Big Buddy heater

Discussion in 'Heating / Cooling Systems' started by Lagman, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    I've been using a Buddy in my small ice fishing shacks for years and always open a window/flap.

    I recall reading a test that someone did in a 55 gallon drum with some sensors, attempting to verify that their Buddy's oxygen depletion sensor works as advertised. The unit shutdown within 90 seconds at the appropriate level (or lack of) oxygen in the 55 gal drum. Our campers are much larger than a 55 gallon drum, but it still gives me pause.

    In a canvas pup I suspect it would be fine due to it not being exactly air-tight. I always considered using one in my QS10 tent camper but never had the need.

    However, I'm not sure I'd use it in my hard-walled Aliner which is a tad tighter - although I know some folks do use them in A-frames.
     
  2. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    The ceramic is actually a ceramic/platinum mix, thus a catalyst.

    In fact the catalytic conversion, releases carbon dioxide (not carbon monoxide), water and heat. That water is in vapor form and is out in the camper. However, water that Roy finds pooling at the bottom of his Buddy heater isn't from the combustion, but as I said condensation from the side of the propane canister. I have seen it with my own two eyes with my Buddy heater.

    The Buddy heater design is more of a hybrid catalytic design. While you have the catalyst, you also have an open flame in front (the pilot light). A totally catalytic design would eliminate the pilot light or shut it off when heat is being produced.

    I still hold that from a carbon monoxide point of view, they are safe to use in a pup. If you are uncomfortable with that, open a vent, set a CO detector, or don't use. To each his own....
     
  3. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    buddy be radiant, catalytic be infrared.

    "There is a reason why manufacturers of heaters that use ceramic blocks (like the Buddy heaters) do not refer to their products as "catalytic" heaters.

    From a practical standpoint, there is a huge difference in the way these two types of heaters operate. Ceramic block heaters will readily ignite a flammable material that touches them; catalyst pad-type heaters won't."

    Now I'm being told that the water vapor in the air from combustion does not contribute to the condensate on the cold cylinder.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  4. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    oh it might, then then again so is your breathing...:wink:
     
  5. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    I give you a mea culpa here. I called Mr. Heater and talked to a CS. I was told that when they first marketed the Mr. Buddy line, it was sold as a catalytic heater. The AG in Massachusetts went after them and made them change it. I don't know if I buy their explaination or not. But as a matter of fact, because of the style of heater it is, you were not supposed to be able to buy it in Massachusetts or Canada. They make different units for sale there and the CS could not tell me what the differences are between the two units. Online the MS/Canada version shows it is not to be sold to California.

    However the CS did agree with me that the condensation buildup on the canister is the source of any water pooling below the unit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  6. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    no kidding, water vapor in the air from propane burning, breathing, cooking, showering and the air mass itself that changes with the wind!

    Canada version includes this:
    CARBON MONOXIDE HAZARD This appliance can produce carbon monoxide which has no odor. Using it in an enclosed space can kill you. Never use this appliance in an enclosed space such as a camper, tent, car or home.

    USA this:
    PORTABLE PROPANE HEATER FOR RECREATIONAL, COMMERCIAL AND EMERGENCY INDOOR USE FOR US SALE EXCEPT MASSACHUSETTS
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  7. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I do not believe MR heaters are catalytic? Find anywhere on MR Heater web site that say they are catalytic? They are to cheap to have the platinum in the mat to be catalytic. They would need somewhere between $80 and $150 of platinum in the mat.

    FYI, catalytic combustion; one of the byproduct is H2O, but this does not apply to Mr Heaters since they are not a catalytic heater
     
  8. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    The balanced equation for combustion of propane is: C3H8 + 5O2 = 3CO2 + 4H2O. The products are 3 moles of CO2 and 4 moles of H2O. The heat generated in the exothermic reaction causes more and more propane to "break apart" and combine with oxygen in air to produce the end products carbon dioxide and water.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propane#Properties_and_reactions

    the buddy heater spreads the open blue flame over the entire ceramic plate, lots of holes in the plate allow for propane to burn blue over a wide area with lots of Ox, the ceramic bumps glow and radiate. Fire it up and look, esp on low in the dark, you can see the blue flame cover the ceramic plate.
     
  9. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    FYI,
    Just burning propane produces large amounts of water.
     
  10. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Since the molecular weight of C3H8 is 164 g/mol that means that 11 moles of water are created by burning a 1lb canister. At 18 g/mol for water, that is about 200g of water or less then 1 cup.
     
  11. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Thanks never knew there was h2O in propane. In the burning process does it converted or does it just end up as h20
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  12. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    that some heavy propane. try 44 g/mol , 0/(7*2+9-1*6+9) + 44 = 3C + 8H = 36 + 8 = 164/3.72727272727272727
    we all know Zero divided by non zero stuff is Zero then ya add 44.

    is that just pain jiberish? I hate it when I ask questions cuz someone will want to answer!

    Both, Stop digging please!
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  13. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Then don't ask.
     
  14. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, this was meant for one post up.
     
  15. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    [B)]Yep you are correct. So it makes 40 moles of water or 3 cups.

    ^
     
  16. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    At the risk of re-awakening the high school chemistry debate that came up earlier in this thread, ;) here's a real-world commentary/opinion on the using the buddy heater in an aliner in real cold weather.

     
    Nick Nichols and Grousetales like this.
  17. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Well done video and he described the unit well. This user confirmed what most of the "high school chemistry debate" was about, water production.
     
  18. Yak

    Yak Well-Known Member

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  19. mamba42

    mamba42 Member

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  20. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    You have to have the right mrheater to use the low pressure disconnet kit. I think you need the big buddy. Otherwise you need to use the 1lb bottles or the 20 lb hose kit connected to a 20 lb bottle.
     

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