View Full Version : The shop has heat! But....

Your Old Dog
11-06-2007, 06:19 AM
Got the wall/space heater configured from Nat Gas to Propane, got the extra regulator removed and all is firing up just fine. Got it mounted and vented to the outside and all that works just fine.

Only issue now is that the little adjuster on the long thin tube (almost like thermocouple tube) doesn't seem to do much of anything. Are these space heaters supposed to able to be turned off without shutting off the gas? I have a standing pilot light that works. Also have a dial going to the side of the furnace cover doesn't seem to do much of anything. This unit has no electric applied to it.

But, at any rate, I got heat and can now make chips while the Winter winds scream across the back field and slam into the barn at 50-60 mph !! :D I'd like to have been able to dial the heat down and off but If I have to do the manual thing I guess I can live with it. It's still better then the wood stove and getting the shop smoked out every now and then. At $89.00 a 3' section for chimney I wasn't going to buy more then the 5 sections I had :D

Thanks for all the help everyone.

11-06-2007, 07:40 AM
Post pictures, I am shooting in the dark here.

A stand alone gas heater is sometimes powered by the 30-50 millivolt thermocouple, the gas valve that turns it on and off is operated by it. I have one on my wall that works that way for emergency heat for my house, it is ventless thou.

A thermocouple works by dissimilar metals when heat is applied it generates a small amount of voltage and current according to heat applied across the junction. IT IS NOT LINEAR, but must be linearized in software that translates voltage into temperature. When you connect a thermocouple, you must use like-metal type wiring, iron, copper- etc.. and balanced terminals, if you just wire nut them together, you have two more thermocouples.. you can make a thermocouple by twisting the ends of the cable thermocouple wire together. A true bead is more reliable, it welds the ends and works much more reliable thou.

bomber pilots in WW2 could salvage the cable from their crashed planes, wire them like batteries in series and parallel and throw them into a fire, and generate enough voltage to run a radio.. so the story goes..

11-06-2007, 08:31 AM
Yes, it should kick on and off. I assume you are talking about a glo-warm style heater.

I need to get some crap posted on Ebay here pretty quick. I want to get one of those installed in the basement for emergency purposes only. Gives us and the cats a warm place to sleep, without worrying about pipes freezing. Natural gas doesn't shut off in an emergency.

11-06-2007, 04:15 PM
I'm not exactly sure what you have for a heater YOD, but I'll assume it is a gas type space heater without an electronic thermostat. In these type of installations there should be a copper pressure bulb connected directly to the gas control valve, this is your thermostat.

The bulb gets warm and shuts off the flow of gas to the burner. Conversely when it cools off it in turn allows gas to once again to flow into the burner.

Placement of this sensor is critical to the proper functioning of the heater. If it stays cold the heater won't shut off. Also if the tube leading to the gas valve has ruptured then it will cease to function, meaning you are now the thermostat, or out a large chunk of change for a new valve.

I've tossed in an example of what I think may resemble your valve... more or less. IF not disregard everything I said.


Aw hell, it's a photo and I know you like pictures!:D

11-06-2007, 10:33 PM
Glad to here you are able to keep warm this winter. It doesn't get as cold here in Newport, but we get some good winds though. Heat is good!

11-06-2007, 11:30 PM
YOD... why would you want to change from Nat Gas? I guess it could be because you have only propane and got the heater setup for NG.
NG is much more cost effective. I heat my house, stove and dryer with NG all pilot less ignition. The highest monthly bill to date was 100.00 that was dead winter.
I plan on putting a NG furnace in the shop next year. Right now I have Kero heaters.

Your Old Dog
11-07-2007, 05:57 AM
All is well ! The knob on my furnace isn't the one that belongs on it. The indications on it are backward. That was one problem and the other was it takes longer when you turn it down for it to react. I bought a infrared pointing type thermometer and that helped me see what was going on. At one point the exchanger was up to 925F.

I went with propane because when I had a heating contractor come out to quote a price for heating it the price was within nickles and dimes of what it was for converting the house from steam heat to Nat Gas and his ducting work wasn't 1/10th the effort required in the home. Burying the gas line in our particular rocky dirt was the big problem and the distance from the house.

Willy, thanks for taking the time for the picture. That's the setup I have with the brass or copper long slug. I was wondering if mine was mounted properly and it's about the same as yours. I mounted a smaller style squirrel cage blower on the floor to move the heat off the exchanger. Wonder if that is affecting my thermal thing? Maybe I'll scrap the squirrel cage fan under the furnace in favor of one moving air from the other side of the room and see if that makes a differance.

Sorry I didn't post any pictures. The tiny cable for my camera is misplaced and I don't have a card reader yet.

11-07-2007, 01:37 PM
Fans are your friend. you want to get as much heat out of the exchanger as practical. I don't want or need 800 heat going up the flue.
I have fans on my heater as well as a couple of ceiling fans. It really warms up the iron fast when it's been cool in the shop for awhile.

Although it does take a few hours to get thirty of forty thousand pounds warmed up. Unfortunately that's not all working iron but tools, cars, motorcycles, etc...it all has to be brought up to temp. But once it's there it stays warm for days without heat.

Stay warm Ray, the big snows are not too far down the road.