Tankless system using 100# propane bottle?

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by konasean, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. konasean

    konasean New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Hawaii
    My home isn't fitted for gas so, I wanted to know if it was feasible to run a Paloma LP tankless water heater (7.4gpm / 19,000-199,000btu) using a 100 pound propane bottle?
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  2. konasean

    konasean New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Has anyone out there done this? I've been hearing conflicting information.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  3. Abel Zyl Zimmerman

    Abel Zyl Zimmerman Owner of Zyl Vardos

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    I run a small Bosch on 20lb LP tanks. It is rated at 75,000 btu. I am using 3/8" black steel for the gas supply. Everything works fine and has been flawless for 2 years.

    If you sized appropriately (regulator and gas supply piping) for your btu, you should be fine.
  4. Larcal

    Larcal New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Konasean--it depends on how cold it is around your tank, and how many btu's you are drawing. The smaller the tank(i.e the less gas you have) the warmer it has to be to emit the high btu's of a tankless heater. Even a 5 gallon tank may emit enough btu's to work in cold temps but you'll only be able to use part of the tank before it freezes up. http://www.wardburner.com/tankfreeze.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2012
  5. Larcal

    Larcal New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    Hi Abel,--Could you tell me at how low a temperature you have been able to totally empty those 5 gallon tanks at your max of 75k btu's? I assume you mean just one tank at a time is being consumed, that you are not linking them together. Thinking about a similiar rugged setup. Thanks
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2012
  6. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,981
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    199,000btu would not last very long on a small bottle like that.

    You should get a real tank, or use NG.
  7. Larcal

    Larcal New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    California
    25 gallons (i.e, 100 lb tank) is 2,300,000 btu's. A good ballpark is 100k/hour to heat water for a shower. If take 10 minute showers thats 16,600 btu per shower or 138 showers per tank. Many people have transport issues. Go without a hot shower for a few years and you might think that tank is real enough.:D
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2012
  8. DonL

    DonL Banned

    Messages:
    3,981
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    True that.

    You could only shop at Wal-Mart if you go without a shower for a few years.

    Then you would be happy to exchange a 5 Gallon tank at WM for $20.00 or so.

    I would take a cold shower than none at all.

    Years ago people washed in the rivers and creeks and had the sun to warm them.
  9. Brahms

    Brahms New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Atlanta
    I have the 3.8 gallon Rinnai >>outdoor<< unit running from a 215 gallon LP tank using a high-pressure system. I have 10psi to the house through 3/4 inch underground plastic gas pipe, and then 1/2 inch black iron inside the cabin and through the wall to the unit. Pressure regulator is at the unit. Absolutely no problems with condensation on the pipe, or of getting enough BTUs to the unit even in the coldest weather. There's no reason you can't use a portable tank.
  10. zl700

    zl700 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Texas
    I see you live in Hawaii. Evaporation of the liquid is the concern in the tank to deliver BTU's. Given its warm there Heres some figures,

    Good at 35 degrees, 10% fill
    Good at 25 degrees 20% fill
    Good at 20 degrees 30% fill

    I'm sure it will work fine
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