Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Have the 60,000 BTU version, garage nice an toasty! No issues if you do your homework.
on October 13, 2012
I'm writing this review because I was pricing one of these out for my buddy with a smaller garage and came across some negative reviews. Yes, the device does not come with a $10.00 thermostat you can buy either here or @ the HD. It also requires you to buy a venting kit which you can either buy here, at the HD, or custom make one ensuring you are using the correct schedule piping for your region.
I'm not sure why people are having such issues with the electronics on these heaters. I live in the depths of cold hell of Central Minnesota. I've been fortunate to have great success with my Hamilton. I've had it installed for 6 years now with no issues. Just do your homework before you slap this thing up thinking it's just a replacement dryer or stove. There are electrical, venting, and gas considerations you must make prior to plumbing and wiring this thing to your homes gas and electrical services. You're most likely adding something to your home that wasn't "stock", therefore, you have to take into consideration the below:
If you wire the appliance correctly, you probably wouldn't have boards frying on you. You need to ensure you have a direct home run right from the electrical panel to the furnace via a 14/2 AWG wire and a dedicated 15 A circuit then a GFCI to prevent surges in the electrical and basic light switch in front of the electrical circuit to the heater to turn the device off in the summer. It may sound like overkill, but all of about $25.00 in electrical protection is a heck of a lot cheaper than fried electronics. It also wouldn't hurt to turn that breaker off in the summer months to prevent surges and lightning strikes. Follow the instructions on the side panel for "summerizing" the heater prior to turning it off for the season and you're good.
I chose to install mine via 12/2 AWG wire, a 20 A circuit breaker, a GFCI and a basic light in front of the electrical circuit to the heater switch to prevent surges in the electrical and to turn it off in in the summer months. It may sound like overkill, but all of about $25.00 in electrical protection is a heck of a lot cheaper than fried electronics. I did it this way because I branched the 20 A circuit to add an outlet for my LCD TV, Stereo, shop lights, chest freezer, and an occasional box fan. Those combined don't draw more than 10 A for the combined extras, leaving me 10 A just for a heater that only draws 3 A nominal, so I figured I was safe. Again, follow the instructions on the side panel for "summerizing" the heater prior to turning it off for the season and you're good.
The second piece is to ensure you are not over-delivering Gas pressure to the unit's Smart valve. If you have too much gas from the high side of your home's gas feed without a pressure regulator @ the heater you will fry the regulator on the furnace because it's working too hard to restrict the gas and can be very dangerous to your well being. If you're running on the low side of your gas feed which is already regulated, but not enough gas, the regulator on the furnace will run low and run ineffectively. That means you have too many appliances connected to that already regulated gas branch and need to have a professional install a gas regulator dedicated just for the heater on the high side of your home's gas feed.
Your best bet for the gas is to have a professional install the gas line for you to ensure you are receiving the proper gas inlet pressure @ the heater to avoid burning out your Smart Valve. Any licensed fireplace installer would be more than willing to help you do this for a fair price. The total job will cost you around $600-$750 dollars and it'll be code and work for years to come.
Hope this review helps!!