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  1. #1

    Hmm

    I've tried looking for low voltage (millivolt) wall switch for the gas fireplace. I was told home and garden center had them but no such luck. I called all our vendors, no luck. Does anyone know what I'm talking about. The one with gold terminals that pass lower voltage than your standard 120 volt wall switch.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    I belive ours are made by cooper and they have silver contacts

    http://www.cooperwiringdevices.com/index.cfm

    check the "where to buy" link

    I think the ones we use run around $10 retail. We sell them in a kit with a wire and some spade connectors.


    http://www.firesideusa.com

    You could get one from fireside also if there is one near you. WSK-21 (ivory) or WSK-21-W (for white)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,383
    Most of the switches used in gas fireplaces are rated at 120 volts in my experience.


    The Robertshaw gas valves very widely used in gas fireplaces are rated for 100 milivolts of coltage loss through the main burner control circuit ---a typical wall switch has 10-15 millivolts of loss. So in my experience, there is no particular need to use specialized switches.

    If you want to do so though, help yourself.



    Seattle Pioneer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    The el cheapo switches do work fine for some time. After a while though they sometimes can build up corrosion on the contacts. A 110 circuit is not really affected by this but for a circuit running at only half a volt it can cause some problems. The proper switches have silver or gold contacts to prevent corrosion and get a better connection.

    You probably would be fine with a normal switch though, just thought I would give the info why anyone would use a nicer switch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Lisle,Illinois
    Posts
    526

    Cool

    Depending on your conductor run length,a standard light switch will probably be fine.If you are close to maximum length go to a fireplace shop for a premium switch,most of the switches provided by the manufacturers are still standard but have been checked for excessive resistance.
    Ethics are as important as education.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,458
    Originally posted by SeattlePioneer
    Most of the switches used in gas fireplaces are rated at 120 volts in my experience.


    The Robertshaw gas valves very widely used in gas fireplaces are rated for 100 milivolts of coltage loss through the main burner control circuit ---a typical wall switch has 10-15 millivolts of loss. So in my experience, there is no particular need to use specialized switches.

    If you want to do so though, help yourself.



    Seattle Pioneer
    My experience hs been the switch has low resistance,but the wire(s) are not tight. Have seen this many many times. Almost all installs use conventional 120v switch

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,140

    low voltage= less tolerant

    I agree with everyone's observations and would add:

    Since a switch intended for 120 vac is being utilized at ~ 1/5th of one volt DC, it is less tolerant of poor connections/ high resistance. Run the math using V=I/R to see the effects of a few Ohms on a lousy switch. It may not change the voltage drop but it may not keep up with the amp draw of the appliance and poop out.

    Use min. 18 ga wiring, less than 25 lineal feet (50 ft. total loop) and no stab in connectors.
    HTH

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    356
    everything works good when it is new- how often is it really the switch!


    Buy a remote control, Place it as close to the gas velve as possible. this dramaticaly reduces large millivolt drop outs in a closed curcuit. (of cours one would like to see a 1/4 turn floor mounted daunte style gas shut off with in six feet of the appliance as an added saftey measure).

    If you currently have a switch in the wall then replace the switch with the remote reciever. Otherwise just buy a good quality 120 volt switch and replace it.

    Check millivolt production in -OPEN- curciut,

    SET METER TO 2 VOLT DC AND CONNECT METER TO THEMOPILE LEADS ON CONTROL VALVE,

    with pilot on, you should generate approx 500 millivolts.
    Leave control in the pilot position, close curcuit by turning switch to on, Millivolts should drop down apprx 250. (this number may change depending on gas valve and amount of safty's in the curcuit). I would say no less than 200 ever.

    sorry for the long reply, just want to help




  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    392

    wall switch

    We use the WSK-21-W and have had zero call backs.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,383
    In my experience the best way to identify a bad or failing switch is to measure the voltage drop acorss the switch while the burner is in operation. Measure the total voltage drop acorss the main burner control circuit as well, to check for poor connections or other problems.

    Robertshaw accepts a voltage drop of 100 milivolts. But a voltage drop of 40 mv acorss a switch identifies a weak switch that is subject to intermittent failure of the main burner to turn on.


    A new switch often has a voltage drop of 15-20 MV.



    Seattle Pioneer

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