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Thread: propane/gas combo heater

  1. #1
    DIY Member trw888's Avatar
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    Default propane/gas combo heater

    I need to replace my gas water heater. I'm considering replacing it with a propane/gas combo heater that a friend gave me for free. It's an Intertherm (made by State) that came with his new modular home. It's been sitting in my garage for a couple of years. He used it for only a couple of years before that.

    Does anyone know anything about these water heaters?
    Are they any good?
    And is this as dumb idea an idea as the little voice in the back my head says it is?

    I know you get what you pay for, but I only need it to last a few years. I'll have a professional plumber install it.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    If it is set up for propane and you need NG, you'll have to change parts. State isn't one of the better names. The cost of a tank isn't all that much - the labor to install a new one is the same, but you probably won't get any warranty by the plumber on an old box...it's your gamble; I'd probably pass and put in a new one...would probably be a selling point in your favor.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Member trw888's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply.

    It's set up to handle either propane or ng so there aren't any parts to replace. Just the cost to have it installed.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Many devices can be made to work on either, and may come with the parts, but it would be a rare unit that could work without changing parts on either. The jet size, regulator, and maybe gas valves need to be different for the two gasses.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  5. #5
    DIY Member trw888's Avatar
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    Oh. So, using the freebie really makes no sense then. I guess I'll be going with new then.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Lp/ng

    There may be no parts to replace, but in that case there will be parts that have to be adjusted. The two gases are not interchangeable.

  7. #7
    DIY Member trw888's Avatar
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    That was my original understanding. Since the water heater was meant to be used in a modular (moveable) home, then it would make sense to have a heater that could use either.

    So, then my other question is does anyone know anything about these types of heaters. Are they as good as any other reasonable good heater, or are they not worth the risk?

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member zl700's Avatar
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    HUD regulations & approval for modular homes requires that all gas appliances used in this situation must be field convertible, since they don't know where they are going.

    However that water heater requires a special roof jack that makes it sealed combustion with height limitations so trying to convert it and use it without proper venting materials could set operation off balance but also make it a misapplied appliance.

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