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Old 05-20-2019, 02:27 PM   #1
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Best LPG Monitor System

I have two (2) 30lb. Aluminum tanks. Is there a good monitoring system I can use? Up to this point I just keep an eye on them, but I'd like something better that I can read from my truck or the AS cabin.
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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Propane tank gauge
http://www.airforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=195372
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:15 PM   #3
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Best LPG Monitor System

Yup. That works, as many have reported. The tank tire ring also positions the tank properly and help reduce rust or corrosion on the tank bottom ring. Readout can also be on your phone or a stand-alone display inside the trailer.

Some of my tanks also have built in mechanical gauges, but you have to open the cover to see them. DW won’t like me putting windows in the tank comer....
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:53 PM   #4
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The OP has aluminum tanks which prevents the use of the magnetic sensors. I don't know of any units that will work with aluminum tanks.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:55 PM   #5
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Best LPG Monitor System

The magnets just stick them to a steel tank. There is also a set of rubber pads in the kit to hold the sensor against the bottom of an aluminum or fiberglass tank as well.

The sensor uses sound pulses to detect propane level.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
The magnets just stick them to a steel tank. There is also a set of rubber pads in the kit to hold the sensor against the bottom of an aluminum or fiberglass tank as well.

The sensor uses sound pulses to detect propane level.
Ah, I wasn't aware that provisions have been made to use the sensors with aluminum or fiberglass. Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:55 PM   #7
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As far as I know the tank type does not matter much. Check the manual and the manufacturer website to double check. My tanks are steel...
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
The magnets just stick them to a steel tank. There is also a set of rubber pads in the kit to hold the sensor against the bottom of an aluminum or fiberglass tank as well.

The sensor uses sound pulses to detect propane level.
That's really good to know. I was have not seen that information before. As you mentioned in your last post, I'll check the manual and the website. Thanks
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:03 PM   #9
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My thanks to everyone who replied.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:30 PM   #10
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Was just looking at website. Can’t find a definitive answer on aluminum tank usage. Might be a good idea to call them. Theoretically they should work if the rubber covered sensor is in firm contact with a metal tank bottom.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:36 AM   #11
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So I performed a little test last weekend to see how accurate the Mopeka system is using a scale to measure the weight of each tank.

Empty Steel 30 lb Tank = 24 lbs
Full Tank = 54 lbs

Tank 1 37.8 lbs = 46% Mopeka reading = 55%
Tank 2 40.2 lbs = 54% Mopeka reading = 48%

So accuracy was +/- 6 to 9 %
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:39 AM   #12
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I decided to go with an old system - open 1 at a time & when it’s empty - switch to other tank & fill the 1st - this way you always have at least 1 full tank...
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:07 AM   #13
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I have aluminum 40# tanks. No sensor attachments so when I suspect I'm getting low I simply remove the cover and lift and shake them. Works for me and margin of error is pretty low.

Originally it came with 30# aluminum tanks each with a dial gauge and a lug to attach the wire.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #14
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Pitch as in music. When propane tank is full, knock on it with your knuckle. It makes a sound, F# maybe (App tuner on iPhone, "Total Energy Tuner" for instance, will tell you). Tap when tank is empty, different pitch, E perhaps. Different tanks different pitches. You'll soon know yours. Perfect pitch helps (I don't have it) but the tuner app works perfectly. Most of us have two tanks. One empty, one full produces a minor third. Go from there. It works and with the app it's foolproof.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:26 AM   #15
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Pour a cup of hot water down the side of the tank.
There will be a line where the liquid propane feels colder to the touch.


Or, if you need higher tech:
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Was just looking at website. Can’t find a definitive answer on aluminum tank usage. Might be a good idea to call them. Theoretically they should work if the rubber covered sensor is in firm contact with a metal tank bottom.
I went to the Mopeka website and another for an Amazon distributor. I sent an email to Mopeka and left phone messages for both Mopeka and AP (amazon distr.).

I could not find any information that was encouraging with regard to using with non steel tanks.

Here's a post from Amazon Q&A:
Quote:
Q: Will this work on and aluminum tank, if attached with something other than a magnet, and will it work with any liquid, rather than just propane?
A: I WAS a fan now not so much. It's important the sensor makes contact with the tank. The sensor is directly on the bottom with a good magnet on each side, that won't help you with an aluminum tank, plus condensation and the fact that they actually stick out slightly from the bottom of a steel propane tank (you'll notice some single units are pictured with little green pieces of plastic, this set will probably come with them. You'll place 3 of them on the bottom of the tank to add some height to it so you don't smash the be-jesus out of your precious sensor, you'll also pray & promise to buy the metal spacers when you can afford them or a do it yourself hack & assure the gods you will always make sure all spacers are in place before setting it on any uneven surface & never on gravel or dog poo. (HUH, I wonder why they don't picture the spacers?)) So that being said, I sealed the bottoms (which is really the top b/c it goes against the bottom of the tank upside down) with a thin coat of epoxy. They worked well at first then moisture set in. I sanded down the epoxy, cleaned inside with a good contact cleaner, charged the batteries, coated with synthetic grease. It was at this point I didn't notice one of the spacers fell off & smashed one of the sensors on a bolt head in my propane tank rack. I have one sensor left.
In short, you could epoxy the plastic sides of it (plastic to metal around the unit with the sensor touching the metal bottom) to the bottom of the tank. That may work. I don't know about other liquids. I WAS a fan now not so much. see less
By The most awesome Captain Aweso… on February 6, 2019

Seems like a pretty good product for those with steel tanks.
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Re-Pete View Post
Seems like a pretty good product for those with steel tanks.
Yeah, it attached with a magnet. I'll assume it sends some sonic wave through the liquid and measures the time it takes for the blip to return.
The question is, could it be glued/taped to the bottom?
Or perhaps aluminum doesn't have the conductivity that makes the sensor accurate?
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhphhoward View Post
Pitch as in music. When propane tank is full, knock on it with your knuckle. It makes a sound, F# maybe (App tuner on iPhone, "Total Energy Tuner" for instance, will tell you). Tap when tank is empty, different pitch, E perhaps. Different tanks different pitches. You'll soon know yours. Perfect pitch helps (I don't have it) but the tuner app works perfectly. Most of us have two tanks. One empty, one full produces a minor third. Go from there. It works and with the app it's foolproof.
So I'm not the only one who went to Interlochen Music Camp No, really I did.
That's what I do, rap the sides with my knuckles and listen. Saddly, it works.
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Old 05-26-2019, 10:38 AM   #19
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Propane monitoring

We have been full time for almost 2 years and find that using 1-tank until empty and switching tanks and getting empty filled works well, we were not using the furnace to often and primarily electric sites with 10 day boondocking occasionaly. So when the propane supply shut off we would close valve and open other valve, replacing empty tank that week or so and repeating the process as needed.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:32 AM   #20
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BTW, I tried the water method and it was surprisingly easy and accurate.
I filled a 4 cup measuring cup with hot water, not boiling, straight from the tap. I then walked outside and slowly poured it down the side of the tank.
I started at the top and slid my hand down, and Bingo! The line was so dramatic I was shocked. Try It!

Question to you experts. I have the usual regulator, and I've always left both tanks open. I figured it will select one and when empty, switch to the other.
BUT....when I had the tank off for the water test, I closed both valves, even though I just removed one tank. When I restored the tank, the regulator showed red, even though I never removed the other tank. I cracked the valve, it popped green, and I shut the valve again, stayed green.
I went in and ran all three stove burners for a test, fine.
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