Device to Monitor Fireplace Status (On or Off)

I am not looking to automate my fireplace. I just want a way to easily determine if it is on or off. Has anyone had any success in doing so? I thought about a temp sensor and monitoring for sharp increases but I'd be worried about placement.

The fireplace does have a thermostatic remote that we can use to turn it on and off. I want to do a couple other home automation tasks, based on the fireplace's status (ex.- turn on a fan when the fireplace is on or notify me if it's on during certain times/statuses).

Note: I am not an electrician (nor could I attempt to play one on TV).

Relays and contact sensors, but if you're not comfortable with wiring, check out Iman's new project.

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Will definitely take a look at that. I'm not uncomfortable with wiring, but I'd need Step 1 through X instructions to install whatever. So in other words, I'm not scared of electrocuting myself or anything, but I'm not extremely versed in how to hook up everything.

Thanks to @SmartHomePrimer for mentioning my project. I am still in development. This will help me gather inputs form community.

One of the scenario that I demo on the video is to control the fireplace with Zigbee.

In this use case, I think @street9009 is looking for just to detect the on/off by sensing the temperature. The BLE beacon strategy is probably is what can solve this request. When the fireplace heat-up, it generate enough power to turn on a BLE beacon. Hence, you can assume that the fireplace is on.

Once, the fire place is off, it will cool down. The BLE beacon will power off. This indicate the fireplace is off.

There is another way. I can sense the fireplace valve terminal. This is a very low voltage. However, I can read it out and send the value in the beacon. This is a bit different strategy. This will be close to my Zigbee demo that tap to the fireplace thermopile for power. Instead of controlling the fireplace. I could just sense the valve terminal for on/off condition.

There is advantage and disadvantage between the two strategies. The first one can be installed away from the valve. I suppose one can use the TEG as source. There are a lot of places around the fireplace where the heat is good enough to harvest. The hot side of the TEG can be staked on the hot surface with heatsink on the other side. It make the placement of the sensor is more flexible. The detection will be slower as it has to wait to heat to go up and down.

The second strategy will require wiring the sensor to the valve terminal. There are 3 wires to connect to the valve. The on/off detection will be much faster.

I would love to hear opinion from everyone as I am still developing the devices.



Very nice. To me, quickly detecting the valve state seems much better for gas fireplaces.

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I would tend to agree with @SmartHomePrimer. I think the quick detection sounds like a much better option. Like I said before, I don't mind wiring, just need to be told what to connect where :slight_smile:

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Thanks guys. I am starting to get the sentiments. I will keep this in mind when building my devices.


@SmartHomePrimer - is there a fairly easy to wire contact sensor that you would recommend? I wouldn't mind looking/trying.

You don't say, but I assume it's gas?

Not sure I'm clear, what is the normal way you turn the fireplace on/off. Via the thermostatic remote?

This thread probably has a couple ideas you might be able to leverage, similar discussion we just had. It's about monitoring a gas stove for on/off, but the several of the solutions proposed might actually work better on a fireplace application.

If there’s a voltage there that is high enough to close a relay, but some do not have a high voltage. It depends on the fireplace.

If I snapped a photo, would you be able to tell what would/wouldn't work? I want to make this work but just don't know how to tell.

:man_shrugging:t3: If it included make and model that might help.

It's an Empire VFD26FP30LP-2.


Page 29 [Manual link below] has the wiring diagram. I would check the voltage output of the AC adapter, or if installed, the voltage from the battery backup. Then measure across the ON/OFF switch and see if there is DC voltage. If there isn't, then you simply connect a Zigbee or Z-Wave door/window sensor across the two wires going to the ON/OFF switch.

If there is voltage, get a DC relay with a coil rated for that same voltage and connect it to the side of the ON/OFF switch were you measure the voltage so when the switch is ON, the relay will close and when the switch is OFF, the relay will open. Connect the Zigbee or Z-Wave door/window sensor to the no-voltage contacts (e.g. Dry Contacts) of the relay. Result would then be the relay turning on will close its dry contacts and that will in turn trigger the Zigbee or Z-Wave door/ window sensor, thus telling you in HE the state of the fireplace.

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