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I'd like to install some propane-gas based logs in my fireplace to use as an auxiliary heat source this winter. Mainly for when the power goes out (I have electric heat pump), or for very cold morning while eating breakfast.

As such, I don't want or need a massive buried tank for propane at my house. I considered a 100lb tank however, 1) the local gas companies won't fill these at the house, and 2) as I understand it, these tanks must be transported vertically, which will be very difficult for me (even though I have a pickup).

I would like to use 40lb tanks instead or even the bbq size 20lb tanks (keeping extras on hand), but am confused on what parts I need to hook the gas logs up. Assuming I come out of a 1/2" black pipe from the outside wall of the chimney, I believe I need a twin regulator with a pigtail connector like this one, but I'm not 100% it's correct. Can anyone verify this will work with what I am trying to do?

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    Not implying what you are doing will work (because I'm not sure), but this pigtail connector has standard pipe threads which is probably what you want instead of the "inverted male flare" version you linked to. Also, if this is in the city, there might be codes against this. – JPhi1618 Oct 13 '15 at 19:55
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I just did the same thing. I installed an Empire vent free log set in my wood burning fireplace that I plan to use mostly in a vented manner. I ran black pipe from the outside on my open air back porch into the fireplace which attached to the gas log burner controls.

For the outside, I simply attached a standard BBQ replacement propane hose with regulator to a 20lb tank. It works just fine. My log set is around 32000 btu so I can expect around 10.5-11 hours on a 20lb tank. I plan to get a 40lb tank.

One issue for you might be if your logs don't have the proper flame, it may be due to the hose used to connect to the tank being 1/4". Try to find a hose/regulator that is 3/8" which should provide a bit more gas to the logs.

Be aware that local code might require you to have a gas shutoff installed inside the house. Mine does, so I installed one.

One caution. Be sure to get a gas log set that does NOT have a continuous pilot light. A pilot light running 24/7 will use about 8 gallons of propane a month. That's 2 20lb tanks worth of propane.

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Most gas log suppliers for propane say to use at least a 100 lb. Tank. At really cold temps, the small tanks don't work correctly.......it's a pressure issue.

  • I have a small tank running my sister in laws furnace and it has worked fine for several years. We used to have a big tank but the company wanted a new certification on the bridge to the property so it has been cheaper to use 20 lb tanks. – Ed Beal Jan 11 at 20:38
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Good answer: keep 'em coming! – Daniel Griscom Jan 11 at 22:36
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I just had my 120 gal. underground tank shut off by the propane supplier. I already had a male fitting on the outside of the house on the line that comes thru the wall into the fireplace. I hooked a 20lb BBQ grill tank to it with the standard Char Broil Universal hose and regulator from Lowe's. I works perfectly. I weighed the tank first and ran the fireplace for one hour. It used about 1.5lbs of propane. At this rate a 20lb tank would last about 10-11 hours. Refills are only $12 at BJ's.

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