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propane&tankvalves


bigjim

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I won't have more information until late tomorrow but, I just got a call from a son in law with a problem with the propane- heater -valves or what ever. His trailer is a Keystone Copper Canyon 2007 34ft 5thW. He has not used this thing much and even though he is highly skilled in mechanical stuff he just has no experience to speak of with RV's. He just called and is havinf an issue with the heat and I am leaning to the change = over valve without seeing it. One thing he said is this thing has a second pressure regulater on one of the tanks. This has the tanks one on each side of the RV. I have no experience with that as I have always had TT's with the tanks and regulator together. Any insight before I see it live and in person tomorrow afternoon might help me look like the guy in the white hat.

 

This was long but I didn't know a better way and thanks now in case anyone sees it this evening or tomorrow and can help.

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With the tanks on two sides, oe side will have the change over valve and the regulator. The other side will have a line from the tank that connects back to the change over valve. The regulator out put will feed to the RV.

 

A handle on the change over valve wil point to one of the tow tanks. That tank must have the valve open. The other tank valve must be open for the chanhe over to work.

 

Have him remove the tanks and weigh them to see if there is propane in them. There is a TARE weight stamped on the handle ring on each tank which is the empty tank weight. Any weight higher than that shows there is propane in the tank. Tank weight - TARE weight = amount of propane.

 

You can also slosh the tank to see if there is any propane. It is in a liquid state.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PSXw5ZL0t8

 

Good luck.

 

Ken

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To make this a little easier, I understand how the valve works and in principal how it should be set up just not withthe tanks separated. I understand about the pressure etc. He had at some time in the past used the tanks and just had them refilled so I almost dismiss a problem with the tanks unless the temprature got so low that the pressure dropped too low which could have happened a few nights ago but not tonight. I don't understand why there would be a second regulator on one of the tanks. I will see this in person tomorrow. I have speculated that there may be some type of set up to feed an outside propane grill. On my TT I never use the auto-change over. I always let it run out then even if I have to go out in the rain for 2 minutes to turn on the 2nd tank and switch the valve to that tank I do it. I do not want the chance of ending up with 2 empty tanks.

 

He said he is able to light the stove top burners but the flame isn't right and I am confident he is knowledgeable about a proper flame. He has the means available to check the gas pressures if we need to go that far.

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Have him close both tank valves, and then open a stove valve briefly to relieve the pressure in the line. Holding a match or lighter at the burner will take care of any small residual gas if that's a concern, Once that's done, have him SLOWLY open the tank valves, and then try the stove and furnace again. Since the tanks were just filled, I suspect a tank valve was opened too fast, and the high flow control kicked in from the initial pressure burst.

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Jim - that tank by itself with just the regulator: It puts out ~10 lbs which then goes to the "combination" changeover / regulator on the other side. They do NOT like to pass full tank pressure through the trailer.

 

Think of it as a first stage for the remote tank.

 

"He had at some time in the past used the tanks and just had them refilled" - that might be the problem. I never leave the propane system open to --- mud daubers, spiders, dirt, insects. FOD?? (Foreign Object Debris) in the system.

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I think that Bill B is on the right track. The other question that I would ask is if he kept the tanks upright when transporting them to be refilled and back again. If you get liquid into the valve area and then force that into the regulator that will cause problems.

 

I don't think that low temperatures is a significant part of the problem since propane will boil(turn to vapor) down to -44°F. What keeps the gas liquid is the pressure inside of the tank. When supply gets very low, temperature can slow the change to vapor, but it has to be very cold before that becomes significant.

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Propane is at atmospheric pressure at -42 degF. Above that temperature, there is pressure. If there is a lot of butane in the propane mixture, it will lower the pressure in the tank. at a given temperature.

 

If you open the main valves too quickly, you should feel/hear a click which is the excess flow valve setting. Close the valve and slowly open it so that it does not seat the excess flow check.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Ken

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Thanks guys. I have run across some of the exact suggestions and explanations you have been giving. I feel more confident with the replies here verifying it though. We will be trying these for sure and hopefully we will get lucky with a cheap fix. After this we will be moving on to electrical issues. :blink: He's a really good guy but he never should have bought this thing as he is much to busy to use it and it has sat alot. He works at least a 40hr in maint. for a big bank and has an active side business. I know it seemed like a good idea at the time (say impulse) but he should have consulted his wise old father in law first. :P

 

edits for spelling and punctuation (hey I am trying)

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Partly fixed. We had a leak in the pigtail to the tank with the 2ndary regulator that I think Bill B spoke of. We may even have an issue with that regulator. We capped the outlet on the autochange regulator going to the second tank and are just running on tank one with the autochange regulator set for just that tank. Stove burners were strong and looked good. Then we fired the heater and wa-la we had heat from the vents. It was a little to cold and dark so we are good for now. Bill B are you sure about the pressure from that regulator as we will be checking that later.

 

The son in law is good mechanically but seriously rambunctios in his mechanical style.

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Jim, an auto-change-over device will do exactly that, unless one of the cylinders has the valve closed, irregardless of handle position. It detects pressure differential. The down-side, it wll always leave some LP in the cylinder it switches from, and if the LP filling facility charges a flat-fee, you get to pay twice for that small remaining amount.

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RayIn, if you are saying that just turning the valve to the one tank would have bee sufficient, I agree. Sometimes when you are working with someone you kind of have to let them learn a little as long as they don't do anything that will blow us up or cause expensive damage. Or are you saying the leak will cause it to switch to the other tank? Your wording or my comprehension or both has me not quite understanding.

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"Bill B are you sure about the pressure from that regulator as we will be checking that later." Just a reminder Bill B stated the 2ndary regulator is supposed to be 10# (post #5) and I am trying to double check that is he sees this or someone else knows.

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RayIn, if you are saying that just turning the valve to the one tank would have bee sufficient, I agree. Sometimes when you are working with someone you kind of have to let them learn a little as long as they don't do anything that will blow us up or cause expensive damage. Or are you saying the leak will cause it to switch to the other tank? Your wording or my comprehension or both has me not quite understanding.

"if you are saying that just turning the valve to the one tank would have bee sufficient, I agree." Yes we are on the same page. However, If it is still on the empty cylinder, that cylinder cannot be removed for filling, even though the full one is in-use. If the lever is turned to the full cylinder, the empty one may then be removed for filling without leaking propane.

 

EDIT: The empty cylinder valve must be closed before removal. Some folks make the mistake of leaving the valve open (hey the tanks empty right), not good. A cylinder opened to the air can draw-in air = moisture which can freeze in the regulator during cold weather and stop gas flow.

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