Propane Dryer

akachrisinmassNovember 8, 2012


We've recently added a generator and big 250 gallon tank that came in really useful after Sandy visited. My thoughts go out to all who have lost homes, jobs and businesses as a result.

Thinking about swapping out our electric dryer for a propane one. The electric uses 6kw, and while my generator is perfectly capable of handling that load, with capacity to spare, I'm thinking that going propane for the dryer wouldn't be a bad idea.

How do costs to operate a propane dryer compare with electric dryers? Last time I used a gas powered dryer was years ago as a college student!


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Follow up question. Any special considerations during the install? Do gas fumes get vented out with the hot air?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 7:38PM
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We installed a propane dryer seven years ago when we built our house. At that time, here in Texas, there was a state rebate available if one installed at lest three gas or propane appliances in a new build. I am not sure whether that is still true, or whether there is that perk in your area. The regular vent to the exterior for hot air, whatever lint manages to penetrate the filter, etc. is the only vent. My understanding is that rigid ducts are now required for the connection between the dryer and the wall vent, but I am not sure if that's true in every region, either. As usual, you want to vent to the exterior, with a very short distance between the dryer and wall, and no or few turns. If there are turns, they should not be right or acute angles. We've been very happy with our LG.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:36AM
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Depending on your cost of propane, the operating costs may be about the same.

And 250gl isn't that big. My boss has two 2000 gal tanks at his house. One is for the generator (45kw).

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 3:16PM
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Right. You need to keep in mind that your propane tank is never filled beyond 80% of capacity. So, your 250 gal tank, when "full'" holds 200 gallons. Here, propane is way less expensive than electricity. Elsewhere, that varies. You need to evaluate your local situation. Also, you may want to review the Gardenweb discussions of generators. There are a million.

45kw generator? Wowza.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Good grief 45KW? Thought I was a bit nuts going as big as 12kw! Whats he got there, a mansion with an indoor greenhouse and swimming pool

Based on Sandy outage where I ran it for two days straight then about 12hrs a day to conserve propane, recon at the conserve mode, I could go as much as three weeks. Conserving proved an interesting experiment that I did simply because there were power lines between me and the main road that were not clear. That pretty much meant the propane truck couldn't get to me tank.
Your boss could last months......with a 12KW unit. But a 45KW uses 100 gallons of propane a day at half load.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 10:26PM
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Doesn't the propane have electronic ignition? Can it be lit with a match or is it like most gas ovens where you can use the stove top but not the oven during an outage?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:49AM
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He has 400amp service to his house. The generator backs up a 175a subpanel (I think). One tank is for the house, the other for the generator. Also, there is an 80/20 rule for propane tanks. That is, you fill them to 80% and use them down to 20% (else you don't have gas at sufficient pressure).

I think around here propane is around $4/gal and he was using 3ga/hour from Sandy.

He switched to candles.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:26PM
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I was using just over 1 gallon an hour during Sandy. Since we had wires and trees down in our street (a dead end street we were trapped) I deliberately managed the generator usage not knowing how long it would take to restore power or regain access to our driveway to refill the tank. Basically four hours (4-8am) for showers, laundry and fridges freezers. Another two- three hours middday to top up the fridges and freezers with 4-5 hours again at night time to do the same.
Pleased that my calculations were good.
I know about the 80/20 rule having spent 18 month figuring all this out. At a gallon an hour theoretically just over 8 days. With management that could double.
Have a 200amp Transfer switch and panel. Couldn't resist the ability to power every circuit since the added cost was so little over 100amp that Winco offers. No 12kw can't power everything. The dryer is the biggest consumer of power and I insist that that be shut off if she wants to use any part of the range.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:07PM
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Did you buy that size Gen so you could run your dryer on it?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:09AM
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I initially looked at a 8kw generator, but when I saw the small difference in price between that and the 12kw, bumping up to the 12kw was a no brainer.
Being able to do Laundry is all of a sudden a luxury when all around you are living on flashlights....

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Did you know you can hang the clothes outside on a sunny day and they will also dry that way?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 5:16PM
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Jumpilot - I'll wager chris does know he can dry clothes outside in the sun - BUT

not a lot of those around in new england / new york these days with highs in the mid thirties and snow in the forecast.

Frozen skivies aren't too much fun.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2012 at 7:17PM
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