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Author Topic: Propane valve ruined by attendant not releasing pressure relief at beginning  (Read 920 times)

whidbey2

  • Posts: 2
A new very young attendant did not release pressure prior to filling our 1988 Winnebago Itaska fixed propane tank.  My husband asked him to right at the beginning. 

3 hours later and fire chief in attendance, they poured hot water over the frozen valve, to allow release, after calling for the 2nd time to the propane supplier in another city on a Saturday.

The first time we were told to come 'push' the RV away from the filling tank!  .... (it was still hooked up to the fill tank)  not funny.

Now we've ordered a new tank and are having to have a major RV sales / car and truck service dealer (not Camping World) put the 31 foot rig up, and remove the tank for us.  Not sure what that will cost, but we cannot find any 5 ton jacks to borrow to do it ourselves. 

Bottle jack would not lift this 11k pound Itaska high enough to get under there to undo the bolts.  And we cannot find anyone will 5 ton jacks we could use.  Suggestions welcome.

Then we need a new bracket welded separately to safely bolt the new tank with different bracket configurations to the rig. 

Then back to the dealer to have them lift it up and attach the new tank.  $$$$  (well defined $ drain in every RV and Boat right?)

So this is a major warning.  In the past the attendants at that location knew what they were doing - just not this time.

Next time we fill it will be at Cenex /Country Store and never where the attendants are "often new" on the job.

They blamed it on a faulty valve ... this time.  No recourse, just a fools errand on our part.

Isaac-1

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  • Posts: 3455
Consider adding a stack on valve adapter such as a Marshall Excelsisor ME574  (or similar ME570 or ME572)to help prevent repeats of this problem.  https://www.marshallexcelsior.com/1-34-f-acme-x-1-34-m-acme-filler-body-swivel-vent-valve  I paid about $45 for mine a few years ago.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 10:36:25 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

PJ Stough

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  • Posts: 1960
I am not sure what you mean by "did not release pressure", and I am not sure what was the result.

Thanks in advance for a little more explanation.
PJ Stough   Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”--- Voltaire

darsben

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  • Retired seeing the USA
How would that ruin the tank?
The valve maybe but not the tank!
1990 Fleetwood Southwind on P30 chassis located in
Central NY in summer and beautiful Casa Grande AZ in winter

Isaac-1

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  • Posts: 3455
Some tanks from that era use a no longer manufactured style of tank valve, which may explain why this destroyed the tank.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

NY_Dutch

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  • Home is where our wheels are!
If by "did not release pressure" you mean opening the little "spitter valve", that's not a pressure release at all. It's technical name is the "Fixed liquid level gauge", and it's only purpose is to give a positive indication that the tank is filled to the maximum 80% level. Even if it's not opened, there's an OPD (Overfill Prevention Device) inside the tank that cuts off the fill flow at about the same level. Can you explain a bit more as to just what was frozen and what problems it caused?
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

whidbey2

  • Posts: 2
Issac 2 is correct - It is the valve/float valve that was damaged enough to begin leaking,  and there are no more available.  Further, Winnebago and all other manufacturers do not have replacements for the valve that will fit the specific and unusual shaped opening.  This style of tank and valve was discontinued in MHs by Winnebago the next year. 
The problem is the fill valve and float valve gasketing system was damaged, whatever the specific names are.
Thanks. 
 

Ray,IN

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  • Posts: 107
What manufacturer manufactured your ASME tank? Winnebago used Bruner Engineering tanks for many years (bought by Manchester Tank), mine is one. The actual fill valve may be purchased by a LP dealer, provided they are willing to work with you. The square tank adapter with the round threaded hole for the fill valve is unavailable, you must take the old part/pieces to a machine shop and request they make you a new adapter. The original is cast iron, the new one will be machined from steel.
I had that done in 2018 by my LP provider/dealer. My cost was $53 for fill valve, $200 for making adapter fitting.
Following is my opinion;
As to the LP dealer messing up your fill valve by a new  employee, I would press the issue, ask to see the license and training certificate for that employee. If it is not presented, my next action would be small claims court. Replacing the OEM tank is going to be expensive and the work should be performed by a licensed LP repair person to satisfy your insurance co.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 11:51:15 PM by Ray,IN »
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis.  USA 1SG, retired, Good Sam Life member.
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy Jan. 20,1961

John From Detroit

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Harbor freight sells 12 ton air/hydraulc jack jacks. I have one. every tire guy I've ever dealt with save one had one. that one used mine. (I kid you not)

However I will say this.  The kid did not damage the valve by failign to open the "pressure release" because there is no pressure release valve... The valve is called the "Visual Overfill Indicator Valve" it is not a pressure release valve. it does not let air out of the tank and even if it did air can be compressed. it vents either gas (Invisible) or liquid) Also invisible but with liquids propane comes out of the valve at about -40 degrees the water vapor in the air condenses into a cloud which is visible hence the name "Visible overfill indicator valve".  But it is NOT a pressure release.

The kid may have overfilled the tank

or when you opened the valve to supply propane to the house you may have opened it too fast and set the overflow preventer.. Others will explain that. But there is no pressure relief valve.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Henry J Fate

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A bottle jack with jack stands and some blocks of wood will allow you to jack up the coach in steps to get it higher than the bottle jack by itself. Walmart sells adequate jack stands and bottle Jacks. Home depot will cut lengths of wood in pieces for free.

You will also need something to support the tank as it is quite heavy and will need to remove mounting hardware which is probably rusted or corroded.

Gary RV_Wizard

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ASME spec fixed LP tanks have had built-in OPD protection since 1984, so your basic premise is incorrect.  The float valve in an ASME tank is supposed to shut off the inlet and prevent major overfilling (beyond 80%).   

Tank pressure doesn't get excessively high during fill - it's just pumping in liquid propane to the normal pressures of a full (actually 80% full) tank.  Without the "spitter" valve open, there probably was some ice-cold liquid propane backing up into the filler and froze it. I don't see why that would cause permanent damage, but it is a 32 year-old tank!  It's possible the float valve OPD mechanism was already failed.
As already noted by others, the spitter valve isn't designed as a pressure relief - it's basically an indicator to let you know when liquid has reached the 80% level so you can shut off the pump before the internal PD does it for you.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 11:38:39 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

garyb1st

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We had a leak in our propane tank repaired 18 months ago.  Unfortunately it didn't hold.  The cost to drop the tank and repair about $500.00.  Not sure what I'm going to do next.  The leak is where the threads to the propane level sending unit screws into the side of the tank.  It's a very small leak but visible upon close inspection.  Based on the number of regulators replaced by previous owners, I'd say it was leaking since new. 

Considering a new tank at this time.  Not cheap but I don't really want to spend another $500.00 for a temporary fix. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Ray,IN

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Garyb1st, do you think it would be worth the time to mix up some JB Weld and let it run into the crack. You may have to clean out the threads some after it fully hardens.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis.  USA 1SG, retired, Good Sam Life member.
"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country." John F. Kennedy Jan. 20,1961

garyb1st

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Garyb1st, do you think it would be worth the time to mix up some JB Weld and let it run into the crack. You may have to clean out the threads some after it fully hardens.

Don't know if it would work.  Maybe when the tank is empty.  For now, I'm going to enjoy Quartzsite and take it back to the service center when we return.  They agreed to fix it. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

grashley

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  • Western KY for now.
We had a leak in our propane tank repaired 18 months ago.  Unfortunately it didn't hold.  The cost to drop the tank and repair about $500.00.  Not sure what I'm going to do next.  The leak is where the threads to the propane level sending unit screws into the side of the tank.  It's a very small leak but visible upon close inspection.  Based on the number of regulators replaced by previous owners, I'd say it was leaking since new. 

Considering a new tank at this time.  Not cheap but I don't really want to spend another $500.00 for a temporary fix.

Flex Seal fixes ANYTHING  ;D  :D
Preacher Gordon, DW Debbie
09 Grand Junction 35 TMS  Progressive HW50C
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It's not a dumb question if you do not know the answer.

garyb1st

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Flex Seal fixes ANYTHING  ;D  :D

Thanks for the suggestion Gordon but, Flex Seal Site says "We do not recommend using Flex Seal Liquid® to seal a gasoline tank or any in contact with other flammable liquids." 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

John From Detroit

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The pressure inside that tank is .. rather high.  Flex Seal will not hold under that kind of pressure.  I would not trust ANY chemical or tape under those conditions save perhaps brass. Liquid brass and I'd not want to make Brass liquid anywhere near a propane leak. 

professional repair if leaking.. and don't be close while they do it.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

garyb1st

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professional repair if leaking.. and don't be close while they do it.

The service center that repaired the leak is going to tighten the float plug bolt that screws into the tank.  I'm going to use as much of the propane as possible before bringing it in.  I'll take your advice and not wait around when they do it.   ;)
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.