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Old 11-24-2008, 12:28 AM   #1
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Propane Troubleshooting

I am a full-timer whose been filling and re-attaching my propane tanks for a year. The whole system was fully checked out a year ago, new regulator, etc.

Today I filled a tank, brought it home, hooked up and nothing.

While trouble shooting, I unhooked it, then opened the valve to see if I heard anything coming out. Nothing was coming out, but I am not sure if it is just designed that way.

I have a 1973 Airstream trade wind and apparently an older style of tanks.

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:15 AM   #2
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old vs new

Quote:
Originally Posted by utahredrock View Post

I have a 1973 Airstream trade wind and apparently an older style of tanks.

Any thoughts?

Jim,
Are you sure you have the old style? What you discribe sounds like the new style. On the new style, opening up into the air should allow the gas to flow out at great speed. The new style will shut down at that speed which is a safty feature. If you do in fact have the old style, they are defected. They need to be replaced.
If they are steel tanks then it will be best to replace the whole tank, and you should buy some locally. If they are aluminum tanks you will want to keep them and the valves can be replaced. Any company that can pressure test your tanks will have the tools to replace the valves but most likely will not have the valves for the aluminum tanks. Aluminum tank valves are differant steel tank valves.

Click to see the 30 lb Aluminum valve.

Click to see the 40 lb Aluminum valve.


Dan
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:23 AM   #3
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The knob on the valve changed from round to triangular when the tanks are upgraded. The new style will not allow gas to rush out. You might try opening the valve just a crack and try it again. Once working, open them all the way.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:16 AM   #4
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The best way to tell if you have old or new valves are...The new valves have exterior threads...The old ones do not.

I really dont think you could refill old valved tanks anymore though. Who ever filled them would get hung if there was a problem.(fire, explosion ect)
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
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The best way to tell if you have old or new valves are...The new valves have exterior threads...The old ones do not.

I really dont think you could refill old valved tanks anymore though. Who ever filled them would get hung if there was a problem.(fire, explosion ect)
Actually, the move to OPD valves were separate from the inclusion of external threads. Most valves incorporating an OPD mechanism do have external threads, but not all of them.

The acid test for OPD is what Richard mentioned above: The triangular handle (as opposed to the older star-shaped handle).


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Old 11-24-2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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The man who cried wolf . . . (me).

I don't know what I did today, but it's working now.

The threads are not visible on these tanks--though you can feel them and see them if you look in. The valves are three sided but not exactly triangular.

They're aluminum tanks.

I've had one or two people tell me they can't fill them, but that's the exception.
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:47 PM   #7
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Ok, good that they're triangular.

Now why anybody would not fill them.

1. Are there obvious dents in the cylinders, or are any of the collars or bottoms dented or bent?

2. Check on the collar at the top of the cylinder. There should be a date stamped in them, mm/yy. If that date is before 11/96 (i.e., 12 years back from now), then you'd need to get the cylinders recertified. Visual recertification is not that big of a deal, provided the cylinders are in good condition. The outfit I do business in Taos will do the visual for free IF I fill the cylinders there, too.


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Old 11-25-2008, 08:12 AM   #8
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They were recertified last year and no dents. The two places that refused just hadn't seen this type before, and thought they were different, I am guessing they weren't very imaginative folks--not that imagination should be required.
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Old 11-25-2008, 08:16 AM   #9
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They were recertified last year and no dents. The two places that refused just hadn't seen this type before, and thought they were different, I am guessing they weren't very imaginative folks--not that imagination should be required.
Not surprising! Some of the fillers I've run across evidently stood last in line at the IQ station. And some owners of propane outfits have taken advantage of a dumb loophole in licensing requirements.

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Old 11-25-2008, 08:28 AM   #10
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I had a situation where a camping neighbor of mine had not tightened the gas line to the propane valve securely. The green knurled nut needs to fully engage the threads of the propane tank before any propane will pass the check valve.
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Old 11-25-2008, 11:59 AM   #11
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Actually, the move to OPD valves were separate from the inclusion of external threads. Most valves incorporating an OPD mechanism do have external threads, but not all of them.

The acid test for OPD is what Richard mentioned above: The triangular handle (as opposed to the older star-shaped handle).


Lynn
I did not know that. My new ones do and my airstream screws into valve, my Gas grill screws over outside.

My concern over the fillers with a low IQ is, the new valves have a float system to stop filling when they are full to avoid over filling catastrophies
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Old 11-25-2008, 12:43 PM   #12
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Yeah, some of them are really bad. Fillers in most states are not even supposed to rely on the OPD valve to determine that a cylinder is full; they're supposed to fill by weight (using a tested scale) or by volume (little screw bleed valve) instead. But you think everybody pays attention to safety rules? Nah.

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Old 11-25-2008, 02:03 PM   #13
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The man who cried wolf . . . (me).

I don't know what I did today, but it's working now.
The new valves have been known to STICK in the internal shut off position when filled. Not sure it this is because they were filled TOO fast and the float jammed the valve or if transporting the tanks on there side causes this.

If you did nothing else other than return to the trailer and things worked I would assume the valve was jammed and freed itself.

I have had this happen once.
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