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.
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
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.
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!)?
Not a fireplace, but a gas range (stove) for the kitchen.
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
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.)
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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