I was told I need an OPD valve

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james 14

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I just moved into a park a few months ago and when they recently filled my tank they said they wouldn't fill it anymore without an OPD valve. So I asked about it and thought maybe I'd change the valve myself instead of buying new tanks. Is this difficult to do?
 

jerryarlyne

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Not to hard if you have a way to hold the tank while you put a wrench on the valve. But you will need to have the tank "purged" before they will fill it. That means having them run propane through the tank until all air is "purged". For this they do charge you for the labor and for the propane used. I was told it took 12 Gals. to purge my 5 Gal. tank. Don't know if I was taken or not  :-\  but that's what I had to do.

Jerry
 

blueblood

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jerryarlyne said:
Not to hard if you have a way to hold the tank while you put a wrench on the valve. But you will need to have the tank "purged" before they will fill it. That means having them run propane through the tank until all air is "purged". For this they do charge you for the labor and for the propane used. I was told it took 12 Gals. to purge my 5 Gal. tank. Don't know if I was taken or not  :-\  but that's what I had to do.

Jerry

You bring up an old question I have had on my mind. A manufacturers web site has a Note that says that when changing the valve or in requalifying a tank it is not necessary to purge the tank. I have never seen a good explanantion, despite some intensive search as to the exact reason for the purge. I believe it is related to cleaning the tank's internal surfaces of any dirt that may have been there during manufacture so that it doesn't accumulate and plug valves and for coating the tank with the "oils" of the LPG to prevent mositure corrossion which could lead to formation of sulphric acid and rust the tank from inside. If so, then it would make sense that it wouldn't be necessary to re-purge the tank if one had to remove the valve to either replace or requalify the tank. Hope there's a guru on here that can add something to this.
 

IowaCamper

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I just took my old tanks to Wal-mart and signed up for their tank exchange and swapped my two old ones for two brand new ones.  Only problem now is that others probably won't fill these for me so i'm probably stuck swapping at Wal-Mart.  But that shouldn't be a big problem, afterall isn't there a Wal-Mart on every corner?

Regards,

John
 

jerryarlyne

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>>If so, then it would make sense that it wouldn't be necessary to re-purge the tank if one had to remove the valve to either replace or requalify the tank. Hope there's a guru on here that can add something to this.<<

I was told the reason for purging was to remove all air from the tank. Don't know if that is correct or not but they would not fill the tank until it was purged.

 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Purging indeed removes air from the tank and is necessary anytime the tank has been opened up so that the residual LPG escapes and air flows in.  Replacing the fill valve probablyly qualifies on that score, though the heavy LPG will sitin the bottom of the tank if you are careful.

See what a local shop charges to replace the valve - in some areas it is not expensive while in others it is outrageous (perhaps due to liability insurance costs?).

It should be easy enough to do yourself but I don't know if there is any specal technique for getting a proper seal at the top when the new valve is threaded in, e.g. a special thread sealer or care of a gasket.  I've never done it myself.  If your tank is that old, maybe it is worthwhile to replace it anyway.  They aren't real expensive in the 20# and 30# sizes.
 

John From Detroit

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One factor to consider which the previous poster brought up is the age of the tank.  He is right when he said "If the tank is that old"

There is a date stamped on the tank, I do not recall if it's "in the clear" or if it's encoded,  It is the date of the tank's last certification.

So many years after the tank's last certification... They won't (or should not) refill the tank any more.  I have 4 or 5 small tanks here from older campers and such, ALL of them are past the expriation date and can not be refilled w/o recertification.    (Since I'll not be refilling them anyway this is not an issue, 2 of them are empty now, when they finally run out completly they will be replaced)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The first re-certification on a DOT-type portable tank is just a visual inspection and usually only costs a couple dollars.  If I remember correctly, the first recertify on pre-OPD tanks takes place at something like 13 years of age.  The recertify interval is shorter on new tanks - 10 years, I think.

The month and year of manufacture are stamped on the tank handle in the clear.
 

John From Detroit

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RV Roamer said:
The first re-certification on a DOT-type portable tank is just a visual inspection and usually only costs a couple dollars.  If I remember correctly, the first recertify on pre-OPD tanks takes place at something like 13 years of age.  The recertify interval is shorter on new tanks - 10 years, I think.

The month and year of manufacture are stamped on the tank handle in the clear.

Thanks, I have at least 5 tanks here, 2 of them I've had for about 20 years and they were not new when I bought the cmaper, two more.... I've had for about 8 years, likewise, the remaint (5lb) tank I did indeed buy new, many years ago.  All are POI

I'll be simply replacing them as I move up to the Class A from my polystryene bubble
 

james 14

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The trailer is a 97 so I would assume the tanks were made sometime around then. The prices I have seen on new 30# tanks is somewhere in the 50-60 dollar range so I figure a new valve shouldn't cost that much.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The cost of a new valve for a 20# tank is around $16-$20 but installation runs anywhere from $5-$50, from what I've heard reported.  If a "handyman" simply charges for the half hour or so it takes, then the labor chage will be low. If an LPG service facility charges its standard shop labor rate for 0.5-0.7 hours, then it will likely be in the $30-$50 range.

I don't know if valves for a 30# tank cost a lot more or not.  They are a different size than the 20# model and may not be as widely available. Search for online sources - the valves were available there last time I checked.
 

james 14

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Thanks for the help. I bought the valves the other day for 25 a piece. So far it's been an experience trying to get the old valves off. I don't think it's something I can do by myself without ratchet strap to hold the tank to a tree. Even still I think I am going to have to spray some penetrating lube to help losen things up.
 

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