More gas questions

So... the reason I've been asking so many gas questions in these groups is that we have had wells put in on the farm here and now get some gas for free. We changed my rickety old oil furnace over to gas at Christmas time, but the bucks really are about dried up after that and the cost of having lines installed inside and out and etc. I know I'm asking a lot of questions in a lot of groups, and do appreciate the replies even if I've gotten careless about saying that.
So... here's another gas post. The lines here belong to the driller and not the gas company. He said that one of his requirements concerning tieing into his lines is that he wanted a small shelter covered with black felt built over the tap, meter and regulators (little one, not his monster) out in the field to help prevent any possible freeze up. I hope to get to that this week or next. I figure some sort of little A frame might be best.
But here's where the questions come in... he also said he wants a back-up heat source in case there would be a freeze up at the regulator as 'we're not a utility with trucks out around the clock and I'd have to wait till my guys come in in the morning or Monday if it's a weekend and if it's cold enough to happen to you then it's cold enough to have happened to someone else, too. It might not happen for many years but it might happen several times in one year, from our experience.'
Q: Now... knowing that these guys are the used car salesmen of energy, is he just covering his ass or is this a real possibility?
I added one of those 30,000 BTU ventless space heaters to the basement and am extremely happy with it (I know experiences vary) and I no longer need space heaters all around to keep the pipes flowing in the worst but spinning the electric meter in the process. One evening, when it was 3degF during the day a few weeks ago, our power went out for 5 1/2 hours and I turned it up to high and opened the cellar step door above it and it kept the house at 70deg just fine for the duration. It is a small single story and I realize there's a lot of difference between keeping it warm and getting it warm. Nonetheless, I'm considering getting another one (LP style) at season-end prices and getting a little bar-b-que sized tank and keeping it down there just in case of his emergency line freeze.
Q: How much time would I get from this tank running a 30,000 BTU vent free heater at full tilt. Is this a viable emergency source?
I really would like to keep my chimney free for another purpose (subject for another thread) if I can and this might be a cheap way out.
Thanks again.
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If he wants a protective cover and it is his pipe then he gets one. As for the heat. That will be pretty hard to do considering this is out in the field. Providing that I understand what the your talking about.
Propane and NG are different animals and would probably require different jetting to get the heaters to work correctly.
WAG 30k BTU's maybe 4-5 hours on a 20 pound tank. (BBQ tank)
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Pound of propane is 21,560 Btu. Twenty pound tank is 431.200 Btu so a true 30k burner would last 14.3 hours.
What are the properties of propane?
Formula C3H8
Boiling point, F, @ atmospheric press -44
Specific gravity of gas (air=1) @ 60F 1.53
Specific gravity of liquid (water=1) 0.51
Weight per gallon of liquid @ 60F, lbs 4.23
BTU per gallon (vaporized) 91,500
BTU per pound (vaporized) 21,560
BTU per Cubic Foot (vaporized) 2,500
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Ed, you sure that Hank Hill is not your alter ego? Y'all know tooooo much about c3h8 to be normal.
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This is Turtle.
If you read over at alt.hvac and go to the referrance site posted there. You can get most any data you want. The Key here is '' Ed can read '' .
TURTLE
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I should have maybe broken that into two posts, I guess.
Issue 1:
The enclosure for the meter is one issue... theoretically it's his on one end, mine on the other, but... the bottom line is that he didn't have to do some of the things he's done for us, but in an effort to come to some agreements that made the whole plan workable for *everybody* involved here without them raping the farm like they do so often (and they wouldn't have got the contract without some guarantees that it wouldn't happen) there were expenses and labor added to his end and some things picked up on our end. It's called a business compromise (the type that would not happen with larger name drillers). It's a good deal that a family member worked out that benefits several family members significantly and I'm not going to complain about a little enclosure... small price for some long term gains.
Weather gathers in the valley and then rips up across our fields and just hammers anything in it's path by the time it gets to the top here. What I was wondering is if the black felt covered enclosure as an A-frame that lets snow and such run off would be better than a box with slight pitched top. Would one hold warmth any better or are they both gonna do no more than just shield it from the elements?
Issue 2:
The backup heat is for *in the house* in case the lines ever did freeze. It is an occurance sometimes coming out of wells. We are not worried about the well tripping as when it happens there are still others on line, but if the regulator or meter from my tap freezes I may be without heat for a while till he gets someone out to reset it. I was wondering about buying a second ventless heater with propane fittings to use as an emergency heat source and it's viability from the standpoint of how long it would run off of a 20 pound tank of propane. It will do the job, from experience, but how long will it do it for? I see some varied answers to that... guess I'll just grab a bag of popcorn and watch it work itself out here, eh? ;-)
Thanks for the replies!!
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Scetch out the frame with dimensions. Calculate the volume of each or at leas the square footage of the frames. Given similar construction materials, the smaller one will take less heat to maintain the same temperature as you have less volume to heat. .

Opinions may be varied, but the Btu content of propane is a constant, as is mathematical formula. Use them and you will have the one correct answer.
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20 lb maybe 11 hrs
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Q# 1 : Yes you can have a freezing Natural gas or propane regulator. Part # 2 Of Q# 1 : when building a cover over the small meter station . Buy you a Round shaped Dog house from Sam's Wholesale stores made of fiber glass Cut a hole in the back for piping and cover the small door in the front with insulating material. Then for heat of the regulator get you some heat strip wire heater and wrap the regulator with the heat wires and them wrap the wires and the regulator with insulating material to keep the heat in. Then run you some 115 volt service out to the dog house and tie the heater in. Now to save energy tie a Gemline Refrigerator Defrost terminator [ Gemline Model GL-50 terminator ] in on the hot side of the electric circuit and it will turn on the heat when it gets +30F and turn it off when it get back up to +50F . Now don't put more than 15 amps on the terminator or you will over load it. 4 to 8 amps should be fine when picking the heat sizes.
Q# 2 : I would be just guessing here but these 30,000 btu natural gas heaters converted to propane will only put out 26,000 btu's. so you should be able to run a day or so on a 5 gal bottle. Now if the gas heater that you pick happens to be the non-blue flame type and the heated glowing panel type called Infra Red type. You may get 2 days out of a 5 gal. bottle. Some names of these is Van Guard , Glow Warm, and Cozy warm. Here is a site for one of them. www.desa.com/vanguardheat/spaceHeater/infraRed/infraRedIndex.html Or the Main Site to look at them. www.vanguardheat.com . If it does not have the Infra Red Panels in it. You wasting fuel big time.
If the heater has a blue flame your not getting the most efficent heater made. the Blue flame type only get about a 60% to 70% of the heat out of the fuel. The Infra Red type will get 99.9% of the heat out of the fuel you put in it.
Now Part 2 of Q# 2 : They make a attachment to the propane bottle with a Infra Red panel ray heater in it and is made for use with a propane bottle. They come in different sizes from 6k btu to 35k btu . I have seen them in different places that sell camping and outdoor living supplies. These heater are made for outdoor use or vented areas. [[[[[[[[[*********Now WARNING HERE these heaters can be dangerous for not having no oxygen sencers on them and will burn up all the air in the basement if you close it up in the basement and not let it get any fresh air to it.************]]]]]]]]]]]] If you have just little venting air to your basement and keep the door to the top floors open. You should be find. I will have to google it and find the brands and sellers but they surely make them ready to go with the use with a propane bottle. Well I Googled it for you and here is one that will fit the bill but do not take this as advertisement because you can get ripped off buying over the internet and take this as just a place to look at it. http://www.heatershop.com/infrared_heater_30_r.html Now you can search the page out and get different sizes and styles as you may want to look at. Now at $79.00 your not really putting a fortune in this heat type. This type heater says it will run 30 hours at full 30K btu heat setting and the regular infra red propane ventless heater should do the same.
Now with all this said You will be better off by getting a ventless infra Red Panel type gas heater which will have the oxygen sencer on them and be much safer for if your not up on the proper venting of these propane bottle heater you don't need to fool with them and leave them alone.
TURTLE
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I thought the plaques radiated heat directionally as opposed to letting it just build and spread? Drifting up the steps would be ideal as long as just enough heat stayed low to keep the plumbing thawed. I would likely buy one just like the other one only the LP version... this thing did a helluva job and at season closeout can be had for about $150 at Tractor Supply Company and can be left unattended. I've seen those like you linked here, but I worry they seem topheavy and there's no glass in front of the burners. Even with Ed P's 14 hours that's plenty of time to react to the situation and get another bottle or whatever. Too bad the larger bottles aren't as economical to just run out and trade every time the Home Depot or Wally World have one of those $17 dollar sales. But I think I just might take this route.
Thanks again for all of the replies.
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Well if you get the panel ray heater / Infra Red heaters with Oxygen sencers on them for about $150.00 on close out prices. It would be much safer and and not have to worry about it.
Now about burning the L.P. fuel and the time to do it. Get a Infra Red type L.P. heater and the run time is expanded out double the run time of the blue flame types. Ed P was talking about the blue flame 30,000 btu type and 14 hours is just about right. Now replace it with Infra Red type panel heaters and the run time on 30,000 btu heater goes out to 30 hours or more on a 5 gal. or 20 pound propane bottle.
TURTLE
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