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Old 10-09-2013, 02:12 PM   #11
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That regulator is going to treat the two 20# tanks as a single 40# tank and doesn't even know that there are two tanks hooked up.
That's what I was afraid of and it would explain the lack of any sort of lever allowing for the selection of the left or right tank. This is definitely not a setup that I want to run with, so there will be an automatic switchover added to the wishlist.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:14 PM   #12
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Until then, I'd only run with one bottle open at a time. That way you know for sure when one is empty.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:35 PM   #13
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Until then, I'd only run with one bottle open at a time. That way you know for sure when one is empty.
Agreed.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:50 PM   #14
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Thanks. If we do take it out before that is changed, I will do just that. Just looking around at various regulator manufacturers now. I just want to be sure that the new auto changeover is top quality when I install it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:53 PM   #15
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Until then, I'd only run with one bottle open at a time. That way you know for sure when one is empty.
In fact, from reading here- lots of people treat the auto changeovers the same way. They only leave one tank on so that they know when it was empty.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #16
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Yes, I have seen the same thing and I guess it just comes down to what you feel more comfortable with. I think I will leave both tanks open, let it switch and keep an eye on the regulator regularly to see when it switches over. Getting up in the middle of the night to open the second tank just doesn't appeal to me much when it is cold outside and I have no coffee in me.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #17
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Yes, I have seen the same thing and I guess it just comes down to what you feel more comfortable with. I think I will leave both tanks open, let it switch and keep an eye on the regulator regularly to see when it switches over. Getting up in the middle of the night to open the second tank just doesn't appeal to me much when it is cold outside and I have no coffee in me.
Definitely. I'm the same as you- I'd rather just leave it on auto and regularly check it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:20 PM   #18
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We have an auto change over and only turn one tank on at a time. Don't use gas at night, so no worry about having to change it. Besides that, have yet to use 30# in over 18 months (108 nights this year) and using gas on the frig and water heater. The tank we're using has to be close to empty tho. Will probably get it filled before we go to FL.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:37 PM   #19
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In theory, if both valves are open it should pull more from the one that's more full, but still pull some from the other, until they're relatively equal. In reality it's whichever tank manages to get it's propane into the tee as it fights against the other tank. This is going to result in completely unpredictable tank usage. For example, one time the left tank might be empty, but the right is still 1/4 full. Another time it might be the left at 1/8 full and the right empty.
Actually two tanks plumbed together like that (and with both turned on) will equalize to have the same level in both tanks.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:17 PM   #20
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Actually two tanks plumbed together like that (and with both turned on) will equalize to have the same level in both tanks.
In theory, that's right, but not actually in practice. The tank that's more full, will have a higher pressure than the tank that's less full. This higher pressure will allow that tank to push more propane into the tee then the other tank. Once the tanks are at equal enough pressure, they will each be able to push roughly 50/50 into the tee and keep relatively at balance.

This works for tanks that were close to each other in the first place. However, if you were to hook up a full tank and a 1/4 full tank, they're not going to equalize to 5/8 each. The full tank will just be able to be used up faster than the 1/4 full, but the 1/4 full will probably run out before the full got down low enough for them to be equal.

Of course I may be wrong, I only have a basic knowledge of how propane works, but my understanding is that the pressure created by liquid turning to gas in tank 1 is insufficient to get the gas in tank 2 to turn back to liquid. And that assumes that the valves are plumbed without any check valves so the propane can flow back into a tank through the outlet instead of through the fill valve.
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