Types of Controls

Manual Control

These are traditional knobs controls which are generally fitted on the front of the fire behind the fender.

They are simple in design and robust in use but require a degree of mobility to kneel in front of the fire to operate and adjust.

Slide Controls

This type of control has many advantages. They have a lever positioned high on the side trim of the fire so are generally easy to use without having to bend down. In addition, their simple design makes them very reliable.

The controls are generally mechanical, using wire or rods to operate. Fires with a pilot which is left alight use a switch positioned on the side of the fire which raises or lowers the gas valve.

A standard 9 volt alarm, AA or Lithium battery generates the spark and these can last for years without replacement.

Remote Controls

There are two main types, those with permanent pilots and those that ignite the pilot on start up. Both of them use batteries in the handset and also inside the fire to operate the ignition and gas valve.

They are certainly convenient to use - make sure that you point the handset at the fire when you use it and listen for a tone which confirms it has received each signal.

Unfortunately they do add complexity, plus they are operating in a hot environment. These controls are generally very reliable. However if they do cause problems they can be difficult to diagnose and generally expensive to repair.

SIT, who were the main supplier of remote controls to the gas fire industry, went out of business in 2014 and as such parts are becoming scarce and costly.