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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    16

    Default Gas fireplace ignition

    I have a gas fireplace with a pilot light. The gas is turned on and off by a light switch on the wall. The switch stopped working and I have replaced it several times with a standard light switch I got at home depot. It works for a little while, and then seems to short out.

    Am I using the wrong kind of switch? Or could there be a problem with the wiring?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,438

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    Your set up resembles the old floor/wall heating systems so many old homes used to have. A simple "heat only" thermostat is all you need to close a circuit that opens a gas valve, and viola - your fireplace comes on with the help of the pilot light.

    Still having problems? call a plumber.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    There is a name of the manufacturer on the valve body - mine is Rosschild or something like that.

    I am having the same issue with mine, but the Google-searched ****** docs say to take a multimeter and test leads/contacts on the valve body. They even have a diagram of which to check and nominal readings.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Montreal Canada
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    If you have a standing pilot and the flame goes out i would suggest changing the thermocupol . this will resolve most issues with a standing pilot burner. If this does not work then change the gas valve.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    I agree with all the responses but what the OP said has me confused.

    Does changing the standard single pole wall switch really fix the problem? The unit load should be very light and the switch should last a lifetime, unless we're talking about a 1.5 HP fan.

    In fact the load my be so small that something like an occupancy sensor may not work.

    BTW if the system works on Butane not Propane it may simply be too cold outside to develop enough vapor pressure to supply the heater.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    104 monmouth way ,Clifton Park, NY 12065
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    I too have doubt on changing only single pole wall switch really fix the problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,622

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    It may be a low voltage circuit. Switches can fail when used on low voltage due to oxidation on the contacts with not enough voltage to keep them clean.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    I had problems with mine, too, but I had an electrician come out and he didn't see anything wrong. While he was there, I flicked the switch in rapid succession and it started working again.

    The troubleshooting matrix I found ****** for my igniter actually suggested that...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Columbiana, Alabama
    Posts
    644

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    It may be a low voltage circuit. Switches can fail when used on low voltage due to oxidation on the contacts with not enough voltage to keep them clean.

    Jack
    Good point Jack, the standard SP switches have tungsten contacts which can drop a lot of voltage.

    Maybe a higher quality switch would help.
    Good Luck from Columbiana, Alabama
    Maurice Turgeon, Hidden Content

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,335

    Default Re: Gas fireplace ignition

    If you an find one, some old "silent" wall switches used encapsulated mercury vials in a sealed tube like you see in old mechanical thermostats. One of those is best for low-current applications but it no longer meets code because of the mercury- you're on your own if you go there.

    Phil

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