Heat your home with coal

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Pete-
I found airplane (US commercial passenger travel) deaths for 1982 thru 2000......... the average was 120 deaths per year. NTSB
ALL gas explosion deaths (industrial, residential; NG, propane, industrial process gases) in the about 150 to 200 per year range in the US. Residential deaths are a fraction of those......
So residential NG explosion related deaths are NOT "far above the rate of plane crashes"....they're are below if anything.
NG is a pretty safe source of energy, LP is probably less safe due to the nature of the systems...having to sometimes make & break connections.
The sensational nature of TV news exaggerates dangers.
cheers Bob
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Pete C. wrote:

Most homes come equipped with multiple natural gas detection devices.
They're called noses.
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AMEN! good answer.
s

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Steve Barker wrote:

Bad answer. Noses detect smoke too, yet we need smoke detectors since the nose is ineffective when the person it's attached to is unconscious.

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Pete C. wrote:

Smoke detectors detect the products of combustion - which may be odorless.
As I recall my high school biology, the ear bone is connected to the nose bone. If being unconscious deactivates the nose bone, the ear bone is likewise disabled.
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Electric fire happen everyday here in chgo from space heaters, overloaded circuits, its news but not headlines since it didnt blow up. Electric fires are common in winter, gas explosions rare but exciting news
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oh please.
s

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there's another consideration..... we've only been discussing heat. HOW THE HELL YA GONNA COOK WITHOUT GAS???
steve

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Steve Barker wrote:

I've cooked many dinners, both on high end gas stoves and on old POS cal-rod electric stoves, and all have received rave reviews from my guests. In other words, gas is not a requirement for good cooking.
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Funny, you won't find an electric burner in a resturant. Maybe an electric grill, but never a skillet burner.
s

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Steve Barker wrote:

First off, you are wrong, secondly the reason most commercial cooking equipment is gas is for economy due to the large amount of energy use in a restaurant and the lower cost/BTU for gas, something that isn't a factor in residential cooking.
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You can do some things with an open flame that a hot element won't do. Wok cooking was invented to conserve fuel by heating over a small group of coals. You can use a gas flame, but they don't do well with electric elements. Flat bottomed and electric woks are just a bastardization, not even a distant cousin of a real hammered carbon steel wok.
If you want to singe pin feathers on poultry, open flame is the way to go. Mashed potatoes can be made with any heat source.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Actually, you can heat a wok more efficiently with an electric source than with a gas source. A great deal of the BTUs from a gas wok burner zip right past the sides of the wok and only heat the kitchen.

A handheld torch like a Bernz-O-Matic TS4000 will singe those feathers quite nicely as well as brulee your creme brulee and many other culinary tasks. Yes, it's gas, but a 16oz cylinder isn't going to level your house.
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How does that happen? Take a typical electric element and it is about 6" to 8" in diameter. A wok has a rounded bottom and makes contact at one tiny point. Where is the efficiency? My one gas burner has a nice hot 3" diameter flame that heats the base of a wok very well.
Using a wok is one reason I got rid of the electric range shortly after moving here.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I didn't say that peak efficiency could be found placing a round bottom wok on a conventional cal-rod type electric element. A flat bottom wok would make better contact with a cal-rod type element. A round bottom wok would of course benefit from a more appropriately shaped cal-rod element, or better yet, and induction "burner", both of which would provide more efficient heat transfer/generation than a gas flame.
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so pete what do you recommend for home heating? since you claim gas is unsafe?
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Flat bottom woks are imitations, part frying pan, not a true wok. I don't know if cal-rod elements are available shaped to cradle a wok, but the typical household does not have one. Give the tiny point of contact, would an induction give enough heat? I think you must be pretty close to the magnetic field. Woks were invented for open flame cooking and fuel conservation.
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Pete-
so? a few incidents reported on the news does carry much weight
I would suggest that you refrain from drawing statistical relevance from TV news reports. The TV news (well, all TV) exists to sell ad time. Exciting news makes people watch
The data is a little hard to dig up (CDC / OSHA) but..........
my best efforts put ALL gas explosion deaths (industrial, residential; NG, propane, industrial process gases) in the about 150 to 200 per year range in the US. Residential are a fraction of those......
to put it in perspective there about 80 lightning deaths per year in the US.
CO deaths (non-fire, non-explosion) from faulty NG heaters kills another 28 per year, propane heaters (CO again) a like number.
NG is lighter than air & leaks dissipate, it ain't easy to generate explosive concentrations (possible but not easy)
Fear not natural gas but poor eating habits, lack of exercise, smoking, cars, ladders, bodies of water & one's crazy associates....watch out. Faulty DNA as well......
Don't worry, be happy.
As Ransley mentioned, some old flex lines (uncoated copper, I think) are problematic but switching to SS or coated lines greatly reduced that small risk.
cheers Bob
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

It disappeared for very clear reasons. It was messy and inefficient and the much better electric lighting became available.
Coal gasification is still not a great process.
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i can see it maybe if your moneys tight and its cheeper,,but my lord ,i remember filling the coal hopper every day on the old stove.what a damn mess it was.. not to mention cleaning the stove out and the soot i remember when nat gas came thru in 60 ,it was a god send.lucas
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