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Sunday, April 22, 2012

That’s it for propane

At one time I had four propane appliances: tankless water heater, refrigerator, stove, and clothes dryer. Propane used to be cheap. It’s not that way anymore. Now I’m down to just my stove and dryer. The stove is an old cast iron woodstove with two propane burners on the side.

Just a few days after we got back from our trip, the propane ran out. Most people would just call the company and get it refilled. Three things stopped me from doing that. The company I used to have propane service from when out of business. A new company would want money up front and a 2 year contract. We really don’t use that much propane anymore.

We almost never use the dryer. We have a clothes line outside and a drying back by the woodstove. During the cool months, the woodstove is going so we cook using wood. It works for me.

However, now it’s warming up, so the woodstove doesn’t run all the time. For a couple days, we used a portable two burner electric hot plate. That worked, but was a pretty big strain on the solar electric system.

Rummaging around my stuff, I found a 20 lb propane tank -the type used on a propane grill. It still had propane in it, so I hooked it up to the house system. It works just fine. I wouldn’t want to run the dryer too often on it, but it will fuel two small stove burners a long time.

This is the sort of Redneck fix you can expect to see more of as people make do with what they've got.



  1. Go for it. If I could afford to get off the grid I would.

  2. I cooked off and on for six months with the 20 pounder in my old truck camper back in my Navy days. Even ran the furnace a time or two...

  3. It should get me through the mild weather and into the wood burning season.

  4. Smart. We make do with what we have and move on. I use propane for my stove too. It takes me a year to use one tank, a hundred pounder.

  5. Wish we were on a solar set up but Sweetie insists the investment isn't worth the cost - hard headed when I try to show him simple set ups. Then today our old side by side fridge died. Buy another one tomorrow - not side by side & smaller. Old one ran nearly non-stop so that won't be missed! We're hooking up washer outdoors to cold water only & take lukewarm showers every 3 days; bird baths otherwise. Living her will be cheaper once we get a couple projects finished! This week we have lower temps & rain & we're going to dial back the AC so we condition ourselves to higher temps. Always ways to save; it's the footwork that counts.

  6. Treesong: have you considered one of those solar shower bags made for camping?

    A new fridge will save you a lot on electricity. Those old side by sides are power hogs.

    For me, it takes about two weeks to get used to warmer temps.