Q&A Gas fireplace fuel consumption rate

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 24, 2007 at 4:12 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    My father purchased a Mendota gas fireplace last year. It appears to be a very nice unit; however, its rate of fuel consumption has been unexpectedly high, even when the unit is inactive. For example, after having just the pilot light on for two months it burned for only 1 hour before exhausting a 50 gallon drum of propane ($80). I'm about as far from being an expert on the subject as one could be, but this result seems counter-intuitive given the efficiency and operating cost claims associated with gas fireplaces.

    Is this normal? If not, how long should we expect a 50 gallon drum of propane to last fueling just the pilot light? How long should it last actively using the fireplace? In case it helps, here are the specifications of the fireplace:

    Make/Model: Mendota DXV 35 BTUH (Hi) : 33,000 BTUH (Lo) : 21,000 Efficiency (Thermal) : 80.3% Efficiency (AFUE) : 68.3%


    A gallon of propane contains 90,000 BTU, so you'd get almost 3 hours per gallon at the high setting. The pilots on these units can be considerable (ask the factory), but I'd guess as high as 500 BTU/Hour. That would still use only one gallon of LP a week.

    Find out the exact range of the pilot from the factory or dealer...and turn the pilot OFF when you are not using the thing for a week or two. You could also have some leaks, but I doubt they are at the unit. Most likely at the tank or fittings.
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