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Old 03-06-2013, 01:03 PM   #1
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Specifications for new OPD valves

Hi all,

In my quest to update my tanks I received a lot of misinformation from the local propane dealer...some fast checking on the web, and I uncovered complaints from AS owners having trouble with the newer OPD valves filling and overfilling their ALUMINUM tanks. I sent an email to Worthington and they replied...although a steel tank specifies a certain dip tube length ie 30# steel calls for a 4.7" DT length....ALUMINUM TANKS ARE DIFFERENT here are the specs from Worthington...30# requires .5.8 DT, 40# requires 7.0 DT....some tanks are not stamped, like my 30's, and the OPD would have been wrong using the steel tank specs of 4.7". Hope this helps others.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:16 PM   #2
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Sounds right. The aluminum tanks I've filled are somewhat skinnier and taller than their respective steel tanks. As a result, the tube will have to stick down further into the tank in order to reach the 80% level, I'd think.

Of course, if filling by weight rather than by volume, then it shouldn't make much difference.


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Old 03-09-2013, 04:34 PM   #3
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OPD dip tubes

I just checked my two #30 aluminum tanks and found that I have the 4.7 OPD dip tubes mentioned. The tanks are marked with a manufacture date of 9-72.
They are also marked 10-07 which is when I suspect the OPD upgrade was installed. Since I am due for a five year re-certification I think that I will have the proper OPD with 5.8 dip tubes installed when they are re-certified. I did notice that the last time that I had the tanks refilled the empty one only took just over 5 gallons, not the 7 gallons that I expected. I measured my #30 steel tanks and found that they are 3" shorter than the #30 aluminum tanks." Phrunes" I really appreciate this heads up because I hate to think that I have been running out of lp even though there was still some in the tank. Your info has solved my missing 2 gallon mystery. Thank you.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:46 AM   #4
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I just checked my two #30 aluminum tanks and found that I have the 4.7 OPD dip tubes mentioned. The tanks are marked with a manufacture date of 9-72.
They are also marked 10-07 which is when I suspect the OPD upgrade was installed. Since I am due for a five year re-certification I think that I will have the proper OPD with 5.8 dip tubes installed when they are re-certified. I did notice that the last time that I had the tanks refilled the empty one only took just over 5 gallons, not the 7 gallons that I expected. I measured my #30 steel tanks and found that they are 3" shorter than the #30 aluminum tanks." Phrunes" I really appreciate this heads up because I hate to think that I have been running out of lp even though there was still some in the tank. Your info has solved my missing 2 gallon mystery. Thank you.
You are very welcome. You should have seen the curt response I got from the local "expert" regarding this issue...I forwarded him Worthingtons email, and he simply replied that he had called his supplier and the proper dip tubes would be ready for install in a couple of days. I just wonder how many are out there with the wrong tubes.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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Opd service

"Phrunes" since I live near you I was wondering, where you are having your tanks serviced and if you would share how much it cost?
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:04 PM   #6
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"Phrunes" since I live near you I was wondering, where you are having your tanks serviced and if you would share how much it cost?
I'm getting it done for $30 - $35 at Kamps in Antioch.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:11 PM   #7
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Wow, the local dealers in Sacramento want $60 ea.
Antioch here I come. Thanks again.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:21 PM   #8
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Wow, the local dealers in Sacramento want $60 ea.
Antioch here I come. Thanks again.
Give Ken Hitchen a call or email him, tell him that he was mentioned on Airforums. I'm sure he would appreciate it.

Khitchen@kampspropane.com
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:23 PM   #9
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I have accumulated quite a collection of Worthington AL tanks over the years. Four 40#, four 30# and one 20#. I have had them all converted with new valves and the propane dealers I had it done at all knew that the valves were not the same for the AL tanks vs. the steel ones. Maybe I was lucky, who knows. The most I have paid for the conversion was $35, some a bit less, like $28.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #10
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You might be able to replace the valve yourself if you've got the means to hold the tank stationary while you twist out the old one. Check online for "OPD valves for sale." And check your state's or province's legal code to find out if it's permitted.

Of course, the big problem with replacing the valve is that the cylinder has to be dead empty.

But as I mentioned earlier, an OPD of a slightly incorrect length might permit a slight overfill of the tank, but if the tank is being filled by weight (use a scale) rather than by volume (open the little screw on the side), then it shouldn't make any great difference: Weight is weight, and the slightly shorter length of the OPD will play only a very small role, I'd bet. Just tell the filler to fill it to a half pound less than full, if you want.


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Old 03-11-2013, 09:41 PM   #11
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You might be able to replace the valve yourself if you've got the means to hold the tank stationary while you twist out the old one. Check online for "OPD valves for sale." And check your state's or province's legal code to find out if it's permitted.

Of course, the big problem with replacing the valve is that the cylinder has to be dead empty.

But as I mentioned earlier, an OPD of a slightly incorrect length might permit a slight overfill of the tank, but if the tank is being filled by weight (use a scale) rather than by volume (open the little screw on the side), then it shouldn't make any great difference: Weight is weight, and the slightly shorter length of the OPD will play only a very small role, I'd bet. Just tell the filler to fill it to a half pound less than full, if you want.


Lynn
Good info. To be legal in all 50 states, you'll need the certification stamp. I found the valves online, but honestly the price I'd pay for just the valves was within $5 of having them professionally installed and certified...just my personal experience, your results may vary.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:52 PM   #12
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I bought my aluminum tanks used for $100 so I have no idea by who or where the opd's were installed, but the valves definitely have (4.7 DT) marked on them. Even having to pay another $75 or so I think I came out pretty good on the deal.
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:11 PM   #13
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Ok folks please be patient with me on my "Quest for Airstream knowledge". I have some questions:
1- Does the automatic changeover regulators switch to the next tank before the first tank is completely empty? which would explain why my "empty" tank only took just over 5 gallons.
2-Since we draw vapor out of the tank and not liquid, wouldn't it be an advantage having shorter dip tubes to draw more vapor off the top of the tank?
3-What is the danger in over filling the tank? Before opd's the tanks could be "packed" to full volume. Were tanks exploding? or is this just adding a extra safety factor?
4- How do you know if your tank has been overfilled? Would liquid be drawn past the regulator?
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:29 PM   #14
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My auto changeover occurs when the empty tank is completely empty and it takes 7 gallons, sometimes a little more before the gas starts coming out of the screw hole. I've never seen a propane filling location that has a scale to weigh the tank, only a meter to measure the # of gallons pumped.
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