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Community and Q&A

Best Heater to Prevent Pipe Freeze?

WestinTromburg | Posted in General Questions on

I am building an off- grid tinyhouse and will be using a wood stove as a primary heat source. I am looking for suggestions on the best type of heater that has a thermostat and can kick on automatically when I am away to prevent my pipes from freezing (as all of my plumbing will be indoors). I had recently installed a ventless propane heater but this created severe condensation issues and will be removed. Would a direct vent heater be the best option? I would prefer one without electricity. Any thoughts on this matter? Thank you!

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  1. STEPHEN SHEEHY | | #1

    I'm not sure you have any alternatives to a vented propane heater unless you drain the pipes whenever you leave. I'm assuming you are in a pretty cold climate.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    You need a propane space heater with through-the-wall venting. Make sure that you choose a model that doesn't require any electricity. The most common brand is Empire.

  3. WestinTromburg | | #3

    I live in Idaho and it can get quite cold at times. The previous heater I had was an Empire sr10- t ventless heater..the other issue with these propane heaters is how quickly they burn through gas. Even with just the pilot light going. I was wishing there was a heater that could kick on when it dropped to about 45* without a pilot light constantly burning gas. I guess I just need a bigger tank! lol I am also interested in heaters that can run off of solar if there are any worthwhile. Thank you for your feedback!

  4. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #4

    To keep your house above freezing, you have to burn some type of fuel. You can turn the pilot off in warm weather and whenever you're home. Just light the pilot when you expect to be gone during cold weather.

  5. Jon_R | | #5

    For any significant length of time, I'd blow out/drain the pipes. Less energy and more reliable.

  6. WestinTromburg | | #6

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

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