Direct vent propane wall heaters...

alyazalyaz Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
Hope this in an appropriate area to post this and hope the topic is okay too...

We have two direct vent / propane wall heaters in our off grid home. The larger one has a thermostat and the smaller one simply has an off / low / high setting. When I was looking for a small direct vent propane wall heater, I could not find any of this size (the only available exterior wall in the bathroom's size was the limiting factor) with a thermostat. Does anyone know if there would be a way to hook up a battery operated thermostat so that if the wall heater was on the low setting (for example) that the wall heater would come on and go off depending on what the thermostat was set at? Thanks...
3.3 kW solar.  3 Midnite Solar controllers; 5 lightening suppressors.  Magnum’s inverter; auto gen start, BMK.  Davidson 2 v FLA’s - 24v bank.  Perkins diesel gen.

Comments

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    Empire makes a 10,000 btu direct vent heater. Requires no electric and has an optional wall thermostat. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    It depends on if there is a milivolt thermopile/thermocouple control on the gas valve. Does the low/high settings change the burner flame or simply the run time?

    Send a picture of the gas valves or a better description and it might help. Heater make and model number might help as well,

    Tony.
  • alyazalyaz Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    The Empire we have (14000 BTU) has a thermostat. The Eskabe (8000 BTU) does not. Again, we could have purchased a larger unit such as the Empire or a larger BTU Eskabe with a thermostat, but in the bathroom we had very limited wall space and needed to comply with clearances. The Eskabe's low/high settings change the burner flame/output. On low or high, it runs constantly until you manually turn it to off. Here's a link for the Eskabe heaters.

    http://stpaulmercantile.com/index.php?action=store&page=VentedWallHeaters
    3.3 kW solar.  3 Midnite Solar controllers; 5 lightening suppressors.  Magnum’s inverter; auto gen start, BMK.  Davidson 2 v FLA’s - 24v bank.  Perkins diesel gen.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...
    alyaz wrote: »
    The Empire we have (14000 BTU) has a thermostat. The Eskabe (8000 BTU) does not. Again, we could have purchased a larger unit such as the Empire or a larger BTU Eskabe with a thermostat, but in the bathroom we had very limited wall space and needed to comply with clearances.

    I don't know how large your empire 14000 btu unit is, but the 10000 btu model is about 3 inches wider than your eskabe. If that doesn't work out, perhaps one of the very small boat cabin heaters will do. Do a search on 'propane cabin heater'. There are some very small direct vent units for sale, but I have no personal experience with any of them.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    Looking through the Eskabe web site quickly, it seems that the smalle units do not have a thermostat capability. It would logical if they provided a gas valve to use a thermostat they would tell you so, so I only assume that you can't easily install a t-stat.

    Now, as an experiment you could take the high low switch out, and simply replace it with a milivolt t stat, and see what happens. If it works to turn it on or off, you could then try to add some wire to see if you can remote mount the t stat. I know I have had trouble with t stats being too far away from the milivolt generator to work. If you are willing to take your unit apart, go for it. I can't see how you could damage the unit.

    On a side note, it is inserting that there larger units use a modulating gas valve, like the Rinnai's. I like e idea. Like I have said before, I am not a fan of Empires. I don't think they are very efficient, and the gas valves have been problematic on a number of them.

    Tony
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...
    icarus wrote: »
    On a side note, it is inserting that there larger units use a modulating gas valve, like the Rinnai's. I like e idea. Like I have said before, I am not a fan of Empires. I don't think they are very efficient, and the gas valves have been problematic on a number of them.

    Comparing Empire and Rinnai is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. The theoretical maximum efficiency of a device (such as the empire) that creates its own exhaust draft is about 80%. The Rinnai extracts more heat from the exhaust and uses a fan to blow the cooled exhaust out. The Rinnai also needs a much smaller hole in the exterior wall.

    The Rinnai is about twice the price, draws electric power at all times, and makes an audible fan noise except when it stops working completely because the grid (or inverter) is down.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • alyazalyaz Solar Expert Posts: 114 ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    thanks guys. appreciate the input.
    3.3 kW solar.  3 Midnite Solar controllers; 5 lightening suppressors.  Magnum’s inverter; auto gen start, BMK.  Davidson 2 v FLA’s - 24v bank.  Perkins diesel gen.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    Agreed,,

    That said, I would choose a Rinnai any day, even considering the electic power cost.

    Tony
  • notsobrightnotsobright Solar Expert Posts: 247 ✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    Im looking for one of these as well. I havnt found much from searching but the one linked here would work for me, are there others available like this one (that do not require electricity) ?

    thanks
  • mikeomikeo Solar Expert Posts: 386 ✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    I have an Eskabe 8000 btu heater in a very small bathroom, any thing bigger would overheat with out a thermostat. They simply have a knob controlled gas valve that supplies two volumes of gas for low or high heat. Nothing there that would allow for a thermostat to be installed.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,153 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Direct vent propane wall heaters...

    we have an ORBIS 9000 btu, with a thermometer and variable gas glow rate, replaced by a 10,000 I believe. try these guys, http://www.asapheat.com/
     
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