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Old 01-20-2015, 09:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Hoboplayer View Post
Can anyone explain why a propane tank fails to supply gas when 1/4 full and the weather is below freezing? I have experienced this condition. I don't relish filling a 1/4 full tank as our local suppliers charge for a full tank.
I assume the switch over valve switches when the tank pressure drops below its set point. And I also assume that the set point is reached only when all the liquid is expended. So how does the fill level have any impact?
Hobo
Propane in the tank is a liquid and changes to a gas (evaporates) to supply the system. It takes heat to evaporate the liquid to a gas. When it is very cold outside and you are using a lot of gas, the surface area of the tank is not large enough to heat the liquid so it evaporates. The liquid actually freezes solid in the tank and the evaporation to gas stops. The lower the level of propane in the tank, the easier it is to freeze the remaining propane.

You can gently heat the tank (say with a small heater or a light bulb) to heat the propane and un freeze it until it is all gone.
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:17 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Propane in the tank is a liquid and changes to a gas (evaporates) to supply the system. It takes heat to evaporate the liquid to a gas. When it is very cold outside and you are using a lot of gas, the surface area of the tank is not large enough to heat the liquid so it evaporates. The liquid actually freezes solid in the tank and the evaporation to gas stops. The lower the level of propane in the tank, the easier it is to freeze the remaining propane.



You can gently heat the tank (say with a small heater or a light bulb) to heat the propane and un freeze it until it is all gone.

Just a little correction... Propane freezes at -356 degrees Fahrenheit, so you're not getting a solid chunk of propane in your tank. What happens is that as the liquid propane evaporates, it draws the tiny bit of heat left in the cold air out (same principle as an air conditioner uses, or the reverse of a heat pump) which does cool the remaining liquid propane even lower, which makes it evaporate slower, this supplying less gas to your appliances. The faster you draw it, the colder it gets, so the slower it evaporates...The advice on heating the tank does work. We use a water hose to safely warm freon tanks while working on A/C systems in cooler weather down here in Florida... You can use your torch set, but the pressure rises pretty quickly that way.

-Red, been to school on this stuff...
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:09 AM   #17
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Gas pressure in a propane tank drops in sub-freezing weather. Make sure your tank(s) are at least half full, or your furnace may not light. Also, the furnace will likely flame out and fail to re-ignite when the propane level drops to 1/4 to 1/3 full. This is normal, and all that is required is to refill the tank(s).
I have not had an issue with this in 3 years of winter trailer living.
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