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Old 11-16-2019, 12:10 AM   #1
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Propane regulator gone bad?

Own a 2018 Sandpiper 378FB. Have two 30 lb. Propane tanks with automatic switch over regulator. Everything has been fine for 2 years of fulltime living. One propane tank emptied two days ago and the regulator switched to the full tank just as it always does. After seeing the red indicator, I rotated the dial to point to the full tank. Everything worked fine until tonight. Noticed that heat was not coming on and the water heater was not working either. They would both run for just a minute or so and then shut down. Went out and moved the full tank to where the empty tank was to make sure that there was not a problem with the pigtail. Still no gas. Yes, the tank is full. It is not cold. It can't be that I turned the valve on too fast because the full tank was working fine for two days. The only odd thing is that after putting the full tank where the empty tank was, I rotated the dial to point at where there wasn't a tank and it stayed green. Shouldn't it have switched to red? Bad regulator?
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:07 PM   #2
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Own a 2018 Sandpiper 378FB. Have two 30 lb. Propane tanks with automatic switch over regulator. Everything has been fine for 2 years of fulltime living. One propane tank emptied two days ago and the regulator switched to the full tank just as it always does. After seeing the red indicator, I rotated the dial to point to the full tank. Everything worked fine until tonight. Noticed that heat was not coming on and the water heater was not working either. They would both run for just a minute or so and then shut down. Went out and moved the full tank to where the empty tank was to make sure that there was not a problem with the pigtail. Still no gas. Yes, the tank is full. It is not cold. It can't be that I turned the valve on too fast because the full tank was working fine for two days. The only odd thing is that after putting the full tank where the empty tank was, I rotated the dial to point at where there wasn't a tank and it stayed green. Shouldn't it have switched to red? Bad regulator?
The indicator will remain green until pressure in line is depleted. If you turned on the stove with the indicator turned to empty tank side the window would turn red in short order.

Does the stove light and run normally? If so regulator is probably OK and the problem is elsewhere. If you can light all three burners and they run OK they are using about the same amount of propane as a furnace so there's adequate flow. Look for kinked lines underneath.
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by littlekid55 View Post
Own a 2018 Sandpiper 378FB. Have two 30 lb. Propane tanks with automatic switch over regulator. Everything has been fine for 2 years of fulltime living. One propane tank emptied two days ago and the regulator switched to the full tank just as it always does. After seeing the red indicator, I rotated the dial to point to the full tank. Everything worked fine until tonight. Noticed that heat was not coming on and the water heater was not working either. They would both run for just a minute or so and then shut down. Went out and moved the full tank to where the empty tank was to make sure that there was not a problem with the pigtail. Still no gas. Yes, the tank is full. It is not cold. It can't be that I turned the valve on too fast because the full tank was working fine for two days. The only odd thing is that after putting the full tank where the empty tank was, I rotated the dial to point at where there wasn't a tank and it stayed green. Shouldn't it have switched to red? Bad regulator?
Not uncommon for these regulators to go bad if you replace do the pigtails also .
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:33 PM   #4
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Mike and Mr. M,

Thank you for your responses.

I slept on it overnight. Went out and turned on the tank valve very slowly. First thing I saw and heard was the pigtail filling with gas and slightly moving with the added pressure. As I continued opening the valve I heard a slight click which was probably the safety pin (OPD?). Anyway, went inside and lit one of the burners on the cooktop. It only stayed lit for a short time so it was probably just burning off the residual gas in the line from the night before. I am still guessing that it is the regulator because why would I see and hear the pigtail filling with gas? Wouldn't it still have been charged from last night? My thinking is that whatever gas was already in the pigtail slowly leaked out through the regulator. I also forgot to mention that the gas detector near the floor on the island kitchen is on with a continuous green light and no chirping.
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Old 11-16-2019, 01:27 PM   #5
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I had one do very similar to your description. We were in Colorado in August. Went to the store and purchased new regulator. Fixed the problem for me. As said earlier and as I found mine, the pigtails were in bad shape so replace your pigtails as I did. Good luck!
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:06 PM   #6
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Tanks

Have you lifted the tank you switched to. I would check the physical weight if it is actually empty VS the one you are sure is empty. If the temp. went up you might get a little gas out of an empty tank. Not unusual for the auto switchers to go bad.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:15 PM   #7
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The tank is absolutely full. Just filled it a couple days ago. Also, per your suggestion, when I switched positions with the empty tank to rule out a faulty pigtail, it was definitely heavy.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:19 PM   #8
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Tanks

Only other choice would be a crimped hose. In 12 years I have replaced 2 of the auto switchers.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:39 PM   #9
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Just some information I found out when my tank emptied.
First tank was empty switched manually to the other. I refuse to set my regulator to the middle for fear of running out of propane in both tanks.

I refilled my empty tank, reconnected and switched to use. It worked fine initially then stopped. I could not figure out problem, the tank was just filled. To my surprise I had a leak, not in regulator or hoses, but instead I found the "O-ring" in the propane tank got pinched at last fill up.

I discovered that you can not buy a replacement "O-ring" for propane tank due to gas company safety regulations or something similar to that.
Unfortunately, my alternative was to buy a new propane tank.

Not saying that is your problem but something to consider. As for regulator turning red, it won't change until you try an use as others stated.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:46 PM   #10
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I also had a problem with my 2012 Sandpiper 356RL last year. The propane feed to the furnace would not ignite. I replaced my primary regulator which allowed me to light the furnace again. Not long after, I began smelling propane around the right side tank. There is a single stage regulator there also, and it was leaking propane. That regulator reduces pressure before propane is delivered through flexible hose to the primary regulator. I then replaced the secondary regulator. Everything works fine now. There is a lot of good information within the forum archives and elsewhere on the web to provide you with an understanding of how these systems work and now they should be installed and tested. Automatic regulators appear to have a limited lifespan. It may well be that as a full-timer your automatic regulator may be at end-of-life. I'm no expert, just offering information based on my personal experience.
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEN9XL View Post
Just some information I found out when my tank emptied.
First tank was empty switched manually to the other. I refuse to set my regulator to the middle for fear of running out of propane in both tanks.

I refilled my empty tank, reconnected and switched to use. It worked fine initially then stopped. I could not figure out problem, the tank was just filled. To my surprise I had a leak, not in regulator or hoses, but instead I found the "O-ring" in the propane tank got pinched at last fill up.

I discovered that you can not buy a replacement "O-ring" for propane tank due to gas company safety regulations or something similar to that.
Unfortunately, my alternative was to buy a new propane tank.

Not saying that is your problem but something to consider. As for regulator turning red, it won't change until you try an use as others stated.
This happened to us. We could smell propane and finally figured out what was wrong. O-ring bad. We swapped it at one of those swap tank things
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Old 11-16-2019, 04:00 PM   #12
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Okay. A quick update. Bought and installed a new, better regulator. We now have hot water, the cooktop works but still no heat. I called the mobile RV repair guy. Two out of three not bad and we have an electric oil radiator heater that keeps the place toasty. Also, the repair guy at where we bought the regulator confirmed that the one I replaced is pretty much junk so I feel better that I upgraded the regulator.

I will update once the furnace issue is resolved.

Thanks to all of you.
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Old 11-16-2019, 06:00 PM   #13
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Thanks to you for getting back to the community that you resolved the problem. Let us know what happens with your furnace

Happy camping
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by littlekid55 View Post
Okay. A quick update. Bought and installed a new, better regulator. We now have hot water, the cooktop works but still no heat. I called the mobile RV repair guy. Two out of three not bad and we have an electric oil radiator heater that keeps the place toasty. Also, the repair guy at where we bought the regulator confirmed that the one I replaced is pretty much junk so I feel better that I upgraded the regulator.

I will update once the furnace issue is resolved.

Thanks to all of you.


Nice to hear that it was the regulator.
Appreciate the update. Thank-you!
I'd be curious to know what they find on heat system.

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Old 11-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #15
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Just curious...What did you buy as a replacement?
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:24 PM   #16
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take a picture and post. I am having similar issues with some cheesey plastic switch over valve between my two tanks. Thought it was me the first but now I have concerns.
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