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Ask The Expert Answers

Question:
How large a
propane tank do I need for an 8KW propane generator that's rated to consume 62 cu. ft/hour (1.68 gal/hour)? I've already have a tank supplying my propane fireplace insert. Is that tank large enough to supply both the fireplace and an 8KW generator?

Answer:
The current tank at your home is  not large enough to supply both the LP insert and the generator. The tank size you need is a 120, the BTU output of this container is 235,008 at twenty degrees outside air temp. The BTU load of the generator based on the info given is 155,000 BTU’s per/hr leaving 80,000 BTU available for the propane fireplace insert. So, it would benefit you to just have the 120 installed for the generator only. The tank has to be located ten feet from any source of ignition, remember the generator is considered  a source of ignition.

Question:
We have two fireplaces that are unused and a boiler that is used for the whole house. We are looking into options for a secondary heating source that is not electrically dependent. Please let me know what most cost effective solution would be in your opinion. Thanks!
 
Answer:
The best option for your needs would be a propane generator; it will not only provide heat when the power is out but will also keep your refrigerator and/or freezer running. Another other option is to install propane fireplace inserts which do not require electricity to provide heat. The second option will be less expensive upfront but the first will have an overall higher savings over the long term. 

Question:
With all of the snow, my propane tank continues to be buried. Despite the amount of shoveling that is being done, there is a large amount of thick ice on the line from the tank to the house as well as on the tank itself. Any suggestions on how to deal with the ice, safely?

Answer:
The ice build up on the tank can affect the vaporization rate of propane, which in turn might affect how appliances operate. The supply line having ice buildup should not affect the system, but if the line is not secured properly it could break and cause a leak. If a regulator vent is clogged with ice or snow or the supply line is not secured, please call your local Dead River Company office immediately.

To safely remove ice and snow that’s accumulating on the tank, use a broom instead of a shovel whenever possible in order to not damage your propane system components. As snow continues to pile up, mark your tank location with a stake to help avoid plowing or shoveling rooftop snow onto the tank.

 

To learn more about winter storm safety, you can download this brochure from the Propane Gas Association of New England.
Winter Storm Safety
 
Question:
Hello, I am a Dead River customer through your St. Johnsbury VT office. The staff there is excellent and very helpful, but I thought I would try ‘Ask the Expert’ first. This past month in December we saw a huge increase in our propane usage. We have propane attached to our radiant heat, range, dryer and hot water. We also have a wood stove and have foam insulation so heat loss is minimal. I realize it’s winter and obviously that accounts for some of the increase, but even in our old drafty mobile home, we’ve never used 200 gallons in four weeks. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
Answer:
There could be several factors contributing to the increased propane usage. There may be a difference in the total square footage of your new home compared to your mobile home. During the holidays, you may have used your appliances more often, such as the range for cooking holiday meals. Plus, the daily outdoor temperature can affect the heating system’s output, too. To make sure your system is working properly, one of our Service Technicians can perform a test on your propane system.   

Question:
I have a radiant heat system and being away during the winter, I turned the temperature to 47 degrees. However, I’ve noticed that the temperature in the house never drops below 50. Does radiant heat have a trigger in place that never lets the system drop below below 50? According to the thermostats, they never "kick on". Thank you.

Answer:
Based on the information provided, it is possible that the radiant heat system has a minimal set point, depending on the type of control system that’s in place. Make a note if the temperature seems to be going beyond the set point under normal heating situations. The floor’s thermal mass might be allowing the temperature to rise past the set point by a couple degrees. By the time the thermostat is satisfied, there is still some residual heat being released into the room.

Could your heating system benefit from energy-saving controls? Learn more at: Energy-Saving Controls 


Question:
What exactly is System 2000 and how much is it? What does it replace and how big of a job is it to install?

Answer:

System 2000® is an integrated heat and hot water system. It can be used with fuel oil or propane as an energy source. Depending on the existing heat and hot water system there could be a cost saving of 30%-40% with a System 2000 boiler. The installation takes 1 or 2 days, depending on the number of heating zones. An individualized estimate is best presented after a visit to the home and a discussion with you or the homeowner. Dead River Company offers free installation estimates to meet your specific needs. Please contact your local Dead River Company office to schedule a time to further discuss System 2000 and how it could meet your home’s heating needs. 
 
Questions:
• What happens if you add 3rd party kerosene to your oil tank when it is empty?
• Is there such a thing as good kerosene and bad kerosene?

• Do dealers need to be certified?


Answers:
What happens if you add 3rd party kerosene to your oil tank when it is empty?

Dead River Company recommends that our customers be on automatic delivery, which takes the need and worry out of monitoring the fuel gauge and having to call for a delivery.  There’s no reason not to add kerosene to an oil fired system, but any contaminants could cause problems with your system.  Please note that for monitor heaters, kerosene is the only fuel that can be used for this type of heating system.

 

Is there such a thing as good kerosene and bad kerosene?

Any contaminants can lower the quality of the Kerosene and cause problems with equipment. Contaminates could include but are not limited to: dirt, sludge and water.  Kerosene can be dyed or clear and but neither is bad kerosene. They have different uses but are the same product.

 

Do dealers need to be certified?

Delivery drivers must be licensed to transport the fuel they deliver, but there is no qualification for consumers adding kerosene that is purchased at a convenience store.  All Dead River Company Drivers are licensed and go through extensive training for safety.

 

If you have any questions about fuel quality and safety, please contact your local Dead River Company office. 

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