PROPEX INSTALLATION TIPS
So, you finally got yourself a Propex heat source? Congratulations, you are one step closer to enjoying quick, efficient, and reliable heat for years to come! Here is a reference to make you more familiar with your heater and a list of helpful tips to keep you warm.
We are pleased to offer two models of thermostats. The one that is included with your Propex is an analog-style that has a knob to control the heat produced by the heater. Though the analog thermostat unit works great, we also sell an upgraded digital thermostat so you can set your heater to the exact temperature you desire. On US-spec gas-only models the digital thermostat offers the additional feature of a 1-16 hour countdown timer, selectable in one hour increments.
- BEFORE connecting the heater to the 12V battery, the controller (thermostat) MUST be connected to the Propex unit. In other words: connect the controller THEN the 12V power. If this sequence is not followed, you may blow an internal fuse and require the fuse to be replaced.
(We do however sell a replacement fuse on our website in case yours is blown)
Intake & Exhaust Combustion Pipes
There are two very important pipes that come standard with your heater: the combustion intake & exhaust pipes. They are connected to two stationary fittings located on the bottom of the unit. Think of these as the lungs of the heater, breathing fresh air in and pushing exhaust out.
- IMPORTANT! The combustion intake and exhaust pipes should NEVER be trimmed! This will ensure that the combustion is balanced and that the unit functions properly for years of service.
- The combustion exhaust pipe should have a constant downward slope. This is because condensation forms in the pipe and will impact the airflow if it’s not evacuated.
- The combustion intake and exhaust pipes when mounted should terminate at least 0.5 meter (1.5feet) apart. This is to prevent exhaust air from recirculated into the intake pipe. The unit will malfunction if they are too close.
- The combustion exhaust pipe should be routed beyond the outside edge of the vehicle and face toward the rear. Carbon monoxide is heavier than air and will pool under the vehicle. If that happens carbon monoxide could enter inside the vehicle through the floor or through floor vents. Safety first!
(We highly recommend purchasing a carbon monoxide detector for your convenience we sell them on our website)
Hot Air Outlet
This is where you will feel the heat being distributed from the heater into the cabin. Remember heat rises so it is recommended installing them on the floor level to help heat your space evenly and efficiently.
- The maximum number of hot air outlets is three.
- The maximum length to the first outlet should not exceed 1.5 meters (4.5 feet).
- The total combined length of cabin heat ducting should not be longer than 5 meters (15 feet).
As with any electrical connection, we strongly recommend the use of a small amount of dielectric grease on the female side of the connector to prevent oxidation and corrosion. Do not get the grease on the terminals as it is non-conductive.
The propane gas regulator is one of the most important components of your heating system. If your regulator is functioning correctly it will control the flow of gas leaving your tank and make sure your heater is supplied with the correct pressure to operate properly.
- If your propane system currently uses a single-stage propane regulator, it is recommended that you replace it with a two-stage propane regulator.
- The two-stage propane regulator delivers more constant and accurate pressure to the heater despite the change in elevation.
- We recommend using an 11” water column regulator for efficient gas flow.
(Some of the most common issues we come across are caused by faulty regulators. We sell one that will work great with your Propex)
- The compression fitting supplied with the heater is BSPT thread. This is NOT the same as ¼” NPT fittings in the US, so please do not substitute US NPT fittings.
- If you need an alternate BSPT fitting, these can be found at McMASTER-CARR Source: Propexusa.com
Propane Tank & Fuel Line
- We use ¼ “copper tubing to run propane from the tank to the unit. The Propex comes with a compression fitting that works well with copper tubing.
- We also sell a great kit that includes the copper tubing to install your Propex in a VW Vanagon Westfalia. It can also be used on your build regardless of make and model. You will just need to trim the tubing and plug the necessary outlets in the supplied four-way connector if you don’t have a need for them.
Resetting Propex Fault Codes
When the heater unit encounters conditions outside the parameters for safe operation, the logic circuits on the main circuit board may throw a fault code. This self-diagnostic feature helps protect the user and the heater unit itself and also points the user in the right direction for diagnosing the issue. The procedure for resetting a fault code is simple but takes attention to the timing of the reset operation.
To reset your heater, turn the thermostat temperature knob to full hot and then turn the operation dial from OFF to FAN to FLAME then to FAN to OFF then again from OFF to FAN to FLAME. The speed at which you turn the dial is extremely important, just under a second each direction. Please see the video at this link for an illustration of the timing of the procedure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBEjaWIYxPo