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Help connecting gas fireplace to propane tank

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by davidbisok, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. davidbisok

    davidbisok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    I bought a Charmglow model #CGL250TE gas fireplace at a garage sale this weekend. It had never been used and therefore did not come with a hose or tank. There isn't a manual and I could not find one online. There is a sticker on the back that reads "This heater requires an external regulator to reduce the LP tank pressure to a maximum of 14 inch W.C.". I went and bought an LP tank, a high pressure hose with A 10-psi regulator that has a 3/8" flare swivel fitting (female). One problem is that the fireplace also has a 3/8" female fitting. I went back and bought a 3/8" flare union fitting. I see now that the fireplace fitting is not made specifically for a flared male end. I don't know if this matters or not. I have also read that there is a difference between a low pressure regulator and a high pressure regulator, so now i'm confused if I even have the right regulator. I know that I have to be careful with everything when working with gas. Please help if possible.

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  2. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
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    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    First, you will need a second (low pressure) regulator that further reduces the 10 psi inlet gas to 11" WC (1/2 psi). The typical system is a high pressure (10 psi) regulator right on the tank, piping from that to a low pressure regulator near the appliance but still outside the house, which feeds the appliance(s). Some things, like barbecue grills and the like, use a single stage regulator that goes right from tank pressure to 11" WC, but those are generally not legal (or safe) for anything installed indoors.

    From the low pressure regulator, you will need piping (copper tubing or black pipe) through the wall into the house, then a shutoff valve (this is a must). The fitting on the fireplace, if it's directly on the regulator, is probably female pipe threads which means you need an adapter, or if there's a flexible line attached to the fireplace it's probably female flare. You can also buy flexible corrugated metal gas hoses made to go from the valve to the fireplace with a variety of fittings; they cost a bit more but can be worth it for the hassle they save.

    Before firing it up, everything must be leak checked!

    If you're unsure what you're doing, it might be best to hire a professional.
  3. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

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    The Great Pacific North Wet
    You need a different regulator.

    Brad
  4. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    What size tank did you buy?
  5. davidbisok

    davidbisok New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
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    3
    Ok, sorry for the delay guys. I appreciate all your help so far. So now I have gotten a 20lb tank and a regulator with an outlet pressure that does not exceed 11" W.C., I also bought a 10 ft hose with female/male 3/8" fittings. The problem I have run into now is that the fireplace has a 3/8" female fitting and the hose I want to connect has a 3/8" female flare fitting. I bought a 3/8" flare union to connect the two, but the fireplace female fitting is not flare it is just a straight tube with threads on the inside. The outer edges of this fitting are somewhat flared larger than the 3/8" so when I screw in the male it stops when it gets to the middle of the male fitting but the hexagonal part goes inside the flared opening and is not flush against anything. I hope this all makes sense. I am including some photos. Thanks, David IMG_2179.jpg IMG_2180.jpg IMG_2177.jpg IMG_2182.jpg IMG_2185.jpg
  6. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    313
    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    David, as I said above, the regulator and hose you bought are not legal or safe for indoor use; they're made for an outdoor barbecue grill. They'll work, for testing (I briefly tested mine that way), but are not suitable for permanent installation. For indoor use, you must use a two stage regulator like this one or two separate regulators (1st stage to 10 psi, 2nd stage to 11" WC). You can't use a rubber hose indoors, either.

    The fitting on your fireplace is probably 3/8"NPT (pipe taper threads). You need a 3/8NPT to 3/8 flare adapter, then a metal gas hose, then a valve, connected to a metal pipe (black pipe or copper tube) going through the wall of the house. Outside, the piping goes to the regulator, where (if you're using copper tubing) you'll need another 3/8NPT to 3/8 flare adapter.

    Also, that 20# tank won't last you very long, and each time you disconnect it to get it refilled you'll get air in the line which will be a PITA to purge so you can relight the pilot. You can get 100# tanks at places like Home Depot.

    Finally, if it's not properly installed and pressure tested to code (usually requiring a visit from the building inspector) your homeowners insurance probably won't cover you if anything bad happens.
    DAKSY likes this.
  7. davidbisok

    davidbisok New Member

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    Dec 22, 2012
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    Thanks for the reply. I was planning on using the fireplace on my screen porch actually. I live in Florida so i'll be lucky to use it for 50 hours a season. I think the 20lb tank should suffice. I just ordered the 3/8 NPT x 3/8 flare adapter. Do I need 2 regulators if I use this on my porch? Most people here have their bbq grills on there porches because it rains so much in the summer so it would probably be ok.
  8. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    CT stix & upstate NY
    Two things to consider: First, with the rubber hose, what happens if it springs a leak (boom)? Second, the single stage regulators aren't as precise in their pressure regulation. This is not a big issue with a grill, but could cause problems with a fireplace, especially a ventless one... improper combustion can release excess CO, or soot up the device.

    Also on a screen porch with any breeze, the fireplace might not work properly. I doubt it's approved for outdoor use.

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