Vent-Free NG Heater Installation


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Old 09-14-09, 03:19 PM
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Vent-Free NG Heater Installation

I am about to install a 20,000 BTU vent-free natural gas heater in my living room -- mainly as a backup heat source in the event of an electrical power failure. My question has to do with the gas supply line to the heater. Does it have to be black pipe? I don't have the tools to cut & thread pipe and I've heard about a flexible tubing called CSST. Is this an acceptable alternative to black pipe. If so, where can I purchase the stuff, and does it come in various lengths with the fittings on each end? I already have a 1/2" valve on the main gas line in my utility room (closed and capped-off) that was apparently used for a clothes dryer by the previous owner of the house. It's about an 8' run from that valve, through a wall, to the new heater.
 
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Old 09-14-09, 06:57 PM
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You should have many choices. Check codes to see what you can use in your area.
 
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Old 09-14-09, 07:30 PM
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Does code allow you to have a vent-free heater?

A lot of states don't allow these unit.. Here in Minnesota we are not allowed to have them.

I would think really hard about this.
 
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Old 09-14-09, 08:13 PM
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Unvented

I agree with Jay but I'm not going to be as suttle. My advice? DON'T INSTALL IT
 
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Old 09-15-09, 02:08 AM
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About 30 states (including Michigan where I live) now approve vent-free installations, and the rest of them are slowly coming on board. Copy & paste the below site to see if your state is approved. Now, can someone please answer my original question? Thanks.

vent,free,heater,michigan - Google Search
 
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Old 09-15-09, 10:10 AM
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Can't really answer absolutely..but back in VA they allowed you to use soft copper for gas fireplaces and such. I was surprised at that, but I verified it. It had to be in a protected area such as in a crawlspace or treated like wiring if run through walls (nail plates, etc). Simple hand tools and a flaring tool is all thats needed. Probably cheaper than csst.

Be best to call your codes office and ask though.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hoosierneighbor View Post
About 30 states (including Michigan where I live) now approve vent-free installations, and the rest of them are slowly coming on board. Copy & paste the below site to see if your state is approved.
I would still not advise putting this in a home where we sleep. My parents had one in the garage, and I had a head ache just walking into the door.

Look into a vented space heater.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 05:40 PM
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Unvented

I know they have oxygen depletion sensors but before the ODS shuts the unit down they can produce deadly amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) & you can't trust many CO detectors to save your life.

A couple of years ago the local volunteer fire department, of which I am a member, was called to a home where we found the residents either passed out or heavily intoxicated due to high concentrations of (400 PPM) CO. The installed CO detector hadn't uttered a peep until we started to ventilate. Thankfully all survived. The source of the CO was the unvented heaters they were using to heat the home after the electricity had been turned off by the utility.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 05:46 PM
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Well..I'd probably never use one as a heat source in the house..but I had one in my old garage and it worked great..but I only turned it on when I was up and active in the space.
 
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Old 09-15-09, 06:59 PM
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hoosierneighbor,

You obviously are getting more information than you asked for.

The near unanimous consensus of the tradespeople and others that frequent this forum is that ventless heaters are a risk not worth taking.
The sad part is that the strongest selling point of ventless is the saving of a few hundred dollars on the cost of a chimney or induction fan.

I will admit that the large number of dealers and mfrs make finding truly independent information hard to find.
Testing and government agencies have generally viewed these as a hazardous products but I guess that the lobby efforts of the dealers and mfrs are making inroads.
I view the comment of governments "slowly coming on board" as actually governments bending to pressure.
This is exactly the type of comment that the industry has on many sites and suspect it is a quote.
 
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Old 09-16-09, 05:18 AM
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Here's the link to the unit I'm talking about. All I know is my daughter has had one for 2 years and never had a problem. But thanks to all of you for your responses and your concern.

MHVFR20NGBT - 20,000 BTU Radiant vent free natural gas heater
 
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Old 09-16-09, 02:21 PM
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I noticed that my state (Washington) only approves them in homes built before 1980. The reason is that our current state energy code mandates tighter construction and so using a vent free heater could easily become hazardous.

Something else to consider is that burning gas releases a goodly amount of water vapor in the exhaust gases. This could easily raise the humidity in the home to levels that promote the growth of molds along with having constantly fogged windows and other problems of high humidity.
 
 

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