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Author Topic: catalytic LP heaters  (Read 4769 times)
WEC4104
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2008, 06:22:53 PM »

I was tinkering in the bus this evening and this thread inspired me to play around a bit.  I fired up both Cat heaters.  I hadn't run them in a while, and the best time to find out that something doesn't work, is when you aren't needing it.  Well, both ran fine. 

I've always felt pretty confident in the vented one up front, so I targeted the unvented one in the rear.  I cleared the bed linens back a little, and ran her for about an hour.  I put my First Alert CO alarm about 4 feet from the heater and at the same level.  With no windows cracked, and the bedroom is pretty small, I let her run while I left and went back in my house. 

When I came back an hour later, the bedroom was at least 20 degrees warmer (45 -> 65).  I was starting to see slight condensation on the inside of the windows.  But no indication of any CO problem. 

This is hardly a scientific test, and in reality means nothing.  It is not going to change the way I treat  the unvented unit.  But in a small sense it does make me feel a bit better.
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2008, 07:38:19 PM »

We have 3 Cat LP's with wall thermostats and exhaust vented. They are very economical on LP and minimal 12V fans. We also have three wall mounted 220V electric for when parked. We used non-vented in our earlier conversion and were constantly fighting moisture problems, especially when it got extremely cold outside. The Cat's work wonderfully and we never use more than the lounge and bedroom at the same time. If we need parts, I'll scavange from the unused on in the bathroom LOL
Good luck with them and let us know how they work for you. It sounds like the installation should be a breeze  Grin
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Lin
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 07:45:20 PM »

I also have one Olympian and one Platinum Cat.  I am not doing permanent installations on either.  I have installed a propane quick disconnect in the front and will install one in the bedroom also I plan to use the unvented catalytic heater in the front when needed.  Although they both could be used in either location,  I plan to use only the vented one in the bedroom.  I have a forced air furnace in the front also, but I prefer to do without the noise.  Since we do not need these heaters in the summer and use electric heat if we have shore power, I see no reason the mount these heaters permanently.
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cody
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2008, 08:35:07 PM »

Clearly some good information, enough to make it worthwhile taking a closer look at it as a viable heat source, the drawbacks appear to be possible fumes and condensation, both could be controlled easily by using a vented model instead of an unvented one, tho the unvented model seems to have better specs. But looks good enough to check into it further.
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Lin
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2008, 08:56:26 PM »

Another thing to note is in regard to CO alarms.  We have a Kidde one that has a digital read out of CO ppm.  At the time we got it, our generator exhaust was not properly routed so we would only use the generator on the road.  Once I installed the alarm, I started up the generator to see what would happen standing still.  The detector went up from zero and began to register CO.  I think a little red light was on too, but the alarm did not sound.  I called Kidde about it and they said that the alarm would only sound when CO reached a preset level.  Sorry, I do not remember any of the actual ppm numbers.  My point is that I would not be happy to have any CO register on the readout, especially while asleep, even if it was below their preset "danger level".  By the time the alarm sounds, you have a problem.  It is sort of light a hot engine light on your dash.  It is good to have one, but I like having a gauge so, if I am not too careless, I know there is an issue before it is a serious problem.  Let me tell you, I am cheap and often careless, but even I know the asphyxiation can ruin your weekend.  This is just not something to compromise with.  I could be wrong, but I consider the limited space of a bus to be very unforgiving of this sort of miscalculation.  If you are going with anything less than a completely uncontaminated, vented system, get a really good CO detector.  If you see the readout showing any CO, shut the heater down.  The a-little-bit-of-poison-is-alright theory makes me real uncomfortable.
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JohnEd
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2008, 10:37:57 PM »

I had a friend that had had a series of heart attacks.  I had occasion to visit with him when he was doing volunteer work for the Lions club in a remote location.  They gave him a travel trailer to stay in for a week.  It had a cat heater from Oly.  I suggested that any ventless heater would diminish the O level even if it didn't get to the "KILL" level.  His wife checked with his DR. and was told to use a blanket and NOT use the heater simply on the basis of O depletion. Shocked  Anybody out there have a heart problem?  Cry  Me too.   Might want to look into this.  I don't have any scientific evidence to share either, though. Tongue Grin

John
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cody
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« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2008, 05:17:57 AM »

Hadn't concidered that part, good point and really something to look into.
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rwc
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« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2008, 05:28:04 AM »

Lin If you do not do permanent install with the vented heater how will you deal with venting when you move it from one location to the next? Just curious. Rod
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Lin
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« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2008, 09:57:52 AM »

RWC,

I plan to set the vented one up in the bedroom on a wall near a window.  I am thinking of sliding the window open slightly and having an insert that will fill the space.  The vent outlet would be installed in the insert.  The quick disconnect, the 12v connection, and the thermostat would all be hidden, but available, there.  You are right though.  I would not be able to use that heater elsewhere.  My reasoning is that the heater is very practical but it is not particularly beautiful and does take up space.  Since we would really use it only a very small fraction of the time we use the bus, I might as well be able to stow it.  It will be mounted in a way that I could leave it up while traveling if we wanted.
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cody
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« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2008, 10:06:11 AM »

Just as a thought lin, I used to buy mounting kits from Radio Shack that had one bracket that mounted on the wall and another that mounted on a speaker, or what ever I wanted to hang, the brackets were strong and the stuff stayed put but only required a moment to lift the item off to remove, that in conjuction with a quick disconnect could be a thought.  I used to paint the brackets to match whatever wall they were on and they disappeared onto the wall.
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Lin
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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2008, 11:08:53 AM »

Cody,

Thanks, I will look into that.  The Platinum Cat can be recessed or surface mounted.  I did not want to cut a hole in my beautiful wall to recess it, and surface mount looks poor.  So I plan to build a box for it, recess it into the box, and surface mount the whole box.  The brackets you mention, or something like them, may be just the ticket.
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« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2008, 05:09:53 PM »

We don't put a heater in the bedroom, we depend on blankets and don't like a warm bedroom.

We put the heater in the hallway near the bathroom with both doors open but with the door to the front of the bus closed. Warms the whole area with no problem. We never use the heater on high, it gets much too hot for us.
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Will & Wife
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« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2008, 06:31:29 PM »

One other thing I couldn't agree with more, and that is the CO monitors. Even though our Cat Platinums are vented, we have a digital CO monitor in the bedroom and another in the kitchen. Asphyxiation is not a good thing  Cry We like our air  Grin Grin
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JohnEd
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« Reply #28 on: November 11, 2008, 09:52:15 PM »

Gus,

You are a man after my own heart. Kiss  I had a friend that knocked out the wall of his bedroom and screened it in including his large porch. Shocked  Called it his sleeping room.  No heat ever and in Eugene, while we have very mild winters, it does get down to single digits every once in a while.  He and wife slept on a feather bed and had a down comforter.  Wifey won't let me knock out a wall but the single hung sash window is wide open all year long except the rare evening that needs AC.  I am ruined in a heated bedroom and almost need my down comforter to do the nite thing.

Now the living room and bath are a completely different story, mind you. Grin

John
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"An uneducated vote is a treasonous act more damaging than any treachery of the battlefield.
The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”
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Van
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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2009, 02:57:45 PM »

Cody,any updates on the ProCom heater,get it hooked up yet?Van
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