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Old 06-21-2022, 01:34 PM   #1
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Friend needs help-on road-no cold beer

I have never seen this before. My friend left Phoenix this morning. Yesterday, he found he had a leaking propane pigtail, so he went to CW and got two....with black ACME knobs. (Attendant got them for him). He went home and installed, thought he started fridge and went to bed. This morning, hot fridge, no stove flame, no furnace, etc. Regulator window shows red, no matter what he does with the lever and tank valves.

Tanks were just filled yesterday.

I know that the black, dark green ,and light green knobbed lines have different btu ratings, but is there a reason that a black line will not work on a standard steel 20# bottle?

He replaced the regulator - no joy. Did he just maybe get two defective lines? If the bottles are overfilled, would the safety valve be shut?

I'm a bit perplexed.
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Old 06-21-2022, 01:45 PM   #2
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Hi

Best guess, the bottles were empty (or the valves are shut ) ....

Next guess, he has a leak (maybe they aren't tight). If there is a gauge on the bottles that will tell you if they are empty. With no gauge, lift them up. Empty bottles are light weight. Full bottles are heavy. ( even more so if they are the stock AS aluminum bottles).

Guess three: He put in the new stuff, opened up the valve quickly and declared victory. Opening the valve fast triggers the safety shutoff and it locks out propane from the RV. It stays off until you cycle things properly. Seems unlikely with the regulators I've used. Maybe not with the one he has.

Final guess, all is well and the system simply has not been fully purged. Again unlikely with the regulators I've used.

Since there is no data on what make / model / year trailer your buddy has, anything past that is getting pretty deep into guessing.

The normal drill for any propane process is to make *sure* it all works and. is purged before you go stop fiddling. The typical fridge very much needs you to do this. It will try a couple times to light and then lock up. If this check *was* done and it passed, then the leak / now empty tank theory moves to the top of the list.

Bob
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Old 06-21-2022, 02:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Best guess, the bottles were empty (or the valves are shut ) ....

Next guess, he has a leak (maybe they aren't tight). If there is a gauge on the bottles that will tell you if they are empty. With no gauge, lift them up. Empty bottles are light weight. Full bottles are heavy. ( even more so if they are the stock AS aluminum bottles).

Guess three: He put in the new stuff, opened up the valve quickly and declared victory. Opening the valve fast triggers the safety shutoff and it locks out propane from the RV. It stays off until you cycle things properly. Seems unlikely with the regulators I've used. Maybe not with the one he has.

Final guess, all is well and the system simply has not been fully purged. Again unlikely with the regulators I've used.

Since there is no data on what make / model / year trailer your buddy has, anything past that is getting pretty deep into guessing.

The normal drill for any propane process is to make *sure* it all works and. is purged before you go stop fiddling. The typical fridge very much needs you to do this. It will try a couple times to light and then lock up. If this check *was* done and it passed, then the leak / now empty tank theory moves to the top of the list.

Bob

Thanks. 2016 Cougar....I know not an AS, but the "bro Code" under the beer section dictates I must help.

Bottles have been opened and closed several times. I did cover the "open very slowly" subject. Awaiting his response on that one. Bottles filled yesterday (suspicious), have a gauge and they show over the full mark. Both the old and new regulator behaved the same way.

Wouldn't a leak: 1) have to be large to shut the protection valve off...like bigger than all the appliances on at the same time? 2) shouldn't one hear the (at least) momentary rush of gas and see the regulator go green at least momentarily. 3) be able to sniff around and smell gas?

All can't be well and air in the lines....the regulator tank selection switch window would still show green...it is a pressure sensor...doesn't care if it's air or gas. Also, there is no hissing of anything at the stove.
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Old 06-21-2022, 02:07 PM   #4
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In the interest of a cold one, any chance to rig a temp hookup to a 20 Lb'er or borrow a different tank as a tank swap test?

Next and under user discretion. Loosen hose where it attaches to regulator SLIGHTLY and bubble test at the joint.

And why not go back to old regulator for a what else to loose test.

Something's gotta pass some gas.

Ya'll be careful.
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Old 06-21-2022, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Thanks. 2016 Cougar....I know not an AS, but the "bro Code" under the beer section dictates I must help.

Bottles have been opened and closed several times. I did cover the "open very slowly" subject. Awaiting his response on that one. Bottles filled yesterday (suspicious), have a gauge and they show over the full mark. Both the old and new regulator behaved the same way.

Wouldn't a leak: 1) have to be large to shut the protection valve off...like bigger than all the appliances on at the same time? 2) shouldn't one hear the (at least) momentary rush of gas and see the regulator go green at least momentarily. 3) be able to sniff around and smell gas?

All can't be well and air in the lines....the regulator tank selection switch window would still show green...it is a pressure sensor...doesn't care if it's air or gas. Also, there is no hissing of anything at the stove.
Hi

The safety shutoff might be part of his regulator. That may be what the "red" signal is about. All it takes is the "downstream" side to be low pressure for it to trigger with a new tank. There is virtually no gas movement when it triggers. It's also *very* hard to know just when the valve on this or that tank actually opens. Is it the first 0.5 degrees of motion? Is it the 0.5 degrees 17 degrees into the turn? ..... who knows.

On a 2016 it's a good bet that he *does* have a safety shutoff somewhere in the system. It's not old enough that you get into the "did they do this way back then? " sort of questions.

Bob
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Old 06-21-2022, 02:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

The safety shutoff might be part of his regulator. That may be what the "red" signal is about. All it takes is the "downstream" side to be low pressure for it to trigger with a new tank. There is virtually no gas movement when it triggers. It's also *very* hard to know just when the valve on this or that tank actually opens. Is it the first 0.5 degrees of motion? Is it the 0.5 degrees 17 degrees into the turn? ..... who knows.

On a 2016 it's a good bet that he *does* have a safety shutoff somewhere in the system. It's not old enough that you get into the "did they do this way back then? " sort of questions.

Bob
Thanks, I'll await his answer on the "open the bottle very slowly" issue. I thinkthere is a safety valve in the bottle(s) and in the regulator on newer systems. Not sure when all that happened, but that's what I read.
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Old 06-21-2022, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
In the interest of a cold one, any chance to rig a temp hookup to a 20 Lb'er or borrow a different tank as a tank swap test?

Next and under user discretion. Loosen hose where it attaches to regulator SLIGHTLY and bubble test at the joint.

And why not go back to old regulator for a what else to loose test.

Something's gotta pass some gas.

Ya'll be careful.
I thought of swapping the one known good, old line back in as well as the old regulator...but I'm not sure he kept them.
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:34 AM   #8
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Similar problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I have never seen this before. My friend left Phoenix this morning. Yesterday, he found he had a leaking propane pigtail, so he went to CW and got two....with black ACME knobs. (Attendant got them for him). He went home and installed, thought he started fridge and went to bed. This morning, hot fridge, no stove flame, no furnace, etc. Regulator window shows red, no matter what he does with the lever and tank valves.

Tanks were just filled yesterday.

I know that the black, dark green ,and light green knobbed lines have different btu ratings, but is there a reason that a black line will not work on a standard steel 20# bottle?

He replaced the regulator - no joy. Did he just maybe get two defective lines? If the bottles are overfilled, would the safety valve be shut?

I'm a bit perplexed.
Just filled my 20# tank for the propane fire pit. Same problem. No gas. Did the open/close connect/disconnect drill. No luck.

Turns out that I had to crank hard on the plastic tank fitting to get it to work. I thought it had seated, but I guess not. This is the first time Iíve experienced this problem.
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Old 06-22-2022, 09:39 AM   #9
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As an update, my friend tried opening very slowly...gets the "click" from the bottles, then no flow. I am thinking he got overfilled.

It is interesting that Hikingsolo got flow after "cranking down the plastic ACME knob. I'l have him try that as well.
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Old 06-22-2022, 10:45 AM   #10
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Maybe he could go buy a bottle of gas at a store and try that? They are only only partially filled. I have had trouble connecting the pigtails to a bottle tight enough to get flow in the past. And on my oldest trailer the hose between the regulator and the copper tubing collapsed internally partially blocking the flow. But..I suspect for some reason he is just not getting the gas to the lines. I do not know what effect overfilling has.

I am not sure I read this correctly. Did he just change the pigtails and not the regulator? Regulators go bad.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:41 AM   #11
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Maybe he could go buy a bottle of gas at a store and try that? They are only only partially filled. I have had trouble connecting the pigtails to a bottle tight enough to get flow in the past. And on my oldest trailer the hose between the regulator and the copper tubing collapsed internally partially blocking the flow. But..I suspect for some reason he is just not getting the gas to the lines. I do not know what effect overfilling has.

I am not sure I read this correctly. Did he just change the pigtails and not the regulator? Regulators go bad.
He changed both pigtails and the regulator. I don't have details yet, but he texted that he did go get another bottle and it works with the new pigtails. There may be something going on dimensionally in available bottle valve assemblies and some pigtails out there.

The attendant told him he had bad valves on both bottles??????? Right after changing pigtails?????? My friend should go directly to vegas with those kind of odds coming together at the same time, IMO.
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Old 06-22-2022, 11:58 AM   #12
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Did he disconnect the lines from the bottles, and then reconnect the lines prior to opening the valves "slowly"? Also, if a large line, like a stove burner is in the on position when opening the valves, they will shut with an "excess flow". A fridge or stove pilot will not cause the excess flow to shut off the tank valve.
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Old 06-22-2022, 01:21 PM   #13
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Did he disconnect the lines from the bottles, and then reconnect the lines prior to opening the valves "slowly"? Also, if a large line, like a stove burner is in the on position when opening the valves, they will shut with an "excess flow". A fridge or stove pilot will not cause the excess flow to shut off the tank valve.
Thanks, yes. I covered that with him on the phone in great detail.
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Old 06-22-2022, 03:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I have never seen this before. My friend left Phoenix this morning. Yesterday, he found he had a leaking propane pigtail, so he went to CW and got two....with black ACME knobs. (Attendant got them for him). He went home and installed, thought he started fridge and went to bed. This morning, hot fridge, no stove flame, no furnace, etc. Regulator window shows red, no matter what he does with the lever and tank valves.

Tanks were just filled yesterday.

I know that the black, dark green ,and light green knobbed lines have different btu ratings, but is there a reason that a black line will not work on a standard steel 20# bottle?

He replaced the regulator - no joy. Did he just maybe get two defective lines? If the bottles are overfilled, would the safety valve be shut?

I'm a bit perplexed.
Lots of guessing here without make or model. In my trailer I have an electric fridge. But I noticed if I turn on the water heater (tankless) switch before I turn on the propane tank valves the safety valve kick in. And I have to start over. Also like on a typical grill once the safety valve engages you have to turn on the burners without igniting in order to reset the safety valve. Just makes sure you have good ventilation before attempting to start the stove. After my trailer was setting in storage for awhile that did the trick. Your owners manual goes into this. To check if you have propane or not the stove is the best test.
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Old 06-22-2022, 04:30 PM   #15
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Lots of guessing here without make or model. In my trailer I have an electric fridge. But I noticed if I turn on the water heater (tankless) switch before I turn on the propane tank valves the safety valve kick in. And I have to start over. Also like on a typical grill once the safety valve engages you have to turn on the burners without igniting in order to reset the safety valve. Just makes sure you have good ventilation before attempting to start the stove. After my trailer was setting in storage for awhile that did the trick. Your owners manual goes into this. To check if you have propane or not the stove is the best test.
His trailer has a gas absorption fridge, 6 gallon traditional water heater and 3 burner stove. ALL OFF. stove was turned on only to listen and sniff for any flow. None.
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Old 06-22-2022, 05:22 PM   #16
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Since it does work with another bottle and the new pigtails I would guess that there are some machining tolerances that add up to it not fitting well enough to open the valves on the old bottles. That might be the definition of "bad valves". I think at this point if I were he I would try a pigtail of a different brand from a different source. Like Amazon. But I bet he ends up paying to pump the propane out and change the valves and refill and it might work type of approach.

I had a lot of trouble with a gas bottle and a new grill. It took be a week and quite a few tries before I got it to screw in all the way. Burrs or poor machining or loose tolerances or whatever. A week of trying with channel locks did eventually fix the problem. Different fitting. Not the outside one with the plastic knobs that are on the trailer,.
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Old 06-22-2022, 05:27 PM   #17
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I had a similar prob. The hose end did NOT depress the valve on tank for flow. changed the pig tail several times before got to work. I even tried just the pig tail and tank; NO flow. I also had prob on my grill. The NEW tails were metal, generic.
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