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#153529 10/18/03 05:56 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
Is the use of firematics in a general building code or is it state by state?

As far as I can tell in MA a oil burner needs a firematic above it along with a disconnect switch at the top of the cellar stairs when the burner is in the cellar.

In RI it seems I need to install a firematic on gas furnaces.

Is there any standard that applies here?

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
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#153530 10/18/03 06:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 1,457
Not sure about that one. Perhaps mechanical code? As for the switch I believe it must be located out of the room that houses the oil burner. If the burner is in an open basement the switch must be outside of the basement, such as on the first floor outside the door leading to the basement stairs.

#153531 10/19/03 04:24 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
It was brought to my attention that "Firematic" is most likely a brand name for the device I am talking about.

Problem is I do not know any other name for it.

It is essentially a heat detector with a single pole normally closed switch rated at 120 volts.

It is wired in series with the power supply to an oil burner in MA so that on temp rise the power to the burner will be cut off.

And now I am being told I need to install this for a gas fired furnace in RI.

[Linked Image from]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#153532 10/20/03 08:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
Bob, I looked in the Interenational Mechanical Code and also the International Residential Code and couldn't find anything regarding this. All that I could find is a requirement for a shut-off valve, nothing electrical. Perhaps you have a state amendment to the code...?

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City
#153533 10/20/03 10:47 AM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 4,081
Likes: 3

It may be required in NH too. My parents had to have one installed above their Oil-fired Hot-Air Furnace when the house was built 10 years or so ago. At that time the AHJ was the local Fire Marshall (if that makes a difference).


#153534 11/08/03 07:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 92
Guys I live in NH and they are required for oil and gas burners. They are thermo cut-out switchs. The type I see around here are black with a push in black "switch" which has a temp rating of I believe of 185 degrees which is supposed to melt at that temp and shut off the heating equipment(It is wired in series with the hot wire). This is also known as a "new england safety kit" which includes the fire-o-matic, a switch at the head of the basement stairs with red plate(oil or gas) and a fire-o-matic on the oil feed that looks like a black wheel and is used to shut off the flow of oil to the burner. This also has a temp rating and will melt if there is a fire and shut off the flow of oil to the burner.

#153535 11/09/03 05:01 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,081

My house has a natural gas, hydronic (circulated hot water) baseboard heat system.

How would a switch help in an emergency? The only things electrical are the water circulation pump, the zone valves and the "clicker" to ignite the pilot.

Are the switches (for gas furnaces) meant for the forced hot-air type?

(I can understand an oil furnace having a switch--the oil is burnt by having it spun into a fine mist, correct? Stop the spinning and no more burning oil?)

#153536 11/09/03 05:07 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
iwire Offline OP
Thinkgood thats how I understood it.

The burner motor along with fan adding air has an oil pump.

Stop the pump and no more oil.

As gserve has said it can be more to it.

In the house I grew up in there was a cable run through pulleys with melt out links in it from a valve on the oil tank across to the burner.

If a the cable was released the tank valve would close.

I have not seen this recently though.

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 11-09-2003).]

Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
#153537 11/10/03 05:25 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 173
Think Good,
You must still have 120v feeding the gas boiler, no? There is a x-fmr stepping down to control the gas valve. When you open the safety switch it closes the gas valve.

Speedy Petey

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
#153538 11/24/03 12:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 25
We install them over boilers here in PA, mostly out of habit anymore, I guess. Not all the wholesalers seem to carry them or even know what they are anymore...

It's all about integrity.
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