[u][b]Propane gas for cooking[/b][/u]

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by DHK, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. DHK

    DHK New Member

    I live in a village without mains gas and don't want to cook with an electric hob. I am considering using bottled propane gas (2 x large orange bottles)for the hob and having electric ovens and would like to know any pitfalls. Someone told me propane is a dirty gas but did not explain what they meant.

    I would appreciate a plumber telling me what is involved in connecting up a gas supply for the cooker to run off. The propane gas bottles will be stored outside and regulators need to be fitted to the pipe and the pipe needs to be run indoors with a gas-cooker connector on the end.

    Can you tell me how far the bottles can be stored from the house and any regulations regarding storing the bottles.

    Is it very expensive to get a plumber to connect the pipework up, my husband can pre-lay the pipe in the ground where it needs to go.

    Any comments positive or negative would be appreciated regarding the use of propane gas for cooking.

    Thank you
  2. golp01

    golp01 New Member


    "Propane is a dirty gas". If that's the extent of your friends knowledge on the subject, don't ask them any more questions.

    There are tens of thousands of cookers and hobs and agas and fires, and even cars running on propane and have been doing so for 50 or so years.

    Technically, natural gas (or methane) has the chemical symbol CH4. I.e. 4 hydrogen atoms for each carbon one, propane is C2H6, and butane is C4H8 (not too sure about that one). Clearly however, they are all from the same family of gases.

    There are differences however. LPG, (liquified petroleum gas) for that is the common name, burns slightly hotter than 'Natural gas'. Also you need to have your cooker converted by changing the jets, but this is a simple job for any gas fitter operating in non mains gas territory.

    The only other noticible difference is that the propane flame is a bit wispier than mains gas, and is a little less easy to turn up and down. but this doesn't seem to put anyone off.

    BTW, if you experience <u>any</u> smoke being given off by any gas appliance, this is a potentially fatal situation since a sooty flame is a sign of incomplete combustion, and with that you will be getting a nice killer dose of carbon monoxide.

    I always like to leave on a light note.

    Hope this helps,

  3. golp01

    golp01 New Member


    I forgot to say the bottles can quite happily be stored outside the kitchen against the wall. Your local bottled gas supplier will give you all the gen.

    P.s. If you tell them the gas is for heating purposes, and not just for cooking, you will be offerred a special rate for the supply of the regulator kit and all future supplies of gas. The saving is worth having, even though you will have to have 4 47kg bottles, to get the discounted rate, but then you can have a gas fire in the lounge as well.

    good luck
  4. wowbagger

    wowbagger New Member

    golp01, you are almost right. Methane is CH4, ethane C2H6, propane C3H8 and butane C4H10. They are the first four alkanes. I would add that in addition to avoiding smoky flames, you should also avoid yellow flames (unless the yellow is from spilling salt, but that's a different kind of yellow).

    Nowt wrong with propane for cooking. One thing to remember is that propane is denser than air, so any leakages may collect in hollows, cellars, etc.
  5. Guy

    Guy Member

    I use a small propane heater in my garage. Its one like campers would use, NOT a space heater. Is this safe, or am I being poisoned?
    After reading all this info on here, I'm a bit concerned. Also, I keep the gas bottle in the garage too. Is this safe?

  6. DHK

    DHK New Member

    Thanks Pete and Wowbagger

    Just another quick question, can you tell me if you get a smell when using propane for cooking and gas fires. At present we are using butane calor gas in valor portable heaters and we find that it is a bit smelly and there seems to be some fumes. We are happy to put up with this as they are only a stop gap while the oil heating is being completed. However, we would not want it to be a continual problem with a new cooker or fire.

    Look forward to your advice Kel
  7. golp01

    golp01 New Member

    Hi again,

    All of the gases previously mentioned are completely odourless in their natural state. However, in order to enable people to detect leaks, minute proportions of a substance called 'Mercaptans' sulpher are added to the gas. This is what people recognise as the "smell of gas".

    If you want to check whether this is true or not, buy a small tin of gas lighter fuel. This will have no additive in it and, consequently will not smell.

    When you are cooking with propane, or for that matter butane, as long as the flame is burning a steady blue, which will be quite usual, you should experience no smell at all. Or a smell no different to mains gas.

    As for the heater in the garage/workshop, much the same applies, however,if you find you get headaches, or sleepy or nauseus, get the heater checked out. Storing and using one bottle of propane indoors is not a problem, but it is considered good practise to change over empty cylinders for full ones outside, or in a very well ventilated area.

    hope this helps,

  8. golp01

    golp01 New Member

    One final point that's worth remembering, is that LPG and boats are a really hazardous combination, because any leak or unlit fuel will sink into the bilge area, (if you have a bilge). You will then become an integral part of your very own firework party as soon as the concentration of gas to atmosphere gets into the range between 5% and 15%.

    Funilly enough, it won't explode when it exeeds 15%. But I've never been brave enough to prove this in the flesh, so to speak. This doesn't mean you can't use butane/propane on boats, just that the cylinders must be kept in an area where the gas can flow down and off the boat if there is an escape.

    Thats enough 'gas' from me,


  9. Guy

    Guy Member

    Thanks Pete for your advice on my garage heater.


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