Adding a Supplemental Gas Heater? Plumbing Information to Consider


Adding a supplemental heat source can have many benefits for homeowners, especially if it does not require electricity to provide warmth. Supplemental heat sources, such as wall-mounted gas fireplaces, can turn uncomfortably cool spaces into warm, cozy living areas.

Even more important, however, is the fact that a propane or natural gas supplemental heat source can provide emergency heat during critical winter weather events that result in long power outages. Instead of being forced out on icy roads to seek emergency shelter, homes with supplemental heat sources can help families deal with these events in a safer, less stressful manner. 

Homeowners who currently have an all-electric home can use these plumbing tips to help simplify the installation process for this type of supplemental heat source. 

Propane or natural gas 

Many areas of the country have both natural gas and propane available to consumers. Both have similar burn times and efficiency ratings, with the chief differences being that natural gas must be piped in from the gas grid, while propane is held in a tank at the consumer's residence.

The lack of a tank may be a benefit in terms of saving space or concerns about curb appeal; however, natural gas must be pressurized by compressors and pumping stations that run on electricity. In the event of a lengthy power outage, natural gas may lose pressure and stop flowing, leaving the home's supplemental heat source without fuel.

Minimizing tank concerns

Once homeowners understand the potential risk associated with dependence upon natural gas during a power outage, most opt for propane but continue to worry about how the bulky, cylindrical tank will look.

A good way to minimize the appearance of the propane tank is to locate the heater on the inside of the home's rear perimeter wall or as near as possible to that location. This will allow the propane tank to be installed in an out-of-sight location behind the home. 

Insist on professional plumbing

While many supplemental gas heat sources come with DIY instructions for connecting them to your propane source or natural gas line, homeowners should always insist on professional plumbing services for this part of the installation process. 

Incorrect connections or poorly plumbed lines can leak and allow gas to pool inside the home where it could cause an explosion if subjected to a spark or flame. 

To learn more about the installation process for supplemental gas heating sources, contact a plumbing service contractor in your area. 


27 November 2019

DIY plumbing - can you do it yourself?

When you get a clogged drain or a toilet that just won't flush, do you reach for the phone and call for a plumber? When you have these seemingly simple plumbing problems around your house, you have to make a decision quickly. Do you pay for someone to come out and make the repairs, or do you attempt the repair on your own? This blog is all about DIY plumbing repairs. You will learn the basics and find tips for when to cut your losses and call in for professional assistance so you don't make a small fix one that needs serious repairs.