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Old 05-26-2014, 07:49 PM   #1
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2010 interstate LPG won't fill despite being empty

My 2010 Interstate LPG won't fill. I only use the propane for the generator. Never really used it till this year. Starting this year it had 11 hrs on the generator and has 2/3 tank full. As we hit 20 hours it went below 1/3 tank and tried to have it filled but only took 4 gallons (still said it was empty). Now up to 40 hours, have tried to have it filled 2 more times and only takes 2 or 3 gallons. Continues to say empty but won't take any more propane. Have taken it to two different propane dealers, neither can fill the tank it seems. Opening bleeder valve doesn't help.

I have read in other forums that you should get about 28 hours on a fill tank of propane in the sprinter. Doing the math I should be empty.

Does the OPD valve go bad on these things? That is the only thing I can think of that would give this problem.
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Old 05-26-2014, 08:38 PM   #2
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There is another possibility; you could have a faulty gauge. Or you could be reading it wrong.

My Interstate holds 14 gallons or so in an 18-gallon tank. That's near enough to 80% as makes no difference. When mine gets down to about 1/3 full on the gauge, that's actually HALF full; it will take between 6 and 7 gallons to fill it back up to 14 gallons.

The only time your gauge will ever show full is if you fill the propane tank in cold weather, and then not use any propane until summertime. Expansion of the propane liquid will bring the gauge far enough above 2/3 full for the "full" light to finally come on.

If you run your generator— and nothing else that uses propane— you should get about 24-28 hours of run time before the generator starves. If you're running anything else WITH the generator, you'll get less run time. If you're running anything else INSTEAD of the generator, you'll be able to go days and days on 14 gallons; the water heater, stove, and furnace together don't use as much propane per hour as does the generator by itself.
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:22 PM   #3
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Yes, I imagine that the tank could be full and the gauge could be wrong. By use I figure I should be near empty. I will have to crawl under and see if I can get to the tank to check the sensors and try to figure out how much propane is in the tank.
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Old 05-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lanzjx2 View Post
Yes, I imagine that the tank could be full and the gauge could be wrong. By use I figure I should be near empty. I will have to crawl under and see if I can get to the tank to check the sensors and try to figure out how much propane is in the tank.
Although it will be a wet experience with you lying under the Interstate to do it, one quick way to determine the actual level in the tank is to run hot water over it. Then feel the tank where it's wet. Above the propane level will feel hot, but areas below the propane level will still feel cool. The water warms the metal, but the propane chills the metal faster than the water can warm it.

It's not an exact measure, but you'll at least be able to estimate the level pretty closely.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:57 PM   #5
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The Rochester gauge sending unit is a plastic clip on. Seems two of the four clips were broken and the gauge didn't seat well. I have ordered a new gauge. Once I splice that in I will see if it was all just a bad sending unit.
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