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Old 12-03-2010, 11:54 AM
sixgun67 sixgun67 is offline
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Default Big Buddy Heater....



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I've got a Big Buddy that I use in my camper for deer season, and I am really happy with it. It burns close to 12 hours when using 2 one pound cans of propane, on low setting. Used it for 3 years now, but hardlined into the camper's 20lb tank after the first year.
Fastforward to this past Monday. I bought another big buddy for use around the house(camper is over 100 miles away during the winter months). Not hardlining this heater, just gonna use one pound cans to keep it mobile around the house.
NOT happy at all with this one. For whatever reason, it won't go past 7 1/2 hrs on two one pound cans, on low setting. I've not needed to turn it up any higher as it isn't necessary in the house, but good Lord, at that rate it probably wouldn't go 2 hours on high setting. Hardly efficient as a part timer, but I reckon I'll keep it as a last resort back up. Would the built in regulator control the amount of fuel it uses? If so, maybe I could just switch out to another regulator. Any advice would be welcomed. Thanks!
sixgun
Old 12-03-2010, 01:32 PM
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That heater is rated to burn about 12 hours on low with two 1lb tanks. Are these refilled tanks by any chance? I refill mine and don't get them nearly full.

BIH
Old 12-03-2010, 01:47 PM
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I think I'd be tempted to contact the factory on that one. It should burn for it's rated time on full tanks. I have the Little Buddy version and it runs almost to the minute according to it's rating. I love the little thing.
Old 12-03-2010, 02:19 PM
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I have a little buddy and it is soooo nice! I bought the adater/filter and hose to run it off a large propane tank so I can run mine for a LONG time off my 20 gallon propane tank!
Old 12-03-2010, 03:50 PM
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Sorry if I am hijacking but I have always wondered if there was a way to run a Mr buddy off from a really large propane tank, like the big one setting out in my yard? My furnace and hot water heater both run off propane. Could it somehow be hooked up into one of the line in the house?

BIH
Old 12-03-2010, 05:31 PM
sixgun67 sixgun67 is offline
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I absolutely love these heaters also, and my first one runs very close to those 12 hours on low. They are so darned handy.

These 1lb tanks are supposedly full, I got them from Wallyworld when I bought the heater. They are the "Worthington" brand and felt full when I put them in. I'm on my 3rd two pack right now as of 11am this morning and I'm only using it for a few hours at a time. I'm keeping a log on these canisters, so that I know the exact amount of time that they last.
I don't refill them, at least not yet. I want to, but when I read about how tough it is to get more than half full almost seems not worth it. Sure, it is worth it for the amount of money spent, but not worth it for the amount of time and effort of constantly filling half cans. Oh well, we'll see about that one in the near future.
I hope I don't have to deal with the manufacturer on this, but if I must, I must.
Take care guys!
sixgun
Old 12-03-2010, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sixgun67 View Post
...I got them from Wallyworld when I bought the heater. They are the "Worthington" brand...
HRRMM...

It seemed to me that my experience with "run time" was shorter, and somehow different with the new Wallyworld "Worthington" brand.

These cylinders may simply not be as full. ...or something else is going on.

Time to pay attention to what is being purchased.
Old 12-03-2010, 10:04 PM
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I keep a few empty canisters in my freezer. The emptys will fill with more propone if the emptys are at a lower temp before filling them. The other trick is to turn the 20 pounder upside down before filling the emptys. I found that 2 stacked square plastic milk crates will hold the 20 pounder upside down very well. I used a jigsaw to cut enough of the plastic out of the bottom of 1 milk crate so just the handel and valve stick through. then I cut enough plastic out of the front of the second crate to have access to the valve. Presto, the 20 pounder is upside down, with enough room to fill the empties!!
My 2 cents
Old 12-03-2010, 10:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roland45 View Post
I keep a few empty canisters in my freezer. The emptys will fill with more propone if the emptys are at a lower temp before filling them. The other trick is to turn the 20 pounder upside down before filling the emptys. I found that 2 stacked square plastic milk crates will hold the 20 pounder upside down very well. I used a jigsaw to cut enough of the plastic out of the bottom of 1 milk crate so just the handel and valve stick through. then I cut enough plastic out of the front of the second crate to have access to the valve. Presto, the 20 pounder is upside down, with enough room to fill the empties!!
My 2 cents

This time of year I keep my empty 1lb outside in the cold. When I know Im going to be filling I bring my 20 lb inside for about an hour before I do the filling outside. You are right, the temp diff helps a lot.

BIH
Old 12-03-2010, 11:22 PM
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Default Corbon monoxide concern

Be careful running your Big Buddy heaters for a long time in a poorly
ventilated space.
You could build up carbon monoxide.
For long term use a ventilated (exhaust gases to the outside) heater
is always best.
http://www.empirecomfort.com/EMPIREC...ll-Furnace.pdf

The Empire unit above is a direct vent system. It gets vented horizontally. Through the wall.
Old 12-03-2010, 11:29 PM
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I just purchased a Big Buddy in the last few months and like it, however I HATE the freakin quick connect that they installed on the bulk hookup. Has anyone tried to remove their proprietary quick connect from the heater? The hose accessory with the low pressure regulator is like $50! I can get a standard hose with low pressure regulator for $12 but I tried to remove their quick connect from the unit and it won't budge.

I finally gave up on the bulk tank and just opted to get the adapter to refill the 1 lb bottles, but I was hoping I would be able to use this thing off of the bulk tank on my RV, guess not.
Old 12-04-2010, 09:32 AM
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Yeah, I disconnect my connector every January and reconnect in October--whenever my camper is on my hunting club. It isn't exactly the easiest due to the little space inside the heater, but I've had no problems yet. I ordered my first Big Buddy, the one in the camper, from Cabellas and bought the hose adapter at the same time, I believe it was about 26 dollars or so at that time.

I always use CO detectors. Period. I don't wanna take any chances of dying from my own decision to cheap out. For me, a heater and CO detector is like my cigars and lighter. One does not get used without the other.
sixgun



***UPDATE*** I believe that the one pound tanks were not filled full, as mentioned earlier. My third set of tanks have run out a short while ago, and with my log sheet, showed 9.7 hours of burn time on low. That is over 2 hours more than the first and second sets of tanks. Must be the fill levels of the "Worthington" name brand. Gonna try some other tanks, but really suspect these as poorly filled tanks. Thanks for all the ideas guys!
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