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Old 12-11-2016, 08:20 AM   #1
JPotts
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Propane Regulator Issue?

Was camping yesterday and had to leave early due to an issue with our propane. I kept hearing the heater try to kick on with the clicking sound over and over which told me perhaps the propane was not working. I checked the tanks and one was empty but the regulator had not auto switched to the other tank like it was supposed to. The other tank was off which was probably the reason so I turned it on and manually switched the lever over to the full tank but still no propane. I then switched the tanks to opposite sides and got propane to flow but I smelled gas upon turning on the tank coming from the regulator as far as I could tell. Uncomfortable with having propane leaking, I turned it all off and packed up as it was going to be cold that night and without heat, I would have an unhappy family by morning. I'm thinking the regulator probably went bad. It looks easy enough to replace. My wife wants to have a professional do it so I dont "blow up". Any thoughts as to the issue, what else I need to check or how easy it is to replace? Gonna do some shopping online to see what I'm in for. Appreciate any help.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:51 AM   #2
Ken / Claudia
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They can fail like anything else but, did it. I do not know your rv background regarding using RV stuff or what year the trailer is. So, Here is what I would have done. Make sure the 2nd tank has full propane. Than Look at the window on the regulator. Red, no propane. Open the tank valve slowly on the tank. Sometime opening it to fast causes a shut down. If still not working than unscrew the tank and double checking to sure it is connected properly and fully. Turn on again slowly and look at the window. Yeah sometimes there is a smell when hooking up a tank. Connect both tanks. and try again. Refill the known empty tank try again. Take the 2nd tank along to check it's level, top it off. I think likely it was a lack of propane or connection with the regulator. But check it out again before buying a new one. Heck take the RV to the propane store or dealer and have someone check it out before buying another regulator.
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Old 12-11-2016, 10:40 AM   #3
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First, to the forum.

From your description of the situation I would doubt that the regulator is bad and suspect the gas smell was from what you were doing.

I would fill the empty tank particularly since you are expecting cold weather and an RV can go through a considerable amount of propane when cold. Completely disconnect the hoses to the tanks. With both tanks full and the valves off connect the hoses to the regulator (note which tank the regulator points to). Make sure the hoses are connected properly (not cross threaded and tight). Open the valve on the tank that the regulator points to. The regulator should turn green, but, I've had them stay red until I actually turned on the stove to get gas flow (usually due to a lot of air in the lines). Once you have gas flow and a green indicator turn the valve on to the 2nd tank. Leave the stove on and SLOWLY turn the regulator arrow to the 2nd tank. It should remain green. Do not turn the knob on the regulator very quickly or you will have indicator issues. I think you will find things will work fine. As a note, I would always leave the 2nd tank valve on in cold weather so the system can switch tanks instead of running out of heat in the middle of the night and trying to make things start again. You don't need to know when a tank runs empty like that.....just look at the regulator regularly.

A regulator can go bad; and I've had one do it, but this sounds more like an operational error.

Hope this might help and you get it fixed.
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:34 PM   #4
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JPotts: With these newer propane tanks that have the OPD valve( overflow protection device), if they are opened to quickly, allowing a lot of propane to flow out quickly, the built in safety device will stop or slow the flow of propane. Whenever opening these valves, it should be done slowly. First , just crack it, then slowly open it to the full position. I was at a cookout and the host couldn't figure out why his grill wasn't coming up to temperature after changing the tank. I shut the valve, waited a minute, then cracked it then opened slowly. Back in business!! Hope this helps!
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:19 PM   #5
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Actually, OPD means Overfill Protection Device, not overflow. Propane tanks can not safely be filled completely, they must have an expansion space. The overflow feature is built into the propane hose pigtails that connect to the tank. There is a spring loaded valve that stays open during normal gas flow, but if a line gets cut, or when opening the tank valve too fast, the valve will close, and there will be gas flow, but not enough to make your heater work. To fix this, you turn off your tank valve, remove the hose from the tank, which allows the spring loaded valve to return to normal, then reconnect to the tank and slowly open the valve.
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:14 PM   #6
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Actually, OPD means Overfill Protection Device, not overflow. Propane tanks can not safely be filled completely, they must have an expansion space. The overflow feature is built into the propane hose pigtails that connect to the tank. There is a spring loaded valve that stays open during normal gas flow, but if a line gets cut, or when opening the tank valve too fast, the valve will close, and there will be gas flow, but not enough to make your heater work. To fix this, you turn off your tank valve, remove the hose from the tank, which allows the spring loaded valve to return to normal, then reconnect to the tank and slowly open the valve.
The next time you have your propane tank filled, before you reconnect it, turn on the valve. No propane will flow from the tank. There is, as you say, a "flow limiter" in the hose to prevent excess flow, there is also a valve in the tank fitting that does the same thing. Additionally, if you have a "tank on each side" of your fifth wheel, you have an auxiliary regulator on the "off side tank" that also has a flow limiter in it, so essentially, there's 4 flow limiter devices on a travel trailer or fifth wheel with "co-joined tanks" and there's 5 flow limiter devices on trailers with tanks on opposing sides of the trailer.
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Old 12-13-2016, 09:23 AM   #7
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Thanks for the correction. I meant to type Overfill protection. not Overflow.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:20 AM   #8
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Sourdough,

When I turn off all of the LP appliances, does the regulator indicator return to red?
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:29 AM   #9
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Sourdough,

When I turn off all of the LP appliances, does the regulator indicator return to red?
No, the appliances won't have anything to do with the regulator turning red (with the exception of using fuel). The indicator turns red when the tank the arrow is pointing to is empty. At that time, SLOWLY turn the arrow to the other tank, turn off the valve on the empty tank, remove it, fill it and replace.

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Old 04-21-2017, 09:52 AM   #10
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Just wondering if anyone has tried one of these.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:44 AM   #11
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I was going by your former post: "Make sure the hoses are connected properly (not cross threaded and tight). Open the valve on the tank that the regulator points to. The regulator should turn green, but, I've had them stay red until I actually turned on the stove to get gas flow (usually due to a lot of air in the lines). Once you have gas flow and a green indicator turn the valve on to the 2nd tank. Leave the stove on and SLOWLY turn the regulator arrow to the 2nd tank. It should remain green."
These are full tanks filled by the dealer at the time of purchase. Next time I get over to the TT I will turn on the water heater and see if it changes.

Thanks for your advice
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WayneM View Post
I was going by your former post: "Make sure the hoses are connected properly (not cross threaded and tight). Open the valve on the tank that the regulator points to. The regulator should turn green, but, I've had them stay red until I actually turned on the stove to get gas flow (usually due to a lot of air in the lines). Once you have gas flow and a green indicator turn the valve on to the 2nd tank. Leave the stove on and SLOWLY turn the regulator arrow to the 2nd tank. It should remain green."
These are full tanks filled by the dealer at the time of purchase. Next time I get over to the TT I will turn on the water heater and see if it changes.

Thanks for your advice

In the original post I was referring to replacing empty tanks after they had been refilled. Your question in the 2nd post was would it show red when you turned the appliances off. To me you were inferring you had working appliances and just turned them off which shouldn't cause your indicator to turn red.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:51 AM   #13
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WayneM, I find the best way to get gas flow is to turn on and light the stove. When leaving the tanks off for awhile sometimes you will get air in the lines that needs to be bled out before things will light or the indicator will change to green. Appliances turned on or off have nothing to do with the indicator.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:25 PM   #14
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WayneM, I find the best way to get gas flow is to turn on and light the stove. When leaving the tanks off for awhile sometimes you will get air in the lines that needs to be bled out before things will light or the indicator will change to green. Appliances turned on or off have nothing to do with the indicator.
One of my standard things to do before a trip is to turn on the propane and then light a couple of burners on my stove.. Bleeds the air out and lets the fridge cycle to propane for the drive...
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:14 PM   #15
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I do the same. Helps on this camper is the stove is right next to the fridge instead of across from it.

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Old 04-23-2017, 04:51 AM   #16
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Great Advice!

Great posts, everyone. I think that propane use is one of the great Rv mysteries for a lot of us. I know that for me the automatic regulator switch over was not explained well at my PDI and I have not found a lot of good information on usage on how to effectively use it. Till now.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:18 AM   #17
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5r: 2016 333MKS, two propane tanks, one on either side of the trailer.

I notice on the side where the mail regulator is located, the connection hose goes from the tank directly into the regulator. On the other side. the hose comes from the tank, THEN goes into a small red colored regulator, then through a pipe, across the front storage then another small hose connects to the main regulator.

Out of curiosity, why does the tank on the far side have a secondary regulator, but the tank at the main regulator itself does not?

Also, since my 5r is set up to be used several days a week, I had a high pressure hose made at my propane supplier, removed one of the hoses from the main regulator (the one coming from the far side) and installed the new hose so I can attach a 25 gallon tank to supply the unit for longer periods. Anyone see any issues?

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Old 04-23-2017, 07:26 AM   #18
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^^^ the second regulator coming from the far side tank. There was a thread on here several months back about this that explained it very well.
http://www.keystoneforums.com/forums...ight=regulator
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:00 AM   #19
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^^^ the second regulator coming from the far side tank. There was a thread on here several months back about this that explained it very well.
http://www.keystoneforums.com/forums...ight=regulator
Cool, thanks for the info. Now with that said, should I have the high pressure hose connected directly to the main regulator (as it is now, hose is about 6 feet long), or should I connect it to the inlet side of the red regulator?
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