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Old 03-23-2014, 12:11 AM   #1
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Propane regulator freeze up?

Just brought the new unit home from the dealership today. Turned on the propane and got the furnace fired up. I had just one of two propane bottles open, furnace was running fine. Shut it down for a few hours, came back that evening to light it again. The furnace would not light with that same bottle open. Tried it several times, no luck. Opened up the other bottle, and it worked fine. I'm assuming the first bottle can't be empty already can it? Are you supposed to have both bottles open when you run these two-bottle systems? It was about 15 degrees outside this afternoon, possibly something freezing up? Am going to tinker with it tomorrow; any thoughts?
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:13 AM   #2
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I run 1 bottle at a time, switching to the other when empty.

It may be that being so cold that the 1st tank doesnt have enough propane to provide the required pressure. Not that its "empty", just the combination of the low temperature and propane level. Try it again once it warms up.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:37 AM   #3
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Yeah, the propane has to vaporize in order to flow to the appliance. In cold temperatures it is possible to starve the appliance because the liquid cant turn to vapor fast enough so essentially you "run" out of gas.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #4
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Might be a bad regulator or moisture in the line. I have been ice fishing when temps are well below zero, I don't run into propane problems until temps get to -20 or lower. Propane will stop flowing at -40, thats when one needs to wrap heat tape around your tanks and regulator.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:00 AM   #5
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When trying to troubleshoot propane problems I always try to light something else too. In your case try firing the stove top. That should eliminate the concerns over empty or frozen bottles or bad regulator. Maybe running the furnace for its first time caused some debris to lodge in its internals and won't fire or flow. Good luck, since its still so cool there.
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Old 03-23-2014, 08:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcmorr View Post
Just brought the new unit home from the dealership today. (snip)... I'm assuming the first bottle can't be empty already can it?; any thoughts?
I suppose it is possible that the dealership simply forgot to fill the new tanks?! May have been just a nominal amount in the tank you ran off of initially and perhaps it is empty. Just a thought... I would hope that a dealer would have filled the tanks for you upon purchase.
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Old 03-23-2014, 09:03 AM   #7
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Another guess.

Was the tank valve turned off between run cycles?

If yes, there is a safety flow limiter built into trailer propane feed systems. If the tank valve is opened too quickly then the rush of gas is seen as a problem by the safety device and the gas flow is severely limited.

If the flow limter triggers then the line pressures need to reduce/equalize for it to automatically reset. When you switched to the other tank that would likely be enough to reset the safety flow limiter.

I recommend always opening your propane valves very, very slowly to avoid triggering the flow limiter.

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Old 03-23-2014, 12:25 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the responses, I'm new to this forum and my trailer and it's great to have access to help all the time. First thing I'll try opening the valve slower, and perhaps try lighting the stove first. Waiting for the "heat" of the day, high of a balmy 19 degrees ha.
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Old 03-23-2014, 02:47 PM   #9
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I switched tanks around and they both have fuel in them. Opened up both tanks, lit the stove, turned my red/green guage back and forth a few times, then left it turned to the side that was not flowing, shut the tank off on the good side, and it stayed green. Shut the valves off, then opened up only the bad side very slowly. The guage flicked from red to green, lit the stove and it stayed flowing. I did notice that when the pressure reached the guage after opening the tank, it went from red to green very fast like there was alot of pressure all at once. Maybe that mechanism is just a little cold and sticky. Nevertheless, it is drawing from that side now.
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:49 PM   #10
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Glad you got it to work. How cold is it at your place, when this happened?

I sometimes have this issue with my gas grill during the winter. I think there is a little water in the tank and it condenses and freezes in the regulator, reducing the gas flow? We tap the regulator a few times and it usually works.
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