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Old 02-10-2016, 10:48 PM   #1
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What temp causes propane to stop flowing properly?

What temp causes propane to stop flowing properly? Just thinking about camping where it is really cold. Any worries about the furnace being able to perform? I am talking about a TT with the bottles out front.

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Old 02-10-2016, 10:52 PM   #2
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Propane has a boiling point of -43 degrees so you should be good unless camping in Antarctica!
My house furnace runs off a propane tank and works fine in sub-zero temps.
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Wobbles for asking, and Ken for the reply!
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by KenHwy61 View Post
Propane has a boiling point of -43 degrees so you should be good unless camping in Antarctica!
My house furnace runs off a propane tank and works fine in sub-zero temps.
Thanks, I know homes have had this going on forever. I have had a 20lb bottle give me trouble when it was cold and seem to work ok after the temp went back up. Perhaps the trouble was with my equipment that I was connecting too.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:13 PM   #5
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We had a tank regulator freeze up one trip when it was 12 below zero F. Warmed up the regulator and all was good.
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Old 02-10-2016, 11:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
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What temp causes propane to stop flowing properly?
When it is sooo cold your hands can't turn on the valve! There is no propane flow then.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:49 AM   #7
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Btu capacity is influenced by ambient temp ,size and volume of tank. For example:
a 20# cylinder 25 % full at 20 degrees will only produce 13,000 BTU a 40# cylinder under the same conditions will produce 21,800 so keep them warm and keep them full.
pressure wise at Zero degrees the tank pressure would be 28-30 psi at 20 degrees it would be 47 psi.
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:57 AM   #8
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propane flow

X2,What Gasman said.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:02 PM   #9
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Up here in northern Minnesota -30 F isn't real uncommon, and in the old days before the weather changed, -40. A lot of us heat our homes with propane and it keeps on flowing. During the two -50 nights that I survived many years ago, fuel oil congealed. Anyone who camps in those temperatures has a lot better rig than mine.
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Old 02-11-2016, 01:22 PM   #10
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1. Propane in the tank/cylinder must vaporize before it can "flow"
2. Normally, if container has not been providing vapor recently, it will be at ambient temperature.
3. As you begin taking vapor from container, the liquid in the container vaporizes and cools. As the liquid coola, pressure within the container goes down.
4. To keep the container pressure up, heat must flow into the cooling liquid. This heat flows primarily through the wetted walls of the container - walls contacting only vapor have a negligible effect. There's a lot more wetted wall when the container is 80% full than when the tank is 20% full.
5. The more wetted area (the fuller the container), the more heat flows in, and the faster vapor is produced. (DO NOT insulate a propane cylinder - this works against you by keeping heat from flowing into the container!)
6. LP appliances require about 1/2 psig (11 inches water column) of pressure. A tank at about -40 degrees F will have this pressure. But if you start removing vapor from this tank - reread 4 and 5.

A larger container provides more wetted area than a smaller tank it can keep the vaporization rate up. A 20# cylinder 80% full will have more wetted area than a 30# cylinder which is only 40% full, and the 20# cylinder will be, at this condition, able to provide greater vapor flow.

Remember - it is vapor coming from the tank, not liquid. (This statement is not true for tanks used with generators or other propane motor equipment).
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