Sauna heater question...


I have the most beautiful outdoor location for a sauna here in Olympia washington, but it is a rental home, so all involved would like to make it on the thrift.
I am building a 5x8x8 wooden sauna that needs a propane heater, as wood would be difficult to get down this crazy trail which leads to the sauna.
Could I take a friends small potbelly woodstove and insert a propane burner into it? My thought was to clog the wood stoves intake and route an exterior air intake pipe.... or do I even need to do that?
The propane stove is rated at 30,000 btu's and I read somewhere that you need a thousand btu's for every 15 square feet of sauna space. That makes 21,000 btu's. At least a third of my heat is heading out the chimney, no?
Rocks on top of it all.
Any, all, advise desired.
Thanks!
Tor
PS. I am thinking of making it from cedar shakes. Sees the easiest and cheapest. Thoughts on that?
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Be sure to install a DIGITAL CO monitor.
Steve
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I fear that one would be too sensitive and blast our eardrums out. Am I wrong, but a sauna would have some higher CO levels, even when properly designed.
t
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Well, you could always bet your life on it and find out, couldn't you?
Steve
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It looks like one can be had for $25 or so, but run on AC. I need to find a battery operated one.
Still, its the general design of the stove that I am looking to get advise on.
t
Steve B wrote:

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30,000 btu sounds like aa lot. i've put in a few electric sauna heaters and something like you have would probably take 6 kw or so. but better too many btu's than too few.
i don't have any advice on the propane design. i guess you'll have to experiment. i don't think co is a big concern--i'd fire the sauna with a window open until the rocks are good and hot, and then turn off the burner while i was actually using the sauna. i do wonder if you can get a propane tank, stove, building materials down there, why not just go with wood heat? a good armfull per sauna session would about do it. i guess you must have your reasons.
i built one in my basement this winter and used cedar undercourse shakes for everything but the walls behind the benches and the ceiling. worked great and looks good and much cheaper than panelling.
good luck
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I use a Kidde, I believe in my cabin. At all times, it has a display of the current CO level. Push a button, and it will display the high since the last reset.
These are great, as if the danger point is say, 400, and the current level is 397, you're not sitting there thinking everything's okay since it's not screaming. Just a peace of mind issue, really. They will all scream if you go over the limit.
CO is nasty stuff. It affects everyone differently. A room full of people exposed will have different symptoms. Some conk out easier than others.
Yes, you are asking about information on your stove, and I cannot help you on that. But I have had four friends killed by CO, and four others nearly killed, so I just wanted to warn you about something you may not have thought of.
I believe the Kidde units, or the other good ones with the displays are about $40. Not a lot to spend for what you get.
STeve
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Steve,
Wow, I am so sorry to hear about your friends. No one goes into the sauna for that. I can understand a post like mine could cause some concern. Thanks for giving the heads up.
tor

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