Remote control for gas fireplace insert


  #1  
Old 05-12-24, 07:31 PM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2024
Posts: 3
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Remote control for gas fireplace insert

I have a gas fireplace insert that is cycled on/off with what appears to be a standard light switch. This switch functions even during power outages. Can I replace this “dumb” switch with a smart switch to allow remote operation? It seems to me that this would require a 120volt supply to the switch for it to operate properly. Thanks.
John
 
  #2  
Old 05-13-24, 06:29 AM
2
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA near Boston, MA
Posts: 2,335
Received 397 Upvotes on 346 Posts
Not only would the smart switch require 120 volt power, your WiFi would also need a backup power source to work during a power outage.

A battery operated thermostat in place of the dumb switch would allow automatic (but not remote) operation at all times. I do not know if there are WiFi thermostats that are battery powered.. A thermostat that requires a "C" wire gets power from the unit being controlled. Your fireplace insert will not have that.
 
  #3  
Old 05-13-24, 10:09 AM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,067
Received 31 Upvotes on 25 Posts
I have a remote for my insert. The insert has a receiver/battery holder. The batteries are the reason why the insert switch is active eve when there is no 120 VAC. The receiver gets operating signals from a remote controller. I think it is bluetooth not WIFI.

Your best be it to contact the insert manufacturer to see if a remote conversion is available.
 
  #4  
Old 05-13-24, 11:44 AM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,706
Received 4,103 Upvotes on 3,685 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

Yes.... that is a standard wall switch. Very common in condo and multi unit installations.
Your insert is a millivolt type heater.
It requires a thermostat that uses a relay.

Nests and Ecobees use electronic switching and won't work.
Off the top of my head I don't know of any smart stat that works with a millivolt system.

Whichever thermostat you choose.... it must specifically have millivolt uses in the specs.
Also... more than likely there are only two wires to that switch which means no power to run a t'stat.

If you just want a handheld remote control.... there are several choices.
Basic on/off and handheld thermostat control.
They run on four AA batteries in the receiver.
The receiver connects to the two wall switch wires at the insert.
Usually there is room inside the insert for the receiver.
Some remote control options
 
  #5  
Old 05-20-24, 07:29 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2024
Posts: 3
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Thank you!

Thanks to each of you who responded to my post. You confirm my suspicion that this might not be as simple as I had hoped. I will look in to the possibility of a remote with a receiver in the unit.
 
  #6  
Old 05-20-24, 08:31 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 65,706
Received 4,103 Upvotes on 3,685 Posts
I didn't realize there were so many fireplace controls available.
The manufactures have been very busy. Many good units to choose from.

As I mentioned I have a remote control that controls temperature.
You set the temperature on the control and it controls the fireplace automatically.
This is very similar to the one I'm using.
 
  #7  
Old 05-21-24, 05:26 AM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,067
Received 31 Upvotes on 25 Posts
I have a similar remote. Temp, flame height, fan speed can all be set remotely. It was optional with the insert. The bare bones insert used a wall switch.
 
  #8  
Old 05-27-24, 08:00 AM
J
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2024
Posts: 3
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Thanks for incredible responses to my issue!

Very good suggestions for remedying my issue with my gas fireplace insert. As chance would have it I began having trouble with the ignition system on the heater shortly after I posted my request for help. The fireplace would not start using the manual switch or would delay start up for 30 seconds or more. When I looked in the owner’s manual I was shocked to realize that the insert was 24 years old. The blower fan had stopped working a couple of years ago. I have decided that it makes more sense to replace the insert with a modern unit with built in remote control than to throw money at such an old unit.
 
Wayne Mitchell voted this post useful.
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: