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I am not sure about the terminology, i.e if it's called an electric cooker, burner, stove or something else. So I'll just refer to it as a electric or gas cooker to simplify things.

We don't have a gas supply to our house in the UK as we have moved to a more remote location. We did have a gas supply in our old house and are finding the electric cooker in the new house extremely slow. So I started looking into bottled gas, but I am not sure which direction to go in as I have so many options.

For example, do I get propane, butane, or something else? Which kind of pipe will I need, what kind of regulator will I need? What kind of cooker will I need?

So far I have seen the following, but am not sure if these are safe for internal use and also I am not sure if these are the most economical options. 1 of my requirements is that I need a nice strong hot flame to I can get cooking done quicker.

Gas cooker

Regulator

Pipe with clips

Gas

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You need to talk to an expert, this is not a DIY job. Your cooker will probably require conversion to run of bottled gas. –  ChrisF Nov 5 '11 at 19:28
    
I've corrected the links. –  oshirowanen Nov 7 '11 at 9:24

3 Answers 3

In rural locations in the US, propane is often used as a fuel for cooking and heating. The gas is stored in an outdoor tank and piped into the house. Propane burns hotter than methane ("natural gas"). Therefore you may need a special stove to use propane, and if you want to hook up appliances such as a water heater or clothes dryer, you will definitely need models designed for propane.

Piping for gas is a high-stakes job: if you mess it up the odds of it killing or hurting you are significant. Your local law almost certainly requires that only licensed professionals work on gas lines for this reason. With propane, there may also be special ventilation or safety system requirements. So for all these reasons you should start by calling some vendors/installers and asking for proposals from them. You want to figure out whatever is common in your area, and do that -- sticking with whatever's common will make it easier to shop around for fuel deliveries and repairs, and doing something unusual or amateur around gas lines is a sure way to scare off potential buyers if you ever sell your house. In fact, if your system wasn't installed professionally and passed government inspection, I'd be surprised if anyone would even sell you fuel.

So although this is the DIY stackexchange, some jobs are really only for professionals. Get recommendations from neighbors and call around.

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I've corrected the links. –  oshirowanen Nov 7 '11 at 9:24
    
+1, the same stuff is widely used in very eastern Europe. The key is to not store propane tanks inside the house and have good ventilation. –  sharptooth Nov 8 '11 at 9:11
    
Almost all 'natural gas' appliances can be converted to run on propane. It's typically an adapter you screw on to reduce the incoming gas connection or something. –  Zach Dec 9 '11 at 19:11

You may want to ask around in your local area, as if you're using some sort of bottled gas, you'll need to get resupplied, and whomever the gas supplier is could probably make recommendations.

In the U.S, what I've typically seen is outdoor tanks that are refilled by a large truck. They're typically used for the whole house (heating, cooking, gas fireplaces, etc.), and not just the stove.

When I visited a friend living in an apartment in Spain, she instead had a smaller bottle that was kept in a cabinet next to the stove, and she'd have to take it to get refilled or replaced. (and she kept a smaller one around as a backup for when the main one ran out). I suspect it was butane, not propane, which may require a specialty cooktop; in the U.S. at least, the 'duel fuel' ones can be converted from natural gas to propane, but I don't know what's required for butane.

The second solution might be a DIY type thing, as it's just a drop in solution, rather than requiring gas lines to be run from the kitchen to the outside, and a large tank installed, but you still need to worry about ventilation, and there may be code compliance issues. The first one isn't, but the local gas supplier would either be able to do it, or know who in the area can.

So, basically ... figure out where you're going to get the gas from first, as they'll be more likely to be able to tell you about what type of installations they can supply, and either tell you the codes & regulations in your area and be able to install it or tell you who in the area can.

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I've corrected the links. –  oshirowanen Nov 7 '11 at 9:25

The links you provided are broken so I'm not sure what you were looking at, but I assume you are looking at propane burners.

By all means do NOT use a propane burner indoors (or anywhere else that doesn't have execllent ventilation). It's not a matter of efficiency, as propane is nearly as thermally efficient as natural gas, rather it's a safety issue. One of the by-products of burning propane is carbon monoxide (CO) which can cause unconsciousness, and, eventually, death, in sufficient volumes. This is why many homes have a CO detector when using natural gas in case a valve is accidentally kept open on the stove, etc. I use a propane burner for brewing beer in my garage, but I always have the door open to allow the CO to evacuate.

I'm not sure about butane, but please do NOT attempt to use propane indoors. Bad things will happen.

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Do you mean CO, i.e., carbon monoxide? CO2 will indeed suffocate you, but people can easily detect it (you will perceive difficulty breathing). On the other hand CO poisoning symptoms are much more subtle and the first one might be unconsciousness, which is why detectors are valuable. –  Reid Nov 6 '11 at 4:31
    
Yes, I was thinking monoxide but said dioxide. Thanks. –  Bill Craun Nov 6 '11 at 13:10
    
I've corrected the links. –  oshirowanen Nov 7 '11 at 9:25
1  
Seen many people using propane indoors with reasonable ventilation - nothing bad happens. There's no CO when enough air is supplied - propane burns very cleanly with enough air. –  sharptooth Nov 8 '11 at 9:12

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