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Old 09-12-2015, 04:23 PM   #1
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A Cautionary Tale

While at VHH a few months ago one of my propane tanks wouldn't take propane no matter what tricks they tried. I left it empty and came home. I tried a local supplier with the same results. When I checked getting the OPD replaced, it was almost as much as buying a new tank, so I decided to get a new tank but put off getting one because, hey, the manual says you can remove one tank and operate off of the remaining tank. I took the old tank off and recycled it.

We got ready to go out, so I was bleeding the lines to make sure the fridge would work. After turning on the remaining tank and going inside to light everything and finding it all working I came outside. As I passed the propane tank i smelled gas. On inspection, propane was spewing out of the unused hose.

My switchover valve had failed. So if you ever disconnect one tank, don't assume that your switchover valve is working properly. I put on a new valve and regulator and everything is fine now.

Al
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:51 PM   #2
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Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:52 PM   #3
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Yikes!

Glad you're okay.


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Old 09-12-2015, 08:10 PM   #4
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Yikes indeed!

Not to distract, but where/how did you recycle the old tank? I have a couple of old non-OPD tanks that I need to get rid of and I can't any place to take them????

Thanks for the heads-up.

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Old 09-12-2015, 08:38 PM   #5
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Please excuse my ignorance, but what is VHH and OPD?

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:52 PM   #6
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I would never have thought of that. Thanks for the tip!!

OPD is overfill prevention device

VHH is a mystery to me.

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Old 09-12-2015, 08:55 PM   #7
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VHH--Isn't there a WBCCI campground called something like Virginia Highlands something or other??
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:26 PM   #8
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Yes, Virginia Highlands Haven.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:40 PM   #9
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depending on what size of tanks one has, take them to an exchange place and switch for full ones. Here, they don't inspect the tanks.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:40 PM   #10
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Yes, OPD = Overfill protection device (which can stick and prevent propane from coming out of or going into the tank)
VHH = Virginia Highland Haven Airstream Park ( a really pretty location and nice people)

As to the recycling, the town contracts with the county for recycling pickup in our neighborhood, but in addition there is a guy who drives around and picks up items to take to a local metal recycling plant. I think he got it, but not sure.

Al
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:52 AM   #11
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The OPD handle broke off inside the valve on one of our 30# Worthington tanks. A local gas supply/welding shop refused to guarantee that they could replace it without damage to the aluminum tank threads.

I secured the tank to an Ash tree with a ratcheting cargo strap, heated the threads with the DW's hair dryer, removed the OPD, ordered a replacement valve, installed it and had the tank purged and filled at the local Camping World.
DIY

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Old 09-13-2015, 12:40 PM   #12
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Propane tanks are only certified for 12 years after manufacture. You can have them re-certified, but the certification only last 5 years (wash, rinse, repeat). We had our tanks re-certified, new valves installed and filled for ~$120 8 months ago (#40's). We had this done at an Amerigas distributor in SoCal. Just call ahead and make sure they can perform the work. The switch over valve is on the high pressure side of the system and was never designed to hold back tank pressure. If you need to have work performed on a tank use a spare in its place (or plug one line). The system has to be complete to work correctly.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:02 PM   #13
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Had one acting up on me once, it wouldn't take the refill. The propane dealer picked it up and thumped it down on the ground rather sharply. It knocked the stuck OPD loose and everything then was fine.

I have since done it myself on other tanks, including those that come from the exchange places.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:34 PM   #14
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I bought new valves and had them replaced then recertified at the "LP" dealer. one of the valves tore threads as it came out. LP dealer tried to remove the valve while there was still LP in tank.... I have a friend who is an 'experienced(old) plumber, former Navy Boiler operator... and he fixed the threads and installed new.. no problem..

Our 'new' LP hoses have a 'check valve' built in keeping LP from leaking out of the hose...
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