Replacing on/off switch for gas fireplace w/ combo switch/outlet?

lcskaisgirNovember 22, 2013

I have a gas fireplace with a regular rocker switch. I have been wanting an outlet to plug xmas lights into that I use on my mantle. It would be a pain to add an outlet in my mantle. Can I replace the rocker switch that turns on my gas fireplace w/a combination rocker switch/outlet like the one pictured?

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randy427

It depends on whether the power cable comes first to the switch or first to the fireplace system and then a loop to the switch. If it's the latter, then no, you probably can't do it, at least not easily.
Is there just one cable coming into the switch box or is there two or more with two black wires connected to the switch?

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:13AM
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lcskaisgir

Thank you so much for responding!

There is just one red wire and one white wire. And the outlet/switch that I bought has a plastic tab in the middle that says "remove tab to split circuit" (if that matters).

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:26AM
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jreagan_gw

You are stuck. Given the size/style of that wire, it is probably directly connected to the gas fireplace.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 12:33PM
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lcskaisgir

Darn it! I thought I had come up with an easy solution to a frustrating problem. Oh well. I guess I'll have to leave it to the electrician to figure out a way to add an outlet somewhere in the vicinity of mantle so I don't have to drape an extension cord across my doorway:(

Thank you so much for your response. I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 12:58PM
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Ron Natalie

Well, all it not quite lost.

If there is 120V going to the fireplace (most likely is the case) and you can use something else to turn on and off the fire place (many come with an optional remote control or such), you may be able to abandon this as a remote control for the fire place and reuse that piece of wire to feed the receptacle.

Of course, it's probably as easy to run a proper receptical. If you can get in to the attic above or craw/basement below, it's not even likely to be beyond the means of a competent DIYer.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 1:43PM
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lcskaisgir

I have no other way of turning on the fireplace unfortunately. An electrician will be here to do some work in my kitchen for a remodel next week. Since the fireplace is in my kitchen (a two way between the kitchen and family room) and he will be tearing out some of my ceiling to do some electrical work, maybe I'll just have him install an outlet.

Thank you for your responses:)

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 8:04PM
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Ron Natalie

OK, you have bigger issues then. A receptacle in the kitchen can't just be connected to any old circuit. You need to have it connected to a 20A circuit that only serves kitchen receptacles.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 5:42AM
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