My home was originally an All-Electric Home, and while I've converted
heat and hot water over to gas, with a slab foundation there was no
practical way to get gas to the fireplace (the fireplace is completely
inside the living space, so there's no outside wall).
Originally there was a Matchless Log Lighter, Model 100, made by Vico
Products Manufacturing of South El Monte , CA. I found them on the
internet, but listed phone numbers are disconnected, so I suspect they
are out of business.
So this was a heating element laid into a groove in the grate, and
connected through an electric cable to a timer on the outside of the
chimney. Here's a picture:
Well of course this thing has long since burned out. And as you can see
in the picture, the heating element is embedded in some kind of white
ceramic material inside the steel pipe. So I don't see a way to replace
just the element.
I just wondered if anyone knew of another product, or possibly a DIY
thing, that would let me get some kind of built-in electric fire starter