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Old 04-25-2020, 04:14 PM   #1
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Post RE: Propane Tank - Educated myself

Dilemma ... Filled my propane tank earlier in week.

Today doing work outside, smelled gas. Went to RV, checked both propane tanks and found strong order from the one I just filled. Swapped tanks with hose connection, leak (smell) moved with tank.

Next, checked for leak on hoses & tank with soapy water. Hoses were fine but found leak on tank at relief valve. Not at on/off portion or screw adjust, but instead at actual bleeder or OPD behind where hose connects. Sounded like gurgling when soapy water added along with bubbles forming.

Read that new tanks with OPD (overfill prevention device) only allow 80% fill and 20% is for expansion. Then read that weather does not affect this percentage. Nope, I will not believe that theory again.

Now I opened the bleeder screw to release some pressure, closed screw, and no more smell no more leak. Reconnected everything and all works fine.

Oh well Live & Learn! OR I can I blame the thought process on the virus


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Old 04-25-2020, 05:10 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. I've not noticed that before even when refilling in the E OR cold and traveling into the AZ heat two days later. Will be paying closer attention now with your post.
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:12 PM   #3
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The part that was leaking was the safety relief valve (opposite of the ACME threaded fitting). It has nothing to do with the OPD (float on the bottom of the valve), nor the valve bleed (small screw at base of ACME threaded ftting).

The normal reason for that valve to relieve is in an overfill situation.
Some fill station attendants don't use the bleed screw to determine fill level, they let the OPD device shut the propane flow off and they aren't always 100% reliable, so the cylinder gets overfilled. If you then take that cylinder into a hotter climate that it was filled in, the relief valve will relieve.
They're supposed to be set to 375 PSIG.

By opening the bleed screw a little you relieved the overfill situation and the relief valve shut off.

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Old 04-26-2020, 03:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
The part that was leaking was the safety relief valve (opposite of the ACME threaded fitting). It has nothing to do with the OPD (float on the bottom of the valve), nor the valve bleed (small screw at base of ACME threaded ftting).

The normal reason for that valve to relieve is in an overfill situation.
Some fill station attendants don't use the bleed screw to determine fill level, they let the OPD device shut the propane flow off and they aren't always 100% reliable, so the cylinder gets overfilled. If you then take that cylinder into a hotter climate that it was filled in, the relief valve will relieve.
They're supposed to be set to 375 PSIG.

By opening the bleed screw a little you relieved the overfill situation and the relief valve shut off.


I appreciate the correction in terminology. Safety Release Valve.
I further thank you for the picture & the reason for the situation I experienced. I will be mindful of that information pertaining to the bleed screw at my next fill up and verify.

It is funny, never having run into this situation before, I just assumed something was wrong with my tank. I was ready to think and say tank was defective.
I did verify later at propane tank fill store and was told what I did is exactly what he would have done.

I did not get the explanation as you provided me. Thank-you Bama Rambler
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
The part that was leaking was the safety relief valve (opposite of the ACME threaded fitting). It has nothing to do with the OPD (float on the bottom of the valve), nor the valve bleed (small screw at base of ACME threaded ftting).

The normal reason for that valve to relieve is in an overfill situation.
Some fill station attendants don't use the bleed screw to determine fill level, they let the OPD device shut the propane flow off and they aren't always 100% reliable, so the cylinder gets overfilled. If you then take that cylinder into a hotter climate that it was filled in, the relief valve will relieve.
They're supposed to be set to 375 PSIG.

By opening the bleed screw a little you relieved the overfill situation and the relief valve shut off.

So, just to confirm, everything operated as it should have (except for the guy who over-filled the tank in the first place! ), correct? If the tank is overfilled and the propane subsequently expands, the safety release valve is supposed to allow for propane to leak out and, if one smells propane, check the safety release valve first. If propane is releasing there, you can use the bleed screw to get your tank back down to normal PSI . . . am I following the procedure correctly? Am I correct in thinking that the bleed screw simply expedites the process (i.e., the excess pressure would gradually bleed out on it's own through the safety release valve?)
Obviously, smelling propane and finding no release from the safety release vale is another story!!
Just edjumicatin' myself!!
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Old 04-26-2020, 03:47 PM   #6
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So, just to confirm, everything operated as it should have (except for the guy who over-filled the tank in the first place! ), correct? If the tank is overfilled and the propane subsequently expands, the safety release valve is supposed to allow for propane to leak out and, if one smells propane, check the safety release valve first. If propane is releasing there, you can use the bleed screw to get your tank back down to normal PSI . . . am I following the procedure correctly? Am I correct in thinking that the bleed screw simply expedites the process (i.e., the excess pressure would gradually bleed out on it's own through the safety release valve?)
Obviously, smelling propane and finding no release from the safety release vale is another story!!
Just edjumicatin' myself!!

Yes, everything operated as it should have, except individual who fill it.
The way I understood it - if gas is leaking out of safety release valve, you can open the bleed screw to bring psi back to normal. I am guessing that bleed screw does expedite process.

Found out about bleed screw from the store owner where I filled my tanks. Explanation was not as in depth as Bama Rambler.

Bama Rambler stated - when filling tank they should open the bleed screw to avoid the overfill situation and not rely on OPD auto fill shut off, otherwise in some instances temperatures could affect the tanks later.

First time for everything, such as in my case.
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:09 PM   #7
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Yes, Bama Rambler has you lined out, but you could have a problem with your cylinders OPD float possibly. It's hard to really know without watching how your propane guy filled it.


1. The OPD (Overfill Protection Device) works like a household toilet float basically. When the cylinder is filled to 80% of it's water capacity, the float shuts off the incoming liquid propane being pumped in. This float is not always reliable and can allow an overfill as well as it not just closing off like it should (think of a toilet valve running). You will run into some refill places that are lazy and do not refill properly (or legally). They just turn on the pump and wait till they see/hear the pump/motor not pumping anymore....expecting the OPD float to shut off the incoming propane at 80%. This is also not only incorrect, it's hard on the refilling pumps/motors and causes damage when done a lot. Refilling by using the float lever alone is not legal, but you do see it done.



2. Next you have a dip tube in your cylinder which as part of what is referred to as a Fixed Liquid Level Gauge-Bleeder Valve. You can see this tube in Bama Ramblers pic. When refilling the cylinder, when you open the bleeder valve, it will spew out propane via the dip tube also when the cylinder is filled to 80% of it's water capacity. It is designed as a method to be certain the cylinder is not overfilled, and can be approved as a method when refilling cylinders. Certain places just use this method, and depending on the regulations at that location, it can be legal to just use this method to refill by.


3. On each DOT cylinder, there is a weight of the cylinder when it is empty as well as a weight of the cylinder using it's full water capacity. Refilling stations will have propane conversion charts to refill the cylinder by it's water capacity. They will use scales to preset this, so the scale shows them the weight of the cylinder when refilled with the proper amount of propane. Filling by weight is also approved as a refilling method for DOT cylinders. (You can also check the remaining amount of propane in your cylinder by weighing it on bathroom or luggage scales.)



You will find a lot of places refill using both #2 (Fixed Liquid Level Gauge-Bleeder Valve) and # 3 weight. This is a check and double-check system and is the best practice to make sure the cylinder is properly filled and not overfilled.



If everything works as designed, #2 and #3 occur at almost the same time. The Bleeder Valve will spew propane, and the scales will show the proper weight of the filled propane cylinder. The OPD will shut off the flow of incoming liquid propane as a last resort.


More info can be found here:


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...ng-133760.html
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Old 04-26-2020, 06:56 PM   #8
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wmtire

Wow! That is alot of valuable information. Thank-you!
I know the internet should be my friend but sometimes
it is called the height of laziness.

I am looking into your other site and checking out all the referal sites.

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Old 04-26-2020, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEN9XL View Post
Dilemma ... Filled my propane tank earlier in week.

Today doing work outside, smelled gas. Went to RV, checked both propane tanks and found strong order from the one I just filled. Swapped tanks with hose connection, leak (smell) moved with tank.

Next, checked for leak on hoses & tank with soapy water. Hoses were fine but found leak on tank at relief valve. Not at on/off portion or screw adjust, but instead at actual bleeder or OPD behind where hose connects. Sounded like gurgling when soapy water added along with bubbles forming.

Read that new tanks with OPD (overfill prevention device) only allow 80% fill and 20% is for expansion. Then read that weather does not affect this percentage. Nope, I will not believe that theory again.

Now I opened the bleeder screw to release some pressure, closed screw, and no more smell no more leak. Reconnected everything and all works fine.

Oh well Live & Learn! OR I can I blame the thought process on the virus


Stay Health & Stay Safe Everyone
even the old valves only allowed for 80% when was the last time your tank and valve were inspected sounds like its not working properly or who ever filled it did not fill it properly. you need a temp change of over 20 deg to effect the tank.
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Old 04-26-2020, 08:16 PM   #10
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even the old valves only allowed for 80% when was the last time your tank and valve were inspected sounds like its not working properly or who ever filled it did not fill it properly. you need a temp change of over 20 deg to effect the tank.
Dates on tanks were 2016 & 2017. Both within limits to use. Stamped on tanks states needs reinspection at 10 years.

As you stated, probably not filled properly. Checked everything today, 24 hours after discovering smell of gas, now no leaks or smell. Again all is working fine, but of course cooler weather here today, unlike warmer weather yesterday.

I will keep an eye on it for my protection of the RV and house it is parked next to.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:08 PM   #11
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On another note, have you ever had an issue where the pressure coming from a tank didn't seem to be at the pressure you thought it should be but there was still liquid in the tank?
A for instance would be, that your grill flame is not as high as it should be but the tank still had liquid sloshing in the tank when you shook it.
As it was explained to me, if the person filling the tank did not open the bleeder screw while filling the tank, the result would be that when the tank begins to empty, the propane tank, when at its last few pounds, will begin to not make the proper pressure needed, even though it has a few pounds of propane in the tank. He said this is sometimes a scam that some of the propane companies do to make a bit more profit, especially those who fill the 20# tanks.
An example of this is: The owner of a 20# tank uses 16# of the liquid propane in a 20# tank. But even with 4# left, the the pressure in the tank falls off so much that flame dies out. Frustrated because their grill won't flame up as much as they need, they trade their tank in and pay for another 20# tank exchange. The propane company then gets a tank returned to them that still has 4# in the tank and only has to fill the the 20# tank with 16# but still gets paid for 20# of propane.

To fix this issue and be able to use all of the propane in your than, all you need to do is open the bleed screw on the tank for a moment or two (I open it until I smell gas and then wait an additional 30 sec) and then you will be able to use the rest of the propane in the tank.

The video is an example of what I was instructed to do to resolve my issue.


Hope it helps
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:01 AM   #12
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A for instance would be, that your grill flame is not as high as it should be but the tank still had liquid sloshing in the tank when you shook it.

Tom, that low flame on the grill is usually user error, not a cylinder problem. You run across this when opening the cylinder valve too fast.


It's explained in this video:





and here is an excerpt from a previous post of mine where Coleman grills responded to an email I sent about the same. I tend to think the guy in your video just did the reset procedure unbeknownst to himself, and may have wasted a lot of propane gas, but it could be as you describe (and I haven't heard of)


Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire


Here was their response, and after following their recommendations....my grill does work now when using the Buddy Heater hose (haven't tried the true Coleman yet). It has to do with the "surge protection device" built in to their grills regulators. Here is their response and it is also posted in their FAQ section of their site:

Why does my grill have little to no flame?

The first possible cause is the use of a new propane tank that has been improperly filled. New tanks must first be purged of air before being filled with propane. Purging requires that the tank be filled with a small quantity of propane then emptied. The propane being heavier than air will force all the air out of the tank during the emptying and leave only propane vapor in the tank. The tank can then be filled and, when used, the tank will emit only propane vapor. If the tank is not purged, the air in tank will be emitted into the grill first and will either not burn at all or burn with a very low flame. It can take over an hour to vent the air from a non-purged propane tank through a grill's regulator and valve. Always make sure a new propane tank is purged before filling.

The second possible cause is the surge protection device built into the grill's regulator. All Coleman Grills have the surge protection device. This device cuts the flow of fuel to the grill if a sudden increase in propane flow is detected. This is to prevent a large venting of propane if the hose or valve on the grill is damaged. This device is also activated if the burner valves on the grill are in the open position when the valve on the tank is opened. You want to always be sure the burner knobs on the grill are in the off position before shutting off the tank valve when shutting down the grill. Just turning the knobs to the right until they stop may not turn off the burners. Most knobs must be pushed in and turned to the right before they will fully shut off the grill. Always make sure the knobs are in the off position before opening the tank valve when starting the grill. If either one of the knobs are in the open position, the surge protection device will activate and the flow of fuel to the grill will be very low.

The third possible cause is the use of an Overfill Protection Device that is now required on all propane tanks sold in the United States. This device is built into the tank and prevents too much propane from being put into the tank. It involves a float that rises on the liquid propane in the tank and shuts the valve if too much propane is put into the tank. Though this device is primarily used when the tank is being filled, it can also activate if the tank is tipped. Most propane cylinders on grills are stored below the grill body itself on a plate just above the wheels. If the grill is tilted when being moved, the moving liquid propane in the tank can cause the float inside the tank to rise and activate the OPD. This will shut off the flow of propane through the valve.

The activation of either the Surge Protection Device or the Overfill protection Device can be corrected by the same actions. First, make sure the grill and the propane cylinder are in a level postition. Second, Make sure all burner knobs are in the off position. Turn them clockwise until they stop then push them in and turn them clockwise again to make sure they are fully in the off position. Third, Make sure the tank is in the off position. This knob also turns clockwise to close the valve. Check the imprinted information on the valve knob to make sure. Once the burner knobs have been closed and the valve on the on the tank has been closed, the Surge Protection Device will reset to open. The OPD will also reset. You can then open the tank valve very slowly, giving the hose time to pressurize. Turn on one of the burner knobs and light the grill. You should experience a very good flame at the burner and can then light the rest of the burner.

Here is Char Broils video, which is the same, but doesn't go into the technical details:


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Old 04-27-2020, 02:37 PM   #13
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Or you can blame it on whoever over-filled the tank.
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:50 PM   #14
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I'm fairly certain, that at the SAME temperature, The PRESSURE of the gas will be the same, whether it contains 1# or 19# pounds of LIQUID. As soon s the LIQUID is exhausted, THEN the pressure in the tank will start to decrease rapidly as the NOW GAS is allowed to empty out of the tank. Just saying... Blue skies and smooth roads...
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Old 04-27-2020, 10:12 PM   #15
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Great info! I just bought a new barbeque from Lowe’s that they assembled. I had a new propane tank filled also. Went to barbecue and it wouldn’t light. I. also tried match lighting and nothing either. After dinking repeatedly with it I had to return it yesterday. They are assembling another barbecue for me. This time I’m testing it outside the store first; pain in the neck loading up that big thing into my utility trailer. I’ll try these methods and hope the next one works.
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Old 04-27-2020, 10:24 PM   #16
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Great info! I just bought a new barbeque from Lowes that they assembled. I had a new propane tank filled also. Went to barbecue and it wouldnt light. I. also tried match lighting and nothing either. After dinking repeatedly with it I had to return it yesterday. They are assembling another barbecue for me. This time Im testing it outside the store first; pain in the neck loading up that big thing into my utility trailer. Ill try these methods and hope the next one works.
You may possibly have a different situation. A new cylinder has to be purged. Who filled this new cylinder?
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:24 PM   #17
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You may possibly have a different situation. A new cylinder has to be purged. Who filled this new cylinder?
U-Haul filled it. I followed the manuals instructions for hook up and trouble shooting. Being a large 4 burner grill with 2 side burners, lots of wiring; I had assumed it got assembled wrong.
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