Valuable lesson

I learned a valuable lesson today. I was replacing a smart switch on the bedroom lights, with a smart dimmer switch. Since my circuit breakers aren’t labeled all that well, I went in the bedroom, turned on the lights and flipped circuit breakers off and on till the lights went out. Then I went back and proceeded with removing the old switch and connecting the wired on the new one. All of a sudden I got that familiar tingle in my hand and pop, Ouch that hurt. Ok not so much hurt as surprise and numbness in my left index finger and thumb. What the hell, I went out side and sure enough the breaker was still thrown off. I went back in and tried the fan which is in the same switch box as the light and the fan turned on. What was this, did some crazy electrician wire up the fan to a different line in the bedroom. Then I tried the light switch and on came the lights. Then it hit me. I have my system setup to determine occupancy based on nmap scans. If it decides I am gone, it turns out the lights in my bedroom thinking I was just stupid and didn’t turn them off when I left. Well sometimes nmap returns false negatives if my phone is asleep or something. That’s what had happened. While i was throwing breakers, nmap decided I wasn’t home and turned out the lights in my bedroom. Thinking I had gotten the right breaker I started swapping out the switch. Lesson learned always use a current tester or volt meter when swapping out switches even if you don’t think they have anything to do with your automation currently.

I’m sorry, I just had to:

except AHAAAA is a lot nicer that what I said. LOL

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In a related story: l was attempting to install a GE Smart Switch to replace the current On/Off switch for my fireplace last night, and I couldn’t for the life of me find the right circuit (they’re mostly labeled, but apparently not too accurately). I shut every one down on the main floor and still couldn’t find the one for the fireplace. I ended up giving up on it, because I didn’t want to work with a live circuit.

many times those fireplace switches are low voltage switches that actually run off the heat generated by the pilot light. so there isn’t a circuit breaker you could pull. The good news is it’s low voltage. The bad news is, it’s probably to low to drive the smart switches. or at least that’s what I’ve discovered while researching doing the same thing for my fireplace. If you have any success with it, let me know how you did it.

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Oh wow, I didn’t even consider that - I assume I wouldn’t find a neutral wire back there to use, anyway.

The manual is stuffed under the fireplace, I should have a look to see if that’s how it works. Thanks for the tip!

@turboc - Looks like you were right. I pulled out the wall switch and the wires running to it were way too thin to be coming from my circuit box.

Further investigation on the Heatilator website turned this up.

A remote control and/or wall switch requires a Millivolt valve system. The wall switch requires low voltage electrical wiring.

So, my dreams of turning the fireplace on from the couch are dashed, and now I have one more GE SmartSwitch to find a home for :slight_smile:

It could have been worse, I could have done this:

http://ths.gardenweb.com/discussions/2372445/oops-110v-into-low-voltage-switch-on-heatilator

All that said, this might be a solution if I can find the right parts:

http://wiki.winkathome.net/How_to_Automate_Your_Gas_Fireplace