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Old 08-22-2012, 10:49 PM   #15
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Ventport: I guess you missed the humor in my comment.
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:10 PM   #16
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Actually, what I've found when filling cylinders is that the pressure-sensitive pump I use will operate only very slowly for some cylinders, especially in the summertime. When I check those cylinders for pressure, I find that those that won't allow the pump to operate normally have tremendous pressure build-up inside.

In one fairly extreme instance, some folks staying over in Eagle Nest in July brought by their recently filled cylinders from their brand-new rig, saying that they couldn't get them to run the stovetop or anything else at all. I weighed the cylinders, determined that they were indeed fairly full, but then cracked one of the cylinders and found it to be VERY pressurized. No way would one have been able to pump any more propane into them. I simply released some of the pressure and sent them on their way. Happy campers.
In this example I suspect the "recently filled cylinders from their brand-new rig" did have air in them as a result of the new cylinders not being properly purged when they were initially filled. This is a Bad Thing.

See, for example, http://propane.tx.gov/training/custo...g-bulletin.pdf .

It would be handy to have a gauge showing the gas pressure at the inlet to the regulator. This should be the vapor pressure of the LP gas at the tank temperature, no more and no less. If it's higher then there might be something else in the tank.

Have you tried just venting a little gas out of your tanks like you did theirs? Might solve the problem.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:27 AM   #17
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I plan to check for some excess pressure when back in Angel Fire, a more controlled environment. When you open a valve, you do get vapor, and it's not undangerous if variables are not controlled. Here in Santa Fe I'm unable to control nearby variables.

The link you sent is a handy one. It also illustrates the funky location of the propane safety business across states. In Texas, it's the railroad commission. Duh. In NM, it's the construction industries division. Duh. Now the big surprise. In AZ, it's the ... ah, woops, ain't none. Duh.

As far as air in cylinders is concerned, I suspect it happens a lot. Lots of folks wind up leaving valves open for extended periods after the cylinder is "empty" (won't run appliances); lack of purging is common (though the modern pre-purged tanks sure help).


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Old 08-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #18
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I plan to check for some excess pressure when back in Angel Fire, a more controlled environment. When you open a valve, you do get vapor, and it's not undangerous if variables are not controlled. Here in Santa Fe I'm unable to control nearby variables.
"Nearby variables?" You mean like your neighbor lighting his grill just as you vent a little propane? Well, yeah, you might have a point. . .

Quote:
The link you sent is a handy one. It also illustrates the funky location of the propane safety business across states. In Texas, it's the railroad commission. Duh. In NM, it's the construction industries division. Duh. Now the big surprise. In AZ, it's the ... ah, woops, ain't none. Duh.
The whole business is covered by DOT regulations, 18 United States Code something-or-other* , 50 different state laws, and God only knows how many local laws. And, the law is interpreted by the guy who is going to fill your tank, who knows what somebody told him, who in turn knows what somebody else told him, so there's a lot of variation. . .

* The actual USC reference is cited somewhere here on the forums. . . I looked it up once and even bookmarked it, but can't find it right at the moment. The federal law is undecipherable by nonspecialists, anyway.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:23 PM   #19
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"Nearby variables?" You mean like your neighbor lighting his grill just as you vent a little propane? Well, yeah, you might have a point. . .
Precisely!

Quote:
The whole business is covered by DOT regulations, 18 United States Code something-or-other* , 50 different state laws, and God only knows how many local laws. And, the law is interpreted by the guy who is going to fill your tank, who knows what somebody told him, who in turn knows what somebody else told him, so there's a lot of variation. . .
Here's a page that has links to some of this stuff. Note that it basically involves transportation and hazmat; not a lot there on, e.g., filling.
Regulatory Affairs - National Propane Gas Association

A couple of years ago, I was dreaming about selling myself (and my NM filler's license, if possible) to some park or another in the desert, away from the white-out blizzard conditions of Angel Fire in the winter. What I was trying to determine was whether AZ and NM might have some kind of reciprocal agreement on licenses so that I could simply look for someplace down there without having to apply for an AZ filler's license. And I looked and looked and looked ... and finally decided I'd simply email whatever agency might be involved and ask. And I looked and looked and looked and couldn't find any such agency. So finally I wrote an email to the AZ propane dealers association. The person there wrote back to explain that there is no license in AZ.

So maybe I should not have wondered about my elderly dad's tale of the old fellow near Quartzsite who had the best price on propane. The best price, I guess, was based on the fact that the old guy would fill bottles with a lighted cigarette in his mouth.


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Old 08-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #20
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...

So maybe I should not have wondered about my elderly dad's tale of the old fellow near Quartzsite who had the best price on propane. The best price, I guess, was based on the fact that the old guy would fill bottles with a lighted cigarette in his mouth.


Lynn
And my guess is that if you could go back in time and ask him why he did such a dangerous thing, his answer would be something on the order of "Well, I ain't blowed up yet!"

He was probably a cousin of my grandfather who fixed and rigged all sorts of things with rubber bands and string. He was already a creature of habit by the time duct tape came into wide use or he might have changed his technique.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #21
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LMAO, but on the mark !
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:28 PM   #22
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update

Thought I'd give an update on the curious issue I had with the propane while in Santa Fe:

1. It was not overpressured vapor. I was able to check that while the Airstream was still in Santa Fe. (Brought a cylinder back here with me on one of my weekend visits home and tested it.) So much for that idea.

2. Thinking that it was a problem with expanding residue of refining (stretched over 45 years) in the main trunk line under the trailer, I bought new copper line while still in Santa Fe and completed the replacement a couple of days ago here. I did discover a significant pool of dirty oil residue toward the front of the rig in a low spot of the old line. Did the replacement successfully deal with the problem? I think so, but can't be sure because, well, fall fell on us. (Recall that the problem appeared only during afternoon "hot" weather, highs in the 80s. Ain't going to recreate that until next summer here!)

3. The fridge problem, which appeared some weeks before the other propane issues above, involved failure to cool on propane, yet excellent performance on electricity. Once the new trunk line was installed, I turned the fridge to propane and checked it again this morning. It did not cool lower than ambient temperature in neither main compartment nor freezer. This morning, I took out the burner unit and blew it out with compressed air. Reinstalled, restarted, put the ice tray into the freezer, and checked it again a few minutes ago: Frozen solid ice. Fixed!


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Old 09-12-2012, 08:02 PM   #23
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I did discover a significant pool of dirty oil residue toward the front of the rig in a low spot of the old line.
That's the ethyl mercaptan, the stinky junk they put in LP gas so you smell it when there is a leak.
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Old 09-12-2012, 09:25 PM   #24
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Ok, not a residue, but the additive, falling out of suspension over time. It would be interesting to know some of the physical properties of ethyl mercaptan, specifically whether it expands with heat between, say, 70 and 85 degrees F. Do you know any sources to look this up? (It would be nice to get a feel for whether I've fixed the problem sometime before next summer!)

Lynn

On post-research, I located the document below. From the looks of it, the pipe must have been pretty full, as the expansion seems to be fairly small. However, I'm not very adept at reading this kind of information!

http://www.cpchem.com/bl/specchem/en..._mercaptan.pdf
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