personnel.

Scott35 S.E.T.
Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!


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