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Home Care Library

Fireplace (gas)

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Fireplace (gas), but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about fireplace (gas) operation question.

QUESTION FROM Germaine Hall

I have a Majestic 36BDVR gas fireplace with a wall switch ignitor. In a power outage, can my fireplace be manually lit and how? My fireplace does not have a blower fan.

Thanks!

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Germaine:

I assume that you mean that your wall switch is for turning the main flame of your fireplace on and off, right? The "ignitor" button for a gas fireplace is something different. It's the button you push which creates a spark to light your pilot.

But assuming that your wall switch is your main flame on/off switch, then if your gas fireplace is like most gas fireplaces, the wall switch is on a low-voltage "milli-volt" circuit, which gets its power from the heat from the pilot light in your gas fireplace.

And as such, even when your power in your home is off, as long as the pilot in your fireplace is on, it creates the milli-volt power that the wall switch (and thermostat, if you have one) uses.

The way it works is that right next to your pilot is a special piece of metal called a "thermopile". When the heat from the pilot flame hits the thermopile, the thermopile creates a very low voltage called a milli-volt. And this is what your wall switch (and thermostat) uses to then turn on and off your main flames.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

QUESTION FROM Harish

Hello There,

I have a and we lost the power today and gas fire place still worked ok when I flipped the electrical switch.

I am just curious to findout how this works. How does the valve open when there is no electricity and what does turning on electrical switch is actually doing?

Thank you

ANSWER FROM HOME-WIZARD

Dear Harish:

Yes, this is one of the really nice things about most gas fireplaces, that they can still work even though the power to your house is out. However, if you have a blower on your gas fireplace, unfortunately, the blower will not operate during a power outage.

To answer your question, if your gas fireplace has a standing pilot light, then it doesn't need to use household electricity for the flame. These type of gas fireplaces use what's called "millivolt" systems. A millivolt system has a device that produces enough electricity from the heat of the pilot light that it can operate millivolt switches for turning the fireplace on and off.

Hope this is helpful.
Home-Wizard.com

Fireplace (gas)