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Old 02-17-2021, 11:12 PM   #1
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Lp tank freeze up

Purchased a 2021 Cedar Creek 371 in November with onboard Onan Lp generator. Lp tanks freeze up in 45 degree weather. Have 35 hours on generator. Is there a regulator problem or any ideas?
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:43 PM   #2
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Your propane tanks will not freeze up at 45 degrees. I have used mine in -20F with no issues. At 45 degrees you will probably get condensation on the tanks which could be misinterpreted as icing up.
Are your other propane appliances working or is it just the generator not working?
Assuming your tank is full, try closing the valve and slowly reopening it. This will reset the check valve and propane will start to flow. Then try to light your stove or furnace.
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:50 PM   #3
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Have Lp stove,furnace and generator, tanks freeze up when half empty-have to bring them in warm environment to thaw out before they will work!
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Old 02-17-2021, 11:57 PM   #4
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Are you talking -45 temps or +45?
At -45 you will encounter supply problems related to the cold.
At +45 there is something else restricting the flow of propane.
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:00 AM   #5
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+45 degrees
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:34 AM   #6
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Same problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttilleraas View Post
Purchased a 2021 Cedar Creek 371 in November with onboard Onan Lp generator. Lp tanks freeze up in 45 degree weather. Have 35 hours on generator. Is there a regulator problem or any ideas?
We are having the same issue but we’re in Texas during the freeze. Our tank(s) have froze 3 times now. We bought a brand new Riverstone Legacy 39FK 11 months ago. Also, our propane furnace is running as is our heat pump @ the same time. We know the heat pump doesn’t really work below 40 degrees or so ……so it’s blowing cool air down while the heater is running. We’ve tried to see if we could shut the heat pump off on the thermostat but we can’t.
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:22 AM   #7
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Have you seen a Warm Guard 20 tank heater? They help to vaporize the propane in low temps
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:55 AM   #8
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No I have not-will check it out. Thanks!
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:09 AM   #9
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Have you seen a Warm Guard 20 tank heater? They help to vaporize the propane in low temps
... but 45*F is not low temperature.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:26 AM   #10
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Google "propane tank not purged"

It could be your tank was not properly purged prior to initial fill and has moisture inside. The propane will not freeze, but the moisture will immediately freeze in due to pressure drop in the regulator.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:48 AM   #11
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What are you folks meaning when you say "they freeze up?"

If you are seeing a frost line on the OUTSIDE of the tank that is perfectly normal.

If your propane is actually freezing INSIDE the tank/lines it is either at or below -44º F ambient temperatures (doubtful) and you'll need a warming blanket for the tank.. or.. someone didn't properly purge the new tank(s) when filling and there is moisture in the system. How are you verifying something is frozen?

One final thought, many southern states use a mixture of propane and butane when filling tanks. It is possible you have no other issues other than you don't have 100% propane in your tank(s) and the temperature at which the LP boils off has changed significantly. (usually somewhere near 0º F)

We see this a lot when folks winter in the south, have their tank(s) filled and then go north and experience cold weather and have LP issues.
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cfair708 View Post
We are having the same issue but we’re in Texas during the freeze. Our tank(s) have froze 3 times now. We bought a brand new Riverstone Legacy 39FK 11 months ago. Also, our propane furnace is running as is our heat pump @ the same time. We know the heat pump doesn’t really work below 40 degrees or so ……so it’s blowing cool air down while the heater is running. We’ve tried to see if we could shut the heat pump off on the thermostat but we can’t.
I suspect the heat pump and the furnace are not really running at the same time. Many thermostats have the option to run only the A/C blower when the furnace runs to help distribute the warm air that rises throughout the R/V. Nothing wrong with the system, it is an option provided by the manufacturer.

If you set your FAN setting to AU (AUTO) it will not run the A/C fan when the furnace runs. If the FAN setting is set to either HI or LOW, it will run.
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Old 02-18-2021, 09:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Boat View Post
Google "propane tank not purged"

It could be your tank was not properly purged prior to initial fill and has moisture inside. The propane will not freeze, but the moisture will immediately freeze in due to pressure drop in the regulator.
Desert Boat I think has the best answer for now. New tanks are sometimes pre-purged, but not all. Moisture plus air in an unpurged tank will cause these problems, as well as low propane levels when it's cold. 45 degrees is not cold, merely chilly! I bbq all the time on my gas grill below 32, nothing freezes but me!
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:25 PM   #14
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I have camped at -10 degrees with my TT and kept the furnace set at 52 degrees. That is as low as I could turn it. I never had a problem with my LP tanks freezing up. I did use a lot of LP but it never froze. I only got 2 nights of heat from each tank. When I got them filled, they were empty. I had to recharge my batteries every morning. With only one battery, I don't think I would have had enough juice to last all night.
I also suspect an improperly purged tank.
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:06 PM   #15
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One other factor, especially in the South (like Texas) is that "propane" filling tanks isn't always all propane. In fact it rarely is. It can contain other gases like Butane.

"LPG" filling small tanks in Mexico can contain up to 40% Butane and Butane is a known poor performer when cold. Because of the different boiling points, when cold the Propane leaves the tank more rapidly than the Butane. This increases the concentration of Butane and as the tank empties it doesn't vaporize as easily. As liquids vaporize they are cooled. The outside temperature may be 45 F but the temp of a liquid that is boiling/vaporizing can be a lot colder. The longer the furnace runs, the colder the tanks get.

I read once that Propane sold in Texas can contain up to 10% Butane but I wonder how much has been imported from Mexico due to the lower cost of Butane?

Moisture contamination of LPG also occurs and Ethanol is added to prevent freezing.


All possibilities.

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Typically in the United States and Canada, LPG is primarily propane (at least 90%), while the rest is mostly ethane, propylene, butane, and odorants including ethyl mercaptan.[29][30] This is the HD-5 standard, (Heavy Duty-5% maximum allowable propylene content, and no more than 5% butanes and ethane) defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials by its Standard 1835 for internal combustion engines. Not all products labeled "LPG" conform to this standard, however. In Mexico, for example, gas labeled "LPG" may consist of 60% propane and 40% butane. "The exact proportion of this combination varies by country, depending on international prices, on the availability of components and, especially, on the climatic conditions that favor LPG with higher butane content in warmer regions and propane in cold areas".
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cfair708 View Post
We are having the same issue but we’re in Texas during the freeze. Our tank(s) have froze 3 times now. We bought a brand new Riverstone Legacy 39FK 11 months ago. Also, our propane furnace is running as is our heat pump @ the same time. We know the heat pump doesn’t really work below 40 degrees or so ……so it’s blowing cool air down while the heater is running. We’ve tried to see if we could shut the heat pump off on the thermostat but we can’t.
We are in North Texas and the temps have been down to -4° and -2° this week and our propane worked just fine (thanks goodness) - we were able to stay toasty warm in our trailer during this time. It hasn't been above freezing here since Monday so it must be something else wrong with your system - maybe the regulator?
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:45 PM   #17
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You will see frost build up on the exterior of the tank when there is heavy draw (generator). This is because your tanks only provide a small surface area for the liquid propane to evaporate into gas to be burned. Because the generator is drawing the propane so quickly, the gas cools rapidly. I’ve seen 250 gallon propane tanks with a heavy ring of ice around them in mid-summer because the propane tank is not sized sufficiently for the home generator. Bottom line- the more surface area of liquid propane available inside the tank (larger tank), the more evaporated gas available which means less frosting. And yes, if there is moisture inside the tank, there is potential for it to freeze and stop the flow of propane.
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Old 02-18-2021, 02:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttilleraas View Post
Purchased a 2021 Cedar Creek 371 in November with onboard Onan Lp generator. Lp tanks freeze up in 45 degree weather. Have 35 hours on generator. Is there a regulator problem or any ideas?
Not sure where this notion that LP tanks freeze up at any sort of normal temperature range came from. I live in Wisconsin, where the temperature regularly gets to -15F and sometimes much colder, had -37F two winters ago, and I heat my home with LP. It does NOT freeze up at these temperatures. I also have two RVs and regularly operate the furnace and generator at below 0 temps and have never had a problem. The only issue with portable tanks is that the rate of evaporation of the LP slows as it gets gold, so vertical portables have less surface area for evaporation than would a horizontal tank. The boiling point of LP is actually -43.6F so as long as you are considerably warmer than that, it is not a problem with the propane freezing. Now it is possible that the regulator could freeze if it is subjected to significant moisture, but certainly not at =45 F. And again, that has never happened at my home, and all regulators are outside, and I use my outdoor grill daily in all weather. I'd look for a different problem, it isn't your propane tank freezing.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:01 PM   #19
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Being in South Texas this was my experience with propane

We were without electricity for 4 days and had to use our dual-fuel generator which we always used propane with no problems. However, with temps in 20s our 20 lb tanks were only half used b4 the generator quit.
Searched the subject on the forum and found people on this forum talking about it several years ago (Titan Mike).
I ended up using gasoline with no problems until people made a run on gas stations with mile long lines and realized I had to really start conserving my gasoline. So back to the propane, I tried warming the tanks that were half empty and wrapped a heating pad directly on side of tank and wrapped with towels and blanket and plugged into generator. Fired right up. I place the tank about 18 inches from the warm exhaust and was able to use up all the propane in the tank. As far as propane having a mixture of other stuff, that might explain why we had trouble with ours down in South Texas with this very unusual cold snap.
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Old 02-18-2021, 03:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
One other factor, especially in the South (like Texas) is that "propane" filling tanks isn't always all propane. In fact it rarely is. It can contain other gases like Butane.

"LPG" filling small tanks in Mexico can contain up to 40% Butane and Butane is a known poor performer when cold. Because of the different boiling points, when cold the Propane leaves the tank more rapidly than the Butane. This increases the concentration of Butane and as the tank empties it doesn't vaporize as easily. As liquids vaporize they are cooled. The outside temperature may be 45 F but the temp of a liquid that is boiling/vaporizing can be a lot colder. The longer the furnace runs, the colder the tanks get.

I read once that Propane sold in Texas can contain up to 10% Butane but I wonder how much has been imported from Mexico due to the lower cost of Butane?

Moisture contamination of LPG also occurs and Ethanol is added to prevent freezing.


All possibilities.
Interesting about the blending. Didn't know they had a Southern blend.
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