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Old 12-06-2014, 11:17 AM   #1
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Propane auto switching valve operation

While waiting for our departure to Florida, we have been in a deep freeze here in New Brunswick.
Our main source of heat has been propane furnace and electric fireplace.
One important thing that I have noticed is that without the second full tank opened the one tank that is being used will run out of propane before the tank is empty. If I open the second tank the other tank will completely empty.
For those that use one tank at a time, they will never empty the tank properly without the second tank open.
My assomption is that the switching valve needs pressure on the reserve side in order to completely empty the service tank.

Last night I was on my last tank with the opposite tank empty.
So the valve showed red and I was really scared of running out. Filled my spare tanks and connected one on the other side and the dial on the service tank turned green.
We have been exposed to 2deg F over night and the service tank is not yet empty.

This goes to those that only use one tank open at a time. On my unit the service tank would never empty completely. So the 2 tanks open makes the switching valve work properly..

This is the second time I have noticed this operation on my tanks.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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Not true with my valve. When my outer tank runs out it is EMPTY when rear tank valve is closed.

I always run off the front tank with the valve turned to that tank. I always leave the back tank closed. That way I am never out of propane. I then switch to back tank and either run for a while or just go fill the front tank.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:02 PM   #3
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This is interesting. I had a situation where I wasn't getting much heat from the furnace, suspected I was low on propane and opened the second tank. The next day, I took the primary in for a fill and was told it was only partially empty.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:12 PM   #4
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The switch over valve is designed for both tanks to be open. The valve will drain from the tank the lever is pointed at. When that tank has propane the indicator will be green, when the indicator turns red the tank the lever is pointing at is empty.

Turn the lever to the tank with propane. The indicator will turn green and you can disconnect the empty tank to get it filled. When full hook it back up, turn it on and wait for the indicator to turn red.

Switch the lever towards the full tank . . . . . . repeat as necessary.

You should always have both tanks open. Just have to make a habit of inspecting the indicator every day or two.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiSmuggs View Post
This is interesting. I had a situation where I wasn't getting much heat from the furnace, suspected I was low on propane and opened the second tank. The next day, I took the primary in for a fill and was told it was only partially empty.
Exactly the way mine did twice the last week. Except I had an empty second tank instead of a closed valve.
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2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:54 PM   #6
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Simple and common problem related to some humidity and cold weather. Your tanks are not empty, just the pressure regulator frozen. This reduce and even block the propane flow.
Use a air dryer on the regulator, no open flame please.......
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:38 PM   #7
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Anyone have the hose leaking off gas when the empty tank was removed, and the lever was switched to the full tank?
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:39 PM   #8
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Never in 16 years.
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Barbara and Laurent, Hartland Big Country 3500RL. 39 ft long and 15500 GVW.
2005 Ford F250 SD, XL F250 4x4, Long Box, 6.0L Diesel, 6 Speed Stick, Hypertech Max Energy for Fuel mileage of 21 MPusG empty, 12.6 MPusG pulling the BC. ScangaugeII for display..
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:04 PM   #9
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The real reason for this is in cold weather drawing down an almost empty bottle, cools the remaining propane below the vapour point. With the second bottle in service the regulator will switch back and forth a few times giving the near empty bottle a chance to recover.
In very cold temps you will find that the secondary supply will be less than full as a bit was used in the back and forth operation.
Art.
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