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Full propane tank with restricted output


BrianT

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Hi guys,

 

Just thought I'd share.

 

We have a typical rv with two 30 pound propane tanks hooked up to an automatic regulator. About 1:30am this morning, it made the switch from one that had just emptied to a full tank right beside it. But for some reason, it just did not put out enough propane to keep the furnace running, which is how we discovered we had a problem.

 

Considering the temperature was dropping but not below freezing, and also considering the hour, she didn't want to make much noise outside. She tried the typical turning the tank off, disconnecting the line, reconnecting the line, and s-l-o-w-l-y reopening the valve maybe 3 or 4 times. Always the same result, a very small flow of gas but not enough to really even light a decent flame on the stovetop.

 

We cranked up the electric heater and went back to bed. And that did keep us relatively warm until it was daylight out with the inside of the rv staying above 60 and the outside by daylight being in the upper 20s.

 

So this morning, after stressing about what to do, I told her to go outside, take the tank off, and find a spot on the parking lot (gravel) where she could pretend she was pounding a post into the ground and drop the thing 4 or 5 times, on it's bottom, not on it's side, just like it would stand in place. She did. (It was more of a 4 or 5 drops from 10 or 12 inches than an actually pounding of anything, but I knew that when I told her what to try.)

 

She hooked the tank back up and lo and behold, the propane is flowing freely once again and the rv is warming up a bit quite nicely.

 

I am assuming the safety valve must be a little sticky or something. The tank (along with one of my other tanks) is about 1 to 2 months away from needing recertification so the valve isn't anywhere near new. It may be time functionally speaking as well.

 

I don't like being rough with tanks but it appears that there may be a time and place where it's effective. At least we are actually getting to use the propane.

 

Oh, and lest any of you think I'm being abusive to my dear wife, I would love to have been out there dealing with this myself. I'm sitting with my leg propped up... because it was badly broken a couple of weeks ago and I am not able to get around yet let along deal with propane tanks. It's been hard as my wife really doesn't like dealing filling the water tank, emptying the waste tanks, fussing with the propane, all little things that I just always did. She really is not interested in things rv, which I kinda feel bad about now. We've hung on to the lifestyle a little longer than we should have.

 

Anyway, just thought I'd share about the tank.

 

 

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Not a propane expert, so I would suggest you take it to a propane store and have them remove the valve and inspect it. It's a tricky thing to get the system full enough of propane and not trip the excess flow valve. Even harder at 1:30 in the morning in the cold. Spent many hours doing it myself and I'm like you, have done it before.

 

As for holding on to long, hang in there. You will get better and Rv life will be back to normal. I just fell and injured my back and And am on limited duty. Wife is doing a lot of the cores around the house as well.

 

Hang in there

 

JC

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When I was dispensing propane I'd have to do that several times a season. People would bring in mostly full cylinders but insist on a fillup since no gas was flowing. Well, guess what? It wouldn't flow in either. A couple sharp raps on the protective ring (top or bottom) on the nearest slab of concrete or tree stump would solve the problem.

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Thanks, JC! It's 3 weeks yesterday morning that I had my big fall and I do get impatient and frustrated that I can't do more.

 

I've been told there is a place in town that recertifies tanks. I'm told they replace the valves at that time anyway. If I remember right, at least one of the pair of original tanks is stamped with a "3-15" stamp meaning that it won't be legal to fill in just a few more weeks anyway.

 

If I can make it happen, I want to go ahead and get them recertified with their new valves before they get filled again. I have one extra tank that's quite a bit newer so that really helps.

 

Hangin' in there... (sigh) Have I mentioned that I get impatient and frustrated?? LOL!!

 

 

Brian

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When I was dispensing propane I'd have to do that several times a season. People would bring in mostly full cylinders but insist on a fillup since no gas was flowing. Well, guess what? It wouldn't flow in either. A couple sharp raps on the protective ring (top or bottom) on the nearest slab of concrete or tree stump would solve the problem.

 

Sounds like I'm not the first... and sounds like I won't be the last.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Brian

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Brian,

 

Hope you are planning something extra for your better half for Valentine's Day. :lol: And while she might not enjoy the additional tasks, maybe part of what you are seeing is the worry about your health that she is trying very hard not to show. We do kind of like having you guys around so when you aren't up to par, we worry.

 

Barb

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brian, I believe that recert is only good for 5years vs 10-12 on new tank so factor in the cost over time as it can be better to get a new one. It is a judgement call. I don't know if they do this everywhere but at the local "Tractor Supply" here they do a tank exchange on larger tanks. Mine are 30 lbs and it cost less than a new one but more than just the fill on the old tank if they could. Turned out to be the best go for me.

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Brian,

 

Hope you are planning something extra for your better half for Valentine's Day. :lol: And while she might not enjoy the additional tasks, maybe part of what you are seeing is the worry about your health that she is trying very hard not to show. We do kind of like having you guys around so when you aren't up to par, we worry.

 

Barb

 

 

I don't have anything specific planned for Valentine's Day itself but we do have a few things we'd like to do that I'll probably finally be able to do about that time. She is indeed one special lady and I love her with all my heart!

 

Thank you for saying such kind things, yes, I know either of us would worry about the other going through way lesser things. We worry about each other. We take care of each other. And the romance has DEFINITELY NOT died. :) It gets sweeter with each passing year. I didn't understand that as a teenager but I suspect many of you know exactly of what I speak.

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brian, I believe that recert is only good for 5years vs 10-12 on new tank so factor in the cost over time as it can be better to get a new one. It is a judgement call. I don't know if they do this everywhere but at the local "Tractor Supply" here they do a tank exchange on larger tanks. Mine are 30 lbs and it cost less than a new one but more than just the fill on the old tank if they could. Turned out to be the best go for me.

 

 

Hmmm... I'm gonna have to check that out, Jim! I didn't realize that the recertifications may not be for any more than 5 years. That would definitely affect the economics of the whole thing. I appreciate the input!

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Thanks, JC! It's 3 weeks yesterday morning that I had my big fall and I do get impatient and frustrated that I can't do more.

 

I've been told there is a place in town that recertifies tanks. I'm told they replace the valves at that time anyway. If I remember right, at least one of the pair of original tanks is stamped with a "3-15" stamp meaning that it won't be legal to fill in just a few more weeks anyway.

 

If I can make it happen, I want to go ahead and get them recertified with their new valves before they get filled again. I have one extra tank that's quite a bit newer so that really helps.

 

Hangin' in there... (sigh) Have I mentioned that I get impatient and frustrated?? LOL!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brian

 

My wife is driving from key west to Miami and back to pick up our smart car from the body shop we dropped it off at for repairs. Can't ride in a car for 8-10 hrs and to top it off its raining like crazy all day. (Sigh).

 

So we make through today and tackle tomorrow, tomorrow.

 

JC

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Recert's are 5 years. Last time I did it - $4 (Michigan - Ferrell gas). Every once in a while, things get stuck and a bell ringer helps.

 

LOL - yes, some of us remember that you broke your leg and didn't think that you were intentionally overworking your wife.

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I don't have anything specific planned for Valentine's Day itself but we do have a few things we'd like to do that I'll probably finally be able to do about that time. She is indeed one special lady and I love her with all my heart!

 

Thank you for saying such kind things, yes, I know either of us would worry about the other going through way lesser things. We worry about each other. We take care of each other. And the romance has DEFINITELY NOT died. :) It gets sweeter with each passing year. I didn't understand that as a teenager but I suspect many of you know exactly of what I speak.

 

Dang, got something in my eye.

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This will happen occasionally. I've had it happen and do the same "banging trick". Don't know if you have ever looked at an OPD valve but they are made out of plastic and as far as tolerance goes, forget it. For the price of the re-certification, I'd just keep using the tank. Mine are due next year and I'll be getting them re-certified.

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Unless things have changed, in re-certification of tanks there is an extra charge if they replace the valve as the usual fee is much too low to include one. If you do need a valve, I am pretty sure that will cost at leas $30 - $50 additional.

She really is not interested in things rv, which I kinda feel bad about now. We've hung on to the lifestyle a little longer than we should have..............

 

 

I know either of us would worry about the other going through way lesser things. We worry about each other. We take care of each other.

I know a little about that too. In our case it is her who has most of the medical issues, or has been thus far but one never knows. I do say that you should give it some time once you are healed again and then discuss how much longer to stay out, and also the possibility of some sort of home-base to travel out of, as that has worked out for us.

 

I'm guessing from your post that you were like us, married pretty young when we all thought we were adults but were really still kids. I tell my sons that we married because we thought that we were in love, but now after many years and a family grown we actually know that we are in love! The heat of passion may go down, but the relationship becomes far more comfortable and secure. I find it frightening to think of the day when one of us will be forced to continue on............... alone~! :huh:

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... I find it frightening to think of the day when one of us will be forced to continue on............... alone~! :huh:

 

Kirk, thanks for the post. That last line was actually something I tried to type out earlier but just couldn't quite say it. It is one thing when two people decide to go their separate ways by choice. It's quite another when the choice gets made by the physical failures that we just can't help.

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Regarding re-certification, last week I had my 12 year old 30# cylinder re-certified. The owner of the propane service checked for valve leaks with a soapy solution. He disregarded the surface rust. He said the tank can be re-certified in 5 year increments until the tank has a problem.

 

In Phoenix the cost to re-certify was $15. One outfit wanted $50, I doubt if they wanted to be bothered at that price.

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Brian,

I started reading your post and thought "wow - this guys got the DW trained great" then I scrolled back up and saw it was you and realized it was you and remembered your "mishap".

 

Got to appreciate the ladies and what they will do for us. As those above - give her a treat on the 14th if you can!

 

Do you have an automatic change over type regulator? The last two fivers I had came with them. Sure were nice - just leave both tanks turned on and keep checking the red/green flag to see when they changed over. If you don't have then, might be worth investigating.

 

Ger well soon!!!!!

 

Lenp

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I factored in how far I would have to drive to a place to get it recertified also where I would have to go traffic wise and such. If it had not been such an extended cold spell at the time I might have tried to get by until it was more convienent but at the time it just wasn't worth the risk what the possibility of frozen pipes and a frozen JIM.

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I don't re-certify tanks any more, it is less hassle to just take an old one to a tnk exchange place and swap it for a shiny new one. Most of the tank swap folks have no problem with you picking any tank off the rack as long as you don't waste too much of their time.

 

New tank, new valve and full load of propane in under 10 minutes for about $20 in Phoenix.

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Brian,

I started reading your post and thought "wow - this guys got the DW trained great" then I scrolled back up and saw it was you and realized it was you and remembered your "mishap".

 

Got to appreciate the ladies and what they will do for us. As those above - give her a treat on the 14th if you can!

 

Do you have an automatic change over type regulator? The last two fivers I had came with them. Sure were nice - just leave both tanks turned on and keep checking the red/green flag to see when they changed over. If you don't have then, might be worth investigating.

 

Ger well soon!!!!!

 

Lenp

 

Len, she's an awesome woman!! And I wanna keep her forever!! :)

 

Yes, I do have an automatic change over regulator. Really like that. It makes it so easy to keep track of what's going on with the propane. In the situation that I originally posted about, one of the things that my wife kept telling me that was pointing me towards the tank was that she put the tank on, she couldn't get the little "flag" to turn green when she turned on the tank. She tried the tank on both sides of the regulator, same thing. But after the "bumpin' n thumpin'" on the ground, she put the tank in and "Shazzam!!" the green flag appeared! I know regulators do fail but so far, I've been fortunate not to have one go out on me. It's one thing I don't have a spare of.

 

(Truth be known, I think she's the one that has me trained. LOL!!)

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I don't re-certify tanks any more, it is less hassle to just take an old one to a tnk exchange place and swap it for a shiny new one. Most of the tank swap folks have no problem with you picking any tank off the rack as long as you don't waste too much of their time.

 

New tank, new valve and full load of propane in under 10 minutes for about $20 in Phoenix.

 

Stan, is that $20 over what it would have been for a regular tank refill? I wouldn't have thought $20 would pay for a new valve.

 

I just need to find the people in my area who can recertify to see what they're doing and how much it costs. It seems to be a 'local' kind of thing and varies considerably from place to place.

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The one at Tractor supply last year did do exchange on 30# and 40#. First place I was ever aware of that did anything bigger than the 20#. This year they had the best price on refilling in this area. Not all Tracto Supply places do propane. This is the first one I was aware of. One thing that caught me a little unawares was the exchange only had the 10 year initial certification vs the 12 years I was used to. The one I got was almost new.

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