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Old 02-26-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
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Propane go boom

Please help me. Catalytic heater installation.

It's cold, and I finally have the recess kit needed to install my Wave6. The propane lines look good. I need to get some connectors and parts from the store so while making a list I realized I have no idea what this connector piece is or if it's in good condition.

It's on the hitch, where the tanks should go, and it looks like the gas regulator to the trailer. Is this part a relic? Should it be replaced? Is it missing any pieces? I guess should take it to the local propane technician, right?

Also, I'm going to have to make the old furnace hole wider to accommodate the catalytic heater. By about an inch. I plan to put it at the top of the current empty space (photo) and it will fill about half the space. I don't like how it's going to cramp the doorway, but I can't think of another place for it unless I encroach on the empty space meant for the non-existent fridge.

How will the placement affect how the heater works throughout the trailer? Will it be blasting the people in the booth or is the trailer small enough that the heat will circulate ok? Will I lose all my heat every time the door is opened?

In practice, what are the important things to know about heater placement other than fire safety? Any ideas or creative solutions are welcome!

Propane lines - from the copper gas line in the floor to the Wave6, should I run copper pipe or is flex hose an acceptable option?

From the propane tanks to the regulator, same question?

Other than how to hook up a burner and deep fry one of the world's greatest turkeys, there's much I don't know about propane. Thanks for your help.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:28 PM   #2
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Like many, my Wave6 is also on the refrigerator cabinet panel right by the door. I've bumped it surprisingly few times.

I had it professionally installed (to avoid potential boom) so can't say much there. Mine is copper piped in. The heater works well, but I've only briefly used it so far.

The one warning is this - I had to swear to the installer that we wouldn't use the dish towel hanging rack immediately above the heater when the heater was in use. So far, so good.

Tom
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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SpaceEgg Yes that is the two stage switch over regulator mounted on the A frame. I would get a new one for what they cost. The original is 52yrs old. A new one will be automatic switch over.
The gas line coming through the floor is not long enough to reach your new heater and connections or shutoffs are not allowed by code to be inside the trailer. Go to the main line under the trailer and run a new line long enough to reach the wave 6. Flexible lines are also not allowed by code inside the trailer.
When you get a new regulator buy two rubber hoses to connect to the propane cylinders(tanks). Buy the new style ones that don't need a wrench to attach to the cylinders.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:17 PM   #4
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The location you chose is probably the best place to install your Cat Heater. That's where mine is located in my '72 and I have no regrets where it is and I've never bumped into it.

I would definitely buy a new propane regulator. And I would lengthen the copper pipe run to your heater.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceEgg View Post
I realized I have no idea what this connector piece is or if it's in good condition.

It's on the hitch, where the tanks should go, and it looks like the gas regulator to the trailer. Is this part a relic? Should it be replaced? Is it missing any pieces? I guess should take it to the local propane technician, right?
As Wasagachris says the entire assembly should be replaced due to age. The internal rubber components tend to fail over time and pose a safety hazard. They are inexpensive so there's no reason not to do it.

The parts are available from many sources. Here's a link to VTS:

Propane Regulators

You will want a dual-tank auto changeover regulator, a cover, and two pigtails, all available on that page. You will also need a 3/8" NPT to flare adapater, with the flare end matching the size of tubing you have on your trailer. You can take your existing regulator to a hardware store to find a part that's the right size.

Quote:
How will the placement affect how the heater works throughout the trailer? Will it be blasting the people in the booth or is the trailer small enough that the heat will circulate ok? Will I lose all my heat every time the door is opened?

In practice, what are the important things to know about heater placement other than fire safety? Any ideas or creative solutions are welcome!
Clearance is the main thing.

Placement isn't critical with those because there isn't as much heat involved as with a furnace. You won't get much heat in the bedroom or bathroom, but there's nothing much you can do about that.

Quote:
Propane lines - from the copper gas line in the floor to the Wave6, should I run copper pipe or is flex hose an acceptable option?
Unless you're installing the heater in a frame the swings out or otherwise moves you should use copper line, because once installed, it should require no maintenance.

Quote:
From the propane tanks to the regulator, same question?
Hose is now customary. A certain amount of flexing is inevitable and that shortens the life of the copper, so a hose will last just as long. They're good for about 10 years or so, and then should be replaced, along with the regulator. See pigtails on the vts page linked above.
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