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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Propane Plumbing
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paulz
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 10:30
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Still in my rookie season of propane use. I recently added a direct vent wall heater, loving that. Currently I have a 40lb tank just outside the cabin with a dual stage regulator, a rubber hose going through the floor, connected to a metal flex hose to the heater. Probably could be a safer way?

My cooktop has and is still using Coleman 1lb bottles, lots of them. My rudimentary instinct is to tee off the connection at the floor (it comrs up through the wall plate) and run a 6' metal flex line to the cooktop.

Am I playing too fast and loose here?

ICC
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 12:38
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Flex lines are meant to be a convenient method to connect an appliance to a permanent pipe or tubing.

Rubber hoses are also meant to be a convenient way to connect a portable propane cylinder or tank to the regulator. Should never be used to pass through a floor, wall or bulkhead.

The traditional material for a permanent run is black pipe. There are two nice modern chices. CSST which is corrugated stainless steel tubing that looks a lot like the flex connectors right down to the yellow color is one. The other is a poly pipe, also yellow, that is sized in IPS (international pipe sizes. Both have limitations on where and how they are used. Their great feature is they come in rolls up to 500 feet long so there are fewer connections in long runs. Also no need to have the iron pipe endeds theaded. Fewer chances of leaks. Lots on info online. The smooth poly can be direct buried. The CSST can be buried but must be sleeved in a non-metallic pipe. Poly cannot be used inside a building, CSST can. Do some research before something happens or simply go with black pipe. Both Lowes and HD will cut and thread for free where I am.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 13:44
Reply 


Thanks ICC. Sounds like black pipe through the floor, a tee, flex to the heater, another black pipe to the cooktop and a flex line there. Maybe a valve inside too.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 14:02
Reply 


Why not just add another hose and a 20lb tank outside for your small stove? Or you could refill the 1lb tanks your self.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 14:56
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I refill the 1 pounders now but they don't fill all the way and only last two days. Yeah I thought about a second tank, but as ICC advised I need to get solid pipe through the wall plate, probably better to have just one. The heater and cooktop are only about 3 studs apart.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 15:02
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Gas codes require the use of a shut off at every transition from rigid permanent pipe to a flex connector. Makes sense if you think about it as a flex line could be damaged. One flex line per valve. That shut off must also be in the same room as the flex connector --- no running flex through a wall or floor. The flex line cannot run through the furnace or appliance enclosure either. Just black pipe through any access port.

cspot
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 18:54 - Edited by: cspot
Reply 


ICC is right. You want a separate valve for every appliance. Also a good idea to put a drip leg near that valve to collect any dirt/water that gets into the line.

Another thing that I did is I have 2- 40# tanks and am using an auto-switch valve so that I have 80# of use without having to fill. With the direct vent wall heater you are guaranteed to run out of propane about 3 AM. LOL. Funny but that is always when mine seemed to go empty. Never happened at 5PM.
I also have 2-20# tanks that I use to hookup when the 40# are empty. Probably going to get another 40# tank this year.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 7 Jul 2019 19:47 - Edited by: ICC
Reply 


Thanks for mentioning the drip leg cspot. They are also known as sediment traps. Code may vary from place to place but they are often required by furnaces and water heaters, but not at ranges and other appliances that do not have automatic controls. For a small cabin you can probably be okay with one drip leg just before the first valve for an appliance. Here's a picture of one.

http://structuretech1.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Sediment-trap-at-water-heater-450x377.jpg

They are to catch any crap that may come down the line. I have never seen any crap in one but a friend, a gas installer, says he has seen a couple with crap in them after a decade or so of use. They are to stop the crap from getting into a control valve or appliance regulator, as shown.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 07:42
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Does gas code allow for plumbing a portable stove into a building? I wouldnt think so.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 09:34
Reply 


That brings up another point.. I should upgrade my cooktop. Can anyone suggest a single or two burner cooktop with an auto lighter that I can plumb to the propane line?

jhbr55
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 10:01
Reply 


I bought the Ramblewood GC2-43N 2 burner cook top 4 years ago, works great. It has a 1.5V battery for ignition.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 10:12
Reply 


Quoting: Brettny
Does gas code allow for plumbing a portable stove into a building?


No. Gas appliances for residential use need to have the correct certification.

Propane fueled camp stoves that are made to be used with a small disposable cylinder directly attached use high pressure gas through the built in regulator. So you can not run them off the low pressure gas that is supplied to the normal things like gas ranged, wall mount direct vebt heaters, fridges, etc. You can buy the parts needed but it does require a high pressure line from the tank to the point of use.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 11:04
Reply 


Quoting: cspot
With the direct vent wall heater you are guaranteed to run out of propane about 3 AM. LOL. Funny but that is always when mine seemed to go empty.


Yep, that's when I run out. In the rain..good idea.

Quoting: jhbr55
I bought the Ramblewood GC2-43N 2 burner cook top 4 years ago, works great. It has a 1.5V battery for ignition.


Nice. Time for me to graduate from camp stoves if I want to hook up to outside tanks. It looks like that one fires up when you turn the knob. I need that. The piezo one I have now means my one handed wife has to turn the knob and then hit the peizo while gas is coming out, which scares the crap out of me. I don't let her do it if I'm not in the cabin.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 11:40
Reply 


Quoting: ICC
No. Gas appliances for residential use need to have the correct certification.

Propane fueled camp stoves that are made to be used with a small disposable cylinder directly attached use high pressure gas through the built in regulator. So you can not run them off the low pressure gas that is supplied to the normal things like gas ranged, wall mount direct vebt heaters, fridges, etc. You can buy the parts needed but it does require a high pressure line from the tank to the point of use.


Paulz
You should post what stove you have. In my mind im thinking a portable camp stove if its running off 1lb tanks. Just wouldnt make sence so plumb a residential stove top to work with 1lb tanks in the first place.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 18:48
Reply 


Yes, that's what I have and no, doesn't make sense to use it. Time to upgrade.

moneypitfeeder
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 19:15
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We just have a standard propane range, and use long handled "bic-type" lighters or long matches to start the range/oven. I don't think it ever had battery or electrical as an option (it's an older range). For new there are plenty of options, but you might do better finding one locally vs shipping (https://bensdiscountsupply.com/gas-ranges/off-grid-battery-ignition-gas-ranges/)
Attached is a pic of our old beast.
Cabin22.jpg
Cabin22.jpg


cspot
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 19:48
Reply 


Quoting: moneypitfeeder
We just have a standard propane range, and use long handled "bic-type" lighters or long matches to start the range/oven.


We do the same. I think I paid $50 from someone selling their natural gas stove that also had the components to switch everything to propane. Came with the instruction manual on how to do it. Only took a short time to switch everything over. Alot of stove come with both components.

Ours if fine for recreational use, but if I lived in our cabin I would probably go with one that has a battery ignitor because I can be lazy. LOL.

moneypitfeeder
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 21:01
Reply 


Cspot, right on, if we had to replace I might go for a battery start too. (try to light a broiler drawer w/o a flashlight, lol, lost some eyebrows on that flash!)

ICC
Member
# Posted: 8 Jul 2019 22:15
Reply 


Just a reminder that Unique and Premier are specially designed with off grid, or no AC power, use in mind. Run-of-the-mill cheapy ranges either utilize pilot lights for all burners including the oven or rely on AC powered sparkers at the range top burners but uses a glow bar for the oven. The glow bar oven ignitors suck power at about 300 watts all the time the oven is on. Not battery friendly. Without AC power those ovens don't work at all, although the range top burners can be manually lit.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 10:13
Reply 


I'm seeing some cooktops that advertise 'electric piezo starting' but no mention a battery and no push button. The knob says off and on..how does that work?
dddd.JPG
dddd.JPG


AKfisher
Member
# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 12:39
Reply 


This is the Holiday freestanding gas range. Natural gas or LP. Easy to convert to LP, this one has the battery operated igniter. It take 8 AA batteries. Works great, I use the oven every trip to the cabin for cooking bacon or keeping flap jacks warm. Doesn't burn much fuel either. Expensive, yes, but worth having a stove and oven and able to cook as much food as you would at home at one time. Except don't get a large take n bake pizza, it wont fit.
20x24 Range
20x24 Range


ICC
Member
# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 15:04
Reply 


If it uses a piezo ignitor there must be a push button to trip the piezo hammer someplace. I have a camp stove with a piezo. Turn gas on , press button.

moneypitfeeder
Member
# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 17:42
Reply 


Our propane fridge has a piezo, and uses the button to light the unit, we only have to light the fridge once a trip before shutting the gas off, and it keeps a small pilot lit continuously. A piezo stove "might" allow you the option to light each use and not have a running pilot, or it might light a continuous-burn pilot like my fridge.

cspot
Member
# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 19:12
Reply 


Quoting: ICC
Just a reminder that Unique and Premier are specially designed with off grid, or no AC power, use in mind. Run-of-the-mill cheapy ranges either utilize pilot lights for all burners including the oven or rely on AC powered sparkers at the range top burners but uses a glow bar for the oven. The glow bar oven ignitors suck power at about 300 watts all the time the oven is on. Not battery friendly. Without AC power those ovens don't work at all, although the range top burners can be manually lit.


Yes you have to watch if you are buying a conventional oven that it has pilot lights for the oven if you are using without any power. I had checked that prior to purchase. My oven uses a pilot light. The burners and even the oven pilot light is supposed to be lit by the AC sparker. However we just use the lighter. The oven is a bit of pain to light. If we weren't just using our place as recreational, I would buy one setup for off-grid.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 9 Jul 2019 20:11
Reply 


Quoting: ICC
If it uses a piezo ignitor there must be a push button to trip the piezo hammer someplace. I have a camp stove with a piezo. Turn gas on , press button.


After further investigation, it says you push the knob and turn. I guess the push triggers the igniter.

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 10 Jul 2019 12:44
Reply 


Some piezo ignition stoves are set up so fully rotating the knob past the "max" position triggers the piezo.

I just installed a new 4 burner cooktop in our cabin, replacing the old 1950s Kenmore range. It has a 110Vplug to power the igniters, but of course one can use a lighter if the power is out.

Rubber hose should NEVER be used for any permanent or indoor gas installation. I used copper tubing with flared fittings for our gas installations, with flex lines from the appliances passing through the wall to valves immediately outside the building. I don't know about code for that, but the building inspector had no objection, and the idea of running outside and shutting off the valve where it's easier to reach on an outside wall sounds safer than fumbling around on your hands and knees behind the appliance trying to shut it off.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 10 Jul 2019 17:10 - Edited by: ICC
Reply 


Valve outside the actual space where the appliance is located is not code as well as the flex line through the wall is not code. I am assuming the flex line you are speaking of is one of the ready made lines that come with flare fittings and NOT a length of CSST. They are different and have different approvals. However, the inspector passed it so you should be okay--- unless there was a fire and at that point the insurance investigator pointed a finger at the flex line thru the wall or valve outside. Then if you have a paper certificate okaying the installation you can argue with the insurance company.

Inspectors do have the last word when it comes to passing all sorts of construction. However, if they sign off on something that does not meet the code in effect on the date of installation then they or the authority they work for may be in lagal danger. Of course lawyers will be needed and must be paid. A valve inside with a flex connector all inside the space is cheaper. But chances are good you will never have a problem so it's your call.

Also note that any CSST passing through walls, studs, etc must also have nail penetration protection plates and be protected against abrasion.

My gas installer friend says the rule of thumb for a range connection is that you must be able to touch both the range and the shut off at the same time, one hand on each, or a 6 foot maximum distance.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 11 Jul 2019 10:46
Reply 


Will 1/2" pipe do for my cabin with 30,000 btu heater and the stove top? Why is black pipe used over galvanized?

mj1angier
Member
# Posted: 11 Jul 2019 11:10
Reply 


Black pipe has in the past been cheaper than galvanized, but now that black pipe is used for the "industrial look" in book shelves, bars, .... it's about equal at big box stores. Galvanized was used for water and unless marked, plumber might think its water pipe. Don't use both together- use one or the other.

cspot
Member
# Posted: 11 Jul 2019 17:18
Reply 


Quoting: paulz

Will 1/2" pipe do for my cabin with 30,000 btu heater and the stove top? Why is black pipe used over galvanized?


Here is a chart that I found. As long as your run is relatively short I believe that you should be fine. I know I run a 15,000 btu and have run all 4 burners on the stove and the oven at one time and not had an issue with mine. I probably have about 15' of line before it T's off.

https://www.lp-gasequipment.com/products/pdf/LPGas_Cat2010_p157-175.pdf

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