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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    45

    Fireplace info/parts

    Our company has been getting a lot of calls for people wanting to get there fireplaces checked and cleaned. I would love to help but have a hard time finding parts.
    local Johnstone doesn't really carry parts or specs.
    We don't install fireplaces but I would like to get familiar with servicing them, are there any classes or training anywhere? What are you guys doing for parts?
    any tips would be great
    thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Simcoe, ON Canada
    Posts
    43
    NFI and HPBA is a great place to start looking into hearth training. Most manufacturers will also put on courses specifically for their own products. Google is your friend for tracking down parts but www.hpba.org will help you to find parts distributors in your area also. I've been doing this for 18 years now and still enjoy it although its getting harder to do all those service calls.

  3. #3
    A question about wall switch's for gas fireplaces - are normal single pole toggle light switch's used for the on/off function of a fireplace, or is there such a thing as a low voltage wall switch that should be used? If so, how common are they to find? Thanks!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,058
    Skytech and Ambient are two mfr.s of remotes used in the hearth industry that also offer millivolt wall switches. The problem with any wall switch is impedance. As times goes on, you can get corrosion on the contacts. A typical line voltage switch, such as used for household lighting can easily overpower a minor increase in resistance since so much power is available. However, when you're running on about 1/3rd of one volt DC, a little resistance can make a big difference in amp flow and therefore the work it can do. Each time a switch is cycled, the contacts get burnished a tad. I'd seen hundreds of fireplaces not working that lit up just by flicking the switch a dozen times. Some mfrs., such as Eagle, used to advertise gold plating on their contacts but I'm not sure how durable that film was since it was only a few millionths of one inch thick.

    Instead of ordering online or through a hearth retailer, I'd just buy a high quality single pole switch, use the screw connections-never stab-ins, and be done with it. If you have more than about one Ohm through the entire switch leg, you probably have an issue. There are some millivolt readings we can discuss over in the Pro section that also give an indication as to how much resistance is in the switch leg and main operator.

  5. #5

    Gotcha

    Quote Originally Posted by hearthman View Post
    Skytech and Ambient are two mfr.s of remotes used in the hearth industry that also offer millivolt wall switches. The problem with any wall switch is impedance. As times goes on, you can get corrosion on the contacts. A typical line voltage switch, such as used for household lighting can easily overpower a minor increase in resistance since so much power is available. However, when you're running on about 1/3rd of one volt DC, a little resistance can make a big difference in amp flow and therefore the work it can do. Each time a switch is cycled, the contacts get burnished a tad. I'd seen hundreds of fireplaces not working that lit up just by flicking the switch a dozen times. Some mfrs., such as Eagle, used to advertise gold plating on their contacts but I'm not sure how durable that film was since it was only a few millionths of one inch thick.

    Instead of ordering online or through a hearth retailer, I'd just buy a high quality single pole switch, use the screw connections-never stab-ins, and be done with it. If you have more than about one Ohm through the entire switch leg, you probably have an issue. There are some millivolt readings we can discuss over in the Pro section that also give an indication as to how much resistance is in the switch leg and main operator.
    Thanks for the info. I did put a new switch in but it's still not lighting randomly. But it was just a normal switch. I'll get a better one now that I know what I;m looking for.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the info. I did put a new switch in but it still randomly won't start. It was just a common single pole - I'll try find one as you've described.

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