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using an LP bottle like a gas grill to run gas logs?

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by BuckeyeMark, Jun 30, 2008.

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  1. BuckeyeMark

    BuckeyeMark New Member

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    we have a wood fireplace. it's a pain - wife doesn't like smoky smell, buying wood, getting it started, etc.

    at our old house we had a gas fireplace and it was a joy. instant heat, instant nice fire. wonderful.

    don't have gas at this house so no gas fireplace.

    so that makes me wonder? could I hook up some LP logs to a propane bottle like my gas grill uses? if not, why not?

    anybody done this or know of a manufacturer who makes logs that hook up like that?

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it can be done - BUT, you'd want a log set with a relatively low input (will use less energy also)...like under 50K BTU if possible.

    Using a small tank with a high output can cause the valve and line at the tank to freeze too quickly.

    But, if the input of the logs is somewhat similar to the input of a gas grill, this should be OK. You can also get the LP containers that are one size up from the very small bottles - used for forklifts and some motorhomes, etc. - that will last longer before you have to refill.

    As far as hookup, that should be no problem. You probably will have two regulators, one at the tank and a small one that comes with the log set. Just follow the instructions for the set you choose.
  3. BuckeyeMark

    BuckeyeMark New Member

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    recommendation on a log set with a relatively low input? hook up with two regulators?
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Most vent-free fit that description - even if you hook them up vented.
    Also, Monesson sets (Duzy) have relatively low inputs.

    Regulators are pretty standard at the tank, and another is only needed if it comes with the set. Vent-free often have these small regulators at the set for more precise pressure.
  5. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Make sure you put the tank OUTSIDE the house. Not a good idea to have one inside hooked up or in storage, reguardless of code, which requires it, it is just a good safe thing to do.
    Also there is a tank one size bigger then the one Craig mentioned. I beleive its 25 Gal. A little tough to move around but lasts pretty long between fillings. Its about 4' tall and a little larger in dia then a 5
  6. BuckeyeMark

    BuckeyeMark New Member

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    tank outside kills it. fireplace in the center of the house. that would be one long line to get it outside - probably eight feet up to the attic - then twenty feet across - eight feet down. is it that important?

    mdr
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, tank of course - in 100% of cases, must be outside! You should be able to run the way you mention - I've seen longer runs than that.
  8. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    First let me say that YES this is not a good move.
    BUT let me say I dont want to say that I HAVENT done so and so far I am still here. Well never in my house but in my garage, inside the bathroom. I feed a 40 gal WH with a 20 gal tank and have had no issues with the setup for over 4 years.
    This is not to say that putting the tank in your house is a good idea.
    what type of foundation do you have? can you go underneath?
    what type of winters do you have?
    Perhaps an insert?
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    BuckeyeMark - you may even consider going up to a larger tank yet (such as the stand up versions you see at cabins, etc.). The logic is, if you buy gas by the pound (such as a grill tank) they really nail ya, as opposed to buying by the gallon (they still nail ya, just not as hard).
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Lowe's carries a 100 lb (24 gallon) tank for $130.
  11. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I buy all my propane by the gallon. Whether in a little BBQ tank or bulk. Does someone sell #s of propane? Figure that if you get a tank bigger than the typical RV 7 gallon tank that you are going to have a hard time moving it when full. For instance that 24 gallon tank will be up near 150 lbs when full of LPG.

    You'll be stuck with having propane delivered vs. shopping around and getting it filled.

    Many folks in my area heat their entire homes with an LPG stove or insert fed from a bulk tank in their yard. It is actually a pretty ideal way to heat with propane.
  12. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

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    tanks can freez up on you this is not a good idea at all the and you should NEVER have a propane tank inside your house!
  13. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, all the hardware stores around here that you can take your empty tanks to - and get them filled on the spot, sell by pound. As a matter of fact, they set the tanks on a scale so when the scale "tips", your full.
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    How odd. Not how it's done here at all. Our guys keep adding LPG until the OPD shuts off flow or liquid starts bubbling out the vent of the tank. The pump has a meter on it that measures gallons dispensed. Yes, you do pay for the LPG in the hose that stays behind.
  15. fueldude

    fueldude Member

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    Filling by weight and waiting for the valve to stop/liquid gage to trip (which happens at 80%) gives the same amount of gas. Just two different methods to do the same thing.
  16. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    I did see in a Procom owner's manual that they said to not use any tank under #125. I am not sure why and I do not have the manual.

    Eric
  17. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Hauling the propane yourself is where you save the coin and it is substantial. Just go buy or scrounge 2 100 gallon which is the tall thin 20 pounders they sell at Lowes. Hook those to an auto switching valve so you never run out. You can then simply fill the tank thats MT at your leisure. I have run mine like that or a similar hookup for around 20 years and never had a freeze up here in the Tundra. The bigger stoves as far as I know use a fatter 1/2 inch copper feed line. You can haul those tall tanks easily using a 25 dollar dolly from Home depot or similar by wrapping the tank with a ratchet strap to keep it secure while you move it. The biggest mistake I made was to get a 50 lb tank. Damned thing is MT twice as often and is as hard to lug around as the 100's are. They aren't much cheaper either so don't get sucked in. I just use mine currently to run a clothes dryer and it still doesn't last the winter. The bigger ones are much better and don't have the overflow protection valve that got mandated a while back. When you start hauling your own make sure you buy one of those screw on valve protectors for use while you are transporting it. Cheap insurance.
  18. Mohomeowner

    Mohomeowner New Member

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    I have noticed that it's a LOT cheaper to fill a 100 lb tank here vs a 20 lb tank.

    The 20 lb tank costs about $18 to fill....so $.90 per lb of tank size

    The 100lb tank cost about $55 to fill......$.55 per lb of tank size


    Go with as big of a tank that you can.

    Delivered price around here is $2.50 per gallon....not sure how much you would need to purchase to get that price.



    A lot of people say that natural gas is cheaper...and much of the time it is. What is not figured in is the price of the meter. Different areas have different prices. around here, the meter is about $35 per month...even if you don't use any gas. With natural gas, in order to make it cheaper than electricity and propane is you must have as many gas appliances as possible. Keep your electricity usage to a minimum.

    I currently have a heat pump and have a supplemental pellet stove and a supplemental vent free gas fireplace in the master BR. It runs off propane and I have it connected to a 100 lb tank.

    Eventually, I plan to have a dual fuel central furnace....heat pump combined with a propane 95% furnace. Add a wood burning furnace in the basement ducted to the main house ducts and it will use almost no gas in the winter...but will be available when needed to make sure the house is as comfortable as possible.
  19. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Shop around if you are filling your own. It should cost the same per pound or gallon whatever be it a 100 or a 20. A lot of these places like to have you pay to fill em by the fill with the small bbq bottles rather than the lb, avoid them for obvious reasons. Like everything ya gotta look around and shop the deals.
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