Adding centerfire, increase and decrease to your smart Bellfire fireplace solution

In previous article series I provided an overview and step by step instruction how to make you Bellfire fireplace with Mertik Maxitrol controller smart. This project that was presented during the Home Assistant Conference 2020.

In the article series and presentation I focused on the essential controls, basically turning the fireplace on and off. I received number of requests to extend the controls to support increasing and decreasing the fire and also activating the so called center burner.

After doing some research and trial and error I’ve found the combinations for the relays to add these features to your smart fireplace.

Make sure you finished all the steps from the fireplace home automation series and that you can turn on and off your fireplace using Home Assistant.

Centerfire

Some types of Bellfire fireplace have support for Centerfire. In short Centerfire disables the outside flames, making the actual fire smaller. The benefits of this is that you can have a high flame without burning to much gas and producing to much heat.

To control the centerfire fireplace we need match following sequences with the relays:

  • Centerfire_on, close contacts 2 and 3 simultaneously for 1 seconds
  • Centerfire_off, close contact 1 and 2 simultaneously for 1 second

We need to control the relays in these sequences with the ESP board. We can do this by extending the ESP configuration. We’ll add an centerfire switch that will execute sequences above when turned on and off.

Open ESP home and click edit on the node to go to the configuration editor.

Scroll to the bottom of the editor and add following configuration.

  - platform: template
    name: "Fireplace_centerfire"
    id: Fireplace_centerfire
    turn_on_action:
      - then:
        - switch.turn_on: IN2
        - switch.turn_on: IN3
        - delay: 1s
        - switch.turn_off: IN2
        - switch.turn_off: IN3
        - switch.template.publish:
            id: Fireplace_centerfire
            state: ON
    turn_off_action:
      - then:
        - switch.turn_on: IN1
        - switch.turn_on: IN2
        - delay: 1s
        - switch.turn_off: IN1
        - switch.turn_off: IN2
        - switch.template.publish:
            id: Fireplace_centerfire
            state: OFF

Increase and decrease fire

Increasing and decreasing the fire works pretty similar. For increase we need to close relay 1 and for decrease we need to close relay 3.

We don’t want to switch to keep the state, it needs to be a toggle and switch back to the off state. This way you can increase and decrease the fire with every press on the switch.

We’re going to add two switches to the config.

  - platform: template
    name: "Fireplace_increase"
    id: Fireplace_increase
    turn_on_action:
      - then:
        - switch.turn_on: IN1
        - delay: 1s
        - switch.turn_off: IN1
        
  - platform: template
    name: "Fireplace_decrease"
    id: Fireplace_decrease
    turn_on_action:
      - then:
        - switch.turn_on: IN3
        - delay: 1s
        - switch.turn_off: IN3

You can tweak the the amount of the increase/decrease in the fire by changing the timing or build automation.

That’s it. Press upload and the new entities for controlling fire height and centerfire will automagicly show up in Home Assistent. Now you can control your centerfire and fire height of you Bellfire fireplace using Home Assistant and EspHome.

Let me know if you have any questions or extension requests. In the next article I’ll share the Lovelace setup that I use within Home Assistant to control the fireplace.

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