How To Convert Manual Gas Fireplace To Remote Control

Often when thinking of fireplaces, the only options seem to be electric or gas, but what about adding remote control to your gas fire? You can keep your system relatively the same, but increase its use and ease! It’s a simple process, and you don’t need much to get started.  

In this article, you’ll discover how to convert manual gas fireplaces to remote control, how to use the controls, the costs involved, and how to light a fireplace without a key or ignition.

Can I add a Remote to my Gas Fireplace?

Yes, you can add a remote to your gas fireplace at any point. Rather than splashing out on a new appliance, this could be the perfect upgrade.

This, however, will depend on the type of gas valve that your fireplace is equipped with. Most commonly, remote controls will be designed for gas fireplaces with millivolt valves. Consult your fireplace user manual to find out if it’s compatible with remote control installation.

Importance of Adding a Remote to a Gas Fireplace

There are a lot of benefits of adding a remote to a gas fireplace. Of course, minimal effort is required to achieve maximum comfort, but why is it important?


If you have a regular manual gas fireplace, chances are you’re going to have to bend down to adjust the settings. For those with mobility issues or other health requirements, having a remote control makes it accessible for them. Instead of preventing their usage, they can easily control from a press of a button. 


It’s in the name remote controls give you more control over the settings. Remotes with automatic settings, i.e., temperature adjustment, can help prevent any safety risks by switching your fireplace off when it reaches a certain temperature. 


This is more of a luxury than a necessity, but it’s convenient. Instead of having to get up and spend time adjusting the settings, you can do it from where you are. 

Cost to Convert Manual Gas Fireplace to Remote

To convert your manual gas fireplace to a remote, all you’ll need is a Smart Thermostat Remote and Receiver, and Batteries. It can cost anywhere up to $300, depending on the following factors:

  • Compatibility with your fireplace 
  • Valve controls – The different gas valves will be Millivolt Gas Valve, Maxitrol, or Latching Solenoid. Find out what gas valve your fireplace has and adjust accordingly.
  • Range – The distance of control varies, so typically, you’ll want one with a higher range. 
  • Features – Remote controls vary from pretty basic, i.e., on and off switch, to more advanced, i.e., temperature and/or flame controls.

As a guide, something like this is recommended, although you’ll have to look at more specific requirements for your fireplace.

As with most gas and electrical appliances, installing a gas fireplace on your own can come with some risks. Although the installation process is easy for some, others may need to hire a technician.

These costs will vary, depending on the area and the number of hours worked. While it’s unnecessary, it may alleviate the pressure if you feel that you can’t install it.  

Steps to Convert Manual Gas Fireplace to Remote Control

Step 1 – Purchase a Smart Thermostat Remote and Receiver

The first thing you’ll need to do is purchase a Smart Thermostat Remote and Receiver, which should contain a transmitter and remote control. Use the previous section for guidance.

Step 2 – Insert Batteries into the Transmitter

Place the batteries into the transmitter and the thermostat. You’ll need 2-4 AAA 1.5 V batteries, alkaline if available. Check your kit as batteries are sometimes included.

Insert all of the batteries, ensure that they’re facing the correct way, indicated by the (+) and (-), and fix on the battery cover. 

Step 3 – Insert Batteries into the Receiver

You’ll need 4 AA 1.5 V batteries, alkaline if possible, and insert them into the receiver, position them correctly, and fix the battery cover on.

Step 4 – Connecting the Receiver 

The modes will be ON, OFF, and REMOTE. 

If the fireplace is ON, the receiver will remain in this mode until you change to OFF or REMOTE. When you switch it to OFF, the device will remain OFF. If you change it to the REMOTE mode, the receiver will respond to the transmitter’s signals or commands.

If you’re not going to be using it for a while, it’s advisable to switch the receiver to OFF mode. 

Step 5 – Learn

Using a small screwdriver, press the LEARN button located in front of the receiver. The LEARN function pairs the receiver with the transmitter, which signifies that the receiver is ready for use. 

Step 6 – Install the Receiver

You’ll now need to install the receiver into the gas valve. To connect the wires, your existing gas valve should have three terminals: TH, TP, and TH/TP. Using the wires from the receiver, carefully connect them to the TH and the TH/TP terminal. Ensure that the receiver is away from the gas valve. Once you’ve done so, your remote should be ready for use. 

Step 7 – Testing 

If everything’s gone smoothly, it should be ready for use. Next, adjust the settings on the remote control and program accordingly, and use the remote’s settings to test your fireplace.

How do you Control a Gas Fireplace with a Remote?

How you control your gas fireplace with a remote will depend on the remote and its settings. Each can offer slightly different things and change how it functions, so it’ll depend on what you require as to how you’ll control it.

The options are as follows:

Standard Wall Switch 

  • Connects with a low-voltage wire
  • Turns the fireplace on and off

Wired Thermostat

  • Connects with a low-voltage wire
  • Turns the fireplace on and off based on the user’s pre-set temperature settings 
  • Can be manually overridden by using the standard wall switch

Basic On/Off Remote

  • Wirelessly connects
  • Turns the fireplace on and off from anywhere in the room

Thermostatic Remote Control 

  • Wirelessly connects
  • Turns the fireplace on and off from anywhere in the room 
  • A built-in thermostat – adjusts accordingly to the user’s pre-set settings 

Modulating Remote Control 

  • Wirelessly connects
  • Turns the fireplace on and off from anywhere in the room 
  • A built-in thermostat – adjusts accordingly to the user’s pre-set settings
  • Adjust the flame height, i.e., up or down  

How do you Turn On a Gas Fireplace without the Key?

If you lose your fireplace key or your electricity goes out, don’t worry; you can still turn on your gas fireplace without it. You’ll need a piece of paper or a match and a crescent wrench and access to your gas dial.

  1. Loosen the stopper that covers your gas dial with the crescent wrench and twist with your hand.
  2. Set alight to the paper and place on the fireplace.
  3. Turn your gas dial counterclockwise, and this should ignite your fireplace. 

Note: Please be careful when adjusting your gas dial.  

How do you Light a Gas Fireplace Pilot Light with No Ignitor?

Most modern gas fireplaces will have an ignitor, and if you do, use it. However, if your fireplace had an ignitor but was broken, you should NOT try this. Instead, seek assistance to fix your ignitor.

However, in some cases, you may need to light without an ignitor. Ensure that you do this carefully and properly; otherwise, it could lead to serious damage. You must have safety measurements in place and consider the following before getting started:

Building Codes

In some areas, lighting fireplaces without an ignitor is prohibited and could go against your building regulations. To prevent fines or serious damage, check your building codes to ensure it’s okay to do so. 

Broken Appliances

If you have reason to suspect that your appliance is broken, then DON’T LIGHT. To prevent any damage, seek help from a professional. 


Your fireplace’s user manual should give instructions on how to ignite your fireplace without an ignitor. If you don’t have the manual, check its model on the bottom and find an online version.


If you can already smell gas before removing the faceplate, DON’T LIGHT. It’s possible that you could have a gas leak, and that’ll lead to serious issues, so attend to this before proceeding. 

How to Light Your Fireplace Without an Ignitor

If you’ve considered these warnings and hazards, continue to find out how.

1. Remove the Fireplace’s Faceplate: By doing so, you can easily access the pilot light and ignition switches. Each model may be different, so seek your manual’s recommendations for this.

2. Check the Circuit Breaker: Examine your fireplace’s circuit breaker for any tripped circuits, and put any back, if necessary.

3. Test the Switch: The switch, or the piezo, will need to be tested to see if it clicks to indicate that it’s working. If you can carry it out manually, use the switch to light your fire. If not, follow on.

4. Remove the Glass: If you have any glass near the gas area, you’ll need to remove it.

5. Change the Settings: Turn the gas down to the lowest setting and hold down the pilot button. While holding it down, you should hear the gas. 

6. Light a Match: While holding down the pilot button, light a match close to the fire’s piping. Refer to your user manual for a time indication.

7. Switch it ‘ON’: Turn the pilot switch ‘ON,’ and the fire should now be lit. 

8. Replace the Faceplate and Glass: Carefully place the faceplate and glass shield back. 


Converting a gas fireplace to remote control not only provides an easy setup but adds value to your property. Their authentic style creates a cozy feel and makes them highly desirable. All you need to do to convert your manual gas fireplace to remote control is follow 7 simple steps. What more could you want?

Kick back, relax, and enjoy your toasty fire with ease.