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Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

  1. #1
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    That time of year again, and tired of going through 1lb propane tanks with my Big Buddy. Looking at getting a 12ft hose w/ regulator, storing a tank outside, and running it through the wall of my shop/shed.

    Large amounts of propane nearby make me nervous so I'm thinking 20lb tank, but a bigger tank might be nice. During the coldest months last year in the middle of projects I could go through 4 1lb bottles in a day easily.

    Still undecided on whether I should run the hose right through the wall, or get a fitment with valve to mount on the wall, and a second shorter hose indoors. Anyone have a setup like this?

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    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    That time of year again, and tired of going through 1lb propane tanks with my Big Buddy. Looking at getting a 12ft hose w/ regulator, storing a tank outside, and running it through the wall of my shop/shed.

    Large amounts of propane nearby make me nervous so I'm thinking 20lb tank, but a bigger tank might be nice. During the coldest months last year in the middle of projects I could go through 4 1lb bottles in a day easily.

    Still undecided on whether I should run the hose right through the wall, or get a fitment with valve to mount on the wall, and a second shorter hose indoors. Anyone have a setup like this?
    I used the extension hose and a 20lb tank a couple feet away from the heater. Perfectly safe.

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    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    ^^^ Same.

    Unfortunately mine is a "little buddy" and doesn't do shit to heat my garage.

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    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Just be aware with the tank outside they get cold. When cold and a quick drain on them will drop the pressure inside the tank. I ran into this issue with a large grill I have. It dropped pressure to the point I thought the tank was empty but when allowed to acclimate and get some temperature back, it was fine. I'd put a 50# tank in the corner and call it a day. Just be sure to shut it off when not in use.

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    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    You're all nuts! I'm sure it would be fine inside, but with all the other flammables and the possible insurance issues storing indoors I'd feel a lot better with it at a distance.

    Yeah, my friend has a little buddy and last winter I helped him insulate his much smaller 5x10 shed and it couldn't even keep that heated up. The big buddy struggles with my shop (about 12x15 uninsulated) but cranked on high along with a small space heater it has kept the space usable down to negative temps. Things crank out an insane amount of heat!

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    Lifer gixxer72's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    You're all nuts! I'm sure it would be fine inside, but with all the other flammables and the possible insurance issues storing indoors I'd feel a lot better with it at a distance.

    Yeah, my friend has a little buddy and last winter I helped him insulate his much smaller 5x10 shed and it couldn't even keep that heated up. The big buddy struggles with my shop (about 12x15 uninsulated) but cranked on high along with a small space heater it has kept the space usable down to negative temps. Things crank out an insane amount of heat!
    Gas grill?

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    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    You're all nuts! I'm sure it would be fine inside, but with all the other flammables and the possible insurance issues storing indoors I'd feel a lot better with it at a distance.

    Yeah, my friend has a little buddy and last winter I helped him insulate his much smaller 5x10 shed and it couldn't even keep that heated up. The big buddy struggles with my shop (about 12x15 uninsulated) but cranked on high along with a small space heater it has kept the space usable down to negative temps. Things crank out an insane amount of heat!
    people store gas in garages ( cars)... soooooo
    ...........

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    hmmmm......

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    We have a propane fired Modine Hot Dawg. Is awesome.

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    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    If you go with an IR heater above you, they work really well. It heats you directly instead of heating the air to heat you. You can be in a 50F space with an IR heater aimed at you and you'll sweat. They are expensive though.

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    You're all nuts! I'm sure it would be fine inside, but with all the other flammables and the possible insurance issues storing indoors I'd feel a lot better with it at a distance.

    Yeah, my friend has a little buddy and last winter I helped him insulate his much smaller 5x10 shed and it couldn't even keep that heated up. The big buddy struggles with my shop (about 12x15 uninsulated) but cranked on high along with a small space heater it has kept the space usable down to negative temps. Things crank out an insane amount of heat!
    I got more than adequate heat, and light at the same time in a similar space 12x16 uninsulated, with a Coleman 2 mantle white gas lantern, even in -25f temps, no need to wear more than a t shirt

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    Lifer tsorfas's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Why not kerosene? They last long time and do decent job

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by tsorfas View Post
    Why not kerosene? They last long time and do decent job
    kerosene is ok if you have the ventilation or stove pipe, it puts out quite a bit of CO, even a white gas heater or lantern, carbon monoxide is a concern, propane like a gas stove in a kitchen is clean

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    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Pretty happy with the big buddy - just want a bigger tank outside and trying to decide how best to do it. Safety-wise, honestly wish I had a proper fire cabinet for all my chemicals, and definitely not keeping the propane indoors lol. Way too much valuable stuff to play games with it, especially since I'm occasionally welding, cutting, using torches, etc. in a small space.

    Which reminds me, I need a new metal bin for waste rags. Many years ago my dad nearly lost his entire business to a fire over some stupid safety-ignorant employee leaving an epoxy soaked rag in a trash can. Along with a few other experiences in my life... well, I play it safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by black View Post
    people store gas in garages ( cars)... soooooo
    ...........
    Propane is under pressure and extremely explosive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    If you go with an IR heater above you, they work really well. It heats you directly instead of heating the air to heat you. You can be in a 50F space with an IR heater aimed at you and you'll sweat. They are expensive though.
    These do look cool - try to avoid electric but do use a small space heater and wonder if I could replace it with one of these.

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    Lifer ilikenapalm's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    What are y'alls thoughts on this thing? 30,000 BTU Tank Top Propane Heater

    I have one kicking around, but I've never used it... I'm assuming I'd have to vent the space and all that? Do you have to vent with your Big Buddy systems?

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by ilikenapalm View Post
    What are y'alls thoughts on this thing? 30,000 BTU Tank Top Propane Heater
    it's propane, I would use it without ventilation, no different than cooking a turkey in a gas oven in your kitchen.

    if it makes you nervous, put a CO detector in your shed

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    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post

    Propane is under pressure and extremely explosive.
    a hundred years ago, that was the fear mongering going on about gasoline powered automobiles. Propane tanks are designed to handle the pressure,

    you have more risk with the little 1lb tanks you've been using

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    Lifer Rosco61's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    We have a propane fired Modine Hot Dawg. Is awesome.
    That is what you want. Pay once and do it correctly. Cost me around $1600 to buy and install the unit. 60.000 BTU so a smaller heater would be cheaper..
    I'm heating around a 24x26 space and two floors and it's a bit of overkill.

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    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Picked up a 12ft hose w/ regulator and a fresh 20lb tank at Home Depot for $23. I think they only fill to 15lb (or maybe 18lb) to allow for expansion, but even at HD rates that's less than half what I'd spend on 1lb bottles.

    Amazon.com: 12ft Big Buddy Hose with Regulator: Home & Kitchen

    For now, just going to run it through the wall and get a collar of some type, then

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    a hundred years ago, that was the fear mongering going on about gasoline powered automobiles. Propane tanks are designed to handle the pressure,

    you have more risk with the little 1lb tanks you've been using
    No mongering required here, I'm naturally paranoid. I don't store much gasoline indoors either. Pressurized fuel can leak and disperse though.

    Actually just a few months ago on a camping trip my friend's tiny propane canister had a leak, created a gas cloud and soon as it reached a hot ember in the fire it ignited in a massive, instantaneous fireball around him and half the campsite. Minor burns all over his face, melted his shirt, burned off his eyebrows, and turned the fuel canister into a jet of fire (which he promptly threw at my feet). Luckily I acted fast and ninja kicked it into the woods, and the force of my mighty blow extinguished the fire. Could have been way worse though and that was just a few oz of fuel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosco61 View Post
    That is what you want. Pay once and do it correctly. Cost me around $1600 to buy and install the unit. 60.000 BTU so a smaller heater would be cheaper..
    I'm heating around a 24x26 space and two floors and it's a bit of overkill.
    Pretty badass! For now my $100 Big Buddy, a few hundred bucks in propane, and a few hundred in electric bills for the space heater are keeping me just warm enough. Someday when we have a permanent garage setup I'll be looking at better options.

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    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    If you go with an IR heater above you, they work really well. It heats you directly instead of heating the air to heat you. You can be in a 50F space with an IR heater aimed at you and you'll sweat. They are expensive though.
    Is there an example? We have a remote shed with no power. Have an extra wood stove but it’s a soapstone stove that takes a long time to heat up or cool down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    //No mongering required here, I'm naturally paranoid. //
    You know what they say, “I know I’m paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?”

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    Last edited by Garandman; 10-29-18 at 09:59 AM.
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    I try and coach my employees against this as a matter of course, but this thread is a perfect example of creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.

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    suburban ghetto living... black's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    I try and coach my employees against this as a matter of course, but this thread is a perfect example of creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.
    I mean how many threads on NESR based on that model? lol

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    hmmmm......

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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    I'm more concerned about screwing those silly little bottles directly TO the heater more so than running a hose to it. I cringe when I use those 1lb. cans and try to avoid them at all costs. If I can run my hose to one of the 20lb cans on the camper, I do whenever possible. Granted, I'm not running the hose through a wall and trying to heat and enclosed space. Although my Portable Buddy heater is THEE SHIT in the hunting blinds (in which case, I stick to the 1 pounders).

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    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    I try and coach my employees against this as a matter of course, but this thread is a perfect example of creating a solution for a problem that doesn't exist.
    Problem: I don't want to keep the propane tank inside.

    Solution: I put it outside.

    Do you also coach them to ignore fire codes, void insurance policies, and unnecessarily waste space?

    Just asking if anyone had tips for hooking an external tank - it's pretty easy to just click past if you don't...

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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Is there an example? We have a remote shed with no power. Have an extra wood stove but it’s a soapstone stove that takes a long time to heat up or cool down.
    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to..._425114_425114

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  25. #25
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Heating the shop: Big Buddy + outdoor propane tank

    Time of year for heat in the work space. If you have a small spot like at a work bench to heat, this would work pretty well and good price. Install it behind or over you though, they seem to be more effective than hitting you in the face.

    https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...5479_200395479

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