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Old 10-27-2020, 06:10 PM   #1
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Propane Tank Icing Up on Bottom???

Hi folks, I am on day 47 of a 16 states western loop from NC and back. Was in Cosmic Campground NM and had hoped to go into AZ for 3 days, but with the cold front and freezing dropping down to between El Paso and Abilene I decided to head back east because I want to be back in Raleigh area by November 2. Now in Kerrville, TX and day time temperature is about 38 deg (night only expected to be about 35). I’m at Kerrville-Schneider Park with electricity and have been running propane furnace in Bambi. Since I will depart for Beaumont, TX at 8am tomorrow went ahead and hitched up with the Blue Ox. In doing so, when I removed the propane tank shroud I noticed that the tank being used is iced up on bottom half of exterior. Is this normal? Anything to worry about? Thanks, Stephen
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:21 PM   #2
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Normal during some temps and humidity levels.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:28 PM   #3
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That is a good way to see how much propane is in the tank. The amount frozen at the bottom of the tank shows how much propane is in the tank.
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:49 PM   #4
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That is a good way to see how much propane is in the tank. The amount frozen at the bottom of the tank shows how much propane is in the tank.
Thanks, a layman’s measuring stick.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:11 PM   #5
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The frost forms because water in the air is transferring the energy required to vaporize the liquid propane - in the process the water condenses and then freezes. This transfer only occurs below the liquid level because the vapor has already been “energized “.
When the air temperature is warmer, there’s enough “sensible heat” (temperature change) to do the job, and the cooled air floats away unnoticed. I’ve is a good insulator, and if enough builds up, insufficient energy is transferred to keep you suppler with vaporized fuel.
In Texas, you will be fine.
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Old 10-27-2020, 07:16 PM   #6
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Growing up in Beaumont we did a lot of fish fry and crawfish boils. We had 10- 100# tanks for our equipment. Generally about 1/2 of a tank they would freeze up on us. We would switch tanks and let it thaw. You talking about a change of pressure in the line. The cold propane does not have the same pressure going thru the line. After the tank thawed we use it again till it froze again around 20%. Every weekend in spring summer and fall frying fish and boi!ing crawfish. So when your tank freezes up your line pressure is reduced. Full up at a place that charges you by the gallon. Not tank weight. Enjoy Texas!
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:41 PM   #7
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FYI, baring an insulation issue Joyman mentions, propane will vaporize sufficiently till it gets down to -23F after that, not so much.... Fortunately most Airstreamers abandon the silver wonders before -5 F or so.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:24 PM   #8
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Autocorrect !
Ice is a good insulator, and if enough builds up, insufficient energy is transferred to keep you supplied with fuel.
Joyman, the amount of heat transferred is proportional to the amount of fuel consumed. You must have had some rollicking shrimp �� boils!
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:18 AM   #9
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Ice

That's basically how your refrigeration works in a three way fridge! Uses a smaller orifice and burns off the propane and the tubes in the back of your fridge frost up as the propane gas goes from liquid phase to gas phase which is an endothermic reaction in phase change!
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Old 10-28-2020, 10:11 PM   #10
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Not even close, but thanks for participating!
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:21 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLBIJOU View Post
That's basically how your refrigeration works in a three way fridge! Uses a smaller orifice and burns off the propane and the tubes in the back of your fridge frost up as the propane gas goes from liquid phase to gas phase which is an endothermic reaction in phase change!
Nope, that’s not how it works at all. If it did work this way ammonia wouldn’t be needed.
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