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Topic: Why 20 Pound Maximum Tank for Big Buddy?

Posted By: 67Airstreamer on 11/01/10 07:50am

My Big Buddy catalytic heater specifies a 20 pound maximum propane gas cylinder size.

I would like to use 30 pound and 40 pound tanks, or perhaps even a 100 pound size.

Why would there be a restriction for the heater?.

Surely it's not because of any gas pressure difference, but what else could it be?

Anyone know?


Posted By: Rob's on 11/01/10 08:05am

Size of cylinder makes no difference. Be sure you have proper connections and a regulator with 11" W.C.. Test all connections with soap.


Rob
RV Tech


Posted By: SWD on 11/01/10 08:19am

Rob's wrote:

Size of cylinder makes no difference. Be sure you have proper connections and a regulator with 11" W.C.. Test all connections with soap.



X2


Posted By: JesLookin on 11/01/10 08:35am

The 20 pounder is probably less likely to tip over, than the taller 30 or 40 pounders.


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Posted By: dbbls on 11/01/10 09:01am

I have been using a 30# for years and there is no problem.


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Posted By: bill h on 11/01/10 09:08am

Does the manual have a phone number? It would be interesting to hear it from them.


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Posted By: OBXcamper on 11/01/10 09:15am

SWD wrote:

Rob's wrote:

Size of cylinder makes no difference. Be sure you have proper connections and a regulator with 11" W.C.. Test all connections with soap.



X2


The Buddy heater already has a regulator built in, no additional regulator needed.


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Posted By: robatthelake on 11/01/10 09:30am

They are likely just complying with some liability issue, or simply writing their literature to cover the most commonly used Tank size!


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Posted By: ryanallie1 on 11/01/10 09:34am

Hi All.

I can almost bet you they recommend a 20 lb'er, becasue anything smaller would be used up very quicky. The Big "Buddy" Mr Heater uses two 1 lb Propane Bottles. Or they recommend using a 20lb'er as it eats up Propne pretty quickly, compaired to its smaller brother, the Mr Heater "Buddy" Heater that only uses 1, 1 lb Propane Bottle or a 20 lb'er Propane Tank. Any size you can hook-up to will work just fine. Good Luck. Happy Travels. Dan & Jill


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Posted By: randallb on 11/01/10 09:35am

They have most likely been sued when a large cylinder tipped over and pulled the heater with it. Most restrictions placed on products are directly tied to a legally decided liability issue or on advice from the corporate attorneys. You will also find that the hose will not be long enough to reach the valve on taller vertical tanks. This is a cost versus profit issue.
Randy


Posted By: OBXcamper on 11/01/10 09:46am

You can get up to a 12' hose (filter recommended). I use a 12 footer with a 5 lb bottle. I'm also curious why the 20 lb max.




Posted By: Broccoli1 on 11/01/10 10:17am

It is because it is a Portable Heater and they only Certify it for the 20lbs use as "Portable"- to certify it for larger Tanks they have to pay for another certification process but it can be used on larger Tanks and as was mentioned anything over 20lbs isn't really as portable

Mr. Heater, INC., 4560 W. 160TH ST., CLEVELAND, OHIO 44135 • 216-916-3000

It implies this in the warning

"IT MAY ALSO BE OPERATED WITH (1) F271802 HOSE ASSEMBLY CONNECTED TO A REGULATED (11” W.C.) PROPANE SOURCE OR (1) F271803 HOSE ASSEMBLY WITH 11” REGULATOR WITH ACME NUT.


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Posted By: OBXcamper on 11/01/10 10:50am

Broccoli1 wrote:

It is because it is a Portable Heater and they only Certify it for the 20lbs use as "Portable"- to certify it for larger Tanks they have to pay for another certification process but it can be used on larger Tanks and as was mentioned anything over 20lbs isn't really as portable

Mr. Heater, INC., 4560 W. 160TH ST., CLEVELAND, OHIO 44135 • 216-916-3000

It implies this in the warning

"IT MAY ALSO BE OPERATED WITH (1) F271802 HOSE ASSEMBLY CONNECTED TO A REGULATED (11” W.C.) PROPANE SOURCE OR (1) F271803 HOSE ASSEMBLY WITH 11” REGULATOR WITH ACME NUT.


That makes sense about the portability but the regulated supply is still a bit confusing. From page 3 of the manual, " GAS PRESSURE AT HEATER IS REGULATED AND FIXED AT 11” W.C. WHEN USING A REMOTE HOSE CONNECTION
TO HEATER REGULATOR(S), DO NOT REGULATE OR REDUCE PROPANE TANK SUPPLY PRESSURE TO HEATER."

It seems the regulated supply is IF you use a quick disconnect hose ??

Big Buddy Manual


Posted By: 67Airstreamer on 11/04/10 08:39am

Thanks for the advice guys. It seems the Big Buddy statement about the 20-pound tank maximum relates to some obscure reasoning. It's too bad manufacturers don't explain why they put such things in their instructions. In any case, I can't see why a larger tank would be inappropriate.

OBXCamper, although the wording is typically confusing, I think they should be saying a remote hose possbily could be connected to a regulated supply, which would not good because the heater already has a built-in regulator. So using two regulators in line would provide inappropriate pressure to the heater. This seems to conflict with other statements they use.

In any case, using a one-pound propane bottle on the heater (ie no remote hose is used) provides the proper pressure since there would be no possibility of a second regulator.


Posted By: OBXcamper on 11/04/10 09:42am

67Airstreamer wrote:

Thanks for the advice guys. It seems the Big Buddy statement about the 20-pound tank maximum relates to some obscure reasoning. It's too bad manufacturers don't explain why they put such things in their instructions. In any case, I can't see why a larger tank would be inappropriate.

OBXCamper, although the wording is typically confusing, I think they should be saying a remote hose possbily could be connected to a regulated supply, which would not good because the heater already has a built-in regulator. So using two regulators in line would provide inappropriate pressure to the heater. This seems to conflict with other statements they use.

In any case, using a one-pound propane bottle on the heater (ie no remote hose is used) provides the proper pressure since there would be no possibility of a second regulator.


Yes it is confusing. I did some more reading and found this link. clicky
Scroll down a little and you can see where they removed the factory regulator to plumb in to the house propane (downstream from the regulator). Then you can use the quick connect type hose.
I do like you and use a standalone tank and leave the factory regulator in.


Posted By: letsrun on 11/08/10 01:06pm

I just received an e-mail from Mr Heater:

My Question:
Model Number : MH18B - Buddy, Big
The instructions say I can use my Big Buddy in a
recreational enclosure (RV) but with a maximum cylinder size of 20
pounds. Why can't I use the 30 pound RV cylinder? The 30 pound cylinder has threads the same as the 20 pound cylinder.

Thanks
Jim


Mr Heater's response:
Jim,

You can actually use up to a 40# tank.

Thank you,
Bill Sisley
Technical Service Manager


Posted By: javaseuf on 11/08/10 01:29pm

Re. the Big Buddy...................

This model has a regulator after the two fittings that you screw the one-pound bottles to. If you use a bulk tank connected to one of these fittings, it can't be regulated at the tank.
The Big Buddy also has a non-regulated quick-disconnect fitting designed to be used from a regulated gas supply such as a tap off of your already regulated RV propane system.

The smaller Buddy heater doesn't have the built-in non-regulated quick disconnect fitting so the unregulated bulk tank hose is connected from the tank to the fitting that the bottle screws into with NO regulator at the tank.






Posted By: letsrun on 11/08/10 03:24pm

Steve,

Thanks for the input.

I'm looking at the Big Buddy Manual. This manual is for an older model than the one I just bought. The older one has a regulator in the middle of the unit that regulates both inputs. My unit has two regulators, one on each side of the unit; one for each input. Regardless, the input to this unit is regulated.

Mr. Heater's manual states, "you can use a 20 pound tank (maximum)." My question was: "why you can use a 20 pound tank and not a larger one, 30 pound for example?" Mr. Heater's response was, "that I can use up to a 40# tank."

Jim

* This post was last edited 11/08/10 08:05pm by letsrun *


Posted By: javaseuf on 11/08/10 08:06pm

letsrun wrote:

Steve,

Thanks for the input.

I'm looking at the Big Buddy Manual. This manual is for an older model than the one I just bought. The older one has a regulator in the middle of the unit that regulates both inputs. My unit has two regulators, one on each side of the unit; one for each input. Regardless, the input to this unit is regulated.

Mr. Heater's manual states, "you can use a 20 pound tank (maximum)." My question was: "why you can use a 20 pound tank and not a larger one, 30 pound for example?" Mr. Heater's response was, "that I can use up to a 40# tank."

Are you saying I can't?

No, not at all. I was just saying that on the new models with the quick-disconnect, your supply needs to be regulated when connecting to the quick disconnect. You can use a bulk tank with the QD fitting BUT your tank will need to have a regulator.
Jim



Posted By: pkunk on 11/08/10 08:17pm

I had a Big Buddy hooked to a 1900 lb. tank (500 gal) for several years. No problems.


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