Propane regulator 101 anyone?

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by TDS-MN, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Active Member

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    Hey All,

    Had an instance last trip out, where I was not able to operate my Propane stove. I am just looking for input from someone that knows the components in the propane system enough to offer guidance.

    On Monday, I used the stove without issue. I had added an in-line gauge to monitor tank level, since we don't use the propane much, it's difficult to keep track of how much I might have in the bottle. Stove lit and performed fine that day.

    Was back out at a different site on Wednesday, and attempted to light up the stove. The only change I made was that I tried to 'spin' the gauge down so the face was visible while the bunk end was pulled out, as I had mounted the gauge facing 'up' when the pup was collapsed. Looked good, but I found that I could NOT see the gauge when the bunk end was extended, Doh! Anyway, it seemed that I did not have any propane flow. Opening the valve at the bottle did register a level on the gauge, so I don't think that the level was low/out. Opening the valve at the stove connection did not seem to let gas flow thru either, so my guess was maybe I had something going on 'upstream' if you will.

    In the course of adjusting the gauge orientation, I might have changed how my regulator was oriented. I honestly did not pay much attention to how it was sitting beforehand. Would moving that have any effect on the flow thru it? I see that it has a small vent hole indicated, and don't know if the direction that is pointed has any impact on regulator function, or of I have an issue somewhere else?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. frolin

    frolin Member

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    The regulator does have up and down. The vent should be down. Don't know if it will cause a huge issue, but I would start with the variable
     
  3. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    It could be one of several things...

    Are any of the supply lines pinched, bent or twisted? If they've been bent, they'll restrict the flow and your appliances won't work.

    Is the vent clogged?

    Over time, regulators do get gummed up with the oil-based odorant used in propane. If the regulator is humming or buzzing, the diaphram is probably shot. Either way, a new one isn't very expensive and easy enough to replace. All you need are a couple of wrenches and some gas piping tape (yellow teflon) or pipe dope.

    In terms of orientation, a single stage regulator shouldn't matter but a two stage regulator with a vent should always be positioned so that the vent is facing down.

    Tons of great info regarding LPG regulators here:
    http://www.propane101.com/regulatordetails.htm
     
  4. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI, the gauge will not be much help letting you know how much propane you have left until you are very near empty.
    The pressure in the tank will remain the same as long as propane exists in liquid and gaseous state.
    When all the liquid is gone the gauge will start to show a decrease in pressure as the gas is used. By then you are just about empty.
     
  5. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Active Member

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    Thanks all for the great info. I think I might have had the regulator oriented with the vent in a horizontal position. None of the lines looked to be kinked or anything like that, and like I said, it had worked just fine 3 days prior, so I will verify I have the vent facing DOWN and try it all again next time I get to set up.

    I did read similar in the gauge manual after purchase, that was not how I thought that they worked, but I will see if it is helpful or not as time goes by. Not the worst deal if it doesn't end up helping much I guess, it was fairly cheap.

    And I did laugh a little when I read the web address that was linked. I suppose I could have googled a little better and found that on my own. [RTM]
     
  6. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Active Member

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    UPDATE:

    Had the chance to set up in the driveway over the weekend, and did a little troubleshooting. Re-positioned the regulator with vent facing down, and originally got nothing. Removed gauge from the line, and got stove to light.
    Tried gauge and separate propane tank, and got stove to light. Re-installed gauge to pup tank, reconnected line, and got stove to light. Not sure what the deal was with the first attempt this weekend, but ended up OK by the end of my experimenting. Will see what happens next time out I guess, and maybe plan on the portable cook stove just in case.
     
  7. Dubbya

    Dubbya Wherever you go, there you are...

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    Just be sure to open the tank valve slowly. If you open it too quickly, the valve senses a leak and shuts itself off internally. That one has confounded a lot of folks.
     
  8. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    No flow, the ACME may not be connect tight enough, the brass nose pushes on a spring loaded mating surface in the cylinder valve/connection.

    Low flow from the excess flow feature in the ACME/QCC-1 connector. Supposed to reset quickly if activated when open the cylinder valve, everything needs to be off.

    Read up on your gauge and use it to test for leak!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRYWBl9yJW8
     
  9. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    Did you try removing the gauge??? If the gauge is screwed onto the tank you may have disengaged the safety valve on the tank.
     
  10. TDS-MN

    TDS-MN Active Member

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    That was actually what I was thinking when I was troubleshooting. It is screwed into the tank, and my distribution line attaches to the outlet side of the gauge. I was ready to leave tehgauge off, once I got it working again, but for giggles I put it back on, and the gas was flowing, and I got the stove lit. I must have opened it too fast or something the time it was acting up on me. I would not be surprised, as I was leaning under the extended bunk trying to open the valve, and not kneel on the wet ground. So far, so good. Will know more after next outing. Thanks for your reply.
     

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