I was just looking at a couple of propane ventless room heaters. I guess
are the catalytic propane heaters, and they say not for use above 5,000 ft.
I'm at 6500ft near flagstaff. I'm wondering about all these various
forge burners that I see plans for. I know they are not catalytic, but
that does give me a question.
Are there operation differences in the various forge burner at high
elevation? DIfferent gas hole sizes etc. Bigger or smaller?
This won't answer your question, but whenever you burn propane without
venting, you get, among other things, a lot of water vapor. Even if you
have sufficient air movement so you aren't worried about carbon
monoxide, you will still get a lot of water condensing on things in the
cool part of the year.
Alp> Hi again,
Thanks for the reply. Is this true even for catalytic type heater
or only true for catalytic or do you get a condensing problem just by
burning anything for heat.
These ventless heaters are approved for indoor use, so I'm assuming
its the case that when you use a catalyis instead of simpling
supplying fuel and air and causing combustion that you dont get the
carbon monoxide that you would in a "normal" furnace.
I thought that the catalytic heaters "burn" at a lower temperature
and dont form the bad byproducts of combustion. I know that is how
hydrogen powered catalytic heaters work.
I need more information.
Pete & sheri wrote:
Let me start off by saying I work in the vented heater business.
Ventless gas is not a very good option for most homes. It throws a lot
of moisture in the air and to work properly has a very narrow window
for cumbustion ratio's.
Propane varies greatly from one supplier to the next and region to
region. Throw in high altitude and not knowing wether the gas is
already derated or not and the manufactorer isn't willing to take on
Call your propane supplier and ask them if your gas is derated. If not
the orifice needs to be smaller to create the correct mix.
Ironhorse, HSB#96, SENS BS
2001 Ultraclassic with Sidecar
96 Custom bucket of bolts (gone but not forgotten)
Thank you for the good information. I guess I had better wait until I
get there. I know some of my future neighbors use them. One of them is
over 6,000ft. I'm at 5500. I should check
with them to get the exact manufacture and supplier of gas.
In the high desert near Flagstaff Az. extra moisture is not a problem.
We have a RH around 18 I think. They define the beginning of the
moonsoon season when the moisture is above 55% RH for three days in a row:-)
No one really answered your question, so I will send a post. The reason they
say not to use that heater above a certain altitude is the lower oxygen
level. When you get to a certain level you can start producing CO, which is
deadly. Also, use of any kind of fuel/air heater in an enclosed and unvented
space is foolish, catalytic or otherwise.
The same thing applies to forge burners. If you go to a high enough
elevation you will need to reduce the gas orifice diameter, or it will burn
rich and produce CO. The burners on my web site, the Reil and EZ burners,
and the Rex linked burners, can all operate well up to at least 7000 feet,
although you do need to pay attention to your fuel air mix. I know that
because smiths send me e-mails about easily forge welding with the Reil or
EZ burners at elevations as high as 7000 feet. No one has ever sent me an
e-mail about elevations higher than 7000'. It is a good idea when using the
Reil or EZ burners to use at least a 2" diameter bell fitting, and the use
of a TWECO tip is recommended too. Look carefully at the fuel/air mixture
flame images I have posted at
certain you can achieve a neutral burn. If it burns rich, then you are
producing CO, and that can kill you if you are in an enclosed space. Then
you need to reduce the jet diameter.....before it kills you!
Thank you. My address is Flagstaff, or will be when I finish building,
but my house is 20 miles outside of Flagstaff at about 5500ft.
All my forging etc will be outside. I'm currently in SanJose Ca,
sealevel, and was wondering if what I was learning and playing with here
would work there. Thank you for answering. I'm sort of limited to what I
can play with here in the big city. Too many ignorant neighbors:-( and
too many houses too close by.
I was looking at the catalytic heaters to keep me warm until I get a
proper furnace installed. I think I will continue to look for a
solution. I have heard of "tent heaters" which are real furnaces, two
air sources- combustion and domestic ducks, designed for tents. Havent
found any at a price I want to pay.
Thanks for the help.
Great answer Ron. All this points out the real beauty of the forced-air
system. The ability to control both the fuel and the air gives you a much
expanded envelope of operations. You can run from almost too lean to burn to so
rich you can caseharden soak, at any altitude that you can get the fuel. I love
mine, Elliot is my Buddy.
I never could see the "real beauty of a forced air system," when a naturally
aspirated burner can do just as well under normal conditions. I do agree
that under conditions where there may be back pressure problems, or in windy
conditions working outside, a blown system will have significant advantages
over Venturi burners. No one can argue that. In my shop I have only 500 s.f.
to work with, so almost everything is on casters and can be moved. When I
need to move the big forge it only requires one gas line quick disconnect to
be opened and I can roll it out of the way, and move another forge into
place under the exhaust hood. It makes for a very clean package, and is very
convenient when I need to work on the shop patio, or even in a remote
location where there is no power. I think there is a place for both systems.
When I have a situation where a blown burner would be a better alternative,
such as in a melting furnace that I need to build soon, a blown system it
will be. There is no way to achieve the temperatures I want with a naturally
aspirated burner. However, for general forging and forge welding, I find my
simple Venturi design burner system to be the ideal answer. It can produce
far more BTUs, and resulting higher temperatures, than I have ever needed,
so what more do I need. My normal forging pressure is around 2-3 psi, and
with the idle-full valve dropping it to zero gage when I am at the anvil,
probably only a couple ounces of pressure... it is very fuel efficient and
economical. Also, it is very quiet, and has no dragon's breath, so is very
pleasant to work around....no burned off hair on my arms. I just don't see
how I can improve on that. If I thought I could, I would.
"Ron Reil" Spaketh Thusly:
Ron, I just wanted to say it's good to see you're once again up and about and
back with the group. You were missed, and we (I can only speak for me, but I
know most will agree) really missed you and your expertise. Thanks for coming
back to share it with us.
Thank you Bill. I had a little set-back with the lung infection...almost
killed me, but I am back into things full swing now, and it is great to be
alive and doing. I no longer take my existence as a given, not that I did
before. I drowned once many years go in a flooded cave, and that pretty much
changed my outlook on life. I just didn't expect a flu bug, turned
Bronchitis, turned Pneumonia, would be my end. Pneumonia is now not the same
beast it was 10 years ago. Many forms now are untreatable, as was mine. I
have been given another chance to do some good in life, so I hope I can
justify what has been given back to me.
Thanks again Bill, appreciated more than you know. :-)