So your home has a gas fireplace, or you want to install one yourself, an essential source of warmth that adds coziness and a specific taste of classiness.
It is also perfect for anyone who grew up spending their nights with friends and family around a campfire in the woods and loved the glorious warm feeling the flame provided them.
But you need to figure out how to turn it on and off and how to maintain and take care of such a thing if it is operated using a wall switch.
How does it work exactly? Does it work even when the power is out? Are there any safety measures you need to take? What do you do if it stops working? We will answer these questions and more in this simple step-by-step guide.
How to turn on a gas fireplace with a wall switch?
How does a gas fireplace work?
A gas fireplace works just like a gas burner, using propane or natural gas as a fuel source running through a system of gas lines inside your walls. The flame is ignited using some sort of electric system or manually if it is an older model fireplace.
Every gas fireplace has a chimney vent for burnt gasses to escape through. Some newer models even come with a fan or blower that circulates air around the metal body of the fireplace and into the surrounding area.
Every model of a fireplace is specific and works in its way. Some models even come with “gas logs,” which are ceramic sculptures made to look like real logs with gas channels going through them, so they look like real burning logs.
How do we turn it on?
Step 1: Preparations
Before you do anything, read the instructions manual the fireplace manufacturers provide. In there, you should be able to find the necessary steps to turn it on and safety precautions you should take beforehand.
It is very likely that somewhere along the gas line, there is a shutoff valve connected to the main gas supply that you have to turn on before you can continue with any of the following steps.
One thing to consider before turning the fire on is to take off the front cover of the fireplace and check to see if your chimney vent has a flue system or flue plate. This is a plate that closes and opens the chimney.
Its purpose is so that when the fireplace is not in use, it acts as a barrier to keep cold air from the outside from coming indoors. It usually is opened using a small handle or lever right beneath it.
Step 2: Locating the switch
First, you have to locate the fireplace wall switch; it should be somewhere near the fireplace. The switch can look almost like a light switch with an on/off or igniter button and buttons for adjusting the height of the flame to a “High/Low” flame for the fireplace.
Or you will notice it looks almost like a thermostat, but you should not let that scare you; even the complicated-looking switches are very user-friendly.
Step 3: Operate the switch
If it is a simple on/off fireplace switch or control knob, when you turn or press it to the on position, the gas valves of the fireplace should open, the flame should turn on automatically, and you can adjust the flame with the High/Low settings.
Now say you have one of the more modern gas fireplaces installed in your home, it will have a specialized control panel, and some of its functions should be automatic, such as igniting the fireplace.
It is possible to connect your fireplace to your amazon Alexa system if you choose to do so.
Another nifty feature of modern models is temperature control. This is done using an electric system connected to a thermocouple that senses the temperature inside the fireplace and sends a signal to the fans to indicate how hard they have to blow.
How do we turn the fireplace off?
Whenever you leave your home or go to sleep, it is best to turn the fireplace off. Why? This does two things, it saves energy and lowers your gas bill, and it is much safer than leaving it on due to the usual accompanying dangers of any household implement that uses gas.
All you have to do to shut it off is press the switch or turn the knob to the off position, and the flame should be put out immediately. Next, as an added safety measure, we shut off the main gas valve, so you do not have to worry about a gas leak.
1. Does the fireplace work even when the power is out?
The fireplace is connected to the main gas line that comes from a city gas line which will probably still be operational even in the event of a power outage. Alternatively, it can have its independent gas sources, such as a propane or natural gas tank.
If your fireplace has fans or blowers installed for added heating, then it might not work unless it has its own battery backup that you can turn on. The battery power should not be used at all if the main power of the household is working just fine.
The reason for this is: if you constantly use your batteries, they will eventually start to get worn out and will not be able to store as much power, so when you need them the most, they might not work as well as they could.
2. What safety precautions should you take in advance?
- Carbon Monoxide Detector
Although the gas used as fuel for the fireplace has a special chemical added to it that gives it its distinct smell, the resulting gases from ignition are odorless and can be even more dangerous.
One of the most hazardous gasses is carbon monoxide, an odorless and tasteless gas that can cause flu-like symptoms when inhaled in large quantities and even cause you to die.
Common symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pains, so if you notice that you are feeling unwell or have some of these symptoms, that is your clue to call the ambulance.
It would help if you got a carbon monoxide detector and put it in the same room as your fireplace so that in the event that carbon monoxide somehow starts coming from the fire, you have an early warning. Also, make sure to check its batteries from time to time.
- Fire Extinguisher
An additional safety measure you can take would be to keep a fire extinguisher near the fireplace at all times and teach everyone in the household how to use it in the event of a house fire.
It would help if you also were wary of lingering gas. For example, if there is some issue with the gas valves of your fireplace and they start to leak gas even though you turned it off, it might eventually fill the entire room.
If you enter the room and smell gas, you need to open a window, leave, and wait for the gas to escape. Afterward, shut the gas off entirely and call a technician or serviceman to repair the gas leak.
3. How do you maintain a gas fireplace?
A gas fireplace really does not need much maintenance or cleaning. Realistically repairs are not going to be required that often but you should always inspect the entire system just to take care of any issues in due time.
As for cleaning, you will have to clean the inside of the fireplace from soot every once in a while, and dusting the outside should be standard.
4. What do you do if you cannot find a switch for the fireplace?
Then it is very likely that you have a traditional gas fireplace that has to be manually turned on and ignited. It is also possible to get a wall switch for the fireplace additionally installed.
A gas fireplace is a great thing to have in any household because it saves money and energy and is more environmentally friendly than a conventional fireplace. It is relatively cheap and easy to maintain and install. It is an excellent alternative to usual heating methods.
Having a wall switch or control panel adds to the convenience and comfort of having a gas fireplace. It also makes it easier for you to turn it on or off compared to a regular one.
Have you had trouble turning on a gas fireplace with a wall switch? Please, share your experience, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.