How to Power a Propex Propane Heater: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

Powering a Propex propane heater requires a careful and meticulous approach, involving both gas and electrical connections. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the technical specifications, a step-by-step DIY installation process, and troubleshooting tips to ensure your Propex heater operates safely and efficiently.

Technical Specifications

Propex propane heaters are designed to run on a 12V power supply, which is necessary to power the fan and electronic ignition system. The Propex HS2000e, for instance, draws 2kW of electricity on its highest setting, necessitating a 3000W inverter to provide the necessary power.

The heater also requires a low-pressure gas supply, either propane or butane. For propane, the regulator should be set to 18mbar (0.26psi), while for butane, the regulator should be set to 28mbar (0.4psi). The gas supply line should be made of 5mm (3/16″) or 6mm (1/4″) outside diameter copper tubing, with the appropriate fittings and jointing compound to ensure a secure and leak-free connection.

DIY Approach: Step-by-Step Installation

how to power propex propane heater

1. Gas Supply Connection

  1. Connect the gas supply line to the heater using an 8mm elbow compression joint, ensuring that you apply jointing compound to the threads before screwing it tightly into the heater.
  2. Run the copper pipe from the gas manifold to the back of your Propex heater, bending and cutting it as necessary to fit the layout of your vehicle.

2. 12V Power Supply Connection

  1. Run a length of 2-core cable (positive and negative) from your 12V fuse box to the Propex heater.
  2. Connect the cable to the circuit board, ensuring that you use a 5A fuse in the fuse box to protect the electrical system.

3. Air Duct Installation

  1. Install hot and cold air ducts using jubilee clips to attach them to the heater.
  2. Run the ducts to wherever you want the hot and cold air to exit, ensuring that the cold air duct is in a well-ventilated area low in the van.

4. Thermostat Controller Installation

  1. Connect the thermostat to the heater’s circuit board before connecting the heater to the 12V power supply.

5. Safety Measures

  1. Install a carbon monoxide detector, smoke alarm, and gas leak detector in your vehicle to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.
  2. Ensure that the exhaust pipe slopes downwards and exits out the side of the van to prevent the buildup of harmful gases.
  3. Add heat-resistant silicone around the area where the exhaust pipe comes out of the bottom of the van to create a secure and airtight seal.

Troubleshooting and Common Issues

  1. Ignition Issues: If the heater is not igniting, ensure that the igniter is working correctly and that there is no issue with the gas flow. Check the gas regulator settings and ensure that the gas supply line is free of any blockages or leaks.

  2. Insufficient Heat Output: If the heater is not producing enough heat, check that the gas regulator is set to the correct pressure and that the air intake is not obstructed. Ensure that the air ducts are properly installed and that the cold air duct is not blocked.

  3. Strange Smells or Noises: If the heater is producing a strange smell or making unusual noises, turn it off immediately and check for any blockages or leaks in the gas supply or exhaust system. Inspect the heater for any signs of damage or wear and replace any faulty components as necessary.


  1. Propex Heater Installation Guide
  2. Propex HS2000 Installation Guide
  3. Propex Heater Installation Tips
  4. Propex Heater Installation Video
  5. Propex Heater Troubleshooting Video

By following the detailed instructions and safety precautions outlined in this guide, you can confidently power your Propex propane heater and enjoy the warmth and comfort it provides in your van, RV, or other outdoor living space.