Author Topic: Fireplace control... I know asked again  (Read 586 times)

Offline gibby

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Fireplace control... I know asked again
« on: August 28, 2017, 12:19:56 pm »
I looked through the forums on how the others have done it, but what I am searching for doesn't seem to exist.

I would like to be able to wire something in to control from Vera(preferably zwave), leave the existing switch setup, but allow it to turn on from the wall switch and then have Vera turn it off.

I am thinking I probably need to make something custom maybe from like mysensors or find a controller to replace the current fireplace controller.

The current wall switch is just a simple switch with 2 wires(browns on the controller).

I have 120V under the fireplace that I can use to tap into.

Thoughts?


I guess I could put this under the fireplace Remotec Zwave Dry Contact Fixture Module https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00913ATFI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00
Then put a battery operated zwave remote in place of current wall switch.



Offline rafale77

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Offline gibby

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 01:51:06 pm »

Offline TinCup

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 11:44:04 am »
+1 on the Remotec dry contact fixture.  That's what I used.   Also, if you are interested, I've attached a couple on/off icons I created for the fireplace.  Good luck!
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Offline gibby

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 04:21:14 pm »
My remotec came in today,  thanks for those icons!

Offline niharmehta

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2017, 08:55:22 pm »
Are you designing your solution so ONLY the wall switch can turn it on, but Vera could turn it off? Otherwise automating your fireplace is probably one of the most dangerous  things you can do with automation. Do you have any brand new CO detectors in every room?  Do this first.   Do you have a failsafe way of ensuring your flue is opened or working correctly and keeps the relay open if not 100% double checked sure?  Are you sure that nothing combustible is ever stored close to the fireplace when you are not around? 

A software bug, or automation error could one day at 2AM cause your switch relay to close and light up your fireplace while sleeping (this is actually not unusual for switches to trigger on their own). Having this happen with a non-functioning flue, combustible materials too close, or anything similar could be catastrophic.     Unless you have multiple failsafes and protection and detection  mechanisms  I would urge just about everyone to rethink automating their fireplace.
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Offline dzmiller

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2017, 11:16:01 am »
It depends on the fireplace. A well made gas sealed unit has the same automation risk as a furnace. In fact a sealed fireplace is a furnace with a glass front. But I agree that automating a non sealed unit is nuts.

Offline niharmehta

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2017, 05:24:10 pm »
I fully expect that the first sensational 'Smart Home Kills Person' article will be this exact reason.  Natural Gas leak, Fire, or CO poisoning caused by automation of a fireplace or similar.   

I do not know much about fully sealed units, but I think I would still be concerned about combustibles potentially being too close. Wrapping paper,  dried christmas tree or something. 

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Offline gibby

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2017, 04:49:04 pm »
I would expect it to be safer, if setup correctly.

Now I get an alert anytime the fireplace is turned on or off. If there is no motion detected in that room in 5 minutes, it automatically turns it off.

If alarm system is armed in away mode, it will not let the fireplace turn on.

Next is to take a snapshot from the security camera that has a view of the fireplace and figure out how to tell if something is too close to the fireplace and not allow the fireplace to be turned on.

Adding some zwave co detectors would be good too.

Offline dzmiller

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2017, 09:05:22 pm »
I would expect it to be safer, if setup correctly.

You should still have a failsafe device outside of Vera. With heating and cooling it is much smarter to control a thermostat, not a switch. A thermostat with a max heat setting would cut off the fireplace regardless vera sending an "on" signal.

Offline niharmehta

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 01:34:10 am »
"If set up correctly".. That is the simple sentence but extremely difficult in practice to consider every possible scenario.  The opposite of "If set up correctly" is not mere annoyance, it  could be catastrophic.

I spent a good 4-5 months 'perfecting' my whole house fan automation. Door/Window status, temp differential, humidity, hold down timers,  thermostat status checks,  multiple checks to ensure no neg pressure issues in the house. It it a dedicated PLEG instance.  Ran solid for months and I tested it frequently.
 That is until I experienced a side case based on the location of the fan intake that a door closing with only that rooms windows calculated would cause a neg pressure. Happened while we were away. Obvious now, but over months never considered THAT case.   Imagine if the gas water heater was inside, or the gas lines to the fireplace were open, or even the stove was an old pilot type stove.  It could have been very bad.

If you do not have a fully enclosed system, don't even think about doing something like this unless you have CO and newer Smoke detectors in every room.    As @dzmiller stated, make the failsafe outside of vera. Closed loop if you can. No way I trust Vera (or any consumer home automation)  for anything more than hobby stuff. Definitely not for safety or security.  It is just not stable or designed for this level of reliability.
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Offline gibby

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 05:35:23 pm »
This is definitely no more dangerous than having a switch next to the fireplace that a 2 year old can reach and turn on.

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 08:43:12 pm »
Hopefully a 2 year old is being watched.
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Offline niharmehta

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Re: Fireplace control... I know asked again
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2017, 10:44:43 pm »
No, because if you have a two year old you would manually keep the pilot valve closed and put the valve key out of reach except when you use the fireplace.  You know, like putting safety blocks in your outlets and cabinet locks like every single child safety guide tells you to do.

If you have a fully sealed fireplace, this is probably not an issue as they have built in failsafes and the gasses never enter the enclosed space.  If it is a fireplace that in any way can vent to the room its a terrible idea.

Instead of making these assumptions and ridiculous  statements that unattended operation of a non sealed fireplace would be safer than positive control via a manual switch or a short range remote, check with your local fire / building code and homeowner insurance.   Let them know that you are thinking of setting up your fireplace so that it can be turned on remotely from further than 20feet away (even the internet).
Also that your programming and network security skills as well as some company named Vera intensely QA'd, high quality, secure, bug free code is good enough to protect your home and is actually safer than that manual switch you use today.

 I would check in detail your building/fire codes  because if you make this modification and later have an accident and file a claim, you will likely find that your homeowners insurance denies your claim. Get this in writing. Insurance companies always look for reason to avoid paying.

You will probably move forward regardless, but for others that come across this thread, they should fully understand the risks involved before thinking that this is a safe use of automation.
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