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Old 01-02-2008, 05:41 AM   #1
dennisl
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Propane question

Just this morning I went out to fire up the furnace on my Mountaineer and let it warm up inside for a while. I let it run for a while, and when I went back to check on it, the furnace was spitting and sputtering, apparently out of propane. I then switched tanks and turned on the gas, but the red indicator was still on for the supposedly full tank. Does it take a while for the indicator to turn green, or should it do so immediately?
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:18 AM   #2
ols1932
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Should flip to green right away, if the other tank is full. However, some of the regulators have been known to react a little slow. Our original regulator never did seem to drop the red flag fully when a tank was empty so I learned from that to switch whenever I saw any red showing. Then eventually the regulator began to leak around the lever. When I replaced it, the new one drops the red flag completely when the tank is empty and the green flag displays immediately when the lever is switched.

Orv
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:19 AM   #3
Jim Jarvis
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Try this. Close the valve, disconnect and then screw the hose back on to the tank. Then very slowly crack open the tank valve and you should hear the propane start to flow. Remember to open the valve very slowly.
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:38 AM   #4
Pete Hanson
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My experience has been that the green flag shows immediately when the regulator lever points to the full tank. You may all ready know that these regulators will automatically switch the feed from the empty tank to the full tank if both tanks are left on. The lever simply points to the tank currently showing green (full) or red (empty).
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Old 01-02-2008, 06:40 AM   #5
HamRad
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It should change fairly quickly but it does take mine a minute or so to go from red to green. If I have trouble with the furnace I usually light one or two burners on the stove for a few minutes to make sure the propane is flowing like it should.

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Old 01-02-2008, 06:42 AM   #6
VanMan
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To simplify what Pete just said - if BOTH tank valves are OPEN, then the regulator will AUTOMATCALLY switch over, so it's quite possible (and VERY easy to allow) that you are out of propane in BOTH tanks.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:02 AM   #7
MacDR50
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Jim's advice is good. All newer propane tanks have an excess flow check valve. It;s purpose is to shut-off the flow of gas if a line break etc causes a free flow. If you had the tanks closed and opened one quickly to an empty or near empty system the gas flows fast enough to move the check valve to the closed position. Propane tanks have to be opened slowly until the system is pressurized.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:32 AM   #8
buschet1
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Roger,
There you go!!! I've learned something new again from the forum. I never knew about opening the propane tank valves slowly. That explains a lot of strange happenings at set up. Thanks
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Old 01-02-2008, 08:09 AM   #9
dennisl
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MacDR50

Jim's advice is good. All newer propane tanks have an excess flow check valve. It;s purpose is to shut-off the flow of gas if a line break etc causes a free flow. If you had the tanks closed and opened one quickly to an empty or near empty system the gas flows fast enough to move the check valve to the closed position. Propane tanks have to be opened slowly until the system is pressurized.
As usual, great advice on this forum. Disconnecting and turning on SLOWLY did the trick. Thanks for all the replies and information. Happy New Year to all!
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:09 AM   #10
Jim Jarvis
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dennisl

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MacDR50

Jim's advice is good. All newer propane tanks have an excess flow check valve. It;s purpose is to shut-off the flow of gas if a line break etc causes a free flow. If you had the tanks closed and opened one quickly to an empty or near empty system the gas flows fast enough to move the check valve to the closed position. Propane tanks have to be opened slowly until the system is pressurized.
As usual, great advice on this forum. Disconnecting and turning on SLOWLY did the trick. Thanks for all the replies and information. Happy New Year to all!
Glad it worked out for you dennis. I've had the problem trying to run my Genset and furnace together and I thought it just might help you. MacDR50 gave a good explanation of why it happens.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:56 AM   #11
Charlie
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Check your supply system. It's possible you have oil in the piping or in the regulator. Sure hope this is not your problem.
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:05 AM   #12
genecurp
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I had a similar problem. It turned out I had failed to fully screw on the fitting onto the top of the tank. The tank valve was open but the hose not connected enough to allow a flow of gas.

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Old 01-05-2008, 01:46 PM   #13
sreigle
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Earlier comments begs the question - if you trip the excess flow valve, propane will not flow. What is the "proper" or "correct" way to reset that valve? I've heard you have to have a professional do it but I've twice been successful by turning the tank upside down two or three times and beating on the tank while doing so. Maybe I just got lucky?

this was back before Keystone started putting that troublesome little read regulator on the off-regulator side to keep that valve from being tripped. But that red regulator is troublesome and I think mine is currently having problems. It's gonna come out of there one of these days.
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #14
skypilot
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Steve: I've 'tripped' that high-flow switch a couple of times in the past year -- I've been able to get going again by shutting the tank off and then letting it sit about an hour before I try it again. Has worked every time since last Spring -- local Farm Coop on Hw 24 told me about doing it that way. (Before that I was taking the tank out and actually laying it on its side for a few minutes -- told to absolutely not do that anymore!!).
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:00 PM   #15
sreigle
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Thanks, Skypilot. I like your method better than mine. And I have been by that particular Farmers Co-op many times.
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:43 PM   #16
Jim Jarvis
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I've tripped that switch quite a few times. Just disconnect the hose, reconnect, open the tank valve very slowly and your good to go again. No need to wait an hour.
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:12 AM   #17
mtheo
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I had the same problem resently, just need be sure to open slowly. I only had to shut it off, I then bleed off presure and open slowly after reconnecting. Solved the problem.
Question, can the switch over valve trip the high flowswitch when it trips?
Mark
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:08 PM   #18
sreigle
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by mtheo


Question, can the switch over valve trip the high flowswitch when it trips?
Mark
I wouldn't think so unless there's a big leak downstream of the regulator. When you opened the valve on the offside tank it should have pressurized the lines from there to the regulator at that time.
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:15 PM   #19
exav8tr
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I thought I had the same problem with my crossover valve. One tank would empty, furnace shut off, but other tank still had gas. This time I opened both tanks very slowly and ran the furnace for the last two weeks. Well, last night we ran out of propane in both tanks (which was ok as I was checking operation of crossover valve). Nothing wrong with valve, worked fine. Turning tanks on slowly did the trick. Now I am on one tank with H2O heater, fridge and furnace running on gas only (of course, furnace has no option). Prior to going to Q to boondock, I want to see how long I can go on one tank of propane while using only gas on these appliances. This way I will know what my gas consumption is.....
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Old 01-12-2008, 02:55 PM   #20
sreigle
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Phil, it will depend on how much the furnace runs. For the past month we've run those same appliances on gas. This past week the furnace ran some but not a lot. Because of the schedule for filling propane in this park I took the tank in exactly one week after I switched to that tank. It took 4.3 gallons. The tank holds 7.2 gallons.

Earlier that same month we had a spell with daily highs in the 40's and lows from 19 to 25. We were running mostly the furnace and very little electric heat. One tank lasted three days. That's when we started using the electric heat more. We pay for electricity here.
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