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Hearth & Home Technologies® Recalled Fireplace Wall Controls Because High Temperatures Can Result in Property Damage

May 30, 2008

Heat & Glo thermostats On May 28, 2008 Hearth & Home Technologies Inc., of Lakeville, MN recalled approximately 22,000 IntelliSwitch fireplace wall controls manufactured by Nortech Systems Inc., of Wayzata, MN. Failure in the wall control system can cause the fireplace to turn on by itself creating a risk of property damage. If the control fails and the consumer has left combustible objects directly in front of an unattended fireplace, there may also be a risk of fire.

Hearth & Home has received 13 reports of a fireplace turning itself on and continuing to operate, including two reports of minor property damage caused by high temperature. No fires or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves WSK-300 IntelliSwitch Fireplace Wall Controls sold with Heat & Glo gas direct vent fireplaces with the following model & serial numbers:

Model Number Sales period All serial numbers up to
6000GLX-IPI-S January 2007 to January 22, 2008 0021279289
6000GLX-IPILP-S January 2007 to January 22, 2008 0021279322
6000GLX-IPI-R January 2007 to January 28, 2008 0021281203
6000GLX-IPILP-R January 2007 to January 22, 2008 0021279291
Cerona 36 January 2007 to January 22, 2008 0021279592
Cerona 42 January 2007 to January 23, 2008 0021279097

The fireplaces have a serial plate located on the floor, right hand side, of the fireplace control compartment. The model code, serial number, and date of manufacture are on this plate.

The recall also includes the following wall controls sold separately:

Wall Control Model Number Sales period All serial numbers
Heat & Glo WSK-300-HNG January 2007 to December 2007 None
Heatilator WSK-300-HTL June 2007 to December 2007 None
Quadra-Fire WSK-300-QF November 2007 to December 2007 None

Heatilator and Quadra-Fire thermostats


These units were sold by fireplace stores and distributors nationwide from January 2007 through February 2008 for between $2,800 and $3,500. Individual wall controls were sold by fireplace stores, distributors, and installers from January 2007 through February 2008 for $180.

Consumers should disable the fireplace until the repair is performed if they will be away from their residence for an extended period of time. Retailers are contacting consumers directly to inform them about the retrofit program and provide instructions on disabling the fireplace. Hearth & Home Technologies will send consumers a free replacement wall control panel for installation by the consumer or trained technician. Consumers not contacted by their retailer should contact Hearth & Home Technologies. For additional information, contact Hearth & Home Technologies at (800) 215-5152 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at

Specialty Lamp International Recalls Counterfeit Square D Circuit Breakers Due to Fire Hazard

May 29, 2008

Genuine and counterfeit Square D circuit breakers On May 27, 2008 Specialty Lamp International Inc., of Deerfield Beach, Fla. recalled approximately 371,000 counterfeit circuit breakers labeled as “Square D”. The recalled circuit breakers labeled “Square D” have been determined by Square D to be counterfeit and can fail to trip when they are overloaded, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

The counterfeit circuit breakers are black and are labeled as Square D QO-series models 115, 120, 130, 215, 220, 230, 240, 250, 260 and 2020 and Square D QOB-series models 115, 120, 130, 220, 230, 250, 260 and 1515. Actual Square D circuit breakers have (a) the amp rating written on the handle in white paint on the front of the breaker (authentic Square D circuit breakers manufactured prior to 2003 did not have white paint on the amperage numbers);
(b) the Square D insignia molded onto the breaker side, and;
(c) a yellow chromate mounting clip with half of the top of the clip visible. If your breaker, labeled as Square D, does not match this description, it could be counterfeit.

These breakers were sold by electrical product distributors nationwide from May 2005 through June 2006 for between $3 and $23 and manufactured in China or unknown.

Consumers should contact Specialty to determine if the breaker they have is counterfeit and to arrange for a free inspection and replacement or refund if necessary. For additional information, contact Specialty at (866) 650-3076 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, by email, or visit the company’s Web site at This is not a Square D Company recall.

Answers to Electrical Questions About Ceiling Fan Troubleshooting, GFCI Requirements, Receptacle Requirements and Troubleshooting Receptacles

May 24, 2008

Tamara asks:
My ceiling fan recently reversed is direction by itself and then started to spark when I turn it on by the switch on the wall. We replaced the fan. After, about 30 minutes of running the new fan started giving off a smell similiar to a hot glue gun. Could something be wrong with our electrical wiring? If so, how can we determine that it is the wiring and not the fan?

There are several possibilities that could cause this. If you can, visually inspect the cable and wires for any defects, loose connections or anything else that looks irregular. Check for loose connections at the switch and ceiling fan. Check voltage at the ceiling fan. You should have approximately 120 volts between the hot and neutral as well as the hot and ground. However, you should have 0 volts between the neutral and ground wires.

There could be problems with the circuit breaker as well. Here you should check for voltage and amperage. When checking for amperage, check with just the fan on, then with the fan and light on (if your ceiling fan has a light kit), finally with everything on that is connected to this circuit.

Troubleshooting most electrical problems is a task for advanced DIYers. If you are uncomfortable / unsure with any of the steps above, I recommend calling a licensed or qualified electrician to look at this problem.


bbuc asks:
Can I also see a wiring diagram for this as I wish to do the same. Also, why is a GFCI required if it’s going be inside the shed and probably not near a water source?

I would be happy to create a custom wiring diagram for you. I provide this service here:

The requirement for GFCI receptacles in garages and sheds improves safety for persons using portable hand-held tools, gardening appliances, lawn mowers, string trimmers, snow blowers, and so on, that might be connected to these receptacles, which are often the closest ones available.


Shane Benham asks:
What if the railing is dividing or protecting a stairway? Would this still qualify as wall space?

Yes. However, I recommend asking your local electrical inspector this question. They are the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) and can best answer this question for you.


Everett Clausen asks:

While drilling metal the other day, the drill bound up and obviously blew something as the line was dead. I checked the circuit breaker and it was not tripped to OFF . In any event I toggled it several times but it did not restore power to the outlet. I removed the outlet cover and checked the connections with a circuit tester and no power to the outlet.
I wonder if you have any ideas on the cause or solution to this

Thanks Everett

Check to see if you can find a GFCI receptacle tripped anywhere. You should also check for voltage at the circuit breaker.

FireX Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Monoxide/Smoke Combo Alarms Recalled Due to Alarm Malfunction

May 17, 2008

On May 15,2008 approximately 280,000 FireX Branded 10000 Series Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms and 12000 Series CO/Smoke Combo Alarms were recalled by Maple Chase Company, of Plain City, Ohio. The recalled alarms can sound a “double chirp”/fault alarm in the presence of CO, prior to going into full alarm. Upon hearing a double chirp, the Owner’s Manual instructions recommend a consumer take the alarm out of service, which could expose consumers to hazardous levels of CO and suffer injury or death.

The recall includes FireX branded 10000 and 12000 series alarms with item numbers: 10000, 12000, 12000C, 12000-6, 12200, 12220, 12400, 12400C manufactured between June 1, 2007 and February 1, 2008. The date code appears on the back of the unit with a four digit year, three digit month followed by the day (ex: 2007JUN1 for June 1, 2007). Units with a manufacture date code prior to June 1, 2007 are not included in this recall.

Firex 10000 series carbon monoxide alarm front Firex 10000 series carbon monoxide alarm back
Firex 12000 series carbon monoxide/smoke alarm combo front Firex 12000 series carbon monoxide/smoke alarm combo back

These units were sold at commercial electrical distributors and electrical contractors and builders for installation into new home construction. A limited number of units were sold at Menard’s nationwide from June 2007 through February 2008 for about $20 (10000 series) and $30 (12000 series). They were manufactured in Mexico.

Consumers should contact Maple Chase immediately to receive a free comparable replacement alarm and make arrangements to return their recalled alarms. Consumers should not take the alarms out of service until they receive the replacement alarm. For more information, contact Maple Chase toll-free at (888) 879-3906 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or go to the firm’s Web site at

Electronic Spa Controls Used on Serenity Spas Recalled by Gecko Alliance Due to Overheating Problem

May 12, 2008

Serenity spa top view On April 1, 2008 Serenity Spa Hot Tubs recalled approximately 1,670 electronic spa controls manufactured by Gecko Alliance of Quebec, Canada because the hot tub’s spa control can overheat, posing a fire hazard. Gecko Alliance has received 28 reports of the spa control overheating, including one incident of damage to the spa equipment.

This recall involves the Hydropool Serenity Series Spa hot tubs with serial numbers 01350XXXX through 03210XXXX. The serial numbers are printed on the right side of the spa control. The Gecko spa control (SSPA-1) has model number 0202-205097 printed on it.

These units were sold exclusively by Hydropool dealers throughout Northeastern United States in Serenity brand spas from January 2002 through December 2004 for between $3,900 to $8,200.

Consumers should immediately stop using the hot tubs and reduce the water temperature control to the minimum setting. Consumers should contact Gecko Alliance’s Back-Pak support center to receive the free retrofit enclosure kit. The kit will be provided with a full set of instructions. Instructions also are available at Consumer should not use their spa until after the retrofit enclosure kit is installed.

For additional information, contact the Back-Pak support team toll-free at (800) 784 3256 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET or visit

Serenity spa side view


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