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Author Topic: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks  (Read 724 times)

lg22woo

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Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« on: November 30, 2017, 08:58:53 PM »
Hi all,

I'm having an issue with my propane regulator and would appreciate any help to avoid more cold nights ;). I think I've narrowed it down to the issue that only some propane tanks will work with the regulator, but I have no idea why or how to fix it.

So, for example, I have two full 20lb tanks right now, same brand and size, that I got from the same place within a week of each other. I connect tank #1 to the right pigtail, open the tank valve VERY slowly, and nothing happens. No little click, no sound of gas, nothing. No gas flow inside. Same exact thing with the left pigtail. I've tried flipping the regulator switch in every combination possible, bleeding the gas lines, waiting before and after connecting....nothing.

Then, I connect tank #2 to either pig tail, and immediately hear the slight hiss of propane and a definitive click from the regulator. The little window turns from red to black right away, and the gas works perfectly inside. Ok, that works as it should. I switch back to tank #1, and again can't get any propane out of it no matter what I do. It really seems like the particular tank is the problem, but I've had this problem with several different tanks.

This issue has been going on for a while, and the only way I've been able to resolve it so far is to bring the non-working, full tank back to the store and exchange it, hoping the new one will work. I always use 20lb tanks, usually Amerigas, that I get from the local Walmart or grocery store. My regulator is a Flame King 2-stage autochangeover regulator that came with 2 pigtails:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IZCNOS0/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

kdbgoat

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2017, 05:57:46 AM »
Yep, sounds like the overfill device has locked up the tank, or the safety valve isn't releasing. I think a tank exchange will fix you up.
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Rene T

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2017, 06:59:37 AM »
Do I understand you correctly when you say it's happened on several tanks?  So when you replace the tank does work?

Oh, and welcome to the forum.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2017, 07:29:18 AM by Rene T »
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2017, 07:27:34 AM »
With the cylinder shut off and disconnected, try dropping it from about 3-4 inches on a hard surface like concrete. That may jar loose a stuck high flow valve. Hook it up and S-L-O-W-L-Y open the service valve. One of my 4 portable cylinders is very sensitive and easily trips the valve if it's not opened very, very slowly, and this is the quick "fix".
Dutch
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Memtb

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 08:05:11 AM »
   I, also will go with the overfill being “stuck” in the closed position! If the “drop” method doesn’t solve the problem, you may have the tank weighed....it could be “truly” overfilled. DISCLAIMER: This answer was provided using the SWAG system!
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Hammster

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2017, 08:13:25 AM »
It sounds like you've tried this with 3 different tanks and have the same problem with all 3? If so, it's not the tank. It's the regulator. I see a couple of reviews of the regulator on Amazon, that you linked to, describing exactly the problem you are experiencing. Get a better regulator I think.
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lg22woo

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2017, 10:28:45 AM »
Thanks for all the input and the welcome!

I have tried the "drop it on concrete method", but it didn't seem to make a difference. I will try again since several of you recommended it - maybe just a little more aggressively.

@kdbgoat, A tank exchange probably will work as it has in the past, but it doesn't fix the underlying problem. Also I'm not a fan of paying $16 to exchange a full tank for a full tank.

@Rene, Yes, you're right. This exact situation has happened multiple times with different tanks. Most of the time when I do get a replacement tank, the replacement works. I don't know if that's luck, coincidence, or something significant.

@Memtb I have a scale that I will use to weigh it. I believe the tanks are ~17lb empty, so should I be looking for 32lb? (Most suppliers only fill 15 lb). Would you consider 37lb overfilled?

@Hammster, That first review on amazon is mine  ;D But you're right, there are several reviews that say that. I'm just not convinced it's the regulator because some tanks work flawlessly. Do you know why that might be the case?



sadixon49

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2017, 11:17:51 AM »
I believe the tanks are ~17lb empty, so should I be looking for 32lb? (Most suppliers only fill 15 lb). Would you consider 37lb overfilled?

No!
The dirty little secret of the LP exchange business is the we can only put 16#, 80%, in a 20# tank. The truth is that 20# tanks are built to hold 20# of LP. In other words they are really 25# tanks.
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lg22woo

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2017, 01:34:59 PM »
In other words they are really 25# tanks.

I didn't follow you on that last sentence. Do you just mean it's safe to put 20# of propane in a 20# tank and still maintain some margin for safety?

kdbgoat

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 01:36:45 PM »
Yes and any place that knows how to correctly fill a propane bottle knows that too.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


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kdbgoat

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I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

lg22woo

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2017, 11:10:28 AM »
Thanks for the link, that was a good read. I've thought about just getting my own, new tanks and getting them refilled. That would probably resolve my issue as long as the new tanks decide to work with my regulator/hoses.

Paul & Ann

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2017, 11:47:08 AM »
Do you have this type of connector to the tank?  If so, I have had these not work on some tanks.
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lg22woo

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 10:08:22 AM »
Paul & Ann,

Yes, I have those exact pigtails. What would you recommend using instead?

Paul & Ann

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2017, 10:21:42 AM »
When the one I had quit working, I just got a new one, and it has been working for about 5 years.  I believe some are better quality than others.

Also, you could get male POL pigtails.  They are more of a pain than the Acme connector, but seem to last forever.

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NY_Dutch

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2017, 10:39:17 AM »
When the one I had quit working, I just got a new one, and it has been working for about 5 years.  I believe some are better quality than others.

Also, you could get male POL pigtails.  They are more of a pain than the Acme connector, but seem to last forever.


And if you get pigtails with soft POL's and a plastic hand wheel, you still won't need any tools to change tanks. Soft POL's have an O-ring on the nose.

http://propanegear.com/mr-heater-20-pigtail-excess-flow-soft-nose-pol-x-1-4-male-invflare/

http://propanegear.com/pol-handwheel/
Dutch
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lg22woo

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2017, 09:55:29 PM »
When the one I had quit working, I just got a new one, and it has been working for about 5 years.  I believe some are better quality than others.

Also, you could get male POL pigtails.  They are more of a pain than the Acme connector, but seem to last forever.

And if you get pigtails with soft POL's and a plastic hand wheel, you still won't need any tools to change tanks. Soft POL's have an O-ring on the nose.

http://propanegear.com/mr-heater-20-pigtail-excess-flow-soft-nose-pol-x-1-4-male-invflare/

http://propanegear.com/pol-handwheel/

Thanks for the tip! Just ordered a pair of soft POLs and hand wheels. Hopefully that solves it. I'll report back here when I find out.

lg22woo

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2018, 11:55:13 AM »
Just in case anyone was waiting to hear how this turned out, I installed a new regulator (the same Flame King one I had before, but new) and the new male soft-nose POL pigtails with hoses. This seems to have solved two problems:

1) The one this thread was about - so far I can reliably get propane out of every tank I've tried.

2) Before this new hardware, I was having trouble getting adequate propane pressure at low temperatures (<15 deg F). Now, it seems to be working without a problem!

I think that the male soft-nose POLs just make a better and more reliable seal, giving higher vapor pressure coming out of the tanks.

msw3113

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Re: Propane Regulator Only Works with Some Tanks
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2018, 06:20:55 PM »
Good news.  I need to replace the pigtails on our unit this spring, now I know which I'll purchase.  Thanks for the report!
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