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Old 06-21-2007, 09:32 PM   #15
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Still like to "old style" POL

I still like the "old style" POL valve. Then again, I still fill my own. Still not sure why they went with the OPD other than the old style lasted forever and they needed to sell more valves and tanks. They talked about how safe the new one are to fill. How hard can it be, screw on fitting, open bleeder valve, open valve on tank, turn on fuel flow, fill to spit, cut off fuel flow, close valve, close bleeder, unscrew fitting.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:43 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
Overfill Protection Device.
Basically a float that shuts off the gas fill when it's full.
In a percet world, your bottles hsould never be more than about 80% full. In reality, this does not always happen, espacially when a OPD is defective, like it might be in your case. Not the dealer's fault. They fill until it stops, basically. (snip)
It's sort of mixed here. In most states (NM being one of them), fillers are not supposed to rely on the OPD in order to determine what is full (80%). Indeed, the National Fire Protection Association, which issues the national guidelines for handling propane (see NFPA 58), specifies that the only two safe means to fill bottles are by weight or by volume. While NFPA requires that newer bottles (up to a certain size, including all of the usual bbq and RV bottles) have the OPD, it does not license commercial handlers to rely on the OPD for purposes of filling bottles.

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Old 06-21-2007, 10:07 PM   #17
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The bleeder valve used to also go by the name "80% valve". The problem is at one time, most folks that I experienced when filling tanks used to never open that valve when filling the tank. Worse case many never looked at the tank coller to check the amount of weight necessary to fill the tank. Most of the time the guys dispensing propane would have the scale preset. Sort of a one size fits all. In those days it wasn't unusual to find a newly filled tank that would vent when exposed to sun on a hot day.

Even today some folks use the OPD shut off as a sign that the tank is full. Lately my local propane vendor has become a lot more careful and opens the bleeder valve when filling and shuts down just as the escaping gas turns white.

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Old 06-21-2007, 11:05 PM   #18
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Jcanavera, BillTex, and others have made good points about the effect of temperature on volume. The liquid propane in a tank will expand when warming up, without any increase in weight. So if tare weight or the OPD or bleeding gas is used as the measure for fill, but the propane was cold as it was pumped into the tank, any increase in temperature resulting in warming of the propane in the tank will cause its volume to increase. In other words, a tank filled to full with cold propane will be overfull when that same weight of propane warms up. That will happen no matter what the condition of the valves.

Many years ago we had the permanently mounted tank on our VW camper filled with propane that was at about 28 degrees Fahrenheit. We got home where the temperature was 70 degrees and had that tiny tank venting for about two days. While that was going on, we did not drive the camper, have any flame or heat near the tank (it was outside), and held our breath until it quit venting.
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Old 06-22-2007, 01:39 AM   #19
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I got a little carried away in the post above! "Tare" weight (actually gross weight minus tare weight) should work, if you know the "tare" weight for the temperature you are going to be storing the tanks at. For example, the "tare" weight for a full tank at 70 degrees will be more than the "tare" weight for a full tank at 100 degrees. Because the liquid propane expands with increasing temperature, a fixed volume of it (the amount in a full tank) will weigh less and less with increasing temperature.

Probably the greatest problem with "tare" weight is the accuracy of the scales, if the places where I have had tanks filled is any indication. I put the quotes around "tare" because the commercial definition of tare weight is, "The weight of a container and/or packing materials without the weight of the goods it contains."
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:43 AM   #20
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Im starting do wonder if the OPD valve did its job and was right at the 80% point. Then with the higher tempature they released a small amout. ?????
I'll make a few calls to find out who can check out the valves just for peace of mind.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:36 AM   #21
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Bottom line though, if the propane seller stated that the tank was overfilled, the OPD valve didn't work right. While it serves several functions it is supposed to prevent overfilling.
On the contrary, the valve DID work as intended. If the valve had NOT worked, it may have resulted in an early 4th of July explosion!
Only the operator can prevent overfilling. The valve is there in case it is overfilled.
I believe the OPD worked as advertised.

Bill
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