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Old 01-07-2017, 11:44 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 4,448,234 times
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For heating the house, the past 3-odd years I've had a "Vanguard" propane floor-standing heater, one with 3 elements and a mechanically-fired pilot light. It started leaking gas (confirmed by a shop) so I got a second-hand "Mr Heater' with 20,000 BTUs for $75.

The Vanguard looks pretty much like this except for it's a 3 element heater instead of a 5 element one:



The new one, I'm sure you've seen it before:



As I said, we started smelling gas with the Vanguard and had it checked out, and some internal part (not sure which) is leaking gas and quite badly. The shop offered to throw it out saying you can't get parts for it anymore.

Me, I'd like to fix it and keep using it, and the main reason is this--the new "Mr Heater" it has 3 elements but it does not have the option of using just 1 element or 2 instead of all 3 at the time. When I had the Vanguard, Low was 1 element, Med was 2 elements, 3 was all 3 elements. That's what I prefer vs the Mr Heater way of 1-5 being a control that determines when it shut off. I like having the Vanguard run 1 element at night to "trickle heat" the place (prevent it from getting ridiculously cold) without using so much gas. I figure that Mr Heater running all 3 is going to use much more gas.

Questions:

(1) Are Vanguard parts really that hard to find? Am I better off throwing it away?

(2) Are my concerns about the Mr Heater using all 3 elements at once unfounded? Does the newer heat run more efficiently to where it won't be an issue? (Yes I could turn the heater all the way off in spurts but I MUCH MUCH prefer being able to just leave it on at a lower 1-element setting.)

Last edited by shyguylh; 01-07-2017 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:28 PM
 
19,160 posts, read 58,217,060 times
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If the unit is thermostatically controlled, there should be little or no difference in the amount of gas used. Unvented heaters are about 100% efficient and always have been. I do understand the like of a constant heat source though. The whoosh of a heater constantly starting and stopping can be annoying.

I suspect you can find a used part if you ask around. A lot of people like the older units and the shop at a propane dealership may have parts or even complete used ones if you ask nicely.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:43 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
31,168 posts, read 67,997,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post

Unvented heaters are about 100% efficient and always have been.
I do understand the like of a constant heat source though.
The whoosh of a heater constantly starting and stopping can be annoying.
The problem with them though is the water damage that regular use WILL cause.
Propane isn't as bad as with kerosene but it needs to be a temporary thing.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:35 PM
 
19,160 posts, read 58,217,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
The problem with them though is the water damage that regular use WILL cause.
Propane isn't as bad as with kerosene but it needs to be a temporary thing.
LOL! I live near a creek. The creek is not a temporary thing. I have far more "damage" from the moss and mold attempting to grow on the outside of the house and car than I do with any moisture from my unvented propane. My six-brick has been going all day and the rh is 62% with no window condensation. Sometimes in summer it is closer to 75%, even with AC.

I'm not saying that moisture can't be a problem, just that it isn't for me. As someone prone to nosebleeds in excessively dry air, it is more a benefit that problem here.
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