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Best propane fireplace insert? #4987024
01/21/19 09:51 PM
01/21/19 09:51 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
SOHCman Offline OP
SOHCman  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
I currently have a decent insert running off of a 250 outdoor propane tank (ventless). It produces decent heat, though the blower is loud, and there is a definite smell from running it that fills my house even after only a few minutes.

I am interested in reducing the smell, increasing efficiency if possible and keeping it usable in the event of a power outage.

(Mostly reducing the smell if even possible)

Thanks for any advice!


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987043
01/21/19 10:33 PM
01/21/19 10:33 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,556
N.C.
gman2304 Offline
gman2304  Offline

Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,556
N.C.
Can you describe the smell? Carbon monoxide though odorless, would be a huge concern. Propane has an added odorant as a warning that something is wrong. Smells similar to rotten eggs. I would cease using it immediately, turn off the gas and have it checked by a professional.

Last edited by gman2304; 01/21/19 10:36 PM.
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987045
01/21/19 10:36 PM
01/21/19 10:36 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 243
New Hampshire USA
Dinoburner Offline
Dinoburner  Offline

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 243
New Hampshire USA
Do you have a CO detector? Even tho you cannot smell monoxide poor combustion will have an odor. I would never use an unvented gas heater. Im informed by 35 years in the gas industry.


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Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987059
01/21/19 10:55 PM
01/21/19 10:55 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 932
Maryland USA
rubberchicken Offline
rubberchicken  Offline

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 932
Maryland USA
+1 on the CO detector. I have a propane insert, and it does not create any smells, but I do not use it that often. Whatever you get, I would make sure it has a spark lighter, rather than relying on a match or lighter.

Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987089
01/21/19 11:38 PM
01/21/19 11:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 8,286
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline

Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 8,286
Waco, TX
Where are you located ?

It might be nice to have this working properly if you need to use it in a winter emergency.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987130
01/22/19 01:17 AM
01/22/19 01:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 377
BC, Canada
marc1 Offline
marc1  Offline

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 377
BC, Canada
I have a pair of gas inserts (mine are NG but they are also available jetted for propane) from these guys in my house:

https://www.regency-fire.com/en/default.aspx

Pretty happy with them so far, they are direct vent units with a blower motor. The blower is a bit loud but every gas fireplace / insert I have owned has always been noisy. It is nothing that drowns out normal conversation it is just louder than I would like. In event of a power failure the insert will still light but, of course, the blower won't run, you have to rely strictly on radiant heat at that point. Decent remote control unit, fully adjustable flame height, blower speed, feedback control (on, off and smart) etc. Lots of options for the firebox, glass beads, rocks, logs, surrounds etc. that kind of trinket stuff. There should never be any odour with a correctly installed unit so you should look into that with your existing unit. The only odour from mine were when they were brand new the paint bakes a bit and this is normal and fully discussed in the owner's manual / FAQs. There is no odour at all now. Your signature doesn't say what state you are in so I am not sure if a dealer is nearby.


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Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987196
01/22/19 07:23 AM
01/22/19 07:23 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
SOHCman Offline OP
SOHCman  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
Thanks for the replies, I do have a newer CO detector. The smell is not rotten eggs like raw gas, it smells more like a burning smell if that makes sense, similar to the dusty burning smell from electronic heaters when turning them on for the first time out of storage.

My CO detector was new last year, and reads double zeros no matter how long I run the insert.

Do inserts usually have "air valves" like grills do to adjust how much air is mixed with the propane? I wonder if there is some adjustment to create a cleaner burn... Currently the logs have solid blue flame for about 2 inches up which then turns to or orange flame for about 5 inches above that if that matters?

Thank you


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987202
01/22/19 07:31 AM
01/22/19 07:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 118
Florida
gotnogunk Offline
gotnogunk  Offline

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 118
Florida
I'm sure that you know this but make sure the logs are in the correct position and not touching the flame, can cause that smell.

Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987339
01/22/19 09:51 AM
01/22/19 09:51 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 8,870
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 8,870
...
I will guess the burning smell is happening because either the stove is still somewhat new or hasn’t been fired up much or it has sat for a while and the dust is being burned off.

Does the manual give you a burn rate per hour? I used to have a Vermont Castings gas stove that was set to burn propane. It would go through a 300 gallon tank in a month. We stopped using it except for power outages and rare occasions.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: gotnogunk] #4987366
01/22/19 10:18 AM
01/22/19 10:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
SOHCman Offline OP
SOHCman  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
Originally Posted by gotnogunk
I'm sure that you know this but make sure the logs are in the correct position and not touching the flame, can cause that smell.


I don't think they are, but I'll double check.


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: PimTac] #4987370
01/22/19 10:22 AM
01/22/19 10:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
SOHCman Offline OP
SOHCman  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
Originally Posted by PimTac
I will guess the burning smell is happening because either the stove is still somewhat new or hasn’t been fired up much or it has sat for a while and the dust is being burned off.

Does the manual give you a burn rate per hour? I used to have a Vermont Castings gas stove that was set to burn propane. It would go through a 300 gallon tank in a month. We stopped using it except for power outages and rare occasions.


Yikes, I hope it doesn't go through it that fast. We just hit negative 9 in the midwest, so I have been using it in addition to a heat pump since they cant keep up when it gets too cold. Usually I just keep it topped off for power outages, so it may just be dust like you said.


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987371
01/22/19 10:23 AM
01/22/19 10:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3,126
Atlanta,GA
BMWTurboDzl Offline
BMWTurboDzl  Offline

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3,126
Atlanta,GA


“It took untold generations to get you where you are. A little gratitude might be in order. If you’re going to insist on bending the world to your way, you better have your reasons.”

435i
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: BMWTurboDzl] #4987580
01/22/19 02:24 PM
01/22/19 02:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA
SOHCman Offline OP
SOHCman  Offline OP

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,424
USA


Perhaps I could vent it, or replace it with a vented?


I urge people not to wait 100K to change out the fluid in their transfer case units. -Kestas
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987988
01/22/19 09:30 PM
01/22/19 09:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 243
New Hampshire USA
Dinoburner Offline
Dinoburner  Offline

Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 243
New Hampshire USA
Follow up to my previous post; Most ventless gas heaters use a low oxygen sensor which is basicly a poor pilot flame. As the oxygen level drops the pilot flame weakens and will hopefully become too weak to keep the thermocouple hot enough to generate enough dc voltage to keep the control safety magnet in the open position. So why would anyone want to be in an inviroment such as this. If you read the installation instructions these devises are not allowed in a bedroom or bathroom.


77 Chev stepside 454 Casteroil syn
95 GMC 4wd mobil syn
2016 Equinox LTZ V6 dealer
Kubota L5030 T6
Re: Best propane fireplace insert? [Re: SOHCman] #4987995
01/22/19 09:34 PM
01/22/19 09:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 8,870
...
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 8,870
...
Originally Posted by SOHCman


Perhaps I could vent it, or replace it with a vented?



I would not try anything on your own. Replacement is the better solution.


Cannot see signatures any longer so it doesn’t matter.
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