Should Little Giants be banned from the industry?

Radar Foster

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I had a close call with mine when the igniter went bad back in 2000


Over confidence and lack of respect for the danger are the usual culprits


Id like to know if the guys that run them actually informed their auto insurance companies or if there are local transport regulations that allow these to even be onboard

I was so happy to sell the unit as well as the Banes and switch to Butler
 

Bob Pruitt

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Had them for many years and the biggest problem I had was they would overheat the water until it was steam vapor and the coil inside would fail. Expensive fix or replace.
The other problem everyone had was he flash of fire when the heater finally ignited on occasion.
I sure love my Butler's dual heat exchangers.
All these machines, heaters and chemicals need to be taken seriously.
Had a van burn down when I bought my first HydraMaster CDS.
The drive shaft from the engine compartment bearings failed and caught the van on fire.
Not sure about banning Little Giants though.
Generally Safety in our Industry is an after thought.
Maybe the IICRC could help with that.
 

Cleanworks

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Little giants are as safe as the owner operating them. I have had and still have lg's for over 30 years. The only problem I have ever had was my fault for not repairing it properly. The burner was loose due to a broken mount and caused the main gas line to come loose. Caused a small fire that I luckily discovered before it did major damage. Taught me a good lesson. I usually light mine with a long bbq lighter and have several in the van in case one fails. I do regular leak checks with a bottle of soapy water. The proper way to use them is to have everything turned off in between jobs. The propane tank should be turned off, the heater should be turned off. It's not hard to light it for every job and turn it off again. A lot of problems are caused by carpet cleaners being too lazy to turn everything off as they drive from job to job. The issue that Bob mentions is caused by faulty controls. You know the control is going when you start getting too much heat. I had one that was going up to 280 degrees f. Way too hot and dangerous but addictive at the same time. The modern heaters are usually set not to exceed 230 degrees f. The larger the heater, the greater volume of water you can get at the same temperature. Even if you have the propane tank mounted outside the vehicle, you need to keep your doors open. The heater always needs the right air mixture to operate properly and leaks can happen anywhere in the gas system. If you're lazy or just an idiot, don't buy one.
 

Matt Wood

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I agree with banning them. After seeing what 250-260f can do to our hoses and polyester carpet when the hose lays on it, there's no need for that kind of heat.

And for chinese restaurants and pizza hut...just mix a better prespray.

180-225f is perfect and heat exchangers can hold that heat easy. Leave the fuel heated setup on the pressure washers on an open trailer
 

Cleanworks

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I agree with banning them. After seeing what 250-260f can do to our hoses and polyester carpet when the hose lays on it, there's no need for that kind of heat.

And for chinese restaurants and pizza hut...just mix a better prespray.

180-225f is perfect and heat exchangers can hold that heat easy. Leave the fuel heated setup on the pressure washers on an open trailer
Now weren't you just saying you were getting that kind of heat with your unit? So much so that you can't keep hoses on it? Getting black death? A properly set up lg will only give you 230f. unless you monkey with the controls.
 

Matt Wood

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Now weren't you just saying you were getting that kind of heat with your unit? So much so that you can't keep hoses on it? Getting black death? A properly set up lg will only give you 230f. unless you monkey with the controls.
That's why I've been turning my heat down since I sacrificed the first set of hoses
 
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Cleanworks

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The best heating system in the industry is the coolant heat exchanger and supplemented by blower heat exchangers like the Butler and other pto max heat units. Safest with the least of maintenance needed. After that is coolant/exhaust systems on slide ins. Propane and Kerosene/diesel always present a higher risk. Propane is the easiest way to add heat to a system. pretty much just plug and play. The Lg heaters are very versatile but need to be treated with respect. Not the best unit for multiple techs to use.
 

Radar Foster

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What are regulations in Canada?

Mine was mounted in the rear of the van essentially making my unit a BaNe BOMB
 

Cleanworks

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What are regulations in Canada?

Mine was mounted in the rear of the van essentially making my unit a BaNe BOMB
Regulations? Yeah, mine wouldn't pass inspection as I use a 20lb tank inside the van. It is always turned off both at the tank and heater when not in use. To make it safer, I should disconnect the gas line from the tank, then I am merely transporting it. Our regulations say that the tank and regulator should be mounted outside the van and the system should be installed and/or inspected by a certified gas installer. There is no chance of explosion as long as you keep your doors open when operating. There is always chance of a fire if you have any loose connections. Two of my units are custom built propane heaters and I have one Hydramaster cds. Lately, even though if refer to my cds as a back up van, I have been using it a lot more lately. Not as hot as the propane units but so simple to use. If I was buying any kind of a new unit, it wouldn't be propane.
 
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rider0992

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I have a Bane as you know with the LG on a dollie. Been issues as with anything. Taking care of issues promptly is prudent. Had a pos Mytee porty catch fire in a house was just as dangerous. Doesn’t mean every porty should be banned. I can have a square scrub catch fire with a bad plug.
 

Hack Attack

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My Dad set fire to a kitchen bench back in the day with his portable

I'm not sure how much solvent you can extract with electric motors.. he obviously didn't either
 

Hack Attack

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anything man made can/will fail sooner or later

always use LG's with doors open as propane/lpg is heavier than air and can't therefore build up if there is a leak

and as has also been stated turn off at the bottle

although I wouldnt mind a hx unit for the extra space.The extra purchase price and running costs of a larger engine which still wont match the performance doesnt make it a straightforward comparison
 
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Acp

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in the pic it looks like that LG is deep in the van up against the side with a wooden shelf right above it. doesnt seem too smart to me but its hard to tell from the pic.

They should be near the door with plenty of breathing room. I think they are just as safe as any propane stoves or heaters in any RV but just like an RV cant be a dumbass about it.
cant have trash and cardboard boxes all over a rat nest van.

that being said I had an accident with one about 8 years ago but it was my own fault... we were still using bbq tanks and I tried to put an inline fuel gauge on the tank. big mistake lol
 

Cleanworks

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L
in the pic it looks like that LG is deep in the van up against the side with a wooden shelf right above it. doesnt seem too smart to me but its hard to tell from the pic.

They should be near the door with plenty of breathing room. I think they are just as safe as any propane stoves or heaters in any RV but just like an RV cant be a dumbass about it.
cant have trash and cardboard boxes all over a rat nest van.

that being said I had an accident with one about 8 years ago but it was my own fault... we were still using bbq tanks and I tried to put an inline fuel gauge on the tank. big mistake lol
I still use BBQ tanks. When I know the fuel is low, I carry a spare. When working the spare sits outside the van until needed. I know my systems and am comfortable with them but really should be using a belly tank with the regulator outside the van. I would not let an employee use my system.
 

Acp

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they definitely are not for the average tech thats for sure.

I love the temps and how simple everything is but our next machine wont be one that needs a LG
 
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Hack Attack

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I've had a gas fitter look at my setup and he said he'd be comfortable using it

the question mark here the authorities have is over the petrol/gas tote that pretty much every TM runs as most our commercial vans are diesel
 

Acp

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I've had a gas fitter look at my setup and he said he'd be comfortable using it

the question mark here the authorities have is over the petrol/gas tote that pretty much every TM runs as most our commercial vans are diesel
are you allowed to run a belly tank there?
 

Cleanworks

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I've had a gas fitter look at my setup and he said he'd be comfortable using it

the question mark here the authorities have is over the petrol/gas tote that pretty much every TM runs as most our commercial vans are diesel
If you're going to keep a slide in for a few years, it's not hard to install a belly tank and convert the engine to propane as well. Safer and one fuel to run the TM and heater.
 

Hack Attack

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relatively hard to find a gas powered commercial van, and if you do why would you want it when diesel has more power and economy

or do you mean fuel burner TM's? I've looked (not seriously) at propane kohlers
 

Cleanworks

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relatively hard to find a gas powered commercial van, and if you do why would you want it when diesel has more power and economy

or do you mean fuel burner TM's? I've looked (not seriously) at propane kohlers
I have a neighbor who has a power washing business. He has converted his Kohler and engines to run on propane. They run cleaner than on gasoline, cheaper and less maintenance according to him. Most small motor mechanics can do the conversion. Kits are available online. A camper/trailer company can install the belly tank for you. If you're running a lg heater already, makes sense to run the engine on propane as well.
 

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