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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Natural Gas and CO Poisoning.

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BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 05:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Any experts on this topic here on the FDP?

I was gifted an old gas (semi portable) heater that had been used to heat a big shop. they simply used the thing indoor and seemingly had no problems (no one died of CO poisoning) with the heater indoors.

I understand natural gas is *clean burning*, but not completely sure what exactly that means. I know many houses have gas ovens and ranges that burn in our homes for extended periods of time and we don't worry about CO poisoning.

Then again we do have vents on our gas water heaters.

The intent when I got this heater was to use it to heat my garage in the winter time so I can continue with my car projects and such.

I'm thinking of pulling the heater out of storage and checking it out operationally, but I frankly I need to learn more about this.

Edited to add: This unit does not have any particular external venting for the flame ... it appears all the heat generated is blown right out with the heated air. It seems that even if the unit was burning outside the garage all the heat produced (including any residual problem gases) from burning the gas is still directed in with the heated air.

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 09:39 PM, Dec 6th, 2017)

Charlie Macon
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Austin, Texas

Yeeeehaaaa!
Dec 6th, 2017 05:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The "Johnny Safety - Take No Risks" side of me advises not using an old gas heater, and especially not using an un-ventilated old gas heater. Ventilation is good.

Pinetree
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NW Pennsylvania

Dec 6th, 2017 05:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"clean-burning" - leaving little contamination while consuming fuel; "natural gas is a clean-burning fuel".

I'd crack a window just in case.




amphead4

Cincinnati, USA

Dec 6th, 2017 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

CO detectors are relatively cheap.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 05:53 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I'd crack a window just in case.:

Yes and the garage is not a tightly sealed area anyway.

"CO detectors are relatively cheap."

Yes again, and I do have an extra Smoke/CO detector left over after my recent home remodel ... so that could be used.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 05:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So the *theory is* natural gas when burned should leave no problem residual hazard behind.

Is that the general assumption with natural gas?

K4
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Being defenseless

does not make you more safe
Dec 6th, 2017 06:07 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

It will put out less Co than a kerosene heater.

Get a Co alarm and use it, or just be sensible, keep the garage door open 3 inches or so.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 06:16 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In doing a little more reading it appears (for my application) if this heater is used inside the garage for short periods of time it maybe not a big deal.

The problem I would be likely to encounter is that after an extended period of time, re-burning the same air could starve the available air supply of oxygen (for the burn) resulting in higher and higher CO output. If there isn't enough oxygen in the air to create a complete burn the burn results in higher levels of CO.

I have a swamp cooler on the roof that could be used to occasionally load the room with fresh outside air as well.

A good option might be to keep the heater unit outside and run a duct into the garage. Then the heater is burning a constant supply of fresh air.

(This message was last edited by BlondeStrat at 08:22 PM, Dec 6th, 2017)

Peegoo
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Roisin, I wanna

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Dec 6th, 2017 06:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That last option is a good one. You could get yourself a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" foil-faced foamcore and a roll of aluminum duct tape and build a little 'doghouse' for it outside of your garage to keep it out of the elements. Cut the foamcore with a Stanley knife and a straight edge.

Here's some good info on ventless heat

right here.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 07:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another advantage to having it (the burner) outside is I would then be able to paint inside the garage while the heat is going.

If the heater (burner) were inside the garage I would have to shut it down while spraying paint ... or risk making a huge bomb out of my garage ;)

Peegoo
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Dec 6th, 2017 07:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

No kidding.

I know a guy who blew his house off the foundation when he was sealing the concrete basement floor with a solvent-based coating...and with the pilot light lit on his NG water heater.

FOON!

And he lived to tell the tale.

Popps

New England

Dec 6th, 2017 07:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Retire gasman here, CO is the product of poor combustion. Poor combustion can be caused by reduced oxygen, a partially blocked burner or burner port, poorly regulated gas pressure and many other things. Code calls for any gas appliance in a garage to be at least 18" off the floor. As stated above, CO detectors are cheap, at any cost when it comes to safety. Also they have a limited lifetime, 5-7 years. Also as it seems you are planning, it is best installed outside the garage. A picture of the heater would alow better advice.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 08:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"A picture of the heater would alow better advice."

I can do that.

It's in the storage room, so I'll need to bring in the ladder and climb up there. Maybe tomorrow morning.

Popps

New England

Dec 6th, 2017 08:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

One other thing,"a big shop" may have been large enough for this to have run unvented, a residential garage, most likely not. When it was run previously, was it run on natural gas or propane? If on propane, it will need it will need to be converted, it will need the proper regulator and the burner orifice will need to be drilled to the proper size. This is a job for a gas appliance pro.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 6th, 2017 08:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm pretty sure it was running natural gas. I know the people I got it from very well and I can ask ... two of them are on the contacts list in my phone. ;)

And yes the area they heated was pretty large.

Calling it a big shop is maybe understating it, more like a smallish warehouse. Had three or four big bay doors which would have or could have been open at times.

Popps

New England

Dec 6th, 2017 08:39 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If the heater has a rating plate, try to get a pic of that also. Thanks.

thumbpicker
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St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Dec 7th, 2017 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I know for when I was using one in my basement it really took the water out of the air and made it condense on ceilings and walls. When I got a manual for it the manual said it needed ventilation in the space such as a partially open window or two and warned of the condensation problem. In a garage it would probably be fine with a window cracked. Or raise the door just a bit to vent it. I finally quit using it in favor of an electric radiant heater down there in the basement. We had a large one in the old house I grew up in. It never killed us but then again the wainscoting in that house leaked air so badly it would blow a candle out.

Popps

New England

Dec 7th, 2017 08:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Condensation is a by-product of the combustion process, especially in a smaller space. My drummer installed a ventless heater in our pratice space and the condensation wound up ruining a couple of the windows in the room. He has since replaced it with a direct vent space heater. The room is far mor comfortable now.

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 7th, 2017 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here it is.

The size of this thing as it stands there is just under three feet tall and just under two and a half feet wide.

The blower duct end is 6"

Front al view

BlondeStrat
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Las Vegas NV

Can't complain but sometimes I still do
Dec 7th, 2017 10:28 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Another

rear angle view

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FDP Forum / Moe's Tavern (_8^(I) / Natural Gas and CO Poisoning.




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