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Thread: Running multiple appliances on one propane tank

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default Running multiple appliances on one propane tank

    How many times can you put connectors or T's in the propane line? Can I run two heaters and two propane lights on one tank and a stove, fridge and double propane light on another tank? Doesn't seem reasonable to have to run one tank for nearly each item.

    Tim

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    what size tank(s)? 100lb or greater and you have a lot more flexibility. smaller tanks will depressurize pretty quickly running heaters and a fridge, the temp drops too rapidly. lights use almost nothing and can basically be discounted in terms of their draw. you could run 50 lights and be ok, but if you don't have a 100 pound plus tnk I would keep one heater per tank.

    you do know propane is horribly expensive for heat, right?

    recommend you go by amerigas and talk to them.

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    Easy to find chart for propane piping size. Total length + Pipe Size = ? CFH. So first find the CFH.MBH or whatever unit is used on your appliance .1 CFH = 1 MBH. Then make sure your main branch line is sized for that Total CFH + Length FT. Branch lines or T's same formula sized seperately. Start your sizing from the farthest appliance and work back to tank. Then from there you can determine your One tank size.

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    In my opinion, the oriifice coming out of your tank valve is 1/2 to 5/8 inch max. You can put 1" ID line on it and it won't make any difference at all in the end result. If your propane doesn't freeze up on you, I see no reason why 1/2" or 5/8" ID pipe wouldn't run anything you have on the line. Hell, it ain't about volume, it's about pressure and if you ain't got pressure, you need a new tank of fuel. JMO as I said before.
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    The appliances/heaters,etc...are for the cabin. The heaters I was looking at are direct vent propane heaters. I was looking at running the heaters (18000 btu & 8000 btu) + two lights on a 7.5 or 10 gallon (30 or 40 lb) tanks. Same with the fridge, stove & double light.

    When looking at heaters online I did notice that the vent free heaters required a 100 lb tank.

    How do I measure or know what kind of pressure I need?

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by wallymon View Post
    Easy to find chart for propane piping size. Total length + Pipe Size = ? CFH. So first find the CFH.MBH or whatever unit is used on your appliance .1 CFH = 1 MBH. Then make sure your main branch line is sized for that Total CFH + Length FT. Branch lines or T's same formula sized seperately. Start your sizing from the farthest appliance and work back to tank. Then from there you can determine your One tank size.
    Not sure what the nomenclature means. CFH & MBH. Cubic feet per hour? Not sure.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by tccak71 View Post
    The appliances/heaters,etc...are for the cabin. The heaters I was looking at are direct vent propane heaters. I was looking at running the heaters (18000 btu & 8000 btu) + two lights on a 7.5 or 10 gallon (30 or 40 lb) tanks. Same with the fridge, stove & double light.

    When looking at heaters online I did notice that the vent free heaters required a 100 lb tank.

    How do I measure or know what kind of pressure I need?

    Tim
    Tim
    I have a small cabin, I have a vented propane heater, 2 propane lamps and a 2 burner propane stove for cooking... I started out with the 100lb propane bottle... but it always seemed to go dry on the coldest night in Feb... so I'd have 4 or 5 ft of snow to wrestle over/through to get the bottle unhooked, loaded into the sled and hauled to town for refill.. Then Full it became a serious physical challange to get it unloaded from the truck, into a sled, hauled to the cabin and wrestled into place and hooked back up... I'm fast approaching the 4th quarter of my 1st century, so it was a real physical challange... I sold the 100 lb bottle and bought two 40lb bottles..(I already had one for "backup")

    HOWEVER, if I had it to do all over again... I'd put in an oil vented heater... and keep the propane lamps and cooking stove.. I think the new oil heaters put out a much better, more efficient heat... and back it up with a wood stove..../John

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    I can run a Consul fridge, 4 burner standard size range with oven, lights, and an Empire direct vent heater all at the same time on one bottle. Well, two bottles hooked to an automatic bottle switch (great little invention). John at Suburban warned me to expect to plumb my Paloma water heater on a separate tank because it demands a lot of gas and would interrupt any other appliances when it fired. One day I'll actually hook it up.

    Did I really see a reference to an inside venting heater? Bad idea. Wait til you fire that thing up after arriving to a cold cabin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old John View Post
    Then Full it became a serious physical challange to get it unloaded from the truck, into a sled, hauled to the cabin and wrestled into place and hooked back up...
    That's my issue with a 100# tank, they weigh about 180# full. I could move it etc... but I doubt my dad could hump it up the hill, through the snow and hook it up. 2-40lbs may be the way to go.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Did I really see a reference to an inside venting heater? Bad idea. Wait til you fire that thing up after arriving to a cold cabin.
    At Northern Tool they MOSTLY sold "vent-free" heaters. My intuition told me to not go near a heater that isn't vented to the outside.

    Pid, are you saying the smell/fumes would be overwhelming, or it wouldn't put out heat?

    Tim

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    Venting natural gas exhaust into a cabin is not something I'd ever consider because of indoor air quality issues but what I meant above was if you got to the cabin in the cold and turned that heater on all that moisture in the exhaust will condense and freeze on the walls, ceiling, and every fixture in the cabin.

    Most of our houses have carbon monoxide detectors to warn us of accidental gas exhaust leaks in our homes. How do you rationalize purposely venting gas exhaust into your cabin?

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    Good to know. I don't know much about propane heaters, but I didn't think venting in the cabin was a good idea from the get-go.

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Venting natural gas exhaust into a cabin is not something I'd ever consider because of indoor air quality issues but what I meant above was if you got to the cabin in the cold and turned that heater on all that moisture in the exhaust will condense and freeze on the walls, ceiling, and every fixture in the cabin.

    Most of our houses have carbon monoxide detectors to warn us of accidental gas exhaust leaks in our homes. How do you rationalize purposely venting gas exhaust into your cabin?
    Didn't a man die from propane "fumes" earlier this winter over by Talkeetna...?? I don't recall all the details, but recall a man had visited a friend/neighbor for supper, and when it was time to go home, his dog refused to go home and into his cabin with him... The man had Not been feeling well for several days (probably carbon monoxide poisoning)... anyway they found him dead the next day ..
    believe it was in the Talkeetna area, but not sure.../John

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