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  1. #1

    How to add automatic "turn on" button to old gas/wood fireplace & stop using a match?

    Our OLD house was built in the 40's with a gas and wood fireplace that has a key in the floor and a hollow gas tube in the fireplace and nothing else. I have to turn the gas on with the key, then use a long match to light the gas tube where the holes are. It always creates a mini boom and scares me that I'm going to burn my face off.

    How to add a device that I press a button and the fire goes on automatically? I still want it to be both a gas and wood burning fireplace.

    Do I hire a chimney company? A plumber? An electrician? Or all three? I'm in Los Angeles and have no idea who to even hire. Most chimney companies here only do cleaning, inspection (which we did, it's in good condition), and repair. I even talked to a licensed contractor that we're hiring for a bathroom addition and he said he preferred not to touch the fireplace.

    What do I do? Any recommendations of companies?

    Thanks, Cathy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    You may be better of to buy a new insert, they have remote operated spark ignition models now days. It may not be possible or worth it to retrofit yours. I wouldn't call myself an expert so maybe someone else will chime in.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,670
    any REPUTABLE company WON'T!!!

    too much involved to make this happen SAFELY.

    anyone who does alter this becomes liable for any issues and those will be too great a risk.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,453
    I assume you're talking about a log lighter, 1/2 pipe with holes in it used to start the wood burning. If so then you won't find anyone to modify this the way you want.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,158
    Log lighters aren't designed to be used as the source of heat.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,255
    I 3rd that. they're only used to light the wood logs. So far as I know, they're not code anywhere anymore.

    I'd recommend if you do use, have lighter next to lighter and then slowly open valve so gas lights as starts to come out, not after a cloud has started to form.

    This was back when people were used to no safeties on anything.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    4,928
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxima9 View Post
    Our OLD house was built in the 40's with a gas and wood fireplace that has a key in the floor and a hollow gas tube in the fireplace and nothing else. I have to turn the gas on with the key, then use a long match to light the gas tube where the holes are. It always creates a mini boom and scares me that I'm going to burn my face off.

    How to add a device that I press a button and the fire goes on automatically? I still want it to be both a gas and wood burning fireplace.

    Do I hire a chimney company? A plumber? An electrician? Or all three? I'm in Los Angeles and have no idea who to even hire. Most chimney companies here only do cleaning, inspection (which we did, it's in good condition), and repair. I even talked to a licensed contractor that we're hiring for a bathroom addition and he said he preferred not to touch the fireplace.

    What do I do? Any recommendations of companies?

    Thanks, Cathy.
    Replace it.
    OR
    light the match first, put it next to the burner, THEN turn the gas on.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  8. #8

    Yes, it's an ordinary log lighter

    Thanks everyone. It is a log lighter according to the gas company tech.

    I put a grate over the log lighter, then fake (ceramic I think) gas logs on top. The gas logs are turning black and pieces of the black stuff are falling off, which I don't really care. It burns lots of natural gas that I see my gas bill goes up, and not a lot of heat, but we have central heat so it's mostly for ambiance. The flue is always open and no issues with smell or danger. I have 2 carbon monoxide detectors near by.

    If there's no safe way to add automatic pilot "on" button/remote and still keep it as a wood burning fireplace, what's the best way to make it a gas fireplace only that actually gives heat? Buy a new insert? Who do I hire? A chimney company? How much should it cost?

    Thank you guys. Cathy... next to the fireplace burning the fake logs right now, lol.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,763
    Go to a stove company and pick out a model you like, and have them install it.

    Price is what ever they charge.

    Pricing questions are not allowed here.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    246
    Cathy,

    Here is an example page of gas inserts for fireplaces. http://www.heatnglo.com/Browse/Inserts.aspx
    There are many manufacturers, styles, and decorative fronts available. Just google "Hearth Shop" and your zip code.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    6,453
    I don't really like installing gas logs but i do for my customers, i tell them to go pick out the one they like, buy it, and we install it for time and materials. Most people chose the "ventless" log sets which i DO NOT recommend and hate installing but like i said for my customers I will. Invest in a low level CO monitor, google nsi co detector, or low level co detector and get one. The ones sold in home improvement stores are not sensitive enough for my liking.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    hanford ca
    Posts
    35
    Hi Cathy you might want to check out hvac talk find a contractor. Some of us specialize in fireplaces and insert installations here in California.

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