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Old 09-05-2015, 06:31 PM   #1
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Propane bleeder valve not working

So this falls under the category of "my bad". Whilst backing into a parking space I seemed to have overestimated the the clearance height of my propane fill. It went into spot fine. While pulling out however the plastic cover caught curb and was sheered off. Tidily though. No damage. Seemed to have just sheared off the rivets. Made my first stop for propane and low and behold the bleeder valve didn't work so they couldn't continue filling. We both looked and there is no visible damage. Looking for ideas? 😕
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:02 PM   #2
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How did they determine that it wasn't working?
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:14 PM   #3
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When they were filling it they opened the bleeder valve (I assume that's what it is called) and nothing came out. This is only the second time I had it filled but the first time it expelled gas.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:28 PM   #4
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I've only seen liquid propane come out mine twice. The other times, they quit when the pump doesn't put any more in. I always wondered about that especially when I've never been able to get the 80% of the rated capacity in.

Sounds like we have the same problem.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:34 PM   #5
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It could have nothing to do with your event. Mine had some debris clogging it up from the factory near the valve on the tank and never worked. Ten minutes at a propane shop and they found the issue and fixed it.
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:08 PM   #6
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Interesting. From what I understand it's not liquid propane that is expelled. It is the gas sitting on top. The fella filling mine said he cannot add to a tank that doesn't bleed out because he will have no way to know its at 80% and that's a no no.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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I could be wrong (wouldn't be the first time) but I thought that was the purpose of the bleed valve was to bleed liquid propane out when the tank was 80% full.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:23 PM   #8
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Every time I've had mine filled, the attendant stopped filling when the bleeder valve started "spitting" drops of liquid propane, which of course immediately vaporized upon contact with the air. At that point the attendant would close the bleeder valve first, then disconnect the fill hose.

According to the tank level gauge inside the van, the propane tank was over 2/3 full but less than completely full at that point, so I assume it was at least close to the maximum 80% full. Sure wish the Interstate had a gauge that measures with more precision than thirds of a tank…
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
I could be wrong (wouldn't be the first time) but I thought that was the purpose of the bleed valve was to bleed liquid propane out when the tank was 80% full.

I think you are correct 73shark. Every time I've had mine filled the tech kept adding propane until the bleed valve was spitting out liquid propane.

The utterly STUPID Airstream design to mount the propane fill that low is a disaster waiting to happen. I'm careful when backing over curbs, but there are road other hazards. I have sheared off the entire cover and the quick-disconnect valve once while slowly driving over some rough pavement off the main road in Arizona. I rolled over a large pot hole and didn't even realize the damage until I stopped that night and tried to use the stove. It wouldn't light. Then I stepped outside and was hit with strong propane odor. The gas leaking out from the sheared off disconnect. I could not use the propane system until I got it repaired. I did a temp fix by disconnecting the line to the valve fitting and capping it off to stop the leak. When I got home I removed the broken piece with a large screw extractor and installed a new quick-disconnect valve. I also had to replace the black plastic cover, which costs about $90 from Airstream.


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Old 09-06-2015, 06:52 AM   #10
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Hmmm. Maybe I dodged a bullet and don't really have a problem. He stopped pumping at about 3 gallons when he opened the bleeder and nothing came out. I think I will try a different propane filling station and see if they think it's a problem.
On the bright side, having knocked the cover off makes access to the ridiculously low positioned fill and switch much easier! I may leave it off.
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Old 09-06-2015, 02:39 PM   #11
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Colette and I flew propane fueled hot air balloons for years and the bleeder valve is your only accurate measure of a full (80%) tank. When liquid starts coming out of the valve, the propane has reached the dip tube. The mechanical gauge is prone to inaccuracy. The bleeder valve is a very simple device and the most likely failure is foreign material block in the small orifice. Just have it repaired and remember to respect the power of propane.
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