author
1Instructables18,288Views32CommentsBillings MTJoined December 6th, 2016
I would rather learn how to do it myself rather than pay someone else to do it for me.

Achievements

10K+ Views Earned a bronze medal
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    Yes, if you purchased the relay shown in the instructable, it is a mechanical relay so it will make noise -- a very audible click -- when it is engaged. This is normal. You can purchase a much more expensive solid state relay which would make no noise. Example: https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Crydom/A2410E?qs=sGAEpiMZZMtq49AUx5G377%2F6WBu4BNUZT7zO1Etqca0%3D

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    This set of instructions should work with any heat producing device as long as the relay is used to isolate the 24v circuit to the Nest from the circuit in the heating appliance including 120v or 240v. The 24VAC adapter powers/charges the Nest and the Nest is a temperature switch which activates the switch in the relay to open or close the secondary circuit. With some minor modifications, you could use this with a space heater, a Dyson fan, a kerosene forced air heater, etc. Enjoy!

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    That does appear to be one drawback of the Nest in that it requires a very full battery to function normally. For example, it dosen't take much of a drop in voltage to lost its ability to connect to wifi. So no, it won't control the fireplace after a power outage regardless of an outage caused by supply to your home of the adapter comes loose and falls out of the wall. Of course, in the even of a full power outage the fireplace isn't going to work either so it wouldn't be an issue with the Nest at that point.

    Nothing. But, as I state in my instructions I wasn't able to find a complete tutorial that included a full list of parts, a description of them and the purpose they serve in the system and details about how to connect them.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    This installation "hack" should have no impact on whether you are able to access the device from the app on your phone.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    The only thing that I can think is that you may need to tin the ends of the wires from the AC adapter. I had the issue when I first put it together because they were not making good contact in the base of the Nest as they were too small a gauge.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    When AC power is lost the Nest will show an error code. That is normal and would happen whether the device is powered by your HVAC system or using this power adapter "hack". This "hack" is basically invisible to the Nest and the battery that powers the Nest for a brief period of time during an outage is no different than the battery in any other device you have in that it has a limited amount of storage capacity and a limited life span. I would check the appropriate error code here: https://nest.com/support/article/What-do-Nest-s-error-codes-mean. Unfortunately, you probably won't get any tech support from Nest if needed because i'm almost 100% sure they won't officially support this "hack".

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    considering only the information that you've provided first i would probably just recommend that you remove the light switch that controls the fan. i cannot conceive of a situation where you would want to use that as i imagine that it could seriously damage the fireplace if the unit was run without the fan due to overheating and ultimately could result in fire and injury or loss of life. secondly, i don't think this setup would make any difference in how the Nest (or standard thermostat) would be connect or function with your fireplace as the switch is not interrupting anything that controls the flow of gas, ignition, etc.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    oh wow. it appears i am batting zero -- i have been struggling with the stomach flu the last couple of days. yes, it probably won't switch at 24v so you'd need to find a relay that works at the 24vac supplied by the adapter that powers the Nest. in hindsight, this may have been another reason why i went with the electromechanical relay.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    something like this is probably what you're looking for. https://www.amazon.com/Fotek-SSR-25DA-SSR-25-4-32VDC-24-380VAC/dp/B01NGTE8M8 i selected the one i did because it was easily available and low cost but yes there is a very audible click when it is engaged.

    i'm sorry but i provided the wrong link. Try this instead for AC input. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MZ2B0LA/ i believe the thermostate/adapter would to go terminals 3/4 and the 1/2 terminals to the stove.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    You're welcome! Glad it worked out for you.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    Based on the error code you gave me I believe you're running a 3rd Gen Nest and this tutorial was written based on the 2nd Gen. I can only assume there are differences in setup/installation options and function of the thermostat. I will say that if it's working that it's probably fine as the Nest requires the 24v supply to power on, charge and operate correctly so it must be getting that and the only function the Nest serves beyond looking good is to turn your appliance on and off. So, if both of those are occurring and your house hasn't burned down it's most likely just fine. :)

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    Try this: https://nest.com/support/article/What-do-Nest-s-error-codes-mean#troubleshooting/e72

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    The first image in Step 4 of my instructable shows the wiring diagram. It matches yours.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    "Early On" is a feature of the Nest that turns on the heating appliance ahead of your scheduled time so that the desired room temperature is achieved AT your scheduled time.

    You're welcome. I'm not an electrical engineer nor an HVAC tech either. I just like figuring things out and sharing when I do. There was no complete instruction for doing this prior to mine. I'm glad it's helped a few people out there who wanted to use the Nest with their fireplace.

    Ah, I definitely misunderstood. I apologize. I don't know what much about my Nest honestly. It works so well that I never have to think about it. I just read some of the following article -- https://nest.com/support/article/What-is-Early-On -- which is more than I ever knew about the Early On feature. I haven't had to troubleshoot mine I set it up and it has just been working.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    I'm not familiar with this exact model but it appears you can use my instructions to make it work. Page 21 of your users manual (at least this PDF version) talk about the thermostat connection: https://www.kozyheat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/TRF-Manual-7-081.pdf

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    This tutorial covers a very specific installation scenario to make the Nest thermostat work with a "standard" gas forced air fireplace a fan with a millivolt control system and an existing two-wire setup. Yes, there are probably dozens of exceptions and variations that could work or be made to work. As I am not familiar with your fireplace or wiring specifically I would need more information to help you out. Do you know the make/model of your fireplace? Does it already have a blower/fan or are you looking to add one? Are all of the six wires you mentioned used for something already or are they just hanging in the wall and available?

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    The relay isolates the miilvolt system at the fireplace and the 24VAC system at the thermostat. You're welcome to try it without the relay but you will hear some terrible buzzing which -- not coincidentally -- is the sound of the electronics and solenoids in your fireplace slowly dying and begging for mercy.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    I'm sorry for the delay. I have had a couple of busy weeks at work and took a brief hiatus the internet. I just did a quick Google search for your gas fireplace make/model and found this information in the user manual: "A thermostat may be installed to regulate the Garnet. It is importantto use a thermostat designed for millivolt operation. Do not connectthe heater to a thermostat serving any other appliance. Bedroominstallation in Canada requires this heater to be connected to athermostat.Connect the thermostat wires to the outside valve terminals labeled"TH" and "TPTH". Turn the manual switch on the control panel to"OFF"." I have to assume because the user manual does not explicitly state otherwise that you will not be able to use the remo...

    see more »

    I'm sorry for the delay. I have had a couple of busy weeks at work and took a brief hiatus the internet. I just did a quick Google search for your gas fireplace make/model and found this information in the user manual: "A thermostat may be installed to regulate the Garnet. It is importantto use a thermostat designed for millivolt operation. Do not connectthe heater to a thermostat serving any other appliance. Bedroominstallation in Canada requires this heater to be connected to athermostat.Connect the thermostat wires to the outside valve terminals labeled"TH" and "TPTH". Turn the manual switch on the control panel to"OFF"." I have to assume because the user manual does not explicitly state otherwise that you will not be able to use the remote control setup and the Nest simultaneously. Another user here has built/installed his Nest E thermostat using these instructions with success. You will use the W1 and R terminals on the Nest E backplate.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    First, the fine print. If neither you nor your HVAC technician are familiar with some very basic principles of electricity and electrical devices such as the relay, I would strongly suggest against performing this installation or any modifications to your heating and cooling system. Having said that, a relay is simply an electrically operated switch. The device uses one circuit (typically low voltage or amperage) to switch another circuit (typically higher voltage or amperage). Think of it almost exactly like the wall switches in your house where you would represent the low voltage circuit that flips the switch (relay) that turns on the 120V circuit (lights, fans, etc.). The switch is necessary because, while it would probably work at least temporarily, you would not want to have t...

    see more »

    First, the fine print. If neither you nor your HVAC technician are familiar with some very basic principles of electricity and electrical devices such as the relay, I would strongly suggest against performing this installation or any modifications to your heating and cooling system. Having said that, a relay is simply an electrically operated switch. The device uses one circuit (typically low voltage or amperage) to switch another circuit (typically higher voltage or amperage). Think of it almost exactly like the wall switches in your house where you would represent the low voltage circuit that flips the switch (relay) that turns on the 120V circuit (lights, fans, etc.). The switch is necessary because, while it would probably work at least temporarily, you would not want to have the wires hanging out of the wall and complete the circuit yourself by grabbing both wires and hoping for the best. The lights would probably come on (at least temporarily) but some serious damage would be done to both you and most likely the devices connected to the circuit though luckily the breaker would probably blow before you were dead or the house burned down. In the instance of this Instructable, the two circuits we are talking about are the 24VAC circuit that you need to power/charge the Nest and the millivolt or 120V circuit on which your pellet stove operates is the second circuit. In a typical furnace and central air setup, the furnace provides the 24VAC required by the Nest so no relay is necessary. The furnace would be connected directly to the Nest which steals power from that internal 24VAC source when no heat is called for and uses the circuit to turn on the furnace when it is. Most pellet stoves and gas fireplaces DO NOT have an internal transformer to provide this 24VAC. In the case of your Quadrafire pellet stove and based on the wiring diagram on their website it looks as if your stove operates entirely on 120VAC. You should be able to verify this if you have a multimeter handy. Set the control knob to AC (probably says 200 VAC or V~ or a number close to 200) and touch the leads to the thermostat connection terminals on the back of your stove. If it reads 24V or something very close you should not need the relay. But, I am guessing that it should read either a very low number (millivolt) or around 100-120V. If so, the relay will be necessary if you want to use your Nest thermostat. You can see below that several people have used this tutorial to successfully install and use a Nest thermostat with their gas and pellet stoves and you should have no issues doing so yourself.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    I'm not sure I can fully answer the question(s) with the limited details you've provided. First, the Nest requires a 24VAC source to power and charge itself. While the Nest may, indeed, be capable of switching the millivolt supply and/or the 120V source (depending on your pellet stove internals), neither one will power and charge the Nest. I would be a bit hesitant to connect 120V to the Nest because I would be a sad panda if I fried my $250 thermostat. Having said this, I am happy to help so please provide me with your pellet stove make and model number and I'll see what I can dig up for you.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    Yes, most likely, as long as your fireplace operates on a millivolt system. The Nest will not operate using only the millivolt source from your fireplace. You need to provide a separate 24v source to power the Nest thermostat. Even though I am using what is called a "fan relay" in the HVAC world as part of the installation, it's not actually used to switch the fan. As noted in Step 2, the Nest is going to switch the 24v source to activate the relay and the relay will switch the fireplace's millivolt system. Honestly, if you are not familiar nor comfortable with some of these electrical and electronic component fundamentals, I would highly recommend that you do not attempt this installation yourself and seek help from a qualified, licensed and insured HVAC technician or el...

    see more »

    Yes, most likely, as long as your fireplace operates on a millivolt system. The Nest will not operate using only the millivolt source from your fireplace. You need to provide a separate 24v source to power the Nest thermostat. Even though I am using what is called a "fan relay" in the HVAC world as part of the installation, it's not actually used to switch the fan. As noted in Step 2, the Nest is going to switch the 24v source to activate the relay and the relay will switch the fireplace's millivolt system. Honestly, if you are not familiar nor comfortable with some of these electrical and electronic component fundamentals, I would highly recommend that you do not attempt this installation yourself and seek help from a qualified, licensed and insured HVAC technician or electrician.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    This setup is only switching the 24VAC from the transformer so I really don't think it matters what the Nest thinks it's switching or which wire is on which terminal on the back plate. If it's functioning, I believe you're good to go!

    I'm not sure on the voltage drops. I did notice that it seemed like it took a very long time for the Nest to charge fully using this setup but my Nest had been in storage for a while prior to doing this so I wasn't sure the cause. I just read this article which may have something to do with it: https://gizmodo.com/nest-thermostats-are-having-battery-problems-and-theres-1751800309

    Interesting. I tend to be a little cynical at times -- ok, a lot. I read this as the Nest is designed then, primarily, for brand new homes with R-12000 insulation ratings and high efficiency furnaces that will only run 10 minutes a week. :/ All joking aside, I didn't not see any issues with charging or voltage drops and WiFi disconnects in my last home which was built in the 50s nor in my current home built in the 70s -- neither of which have great windows nor insulation and the fireplace does run quite a bit. A couple fo weeks ago when it was -15 outside, the fireplace was on between 13 and 16 hours a day and I didn't notice any drops. Mine is mounted on an interior wall that stays as warm as the ambient temperature. You may consider moving the location of your thermostat to se...

    see more »

    Interesting. I tend to be a little cynical at times -- ok, a lot. I read this as the Nest is designed then, primarily, for brand new homes with R-12000 insulation ratings and high efficiency furnaces that will only run 10 minutes a week. :/ All joking aside, I didn't not see any issues with charging or voltage drops and WiFi disconnects in my last home which was built in the 50s nor in my current home built in the 70s -- neither of which have great windows nor insulation and the fireplace does run quite a bit. A couple fo weeks ago when it was -15 outside, the fireplace was on between 13 and 16 hours a day and I didn't notice any drops. Mine is mounted on an interior wall that stays as warm as the ambient temperature. You may consider moving the location of your thermostat to see if that helps.

    View Instructable »
  • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)

    There are two notes in the Nest E documentation: 1) Note: If you have an R, Rc or Rh wire, you can put it into the R connector on the Nest Thermostat; and 2) IMPORTANT: If you have Rh and Rc wires, you have a dual transformer system. The Nest Thermostat E is not compatible with dual transformer systems, but you may be able to use the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat. If you are running a gas fireplace -- and it sounds like you are -- I'm guessing you do not have dual transformers (i.e.: your gas fireplace is only user for heat). Regarding your second question about the 120v fan control, I will also guess that yes this setup would work because the relay featured here will switch up to 240v. Since you haven't provided a wiring diagram for your setup, I am only guessing that you'd ...

    see more »

    There are two notes in the Nest E documentation: 1) Note: If you have an R, Rc or Rh wire, you can put it into the R connector on the Nest Thermostat; and 2) IMPORTANT: If you have Rh and Rc wires, you have a dual transformer system. The Nest Thermostat E is not compatible with dual transformer systems, but you may be able to use the 3rd generation Nest Learning Thermostat. If you are running a gas fireplace -- and it sounds like you are -- I'm guessing you do not have dual transformers (i.e.: your gas fireplace is only user for heat). Regarding your second question about the 120v fan control, I will also guess that yes this setup would work because the relay featured here will switch up to 240v. Since you haven't provided a wiring diagram for your setup, I am only guessing that you'd have to use two relays wired in parallel from the Nest to the 1 & 3 terminals to switch the millivolt system that switches the gas valve with one and your 120v fan using the second.

    There are two notes in the Nest E documentation: 1) Note: If you have an R, Rc or Rh wire,you can put it into the R connector onthe Nest Thermostat; and 2) IMPORTANT: If you have Rh and Rc wires, you havea dual transformer system. The Nest Thermostat Eis not compatible with dual transformer systems,but you may be able to use the 3rd generation NestLearning Thermostat. If you are running a gas fireplace -- and it sounds like you are -- I'm guessing you do not have dual transformers (i.e.: your gas fireplace is only user for heat). Regarding your second question about the 120v fan control, I will also guess that yes this setup would work because the relay featured here will switch up to 240v. I would guess you'd have to run two relays wired in parallel from the Nest to the 1 & ...

    see more »

    There are two notes in the Nest E documentation: 1) Note: If you have an R, Rc or Rh wire,you can put it into the R connector onthe Nest Thermostat; and 2) IMPORTANT: If you have Rh and Rc wires, you havea dual transformer system. The Nest Thermostat Eis not compatible with dual transformer systems,but you may be able to use the 3rd generation NestLearning Thermostat. If you are running a gas fireplace -- and it sounds like you are -- I'm guessing you do not have dual transformers (i.e.: your gas fireplace is only user for heat). Regarding your second question about the 120v fan control, I will also guess that yes this setup would work because the relay featured here will switch up to 240v. I would guess you'd have to run two relays wired in parallel from the Nest to the 1 & 3 terminals to switch the millivolt system that switches the gas valve with one relay and your 120v fan using the second relay.

    View Instructable »
    • Nest Thermostat With Gas Fireplace (or Other Millivolt System)
      371 views
      10 favorites
      1 comments
  • Parking Buddy - Arduino Neopixel IOT Parking Assist

    I don't have a 3D printer (YET!) so do I need to download and print both of the attached files (parking-case.stl and parking-case-2.stl) for the case or just one of them?

    View Instructable »