Will adding a water tank to a propane stove help regulate heat?
November 17, 2011 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Will adding a water tank to our propane heater help regulate the room temperature, or just suck up heat?

We have a Toyostove "Laser 56" (see here: http://www.toyotomiusa.com/products/laserventedheaters/L-56.php). It has a space for an internal, removable fuel tank, which is not installed. I'm thinking that if we got the tank, and filled it with water instead, it would act as heat storage, getting warm while the stove is running and releasing heat slowly while it's not. Does this make sense?

It looks like it would hold about a gallon and a half. The cavity where the tank is intended to go doesn't seem to get too hot, but the surfaces do get warm.
posted by attercoppe to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
No, it won't have any noticeable effect.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:48 AM on November 17, 2011

This won't make any significant difference. 12 lbs of water is nothing compared to the mass of the objects in the room.
posted by ssg at 8:54 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Plus, the water isn't really a heat sump since it will begin to radiate absorbed heat.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on November 17, 2011

Can you describe in greater detail the problem you're trying to solve?
posted by jon1270 at 10:42 AM on November 17, 2011

If it does what you'd like it to do-- absorb a significant amount of heat-- it could actually disregulate the room temp, because proximity of a hot tank might cause the heater thermostat to think the room is hotter than it is.
posted by jamjam at 10:56 AM on November 17, 2011

Plus, the water isn't really a heat sump since it will begin to radiate absorbed heat.

That's what heat sumps do, Burhanistan - they absorb heat and release it more slowly.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:01 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

+1 to what Broom said. And +1 to this will likely be impossible to notice. To test feel free to get an aquarium of similar size and place it (full of water of course) somewhere nearby and see if you notice any difference in the heat regulation of the room.

I say regulation because that is all that is happening when you add sumps like this, not necessarily any direct impact on efficiency unless you're sump is really designed properly for your application.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:15 PM on November 17, 2011

Thanks all. I was thinking of this in terms of the indoor pool we had where I grew up - really a passive solar heating tool ( which I guess I now know is properly called a heat sump.) I also had visions of old-fashioned wood cook stoves, some of which had a water resevoir (but for a different purpose.) But it does make sense that it would likely be too close to the thermostat to really make a good difference.
jon1270, there's not a particular problem with the heater as it is now, I was just thinking we might squeeze a little more out of it.
posted by attercoppe at 6:33 PM on November 17, 2011

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