Natural gas tank?


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Old 12-10-11, 10:59 AM
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Natural gas tank?

My boss wants to install a ventless fireplace. The plumbing is already there, but natural gas is not piped into the house. She wants to use natural gas instead of propane, butane, methane, etc. Does natural gas come in tanks? I can't seem to find a dealer nor installer in the Houston area. Any suggestions?
 
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Old 12-10-11, 11:05 AM
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No, natural gas is piped in from the gas company over their network. Why the reluctance to use Propane? It is the portable version of natural gas and used by millions of people for fireplaces and heating/cooking. She will have to hunker down and use propane if ng is not available.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 11:12 AM
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Natural gas was never piped into the subdivision - why, I don't know. She seems to think that natural gas comes in those big ol' tanks that propane comes in. I can't seem to convince her otherwise. Another question: she wants a ventless fireplace. Can she use propane with a ventless one?
 
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Old 12-10-11, 11:21 AM
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Of course propane can be used for ventless fireplaces. Check local codes to make sure a ventless fireplace is acceptable. I have one and it gives off great heat, but by nature it will give of a little off smell when new. I have a regular fireplace and had the chimney sweep clean the chimney and leave the flue cracked just a little in order to remove any off smells as it was burned. Propane is in big trucks and is delivered to homes. Natural gas is piped in through a network.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 11:39 AM
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Good answer, Chandler! I'll let her know. Thanks very much!

Now I need to call someone to bring the tank and hook it up. Would most propane-providers know how to hook the tank to the existing plumbing?
 
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Old 12-10-11, 12:05 PM
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If there is a pipe to the outside of the house, and it is connected to the fireplace control valve, most likely they will not have a problem hooking to it. One concern is dirt dauber wasps, as they will build nests in anything round, and if there was no cap on the pipe, then it may be occluded. Gas installation personnel will know everything you need to know about the installation. They do it all day long. You'll need to tell them how much the fireplace is used, so they can size the right tank for you. There is no real need for a 300 gallon tank which will run the fireplace for 10 years. Besides, the gas company will charge rent on the tank yearly if you don't buy gas from them. A smaller tank is usually warranted.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 12:08 PM
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Natural gas was never piped into the subdivision - why, I don't know.
Because it was probably built before Reliant (then called HL&P) bought Entex (now called Center Point) and HL&P was bribing the contractors to build all electric homes. In their ads HL&P bragged how energy efficient electric was but carefully did not say it saved money because they knew full well electric heat for any purpose cost three times what gas did.Of course many people equated efficiency with saving money so HL&P was able to deceive a lot of people who thought that by buying an all electric home they'd save money. Of course when HL&P became Reliant and bought Entex the adds stopped.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 01:51 PM
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Ha! I believe it. They've got a HUGE all-electric house, and are just now trying to figure out how to lower their costs. Attic insulation, radiant paint, and now the fireplace. To reply to Chandler, - they haven't installed the fireplace yet. They are trying to figure out which gas is best, and you've answered that query very well. Thanks to both of you for all the info. Excellent!
 
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Old 12-10-11, 01:54 PM
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One more question: The water heater's up in the attic crawl space. Does it need to be insulated - wrapped?
 
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Old 12-10-11, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by RoxanneAkimbo View Post
One more question: The water heater's up in the attic crawl space. Does it need to be insulated - wrapped?
No but the pipes in the attic, cold and hot, should be insulated. Only happens every three or four years but occasionally it gets cold enough in the attic to freeze the pipes.

If this is inside Houston or one of the towns or villages in Houston a propane tank other then portable may not be allowed.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 04:10 PM
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Ray, you're saying a large tank would be prohibited in certain areas? Just curious. I turned in my "rented" tank because I didn't use enough gas. I bought a 100 gallon tank and had my guys build a cradle for it so I can throw it up on the truck and have it filled. Gravity will take care of getting it unloaded. Would that size be considered "portable"?
 
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Old 12-10-11, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
Ray, you're saying a large tank would be prohibited in certain areas? Just curious. I turned in my "rented" tank because I didn't use enough gas. I bought a 100 gallon tank and had my guys build a cradle for it so I can throw it up on the truck and have it filled. Gravity will take care of getting it unloaded. Would that size be considered "portable"?
I don't really know but this is the big city and we do have lots of regs. Also while we don't have zoning we do have deed restrictions and HOAs which can be the devil reincarnated. Course out in the county she'd probably be good to go.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 05:29 PM
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Hmmm. Good point. I checked and made sure that ventless fireplaces are allowed, but didn't even think about tanks. However, they're all over the place out here. It's a rural area and lots of folks have propane for one thing or another. Thanks very much.

I didn't really think the water heater needed insulating, but she asked, so I obeyed! The pipes, of course, are already insulated.

As far as HOAs are concerned, my boss generally just tells them to K her A. She's very persuasive.
 

Last edited by RoxanneAkimbo; 12-10-11 at 05:35 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-10-11, 06:15 PM
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Unfortunately, your boss sounds like a fool.

Is the outfit you work for in the business of installing HVAC equipment? If not, it's not a job you should be doing.

And frankly, installing unvented equipment is usually a mistake, in my opinion, especially if the idea is to use it for heating purposes. Unvented fireplaces are designed to be decorative.

Sounds to me like you are in way over your head with this project.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 07:08 PM
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It's a rural area
Then it shouldn't be a problem.
 
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Old 12-11-11, 03:30 AM
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Unvented fireplaces are designed to be decorative
I don't know. The unvented fireplaces shown to me during my search many years ago, put out MUCH more heat than did the vented ones. The vented ones flames danced much more, but much of the heat was "vented" up the flue.
However, some locales don't allow them for one reason or another. I also allow fresh air intake through the ash pit door. I have it cracked about the thickness of a washer, and it is directly below the logs.
 
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Old 12-11-11, 05:31 AM
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I used a ventless fireplace once in a beach house rental. It smelled terrible and gave me a nasty headache.
 
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Old 12-11-11, 06:24 AM
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What kind of business do you work for?
 
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Old 12-11-11, 07:48 AM
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I'm DEFINETLY over my head with this project! That's why I'm asking so many questions. Believe me, when my boss finally makes a decision, she'll have an expert do the actual work. She likes to be fully aware of what she's having done.
 
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Old 12-11-11, 07:51 AM
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My boss has a bed & breakfast, and I'm her Jackie of all trades. There's a LOT of stuff I can do, but this isn't one of them. I try to find out as much as I can about her "projects", then let her know what I've found. I generally search the internet - folks like you are worth a million bucks, in my opinion.
 
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Old 12-11-11, 08:00 AM
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The propane company that you rent the tank from, assuming you decide to rent not buy, will have the answers to most of your questions and the personnel to install and maintain the tank. If though there is natural gas available in your neighborhood in the long run it will be cheaper.
 
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Old 12-11-11, 08:08 AM
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Thanks very much. I've printed out what you all have to say and will give it to her for her decision.
 
 

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