Solving the "Dual Tank Auto Change Over w/HP Regulator" Problem

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by kenquagliana, May 5, 2020.

  1. kenquagliana

    kenquagliana Member

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    Hi All,
    During these trying times, I was fortunate to be able to invest some time and money in tackling / solving this problem. This all began after installing a digital thermostat in my Fleetwood Niagara and finding my furnace would not ignite. After much angst in troubleshooting this issue, I believe the problem is a failed auto change over regulator. I decided to change it. I still don't know yet if I fixed the furnace issue!!! But it seemed like a good time to try solving the "problem". It's not been tested yet, but I feel confident it "should" work as intended. I don't normally use that much propane when camping. Only once did my tanks actually "change over" and I lost the High Pressure feed to my outside stove while cooking. I didn't realize when it switched over to the reserve tank that I would lose my HP feed. This was considerably frustrating to me at the time. Since then I studied the setup, understood why, and then became determined to solve the "problem" someday. I searched every post on this forum related to the issue, but no one I read, spoke specifically how to solve it other than some generalizations and work arounds.
    Well, for any of you that are interested, I believe I found the way and built the LP bypass required to constantly feed the HP regulator from either tank or on "change over".
    This is an expensive Mod; Requiring sixteen brass fittings, a few of which were simply not available in the big box stores; two borrowed from the regulator and (2) pigtails with 1/4 male inverted flair ends. I'm using a Marshal Excelsior 253 regulator.
    Attached are some photos, including my schematic drawing w/parts list. I welcome any feedback from our engineers out there to hopefully tell me I didn't just waste about $110 in brass fittings!!!
    Propane Project Drawing-Final.JPG IMG_2622.JPG IMG_2613.JPG IMG_2619.JPG
     
  2. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    I am not quite sure what to make of this. It seems to me that you created a bypass that will make the auto change over not function correctly. Also if those are the $11 dollar rubber pig tails, figure on changing them every year. They are total garbage.

    I looked for an auto change over valve where the primary and secondary stages were seperate. I would swear I found one, but never did again. My plan was to put a T after the first stage to the outside stove and then into the second stage.

    Perhaps what you have here solves the problem, but it seems to me that you've simply created a bypass. I'd leave the T in place on the high pressure side and get rid of the rest. At worst you will lose the outside stove when it changes over.

    There are two version of that valve as well. A high volume and regular. I found that the pressure drop after the auto change was enough to make the fridge and heater act slightly different. When I do this on the new camper I plan to buy the high volume version this time and see if the larger valves mean less drop on the "secondary" tank.
     
  3. kenquagliana

    kenquagliana Member

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    Hi. Thanks for your feedback. I think I see what you're saying regarding the regulator not being able to function as intended. It'll be seeing gas pressure on the primary side from both tanks; no matter which way the valve is pointed!! Maybe a possible option is to keep the reserve tank closed (except overnight when using the furnace). When the primary is exhausted it might try to change over. Then manually flip the valve to the reserve tank??? Well, a good beer drinking project anyway!! If I don't revert to the original set up, which is pretty easy, at worst, I'll get two full tanks of service before it runs out even if it never changes over automatically. I always check the tanks before a trip and two tanks last several seasons. I simply didn't want to lose my stove in the middle of cooking. For me, at least, losing the furnace is a secondary concern since I rarely use it. The outside stove is used quite often. Regards.
     
  4. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    One option is to put a ball valve on that bypass section. Leave it closed so no gas will flow. When the primary tank exhausts you will lose the outdoor stove, but all you have to do is open the valve to let gas bypass the regulator to the outdoor stove.
     
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  5. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Although if you main concern is the stove this all seems pointless. Leave one tank open at a time. Worse case you have to open the valve and relight your stove.
     
  6. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    This is why I don't like an auto change over. I find it hard to read and worry both tanks will go empty.
    Also the brass fittings are very nice, but expensive. Black iron fittings are so much more economical if the cost is a factor.
     
  7. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    How would that be any different than just a straight valve? Stock setup both tanks will drain together.

    I have a couple minor complaints about the auto changer setup, but overall I prefer it. I tank a quick glance in the morning and at bed time if we are camping in cold weather.

    What really annoys me is that they don't just have a decent low pressure stove option so the whole thing is on one pressure.
     
  8. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Well I think I found the answer. But it's a $200 regulator. 1st stage and 2nd stage is split, so you can simply put a T between them for the stove. It should be the perfect solution. I'll research it more later today.
     
  9. kenquagliana

    kenquagliana Member

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    Hi Raycfe. Thanks for your reply. Agreed. Like I said, I am fortunate to be able dump this kid of money into a solving a difficult problem that has a few much simpler solutions. It's just an engineering challenge for me.
    Ken
     
  10. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    The ones I've seen, the 1st stage these days is 10 psi, how does that work with the HP stove? Would be fine for any regulated low pressure appliance with its own reg.
     
  11. kenquagliana

    kenquagliana Member

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    Hi Spridle. Thanks for your feedback and help in trying to make this work. Agreed, on all.
    1). I like the idea of a properly functioning auto changeover system. That's really my main focus and challenge. Yeah, it's all pointless if I want to settle for the simple solution(s). I really want this thing to work as intended!! I'm hoping to find a way. If not, I'll crawl back into my hole with my tail between my legs and try not to think about the money!!!
    2) Yes, after reading one of your last comments, I looked at inserting a 1/4 ball valve on the HP side (in place of the 1 1/2" nipple) to prevent gas flow from the "Reserve" side being present on the "Supply" side. It's too large a device. Instead, I ordered another 1/4 check valve that should exactly replace that nipple (1 1/2" length). My hope is that it'll stop the flow from the Reserve Side there. I'm just not sure how the check valve will respond to seeing similar pressure from both sides of the new check valve. My thinking now, is that Reserve Side gas might "augment" Supply side flow, but hopefully slower. As the Supply Side tank empties, it's pressure should reduce (I guess) finally allowing the check valve to close all the way and allow the Supply tank to fully empty. Then the change over occurs as intended. It's likely the Reserve tank will be depleted to a currently unknown level. But if I get the changeover to occur without losing all my gas, I consider it a win, win.
    3) Hopefully, after installing the new regulator, my furnace works!! Which is how this all started.
    4) Maybe you can post a link to that split regulator you found.
    I'll put a mostly empty tank on the Supply side to expedite the test (whenever that happens). And let you know how bad the hangover is when/if it fails!! I sort of know my luck when it comes to things like this!!
    Ken
     
  12. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

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    Is it the Rego 7525?
     
  13. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Just a thought ..... if you tap off the tank line do you really need a high pressure regulator? You don't have a two stage or high and low pressure regulators on a BBQ?
     
  14. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

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    Most BBQs have their own regulator on the hose, but I don't believe the HP stove does.
     
  15. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Yea that's what I found. I just didn't have time right then to verify pressures.

    What do you know about it?

    And can someone refresh my memory on what pressure the outdoor stove needs?
     
  16. ezakoske

    ezakoske Active Member

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    Here are my questions and answers that I got back from Rego 5 years ago (to the day!):

    I have a 2-tank system on my pop-up trailer and with a high-pressure (16psi) outdoor stove and the remaining appliances being low-pressure (11"). What I think the the 7525B may be able to do for me is retain the changeover functionality and insert a T-fitting between the first and second stages to supply the HP stove. The remaining appliances be supplied from the second stage.

    Does this seem like something that would be achievable with the 7525B?

    From:
    Ed Miller [mailto:emiller@regoproducts.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 06, 2015 4:51 AM
    To: ezxxxxxxxx
    Subject: Re: Question about Twin Stage Automatic Changeover Regulators 7525B Series
    Erik,
    There are number of reasons this would not be safe or the proper use of this product. The first stage (auto changeover) portion of the 7525B series regulator does not have an integral relief valve and therefore does not meet NFPA 58 requirements if not connected directly to the second stage portion of the twin stage regulator which does per UL 144. RegO regulators are UL Listed and factory set and checked for proper operation. Any changes or alterations from RegO's factory settings to any RegO Product such as the 7525B series regulators voids the manufactures warranty.

    Is the Automatic Changeover sold separately, by chance? *No it is not, only as a complete assembled unit.*
    Is the high pressure regulator part of the changeover valve, or is it integrated as a 2-stage regulator? *The auto changeover is part of the first stage regulator- the 7526B series is a twin stage regulator.*
    End of reply

    So, it may or may not work, but sounds like it would not be safe to use it with the T-fitting between the first and second stage. I stopped my efforts there and plumbed mine the typical way with a T-fitting between 1 tank and the auto changeover.

    Erik
     
  17. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Sounds to me like it would work perfectly. I find the lack of a relief valve to be of minimal concern. That is just MY opinion of course. The tanks have relief valves built in and a T fitting that would not restrict pressure passing to the relief valve in the 2nd stage. 15psi rather than 16psi for the outdoor stove seems like it's close enough.
     
  18. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Yes their own single stage ....... no high pressure. Every stove needs a regulator. even your house. City gas has it at the meter, large propane at the tank. My Coleman had one for the "high" pressure port on the side of the camper .... and I could use a home or table top BBQ etc but they all needed to have their own regulators.
    Even my BBQ on the deck that the 20 lb tank connect to only has a single stage low pressure regulator. Isn't that the same as connecting it to the camper tank directly?

    I guess what I trying to say is ......... I have only seen campers that have a high pressure port have a separate high pressure regulator along with a 2 stage for the camper equipment ....maybe its some Law or something , but I don't see why.
     
  19. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    I think your set up is just equalizing the gas between the two tanks, eliminating the need for your switching regulator. This will draw down gas equally from both tanks.
     
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  20. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Oddly, my house has no regulator. We are on an old leg of the city system and we only get between 6" to 15" of pressure, depending on the load on the system. They did add a pumping station recently so it seems they now just regulate that pump to 15" max. No regulators on any of the houses.
     

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