How to Install and Operate a Gas Sauna Stove

Installing a gas sauna stove is a bit more involved than installing an electric heater. Because of the natural gas line, you’ll need to consider safety issues, proper hook-up to the source to ensure the most efficient operation of a sauna heater, ventilation of the room and the installation of the stove’s flue system.

Sizing the Sauna Gas Heater

As with any heater, the size of the gas sauna stove will be determined by the size of the sauna room. To determine the necessary BTU’s you’ll need, measure the length, width and height of the sauna room. When you multiply the three measurements (length x width x height), you’ll get the volume of the room in cubic feet.

When you’re ready to buy the sauna gas heater, you’ll shop for size by the square footage the gas stove is rated to heat. For example, the manufacturer may list the sauna heater as 65,000 BTU which will heat up to 700 cubic feet.

Installation

Gas Sauna Stove

Once you have the heater selected you’ll need to hire a licensed contractor to install a gas line to the sauna and hook up the gas stove. This is a must, as your warranty may be voided if the gas sauna stove is not installed correctly.

Vico Ultra Gas/Propane Sauna Heaters

The contractor will determine the proper size of pipe for adequate gas flow and will measure the distance to the sauna heater from the source, as well as take into consideration the BTU requirement of the heater. From this information, the contractor will also set the amount of the gas pressure that runs to the sauna gas heater.

Here are a few safety tips for installing a gas burning sauna stove:

  • Check regulations regarding clearances from the sauna heater to the ceiling and walls.
  • The room must have noncombustible floor and walls.
  • The sauna stove must be connected to its own dedicated flue system.
  • The heater must have a draft diverter installed above the gas stove on the flue pipe.
  • Gas heaters need an external air intake separate from the ventilation system used to circulate air for breathing and heat.
  • The stove’s gas and temperature controls must be located and operated from outside the sauna room.
  • Power outlets can not be installed in the sauna room.

Firing Up the Sauna Gas Stove

Once installed, the contractor will run the heater for the first time for you. Before you use your gas sauna stove for the first bathing session, you’ll need to let it run for 30 minutes to allow the paint on the heater to cure.

Should you need to relight the pilot light on a sauna gas heater yourself at a later time, it’s no different than lighting the pilot light on your gas fireplace. Here are the steps to relight your heater (always follow the safety and lighting instructions that come with your particular sauna stove):

  • Turn off all electric power to the heater.
  • Partially depress the control knob and turn it clockwise past “Pilot” to the “Off” position.
  • Wait 5 minutes to allow any remaining gas in the sauna stove’s combustion chamber to escape. Go to the next step only if you don’t smell gas.
  • Turn the gas stove’s control knob back to “Pilot” position.
  • Ignite the pilot with the push button igniter while depressing the gas control knob fully. Once it lights, continue pushing in the knob for another 5 seconds. If the sauna heater stays lit, release the gas control knob.
  • Turn the sauna heater’s control knob counter-clockwise to the “On” position.

Once the gas sauna stove is installed, you will have a very clean, reliable and inexpensive alternative to wood-burning and electric heaters.

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