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Old 11-18-2013, 03:25 PM   #1
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


Any help on converting a new Reznor 125 btu UDAP ceiling hung heater from natural gas to propane? I got the conversion kit instaled which is just the orifice and different spring assembly, is there any further adjustments needed? Thnanks for any help

Scott

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Old 11-18-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


The manifold pressure should be set by a professional using a manometer and the flue gases should be combustion analyzed for proper and efficient opperation.

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Old 11-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


especially with propane it needs to be setup by a Pro. propane does not burn as cleanly as nat gas and it could carbon/soot up and plug the heat exchanger if not done properly.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:38 AM   #4
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


Thanks for the responses, I have read the procedure using the manometer to adjust the pressure and I was just wondering if one could do the adjustment by appearance of the flame as I don't have a meter. This unit is going in my machine shop and I'm not a weekend repairman, I know just enough to get myself in trouble.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


I have no idea where the information comes from that propane is a more dirty fuel than NG and if not adjusted to perform correctly any fuel can cause problems.

As for setting the pressure, build yourself a water manometer from hardware store supplies. I made this one of a brass valve stem with 1/8" pipe threads (your connection may vary) and plastic tubing. When the required static pressure of 10 inches was reached by measuring the difference of the 2 water columns on my appliance I quit adjusting and fired it. For easier viewing add a couple drops of food coloring. I like red for my old eyes and I don't confuse it with antifreeze.
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:57 AM   #6
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


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I have no idea where the information comes from that propane is a more dirty fuel than NG and if not adjusted to perform correctly any fuel can cause problems.

As for setting the pressure, build yourself a water manometer from hardware store supplies. I made this one of a brass valve stem with 1/8" pipe threads (your connection may vary) and plastic tubing. When the required static pressure of 10 inches was reached by measuring the difference of the 2 water columns on my appliance I quit adjusting and fired it. For easier viewing add a couple drops of food coloring. I like red for my old eyes and I don't confuse it with antifreeze.

Now there's a man with common sense!! Thanks Fairview, I have worked with a lot of gas fired heaters, stoves etc. and know that the only difference between fuels is gas/air mixture it's not rocket science and not taking anything away from professionals but a penny saved is a penny earned. thanks again.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


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Now there's a man with common sense!! Thanks Fairview, I have worked with a lot of gas fired heaters, stoves etc. and know that the only difference between fuels is gas/air mixture it's not rocket science and not taking anything away from professionals but a penny saved is a penny earned. thanks again.
While you're at it, build yourself a combustion analyzer so you can set up the unit. I think you can use twine, bailing wire and chewing gum. The self made manometer will work but how do you know if the unit is set up correctly? You are certainly right that it isn't rocket science, it is combustion science, and unless you have the equipment, and the training you may do something wrong that could wind up being dangerous.

The phrase "a penny saved is a penny earned" is all well and good, and as this is a DIY site, that is what we try and help people do, however I would say that most of us would agree that there are just some jobs that should involve a professional. Most of us professionals also have a phrase that we like to throw around, "Pay me now, or pay me later." Meaning, if you would have called us in the first place you wouldn't be shelling out big money now.
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Old 11-19-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


I failed to, but should have mentioned that to keep the professionals from having a bad day b****ing about having to drive 60 miles, I also use it to check filter condition of the central heat A/C system, lawn tractor air filter, automobile air filters and engine crank case pressure. Handy little feller.
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


Well depending on your location the term professional can be a loose definition. When I built this building I had the professionals instal the gas lines to the already hung radiant and forced hot air heaters. they made a manifold and ran hundreds of feet of flexible tubing, when I came in the next morning I was knocked out by the smell of propane. Every single fitting leaked, so after airing out the building I had to fix every fitting to which I tested with soapy water and then everyting worked fine. So don't get your panties in a bunch, I'm not slamming professionals as I'm one myself, but with my experience locally if I'm going to get blown up I'd rather do it myself than have someone else do it to me
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Old 11-19-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


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Well depending on your location the term professional can be a loose definition. When I built this building I had the professionals instal the gas lines to the already hung radiant and forced hot air heaters. they made a manifold and ran hundreds of feet of flexible tubing, when I came in the next morning I was knocked out by the smell of propane. Every single fitting leaked, so after airing out the building I had to fix every fitting to which I tested with soapy water and then everyting worked fine. So don't get your panties in a bunch, I'm not slamming professionals as I'm one myself, but with my experience locally if I'm going to get blown up I'd rather do it myself than have someone else do it to me
Believe me, I understand fully what you are saying and I know that you are not slamming professionals. The one thing that I am very hard-lined about when it comes to gas work is that there are very few things a DIYer can safely attempt to do. I tend to weigh risk factors involved against how "simple" a job may be. In my career I have seen more improper installations, and dangerous conditions created by people who thought that paying a professional is a waste of money. I am not saying that is what you are doing, all I am really saying is that the burner should be set up by a pro if you do not have the tools to do so.

Also, let's draw a line of demarcation between people who are highly trained professionals and those in the field that claim they are pros. Yes, there are people out there who make a career of not knowing the right way to do things and they, for the most part, seem to continue doing sub-par work with impunity. Not sure how that happens, but it does. For myself, I needed to go home at night and know that I did everything I knew how to do in order to keep my customers safe and happy.
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Old 11-19-2013, 04:46 PM   #11
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


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I have no idea where the information comes from that propane is a more dirty fuel than NG
LP/Propane is a dirtier fuel then natural gas. And one suppliers propane can be of a better quality then anothers.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:28 PM   #12
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


Let me clear something up, LP gas can burn just as clean and efficiently as natural gas. The only real difference between LP gas and natural gas other than the BTU content is that LP gas is a byproduct of the cracking process of crude oil and natural gas is, as its name implies, naturally occurring.

Here is where the idea comes from that LP gas is dirtier than natural. Part of the refining process for LP gas produces a waste product called "heavy ends" it is an oily, foul smelling substance. All refining plants deal with the heavy ends as best as can be, but some does get through. This byproduct can then be passed on to the bulk stations where every propane company goes and fills up and then delivers to the storage plants for distribution to their customers. While a good deal of effort is put into eliminating both heavy ends and moisture in the storage tanks both at the refinery and at the residential level, some still gets through. When a great deal of it gets through it is called a "dirty" load and even though steps are taken to keep it out of the end user's tank, sometimes it happens and it can cause problems. Some of the problems, most in fact have to do with regulator freeze ups, or really horrible gas odors around the storage tanks. Injecting anhydrous methanol into a tank will help neutralize moisture problems, but if a tank has excess heavy ends, it has to be pulled from the field, emptied and it can be put back in service.

The idea that one companies gas can be dirtier than the others is both true and untrue, and here is why. Generally, every propane company gets their product from the same local place so the quality of the gas at the refinery distribution level is all the same. Where the differences happen is a failure to maintain proper tank moisture neutralization, or failure to deal with the heavy ends in the retailers own storage tanks. So, it can happen, and trust me, it can happen to the best of companies.

As far as natural gas burning cleaner than LP gas, that is pure hogwash. Natural gas can cause soot just as fast as LP gas if there is a problem. One fuel is not more efficient than the other, one just has more BTUs than the other.

I hope this helps clear up this question.
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Last edited by FClef; 11-20-2013 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 11-20-2013, 04:38 AM   #13
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


Since when does the Philly are only have 1 refinery that all the LP companies pull from.

NG can cause sooting, but it can burn at much worse air fuel mixtures without sooting then LP can.
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Old 11-20-2013, 05:49 AM   #14
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convert 125 btu reznor heater from natural gas to propane


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I was just wondering if one could do the adjustment by appearance of the flame as I don't have a meter.
Actually, yes you can. It takes a bit of experience and you need to know what to look for, but the colour of the flame corresponds very closely to its temperature so you can set by eye. In fact some of the older more experienced guys in the field can adjust by eye to the point where it's pretty much bang on when followed up with a meter check.
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:33 AM   #15
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Actually, yes you can. It takes a bit of experience and you need to know what to look for, but the colour of the flame corresponds very closely to its temperature so you can set by eye. In fact some of the older more experienced guys in the field can adjust by eye to the point where it's pretty much bang on when followed up with a meter check.


I figured that would be the case. I use propane/oxygen to heat metal to shape it, gas weld etc so I am familiar with how the flame should look or at least I hope so after nearly 30 years. That is how I am going to do the initial setting until I can get a meter.

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