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Old 06-11-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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Should Propane Regulator be a maintenance item?

So, I don't think I have seen this discussed before, but another thread triggered a question. We all talk about replacing tires at a certain age (5 - 7 years) due to potential compromised rubber.
Then we discuss whether to run with your propane turned on (fridge running). Some folks indicate that sometimes regulators don't due their job (leak at the diaphragm or don't sense excessive flow).

So, the question is: Should we replace our regulators at some general age to prevent a failure?
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:38 AM   #2
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Mine is 10 years old now and we never turn the gass off. Frig is always on when we are moving and when connected to shore power.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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As I remember, my 1972 pop-up regulator went bad (heard hissing of leaking gas during a food stop) in 1986. sold it in 1993 with the second regulator still in service.

My 1993 SOB needed a new regulator in about 2005 (IIRC it wouldn't switch over automatically or manually between tanks). Was sold in 2010 with the second regulator still in service.

So about 12 - 14 years of intermittent use and they failed. Is there any consensus as to expected life? 10 years to be safe? What has been your experiences?
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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I have never had one actually fail, but have replaced most all of mine if they were 20 years old or more, on the general principle that safety is more important than money.
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #5
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Mine appears to be origional, that would make it at least 48 years old. It is still working just fine. So I would say no need to replace one just for the PM of it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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dznf0g,
On my old trailer, I replaced the regulator 2 times in 23 years. Or, every 11.5 years on an average. I waited till mine failed before replacing, both times. The last one is probably still in service.


AWCHIEF,
Wow, hold on to that one. It's one in a million!
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:32 PM   #7
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AFAIK mine is the OEM unit and is 37 years old. FWIW the one on my house is pushing 50...

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Old 06-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
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Bluto, the whole trailer is a keeper.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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Ah, I have a question about regulators. I am not sure what type I have but it is original and six years old. The guy at Campingworld shared that I would do good to get a dual regulator. What kind does AS have? Does it matter if it works?
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Ah, I have a question about regulators. I am not sure what type I have but it is original and six years old. The guy at Campingworld shared that I would do good to get a dual regulator. What kind does AS have? Does it matter if it works?
Most Airstreams I have seen come with dual tank regulators. He may be referring to the dual pressure regulator. If you have an old Airstream they aren't going to provide enough pressure to the inside appliances. Somewhere along the way the standards changed to "low pressure" for inside appliances and high pressure for outside stoves and such. I had this on a 2000 Coleman popup. PITA to deal with IMHO.

I see you have a newer AS. I would think that your factory regulator is still in good shape and wouldn't need replacing anytime soon.

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Old 06-11-2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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Most propane regulators have a diaphram, a spring and a vent. Not much to go wrong. Sometimes when the diaphram ruptures or fails the gas will vent to the atmosphere. Sometimes the springs lose their tension and I forget if this increases or decreases the pressure. You can get diaphrams at different ratings or change the spring in yours if you need more or less pressure. Usually a repair like this is not cost effective.

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Old 06-11-2012, 10:18 PM   #12
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Comprehensive answer here:

http://www.propanecouncil.org/upload...Regulators.pdf

In short the standard recommendation is replacement after 15 years, but the science doesn't support it and suggests that replacement isn't really warranted on age alone until 20-25 years.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Mine appears to be origional, that would make it at least 48 years old. It is still working just fine. So I would say no need to replace one just for the PM of it.
I just replaced my original 35 year old single stage regulator with a new dual stage regulator on the advice of my propane supplier who told me that if a single stage regulator fails there is nothing to stop 100+ psi propane from damaging appliances. Also that all new trailers are required to have dual stage regulators. I figured it was worth changing it for safety.
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Old 06-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #14
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I don't worry about the regulator
as much as the pigtail rubber gas lines between tanks and regulator. There is lots of opportunity for leaks there over time.
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