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 > Propane Regulator Frozen?

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rrunner

Chilliwack, BC Canada

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Posted: 01/06/18 12:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had some rather cold weather here recently (below freezing)and when I went to check the RV furnace it wouldn't fire. I checked the regulator and the gauge of green/red triangles was showing indicating no fuel. My tanks had propane so I took them inside for a couple of days but same result. I poured boiling water over the regulator but again nothing. Stove won't work either. Nothing is getting past the regulator ! Any suggestions?

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* This post was edited 01/06/18 01:16pm by an administrator/moderator *

GordonThree

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Posted: 01/06/18 01:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Location?

I've read on these forums that fuelers in southern states cheat and fill cylinders with inferior butane instead of actual propane. Butane turns liquid at -1c, which can be trouble in cold weather.

Try pouring some cold water on the regulator.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 01/06/18 02:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the regulator is more than five years old... just get a new one.

https://www.amazon.com/Cavagna-890-0006C-Auto-Changeover-Regulator

May as well get new pigtails too.


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rrunner

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Posted: 01/06/18 02:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry for posting originally in the wrong section.

DutchmenSport

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Posted: 01/06/18 02:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Last winter I was blow apart at the suggestion that an RV regulator could freeze up in extreme cold, as I've seen home (city) gas lines between the gas meter and the house freeze several times in my lifetime (the regulator). So ya, I still stand by my own experiences. It could be frozen, especially if there was water vapor in the mix. Get an electric heating pad and wrap it around the regulator and let it warm up. See if that helps.


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rrunner

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Posted: 01/06/18 03:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I know some regulators can freeze up as we had some vehicles that were propane powered and at times in the winter we had to pour hot water over the regulator.

I NOW have a happy ending to my problem. I had a suggestion that I remove the tank and tap it on the ground as a check valve ball may have been sticking and then open the valve slowly. I just went out and removed my tank then banged it twice on the driveway. I replaced the tank in the RV, hooked up my pig tail, I then opened the valve slowly to make the regulator think I didn't have a broken line and the site glass on the regulator turned green. I then lite my stove top and furnace and all is well again.

dougrainer

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Posted: 01/06/18 03:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GordonThree wrote:

Location?

I've read on these forums that fuelers in southern states cheat and fill cylinders with inferior butane instead of actual propane. Butane turns liquid at -1c, which can be trouble in cold weather.

Try pouring some cold water on the regulator.


Nobody sells Butane for RV Tanks or ASME tanks in the USA. Butane is available in Mexico. Doug

Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 01/06/18 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rrunner wrote:

I know some regulators can freeze up as we had some vehicles that were propane powered and at times in the winter we had to pour hot water over the regulator.

I NOW have a happy ending to my problem. I had a suggestion that I remove the tank and tap it on the ground as a check valve ball may have been sticking and then open the valve slowly. I just went out and removed my tank then banged it twice on the driveway. I replaced the tank in the RV, hooked up my pig tail, I then opened the valve slowly to make the regulator think I didn't have a broken line and the site glass on the regulator turned green. I then lite my stove top and furnace and all is well again.


Next time.....just close cylinder service valve. Wait 30 seconds then slowly open service valve

That 'check valve'----it is inside that Big Green ACME Nut on the pigtail hose
Called an 'Excess Flow Device'......ball bearing that is held in center position (open) via spring. When you open service valve the ball bearing moves away from inlet (towards RV) limiting the flow of propane until the downstream system pressure equalizes with the inlet pressure then spring pushes ball bearing back to full open position

Opening service valve to fast 'trips' ball bearing due to sudden inrush of propane (high flow)

[image]



Banging cylinder on ground just dents bottom platform of cylinder.
Has no affect on correcting flow issue.

OPD Valve (Overfill Protection Device)has several components
*Float device that 'stops' filling with liquid propane at 80% level
(Stops 'Liquid' IN but has no affect on 'Vapor' flowing OUT)
*Pressure Relief Valve (Opens if pressure exceeds 300 psi)
*Spring loaded shut off valve .....will not allow vapor to flow out of cylinder IF ACME Nut/pigtail hose is NOT connected or if High temp melts the thermal bushing in ACME Nut.
*Liquid Level Fixed Gauge Valve (Bleeder Valve)

(None of which will stop vapor flow and be corrected by banging cylinder on ground)

Just valving out cylinders....making sure no propane appliances are ON/no leaks..then valving in OPD slowly would have corrected your flow issue.


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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wa8yxm

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Posted: 01/06/18 05:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First a very good job of symptom posting.> Thank you, YOu have identified a list of only 2 suspects this is great.

KEY FACT: Red/Green indicator in the RED (this is before the Regulator), By posting that one fact you have cleared the regulator and that follows it, ,

On Modern ACME tanks (they have external right hand threads) there is a valve that must be depressed. Kind of like a valve stem valve in a tire to releast propane to the regulator. IT IS possible the cold has "Contracted" the connector enough to close that valve.. Make sure the connetions are tight.

ODDS of this being the problem.... Very low

Best suspect: The tanks were filled in the SOUTH and the crooked dealer told you he was putting in Propane, and billed you for PROPANE but actually used the less expensive BUTANE which will not vaporise when water freezes.. He pocketed the "Savings" which is why he is crooked.

Have it checked by a pro.> I'm betting on Butane in the tanks


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GordonThree

Northern Michigan

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Posted: 01/06/18 05:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wa8yxm wrote:



Best suspect: The tanks were filled in the SOUTH and the crooked dealer told you he was putting in Propane, and billed you for PROPANE but actually used the less expensive BUTANE which will not vaporise when water freezes.. He pocketed the "Savings" which is why he is crooked.

Have it checked by a pro.> I'm betting on Butane in the tanks


According to Doug this never happens outside Mexico.

The OP considers his location classified information.

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