While a typical gas fireplace may operate with a wall switch, some fireplaces also contain heat sensor saftey switches, toggle switches, damper sensors or any other number of switches that may cause the fireplace not to ignite.  Sometimes an easy way to try to determine what parts need to be repaired on your fireplace is to use process of elimination.  There is a way to bypass all of these things and manually turn on the fireplace.  This is sometimes called “jumping the valve”

Time to Complete:  >5 minutes

Recommended Tools

When we are “jumping the valve” we are essentially completing the connection normally made by the wall switch but we are doing it directly at the valve.  First thing you would need would be either some Alligator Clips Test Cables or a piece of wire.  For this tutorial I used a piece of wire with some connectors on the ends:

Next you want to find your main control valve.  Since this wire is acting like your wall switch, you are going to want connect or touch it to the same terminals that the wall switch is hooked up to.  This should be the TH and TP/TH terminals.  These are typically the outer terminals on the valve:


For demonstration purposes I connected the wires onto the valve, but you only need to touch each end of the wire to the valve terminals to have the same effect:

The main burner flame should come on when you make this connection.  Keep in mind that your pilot light needs to be lit, and the valve needs to be in the  “on” position for this to work:

If your main burner flame does not come on, you know this issue is somewhere in the thermopile or valve, and not the wall switch or any other external sensors.

Click Here for Part II: How to Test Your Pilot Flame