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My wife's 50th birthday is coming up this December, and she decided to have a big party. We will need to use our deck (it's some type of ground-floor balcony rather than a traditional open deck) to fit all the guests, and as it will be cold, we will close off the open side with a thermal tarp. I also bought a gas patio heater, which I just finished assembling and testing.

Here's the issue: the top of the heater is a little too close to the wooden ceiling, and while I am not afraid that it will burn, I'm quite certain it will cause at least some damage to the surface or the paint, if not at the very least yellow it. Here's what it looks like (not it's final placement, it's just in the corner now, until it's needed):

Patio heater

The gap between the dish-shaped heatsink and the ceiling is around 4in/10cm. I ran the heater for about 15min, and the wood is quite warm to the touch. The decoloration you see in the heater is from the 15min test run, as it got glowing orange hot.

I'm looking for ideas to protect the ceiling. My first thought was to place a non-flammable (metal?) spacer on the top, flat portion of the heatsink dish, and place some kind of firestop material or non-flammable insulation on top of it. The flat area is around 8in/20cm wide, until it slopes away from the ceiling. I thought I could use either a rigid firestop board, or make one out of non intumescent firestop foam. Anything that won't offgas when very hot.

What do you think could be the pitfalls? And what would be your advice and recommendations?

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    As a cheap and cheerful experiment, I'd hang a metal dustbin lid - from the hook that's directly above. You'll need to move the hook when you move the heater, of course.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 9:21
  • I think a metal dustbin might work But of course I'd rather avoid poking holes in the ceiling.
    – FrK
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 10:19
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    Not a dustbin - only its lid!! Idea came from the hook already in the ceiling.
    – Tim
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 11:28
  • Sorry, yeah, yeah, that's what I meant, a dustbin lid. Of course a whole dustbin wouldn't fit in that small gap. :)
    – FrK
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 11:30
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    Another idea could be a welding blanket. You probably don't want it directly on the heater dome (but maybe it'll be fine? IDK), but you could attach it to a piece of plywood and hang the plywood from the hook.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 13:36

1 Answer 1

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It is very likely that the ceiling will be damaged. Personally, I would not use it.

If you are intent on using this heater, then you could use some high temperature flue tape and tape up an area a little bit larger than the heater lid, onto the ceiling itself.

Being silver it will reflect some heat. But I would still keep an eye on it. Caution, it is a bit sticky.

Examples

3M™ Professional Grade High Temperature Flue Tape

3M High Temperature Flue Tape

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