Installing NG Portable Heater

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  #1  
Old 11-13-18, 12:22 PM
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Installing NG Portable Heater

My GF is thinking of having a 30,000 BTU natural gas heater installed in her basement. She already has NG appliances in her home, including a NG furnace in the room adjacent to wear she wants to put the heater. I'd be doing the install, but have never done a gas appliance before. I plan on installed a tee fitting on the rigid gas line coming into the utility room, converting to a flexible line to the bottom of the heater approximately 6 ft away, then back to rigid pipe (3/8" galvanized?) for a shutoff valve, sediment trap, and connection to the heater. Other than shutting off the gas prior to starting and leak checking after, are there any other precautions I need to take, or any reason why this shouldn't be a DIY job? I'm not positive galvanized pipe is allowed for NG in my area (Virginia), so I'm not sure what type of pipe to use.
 

Last edited by mossman; 11-13-18 at 12:57 PM.
  #2  
Old 11-14-18, 12:53 PM
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I checked the pipe yesterday evening and it appears to be iron (no coating). I think I'll just pay someone to do the gas line.
 
  #3  
Old 11-14-18, 01:22 PM
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Is this a vented or unvented heater?

Curious as to why an additional heater is needed with a furnace already installed and why so large. Some small houses get by on 30K BTUs.

Bud
 
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Old 11-14-18, 02:10 PM
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Is this a vented or unvented heater?

Curious as to why an additional heater is needed with a furnace already installed and why so large. Some small houses get by on 30K BTUs.

Bud
It would be an un-vented heater like such: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dyna-Glo-30...ater/999976644 She lives in a 3-story townhouse, so all the heat goes right up the stairs. The two upper levels are comfortable, but the lowest level is freezing (not literally). I was hoping the fan speed on the furnace could be increased, but this is not possible for the heating mode, only cooling. In heating mode, it is variable, but not adjustable. The t-stat is on the middle level, so the lower level never gets warm enough before the system shuts off. The return register on the lower level is about 12" x 12" and the registers on the middle and upper levels are larger (16"x16" I believe). The return on the middle level is directly at the top of the stairs leading to the lower level, which I'm thinking is not the best location. It seems to me that this would draw air mostly from the lower level as opposed to the middle level like it was intended to do. I planned on covering up this return temporarily to see if it helps.

She has a couple other things working against her. Her garage door (8x7) and entry door from the garage into the lower level are old and leaky, her sliding glass door in the rear of the house into the lower level is also leaky, and her furnace is apparently undersized for her home, although I think if I closed the vents off on the uppermost floor and maybe the return vent on the 2nd floor se the return air flow on the lower level and push more air out of the vents. Although I imagine increasing the return air on the lower level could also draw more cold air in through the leaky doors. I'll have to experiment and see if I can find a balance.
 

Last edited by mossman; 11-14-18 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 11-14-18, 02:29 PM
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I'm sure you are aware of the issues about unvented gas heaters but just to emphasize, they are not safe and not intended to be left unattended. End of rant.

I have audited many homes where the real issue is all of those air leaks and a lack of insulation. Even a modest effort to address the low hanging fruit should be helpful.

Sorry no help on your actual question.

Bud
 
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Old 11-14-18, 02:47 PM
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I'm sure you are aware of the issues about unvented gas heaters but just to emphasize, they are not safe and not intended to be left unattended. End of rant.

I have audited many homes where the real issue is all of those air leaks and a lack of insulation. Even a modest effort to address the low hanging fruit should be helpful.

Sorry no help on your actual question.

Bud
I wouldn't say I'm aware of ALL the issues, but burning a fuel indoors, emitting carbon monoxide, and reducing oxygen levels are the main ones I'm aware of. I've now begun to look at vented models, which are at least three times the cost (curiously). Is it possible to connect into the exhaust from her furnace to vent a NG heater if some sort of backflow apparatus was installed? It would be mounted to the wall, in case I didn't make this clear.
 
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Old 11-14-18, 03:18 PM
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Now you have me thinking I should replace my ventless heater. This one looks nice. Vents to the outside and also draws combustion air from the outside, although some have complained the pilot keeps blowing out because of the outside air intake: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Williams...3822/303169910
 
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Old 11-14-18, 05:04 PM
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Best to wait for some of the hvac pros for their advice.

Bud
 
  #9  
Old 11-20-18, 07:31 AM
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That heater you are looking at would work well for your installation. One caveat, try not to mount the unit on an outside wall that gets the prevailing wind directly into the flue outlet. The air pressure from the wind can make pilot problems worse. And for best results purchase the optional blower fan to help circulate the heat.
 
  #10  
Old 11-20-18, 11:29 AM
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I blocked 3/4 of the return vent at the top of the stairs leading to the lower level, and closed a few registers on the top floor and the lower level is much more comfortable now. I think it should be fine without any supplemental heat. I still plan on insulating the garage door to help even more.
 
 

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