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Converting to propane oven/range-what regulator do I need?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Badfish740, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    We had dinner with my parents last night and they generously offered to replace our electric stove (original to our late '60s era ranch) with a new one for Christmas. We agreed that if we went with a gas model that we would shoulder the cost of the tank, regulator, plumbing, etc...and they would cover the stove. Now I'm just trying to figure out what I need. Right now the stove will be the only thing running on propane. We still have an electric DWH, electric dryer, and the furnace is oil. When the electric DHW finally dies I'll probably want to go propane on that as well, and down the road maybe the dryer, so should I buy a regulator that can handle all of that stuff later on or should I just get one that will handle the stove for now? I'm going with a 100lb tank because from what I've seen it should be more than adequate for a single oven. I've seen posts on different sites where folks have gotten anywhere from 18 months to two years out of a 100lb tank. I'm going to purchase a tank because a friend works for an industrial supply company and can get me one at cost-they don't sell regulators though. Anyway, if someone could point me in the direction of a good regulator that would be great. I pretty much know everything else that's required.

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  2. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Have you priced out the cost of operating a propane stove vs electric?

    Out here propane runs about $3.75/gal and electric is $0.16 KwH, Natural gas is roughly $1/therm

    Propane is ~91,500btu per gal, so 24,400 btus per dollar

    Electric is ~3400 btus per KwH so a dollar would buy 21250 btus

    Natural Gas is ~81600btus per gal (102000 per therm, 0.80 gal in a therm), a dollar buys about 81600 btus.

    Of course those costs will vary greatly depending on location, but from what I understand AK has some of the highest electric rates in the US.
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Methinks this is in reaction to a recent long electricity outage.
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Some people prefer cooking on a gas stove, feel that it gives them better control - especially when the power goes out!
  5. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Get a regulator large enough to handle your anticipated needs. If you expect to eventually use it for heating, you will probably want two regulators instead of a single two stage regulator; the first (at the tank) reduces the pressure to 10 psi, and the second (feeding the appliance) drops it further to 11" of water (1/2 psi).

    I bought regulators and tank fittings here:

    http://propanewarehouse.com/

    I'm slowing converting to propane. Started with a gas fireplace as the primary heat for the house (replacing oil), now installing two more propane wall heaters, will replace electric appliances (DWH, stove, clothes dryer) with propane appliances as they wear out.

    I would suggest two 100# tanks with a changeover regulator so you have no interruption when a tank runs dry. I go through several tanks a summer at my cabin (stove, DWH, and clothes dryer). At the house I have two 420# tanks and plan to add one more.
  6. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Since all I'm operating is the stove I'm really not worried about the cost. I'm more concerned with actually being able to cook for a change. An electric stove is simply a giant hotplate-my wife is a phenomenal cook (I'm not bad myself) and the stove drives her nuts. Now ours also doesn't work properly either because it's 30+ years old (burners work when they want to, don't get hot enough, etc...), but still, if just want to heat stuff up, an electric stove is fine, if you actually want to cook, there's no substitute for a flame. Also as BB pointed out it would be nice to not have to go outside and cook on the grill during power outages. I'll still have to fire up the genny to do it since pilot lights have gone the way of the dodo bird, but at least I'll be cooking inside ;)

    Thanks for the link!
    jharkin likes this.
  7. MaintenanceMan

    MaintenanceMan Burning Hunk

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    Have you talked to your propane provider yet? Around here they will typically set up your tank or often two twined 100lb cylinders for just a stove and hook up a regulator for free. Before purchasing anything talk to some propane companies. Usually you'll just have to get the gas line run outside for them to hook to.

    Also. you won't have to use your generator to light the cook top during a power outage. Just turn on the burner and use a grill lighter. The oven isn't usually that simple on newer stoves, but the cook top will still be usable with just a lighter.
  8. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    matches will work for lighting during an outage. I also own a propane hot plate that runs on 1 lb bottles to use during outages.
  9. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Good for you. I miss cooking on gas, I have not used propane but with NG it was great. We're now using a glass top range that has a couple of advantages but I would not buy one on purpose.

    I'm really intersted in those stoves with the dual ovens. One little one on top for sheet goods and then a big one on bottom for big stuff. Not very often that we need to bake something thicker then 4 inches. No more knocking your shins into that big open oven door.

    Don't forget power. You now have a 240 volt plug for your oven, the gas oven will need a 120 volt plug.
  10. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    Luckily the fridge is right next to the oven so they can share-the 240 will eventually get extended out to the garage for a welder :)
  11. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I really like our propane stove. We've got two 100# tanks plumbed in sequence with a dual stage regulator on them to run the stove, tankless hot water heater and a small (10K BTU) blue flame heater. I thought some of the new ones wouldn't light without a power source as some sort of safety feature (ours is a 1950's era Bengal-no electric anything. Pilot light for the burners and match for the oven)?
  12. greg13

    greg13 Feeling the Heat

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    There is usually a second regulator attached to the stove, So you will have one at the tank then the second at the stove. If you are just running the stove any grill regulator will be fine for the first regulator. If you add more to the system you may want to contact a propane supplier for a larger regulator.
  13. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    A grill regulator will work, but in many (most? all?) states a single stage regulator isn't legal for an indoor appliance. Most grill regulators are pretty cheaply made, too; I wouldn't trust one for an indoor stove.
  14. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Both our old stove and current one did not have a regulator at the stove. Previously we had a large propane tank that had a regulator on the tank and a second inline before the lines came in the house. Don't most regulators have an overflow type valve on them? Any that I've seen do, and I certainly wouldn't want that in my house...
  15. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    When you have a two regulator system, as I said above the first regulator on the tank drops it to 10 psi and the second drops it further to 11" WC (1/2 psi). This is the typical setup with 420 lb and larger tanks. Codes don't allow anything over 10 psi inside a building, and if you have the second stage regulator inside (which is legal) the vent must be piped back outside.

    The typical smaller (100 lb) single and twin tanks setups typically have a dual stage regulator on the tank, and feed 1/2 psi gas. They're suited for lower flow, i.e. stoves or DHW but not whole house heating. Note that this is still a dual stage regulator in a single package, not a single stage regulator like the typical cheap grill regulator.

    Some gas appliances have their own (unvented, I think) regulators. This regulator is adjustable, and is used, if necessary, to further reduce the gas pressure from the input 11" to some lower value for high altitude installations. At least that's what the manual for my Bosch tankless water heater says. If a stove isn't designed for high altitude use, or has some other means to adjust it, it may not have its own regulator.

    I've also seen a stove designed for propane or NG with no change parts... there was a plastic part in the regulator that you flipped over depending on which gas, and a screw adjustment on the orifices.
  16. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I've seen those stoves with adjustable regulators also. Well, heard of them anyway. Ours needed orafice adjustments. Thank goodness for hearth.com in that regard, for the help I got from Coaly !

    We have a single (one piece) dual stage on our set up.
  17. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    If your only using for cooking for now, buy your own tank(s) & regulator.
    The gas companies around here charge a flat rate yearly if you don't use enough. I have a 100 lb tank that between it and 2 small grill tanks, took 6.1 gallons of propane. Yet I get a bill for $95.00.
    I just went through this again yesterday for my yearly "filling". At least the delivery guy is cool and fills all my 25 lb. bbq tanks.
    My first year here before they started this crap, a top off cost me $17.00. The next year was similar. Then the economy tanked and they started this minimum usage/fee crap.
    I will be buying my own tank and regulator next summer. Actually, for just our stove, I might stick with the 40 pounder I have in line as the back up for the 100. The 40 is mine, came with the house.
    Prolly get 3 or so years out of that alone.
    Like with anything, research it well. The gas co will be glad to bring you a tank or two and regulator, and hook it up. But then your going to get charged every year, especially if your not using enough propane, which for cooking only, you won't.
  18. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We bought our own 100# tanks from Tractor Supply. I think they were about $130? and a fill was @ $60. We can go to a local hardware store that's only a few miles away for a refill when we need to. They are a little heavy when full, but not bad at all empty.
  19. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    That's the plan-you can get propane pretty much anywhere around here so no sense getting tied up with a contract if I don't need to.
  20. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Somewhat unrelated... Where would I buy a larger 250 gallon or so propane tank? I'd like to own my own so I can shop around and buy with cash rather than be tied to a provider.
  21. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    +1

    Same reason we are extending our NG line and plan to throw out our fancy smoothtop electric.

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