Propane fireplace question

Hi,
This may be a really dumb question but I am thinking of reconverting my wood burning fireplace to gas but do not want a huge tank sitting outside the house for propane.
I really plan to use the fireplace very sparingly and wonder if I can just hook up a standard barbecue tank?
The gas company I would get to install the logs said there would not be enough pressure but then they have interests in me getting the large canister because of leasing fees and they sell you the gas.
Thanks!
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Propane is a liquid that needs to be vaporized to flow the gas. The heat for vaporization travels through the tank wall from the outside air. A small tank for a barbeque is reasonable because it may be 70-90 degrees outside. Your fireplace may be operating when its 20-50 degrees outside. Also the fireplace may have a larger flow rate. The surface area for vaporization is proportional to the size of the tank and the liquid level so a small tank may work when its full, but not later, or it may work at low flow rates (low heat level) but not at the high setting. Finally, if you ever need to depend on the propane to heat your home during a power failure remember that the propane dealer needs electricity to fill tanks (yours or on the truck). Larger tank needs some landscaping.

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Any idea on how to calculate or judge how big a tank would be needed for a certain demand? I've a similar question where I plan to seasonally use a propane stove in a second kitchen (when the in-laws are in town). Assuming this may occur during Christmas (quite likely), how can I tell if a 50lb tank (somewhat portable enough to bring to propane dealer for refill) is sufficient vs. 100lb tank (yikes that's big and needs a serivce contract!)?
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Propane is 91,500 Btu per gallon. 50# is about 10 gallons (5.1 pounds per gallon). How many Btu per hour is your fireplace?
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Not a fireplace, but a gas range (stove) for the kitchen.
Specs say: Oven/Broiler BTU Rating - LP (16,500 BTU) Four Top Burners BTU Rating - LP (9500, 3500, 7000, 7000 BTU)
Based on your statement, ideal conditions would allow for about 55hours of using the oven at full blast with a 50# tank of propane. But how would one consider and account for the effect of winter weather and whether this would completely stop my stove dead in its tracks?
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Since your installation is a fireplace (not a stove) it may be suitable for an alcohol (methanol) burner. A neighbour installed one last winter (which required a trip to Montreal for supplies) and is very satisfied. (We burn wood but in a stove, not a fireplace.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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The gas company also has an interest in having satisfied customers with the right products. In mile weather, the small tank is OK, but when it really gets cold, it is not going to do the job right. Propane heaters also have the benefit of working when the power it out after a storm. It would be nice to have a big tank hooked up under the circumstances and it is cheaper to buy the gas in bulk.
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Thanks Ed and Howard for your replies. I'm going to go for the larger tank and in spring time build some sort of enclosure so you don't have to see it. Thanks.
wrote:

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SMF wrote:

I closed one of my fireplaces off and put in an electric insert. Using existing glass doors, it cost less than $200, pseudo flames look nice, and there is a heat mode if desired.
Frank
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