Heaters for Portable Propane Tanks

For topics about heating with other types of fuel such as wood burners, gas furnaces, oil burners and geothermal heat pumps.
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NWBuilder
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:40 am

I am in need of heat for my wood working shop but since it is sporadic I would like to go with an inexpensive option. A friend of mine suggested those small heaters that fit on top of a portable propane tank. I have looked at a few online and the reviews seem positive but don't say how much fuel is consumed. Does anyone have experience with these units? I am open to suggestions for alternatives. Generally it is the price of some of the options I have looked at that turns me away. In the winter I would be surprised if I spend more then 2 weeks working in the shop and that is not consecutive days either more of just here and there. Thanks for any ideas or input. Ken


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KLook
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:44 am

I ran a couple of them to heat a small home I was finishing last winter. I believe at the high setting I was using up a small tank every 24 hours. It can be figured by the BTU rating for the heater. I think they max out at 15000?? 12000?? Anyways, there is about 90000 BTU's in a gallon of propane so just calculate it by that.

Kevin

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NWBuilder
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:44 am

Just an aside, I am using a kerosene type salamander for heat but that gets expensive and smells kind of awful. It also adds moisture into the air. Not great for a wood shop.

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NWBuilder
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:45 am

KLook wrote:I ran a couple of them to heat a small home I was finishing last winter. I believe at the high setting I was using up a small tank every 24 hours. It can be figured by the BTU rating for the heater. I think they max out at 15000?? 12000?? Anyways, there is about 90000 BTU's in a gallon of propane so just calculate it by that.

Kevin
Thanks Kevin

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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:47 am

NWBuilder wrote:Just an aside, I am using a kerosene type salamander for heat but that gets expensive and smells kind of awful. It also adds moisture into the air. Not great for a wood shop.
Propane will also put a lot of moisture into the air, and while the fumes aren't as strong, you are still breathing the products of combustion (assuming you use a ventless heater).

If you have electric service out there, some electric baseboards or a "garage heater" might be worth considering.

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KLook
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:50 am

Ditto to Rob on the moisture, and I hate the salamader's. Had a couple of them also. They give me wicked headaches.

Kevin

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Sting
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 10:52 am

I had a little 'wet" job last week in a building where the air temp was just this side of Arctic -- so I bought one of these on the second trip to the big box store for 'supplies'

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202895381 ... Jfe04ZQRI0

It kept the borrowed pipe wrench from freezing to my gloves - but I needed to keep the jug too close or it froze and wouldn't produce vapor - I took this one because the bigger version would never have gotten enough vapor at the temps we had. But you could slap a magnetic heater on the propane tank to keep the liquid gassing -- Your mileage may vary!
When you turn your boiler on -Does it return the favor?
I have finally lost my mind. Don't bother to return it. It wasn't working properly anyway!

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KLook
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 11:10 am

Yup, I borrowed one of those also from my plumbing & heating buddy. It did work as advertised but is an open flame and might not be good in a dusty wood shop environment. Hey! Good to see you are still kicking Sting! I have missed you're barbed comments! :D

Kevin


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Sting
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 3:35 pm

If the armature of the saw motor isn't exploding the atmosphere - this little flame will simply give you some extra light :lol:
When you turn your boiler on -Does it return the favor?
I have finally lost my mind. Don't bother to return it. It wasn't working properly anyway!

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NWBuilder
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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 8:58 pm

Rob R. wrote:
NWBuilder wrote:Just an aside, I am using a kerosene type salamander for heat but that gets expensive and smells kind of awful. It also adds moisture into the air. Not great for a wood shop.
Propane will also put a lot of moisture into the air, and while the fumes aren't as strong, you are still breathing the products of combustion (assuming you use a ventless heater).

If you have electric service out there, some electric baseboards or a "garage heater" might be worth considering.
Ok what is a "garage heater" Electric baseboard might be expensive to run, I will ask my electrician what he thinks about that one. Never even considered it. Thanks

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Post Mon. Nov. 05, 2012 9:53 pm

I think it all comes down to how much you are going to use it. Propane isn't cheap, but it's usually less than electricity. But... if you're only heating a small space for a few hours here & there, it's hard to beat electric... this (see pic) type of heater is very directional....it tends to heat humans, not air, if you know what I mean. Now, if you are painting, you'll need to heat the entire room... it's going to take more BTU's. I don't care what fuel you use, if it has a flame, I like to have it vented. No good comes from a "ventless" type heater.
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SMITTY
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2012 12:03 am

I must have a high tolerance for exhaust fumes ... :lol: I've got a 135k BTU kerosene torpedo (salamander) heater I used to use to take the chill off the barn before I kicked the oil on. Haven't run it for the past 2 seasons. Now, too expensive to buy either fuel. Zero smoke and very little smell compared to the diesel powered ones ... especially when you get rid of used motor oil in them ... toothy
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On
Crimes and Punishment."

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NWBuilder
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Location: Norfolk, CT

Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2012 8:39 am

Freddy wrote:I think it all comes down to how much you are going to use it. Propane isn't cheap, but it's usually less than electricity. But... if you're only heating a small space for a few hours here & there, it's hard to beat electric... this (see pic) type of heater is very directional....it tends to heat humans, not air, if you know what I mean. Now, if you are painting, you'll need to heat the entire room... it's going to take more BTU's. I don't care what fuel you use, if it has a flame, I like to have it vented. No good comes from a "ventless" type heater.
I think I am going to find that I need to bite the bullet and put in a vented propane heater. My own personal comfort is one thing but I do need to heat the entire shop as I build counter tops and do other finishing projects as well. My shop is 28 X 44 so I need a few BTU's for that bad boy and I don't think a personal heater will git er done!! At times I need to maintain temps around 70 in order for so bonds to be complete. That has to be the case for at least 48 hours so it somewhat rules out the small propane tanks if they have a burn time of only 24 hours. Can anyone tell me what I will need for BTU's to heat this space? It is well insulated and has 9 foot ceilings. Thanks guys. Ken

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SMITTY
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Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2012 8:42 am

That's about the same size as my barn, and that torpedo heats it up nice even on the coldest days. And there's not one shred of insulation in the place either.
The laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. ...Such laws make things worse
for the assaulted and better for the assailants, they serve rather to
encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with
greater confidence than an armed man."

- Thomas Jefferson, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in "On
Crimes and Punishment."

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NWBuilder
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Location: Norfolk, CT

Post Tue. Nov. 06, 2012 9:00 am

My torpedo heats my shop up to whatever temp I want, that is not the problem. The fumes get to me, My eyes burn and the smell can be most unpleasant. That is why I am looking at alternatives. The one thing I assume with the propane vented heaters is that you don't get any smell if it is vented. I have a 250k top hat propane heater as well that will blast me out of there as well but those fumes are jut as noxious!!


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