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20 lb. propane tanks --- big enough for a garage converted to a guest house?

20 lb. propane tanks --- big enough for a garage converted to a guest house?

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Old 04-27-11, 04:23 PM
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20 lb. propane tanks --- big enough for a garage converted to a guest house?

I'm converting my garage into living space. It's 20' x 25'. It will not be occupied full-time but rather as a guest house.

I'd like to use propane instead of electricity for an instant hot water heater and the stove. We don't have natural gas on our street.

Will a 20 lb. propane tank be big enough for my needs? I can buy five of them and fill them up all-at-once or as-needed. I know they make 100 lb. tanks too but it would simplify things to use smaller ones and just fill them when I want. Cheaper too than relying on a propane delivery service.
 
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Old 04-27-11, 04:29 PM
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It does not sound like a good idea so far as the instant HWH goes. They require 140,000 btu plus, depending on the size.

The stove might be resonable, but why even go through the hassle. Electric may be cheaper.

Do you get freezing temps? What about heat? Are you winterizing the plumbing in the cold periods?

Electric seems like the better option.

Perhaps you can give more detail.

Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-27-11, 04:45 PM
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It's the Pacific Northwest coastal area so it usually is above freezing in the winter but it can dip below on-occasion too. My garage conversion project is what the local jurisdiction calls an "Accessory Dwelling Unit" so they require me to tie into the main-house utilities & sewer. There is a 200amp service in the main house but I'm afraid to pull too much from that to go to the garage. That's why I was thinking of propane instead of electricity for the instant hot water heater in the garage conversion.

The main heat for the little garage building will be baseboard electric heaters and a wood stove. The building will be brand new basically so will be very tight and well-insulated. So, I don't think I will be using that much electricity for heating the space. It's the hot water that concerns me as I don't have much room inside for a 30 or 40 gallon electric hot water heater and I don't think putting it outside is a good idea unless one lives in a warmer climate.
 

Last edited by fromhollywood; 04-27-11 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 04-27-11, 05:19 PM
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How far to the garage? If your running water, run a hot line. Use a circ with a check valve. It circs off the cold line. This way no wait for HW. You said its use in not often. That might be a good option.

What type of heat do you have. Possible you can run a heat loop also.

Just a thought.

I would shy away from propane.


Mike NJ
 
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Old 04-27-11, 05:56 PM
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Good thoughts Mike. The garage (soon to be a guest house) is about 35 feet away from the main house.

I have a tenant in the main house and am going to be using the guest house myself on weekends. My plan is to have a submeter of some type so I can gauge the electrical as it runs from the main house to the guest house. That way, I can reimburse my tenant for whatever I use in the guest house.

The main house has an oil furnace so that would hard to tie into and divide up usage costs.

I'd be afraid to tie into the tenant's hot water. They have a 50 gallon tank but it's a family in the main house so I wouldn't want to use up their hot water. Even if I put a bigger hot water heater in their basement, I'm not sure how I'd divide up costs for my usage of their hot water. It's a good idea though if I could figure that out.

Why do you say to stay away from propane? I don't have much experience with propane as my last home had natural gas heat.

Thanks!
 

Last edited by fromhollywood; 04-27-11 at 06:33 PM.
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