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Old 12-17-2020, 03:36 PM   #1
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LP heater question

Someone in a recent post said that the Wave heater produced less water vapor than the buddy heater. Is this documented, and why is the Wave drier. Yes I'm working on another project.


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Old 12-17-2020, 06:36 PM   #2
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I suspect documentation will be near impossible to find.
I would guess Cat heaters of the same size and specifications using propane and producing the exact same amount of heat.

Now, lets set back and read the plethora of posts on this subject.
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Old 12-18-2020, 02:22 AM   #3
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It's the same basic chemical reaction. The amount of carbon that goes to soot vs CO vs CO2 varies based on how much oxygen's around but you get the same amount of water either way for a given amount of burned LP (and therefore a given amount of heat).

So, catalytic heaters will all be the same. Even forced-air furnaces produce the same amount; they just dump it outside instead of inside.
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Old 12-18-2020, 12:40 PM   #4
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When fuels like methane, propane etc are burned their carbon content is oxidized to produce heat, light and carbon byproducts. Soot is elemental (unburned) carbon and usually means insufficient oxygen is available to complete combustion. Carbon monoxide (CO) results when carbon in incompletely burned, usually also due to insufficient oxygen for complete combustion to occur. When sufficient oxygen is available carbon dioxide (CO2) results from complete combustion. The other major combustion product is water vapor, which results when the hydrogen component of the fuel is combusted. This a consequence of the amount of the fuel burned and not the device in which it is burned so all these devices will produce the same amount of water vapor per volume of fuel consumed.
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Old 12-18-2020, 04:42 PM   #5
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The problem with most catalytic heaters is they put out too much heat on low.

We first purchased a Mr Buddy Portable Heater. It puts out 9000 btu's on high and 4,000 on the low setting. Even in our Escape 5.0, that was too much heat. We couldn't run the Buddy all night.

The small Wave-3 looked great, but it didn't have the ability to run on 1# cylinders. I didn't want to permanently mount the Wave. It can put out 3,000 btu's on high and 1,600 on low.

We chose the Martin CH3 catalytic heater. It puts out about 1,400 btu's on low and runs all night on a tank. It keeps our larger Escape nice and toasty all night on a 1# cylinder even when it's in the 30's F. Below 30 F we have to turn it up and it runs out of propane at 3-4 am, but that's OK.

I see Mr Heater now sells a Journey 3 Portable Catalytic Heater. It puts out 3,000 btu's on high, but doesn't say if the output is adjustable. It's spendy, but if you're interested in a Wave-3 you might want to look at Mr Heater's Journey 3.

Remember, unless you want to die, crack two windows/vents a half inch to prevent CO buildup. Every year some moronic, drunken, ice fisherman forgets to properly vent.

We also have a second CO detector for redundancy. CO detectors are cheap.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
...
We chose the Martin CH3 catalytic heater. It puts out about 1,400 btu's on low and runs all night on a tank. It keeps our larger Escape nice and toasty all night on a 1# cylinder even when it's in the 30's F. ...

First let me say, "Nice post." I appreciate the thought and effort you put into the post, including the links you provided.

One of the links is to the "Martin CH3 Outdoor Portable Flameless Camping Propane Gas Catalytic Heater"

Note the word outdoor in the title. Other than that, it sounds like a great option in some cases. I did not find a manual so I have no info on proper usage or cautions, or if it can it be used safely in a camper with a few windows cracked. I assume that catalytic pad contamination is still a concern just as it is in a Wave heater. I hope to learn more about this as a possible backup heat source.
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Old 12-18-2020, 08:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
The problem with most catalytic heaters is they put out too much heat on low.
...
Well then open the window some more.. these things are so efficient that the amount of extra propane you burn with windows open wider will be small, and still less than a vented furnace with the windows barely cracked. And in cold and dry climates you get the benefit of less water vapour problems. At least that is my guess based on somewhat limited experience with a Wave 3.
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Old 12-19-2020, 05:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
First let me say, "Nice post." I appreciate the thought and effort you put into the post, including the links you provided.

One of the links is to the "Martin CH3 Outdoor Portable Flameless Camping Propane Gas Catalytic Heater"

Note the word outdoor in the title. Other than that, it sounds like a great option in some cases. I did not find a manual so I have no info on proper usage or cautions, or if it can it be used safely in a camper with a few windows cracked. I assume that catalytic pad contamination is still a concern just as it is in a Wave heater. I hope to learn more about this as a possible backup heat source.
"Outdoor", lawyers covering their butt! All catalytic heaters require cracked windows or some other form of in/out ventilation.

We purchased the Martin mainly for when we have sail switch or potential battery problems. Sometimes we have camped where it was impossible to get sun to our solar panels (we now have 45' of cable for our Renogy 100 watt solar panel to augment our 170 panel on the roof).

We prefer the Martin to the ETI supplied furnace since it makes no sound and there is no blowing air, so have used it more than we originally anticipated.

We use Flame King refillable propane cylinders for our Buddy and Martin heaters, Coleman camping stove, and Weber Q grill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Well then open the window some more.. these things are so efficient that the amount of extra propane you burn with windows open wider will be small, and still less than a vented furnace with the windows barely cracked. And in cold and dry climates you get the benefit of less water vapour problems. At least that is my guess based on somewhat limited experience with a Wave 3.
If you open the windows enough to overcome the excess heat you have cold breezes in the camper. BTDT.

Also realized 4,000 btu's from the Buddy heater on low burns propane 2.5 times faster than a Wave-3 at 1,600 btu's, so the 1# cylinder on the Buddy runs out of fuel sometime after midnight. The Buddy would only work for us if plumbed to use a 20# tank, but we would lose the portability of the Buddy.

We carry both, the Buddy to quickly heat up the camper, or take with for a campground shower when the shower facility is cold, and the Martin to use for heating the camper at night.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-19-2020, 05:35 PM   #9
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Again, good points Perry. Including the idea of using a portable heater in the camp's bathhouse.. man I hate taking a shower in the cold and that would help a lot. But I am not sure how happy the people who run the place would be about it.
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Old 12-19-2020, 05:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Again, good points Perry. Including the idea of using a portable heater in the camp's bathhouse.. man I hate taking a shower in the cold and that would help a lot. But I am not sure how happy the people who run the place would be about it.
I've easily taken 30-40 showers with the Buddy. Don't know why someone would be upset if I use the Buddy in their shower stalls. It's not like I'm bringing in our BioLite FirePit.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:41 PM   #11
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I've easily taken 30-40 showers with the Buddy. Don't know why someone would be upset if I use the Buddy in their shower stalls. ...
Looking at it from the campground owner's viewpoint, or in the case of state run campgrounds, the bureaucracy laden government employee's viewpoint, I see them being concerned with the liability.. the risk of fire, or the hypoxia from inadequate ventilation as two examples. Especially in government run facilities, using any non approved heating appliances with no professional installation, no building standards or building permit inspections, and perhaps no product certification for the applied application, that could be something they object to.
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Old 12-19-2020, 08:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AC0GV View Post
Someone in a recent post said that the Wave heater produced less water vapor than the buddy heater. Is this documented, and why is the Wave drier. Yes I'm working on another project.


TNX
Open your roof vent a 1/4" and it won't matter.
People and pets exhale more water vapor than the portable heater anyway.
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Old 12-20-2020, 12:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Looking at it from the campground owner's viewpoint, or in the case of state run campgrounds, the bureaucracy laden government employee's viewpoint, I see them being concerned with the liability.. the risk of fire, or the hypoxia from inadequate ventilation as two examples. Especially in government run facilities, using any non approved heating appliances with no professional installation, no building standards or building permit inspections, and perhaps no product certification for the applied application, that could be something they object to.
I'm not going to worry about it. Especially "hypoxia from inadequate ventilation." LOL! We're talking showers with more than adequate ventilation, because, well, they're campground showers. Besides, I run it perhaps 10 minutes while in the shower, but usually turn it off when done showering and drying off in the changing area. I suppose sooner or later some whiner will squeal on me though.

Quote:
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Open your roof vent a 1/4" and it won't matter.
People and pets exhale more water vapor than the portable heater anyway.


We do get moisture buildup from boiling coffee water in the morning if we didn't use the Martin at night and forgot to open the ceiling vent.

OTOH, we've yet to have any moisture buildup using either the Buddy or the Martin heater. Because the Buddy puts out too much heat it is only run in the camper for 1/2 hour at the most. Only once did we go to sleep with the Buddy on low and an hour later it was so unbearably hot in the camper we had to turn it off. It was after that night I started looking for a low btu catalytic heater for our Escape fifth wheel.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-23-2020, 01:41 PM   #14
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I use both:
Wave IS a catalytic heater with platinum catalyst
— Buddy heaters are pad heaters (not catalytic)
Wave uses low pressure LP (like most RV appliances
— Buddy heaters use high pressure LP
Wave good at any altitude
— Buddy operation erratic and not recommended per manual above 7500’
Wave heat pad at lower 700dF
— Buddy is over the maximum 1000dF of my heat gun
Wave seems to me to put out more radiant heat.
— Buddy heat is largely rising heat
Wave has little or no odor
— Buddy has odor
I use Wave 6 inside RV using low pressure LP.
I use Buddy outside under bench and in gazebo using 1# bottles.
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Old 12-23-2020, 02:44 PM   #15
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UnVented Propane Heaters

Any unvented propane heater and even Catalytics are adding toxic products of combustion and acids vapor in to your trailer.
Why do you think the end of your automobile tailpipe rust off ?
Acid in products of combustion condensing on the metal...just like the water vapor off your catalytic heater condensing on a cold window !
Catalytic heaters are never recommended or allowed by Mechanical code in inclosed spaces.
They are toxic air pollution...Period !
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Old 12-23-2020, 04:33 PM   #16
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I wouldn't worry too much about acids from combustion in a propane heater. There's no sulfur in propane and the combustion temperatures probably aren't high enough to produce a lot of NOx.

The CO's definitely more of a concern, though. Especially in the Wave, which doesn't automatically shut off when oxygen is low but instead relies on a CO detector to wake up a human and turn it off.
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelH View Post
I use both:
Wave IS a catalytic heater with platinum catalyst
— Buddy heaters are pad heaters (not catalytic)
Wave uses low pressure LP (like most RV appliances
— Buddy heaters use high pressure LP
Wave good at any altitude
— Buddy operation erratic and not recommended per manual above 7500’
Wave heat pad at lower 700dF
— Buddy is over the maximum 1000dF of my heat gun
Wave seems to me to put out more radiant heat.
— Buddy heat is largely rising heat
Wave has little or no odor
— Buddy has odor
I use Wave 6 inside RV using low pressure LP.
I use Buddy outside under bench and in gazebo using 1# bottles.
Yes, the Buddy heater is not a catalytic heater, but is a pad heater, however I felt a Buddy was relative to the discussion.

Our Buddy heater has no odor and should not if it's running correctly. OTOH, if your Buddy has an odor it's starting to fail. Buddy's (as well as our Martin) are throw-away heaters. Once they start to fail they should be thrown. Lot's of Buddys being used in fish houses, but those houses smell like fish, so a slightly smelling Buddy doesn't bother them.

Both catalytic and pad heaters are radiant heat, but neither are 100% radiant. I can stand away from my Buddy and feel the radiant heat, just like my Martin, and Waves that I've been around in fish houses.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:44 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHICO DAN View Post
Any unvented propane heater and even Catalytics are adding toxic products of combustion and acids vapor in to your trailer.
Why do you think the end of your automobile tailpipe rust off ?
Acid in products of combustion condensing on the metal...just like the water vapor off your catalytic heater condensing on a cold window !
Catalytic heaters are never recommended or allowed by Mechanical code in inclosed spaces.
They are toxic air pollution...Period !
Sooner or later someone comes to a catalytic thread and gives the warning. However, those of us who understand the chemistry of the heaters and understand a little venting is needed will use these heaters with no problems.

I have hundred's and hundred's of hours in our camper and many fish houses with pad, sunflower, and catalytic heaters. Toxic hasn't happened and won't happen with me because I understand how to properly and safely use these heaters.

Back to our regular programming.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 12-23-2020, 08:18 PM   #19
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I also should have mentioned not to use any heater (or fireplace or gas stove) without specified venting obtained from user manuals.
Thanks for catching my oversight.
Many people overlook the directions and warnings and it should Jane been mentioned by me earlier.
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Old 12-27-2020, 02:39 PM   #20
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"The products of clean combustion between a hydrocarbon and oxygen are carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O) and energy. Incomplete, dirty or partial combustion also can form carbon monoxide (CO), free carbon or soot, nitrogen oxides, hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and ammonia (NH3)." Propane.com
Any unvented propane heater is NOT 100% "clean combustion.
You still have CO2 which is deadly at certain concentration levels.
And you are going to rely on a CO2 sensor to warn you of of the danger ?
UnVented Propane heaters are a safety hazard in a confined space...your Trailer !
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