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Old 01-11-2019, 12:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fagnaml View Post
From my Refining background, I'd say your problem is either the propane contains moisture (which is unlikely if it was purchased from a reputable propane dealer as refineries and gas plants remove moisture from propane to prevent ice formation down to an ambient temperature of -20 F) OR your regulator pressure setting is too high and the propane will not vaporize at 29 F.


From my Gas Processors Association Handbook, propane at 30 F will not vaporize if the system pressure (i.e. pressure regulator setting) is above 25 psig. In other words, if the pressure regulator is set above 25 psig at 30 F, the propane will remain a liquid and your furnace and stove, which burn propane vapor, will lose flow and quit functioning.


Hope this info helps!
Wow- 25 psig is like 692 inches of water column. RV propane systems operate in a range like 11 to 15 inches of water column.

I've seen lower propane gas pressure (failures to light and burn) at cold temperatures like -10 to -20F, but have also had no problems with propane at sub-zero temperatures other times while camping. Our S&B house uses propane and even at very cold temperatures we've never had any issue. I would also opt for the methyl alcohol injection, only makes sense as a precaution.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rarebear.nm View Post
Wow- 25 psig is like 692 inches of water column. RV propane systems operate in a range like 11 to 15 inches of water column.

I've seen lower propane gas pressure (failures to light and burn) at cold temperatures like -10 to -20F, but have also had no problems with propane at sub-zero temperatures other times while camping. Our S&B house uses propane and even at very cold temperatures we've never had any issue. I would also opt for the methyl alcohol injection, only makes sense as a precaution.

Most of the LPG regulators in common use are two stage units with the input stage set in the neighborhood of 30 to 40 psi. The second stage set to 11 in w.c.


Also note that if free water is inside the storage tank, the propane liquid is saturated. The propane vapor will also be saturated and the water will be passed thru the regulator and into the "system".



Injected denatured (dry) alcohol will absorb the free water in the propane tank (if any) and hold it in solution with the propane. It will then be passed into the regulator and (some of it) burned, along with the propane vapor.


You will note that the alcohol will only absorb the "free water" vapor and liquid (if any) inside the tank and will have no effect on the water already absorbed by the propane. The water still passes through the regulator where it condenses out of solution, along with the alcohol, which is optimistically hoped to act as an antifreeze.


Note also that with the injected alcohol in place, there are now two separate paths for water to enter the system.

The alcohol will be entirely used up (burned as fuel) and must be replenished. It will not linger in the tank. If water continues to be a problem, the drying agent will need to be reintroduced.

If the user suspects water contamination, at this point, it would be wise to periodically drain the low pressure line at the lowest physical point in the gas line. There will be residual water, alcohol, and very likely residual oils collected, waiting to bite him.



Phil
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:12 AM   #17
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A local mobile service recommended that I 'insulate' the regulator and tank, so I took every blanket and rag I had and wrapped it around everything in the compartment. After all of these trials, when it went below 30 outside the next morning...no heat.

By insulating the regulator while operating, you prevent the ambient air heat from warming the regulator. It will compound the problem by making the regulator colder!


The propane vapor, while passing thru the regulator, continues to absorb heat from the surroundings, to fuel its expansion to a gas.


Same if you insulate the tank. Keeps ambient heat from flowing into the propane to promote vaporization.


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Old 01-15-2019, 09:00 PM   #18
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If the tank was filled in warm weather in a place like southern Arizona you may have a lot of butane rather then propane?if it gets around freezing this is a problem. Happened to a friend of mine and he lost a lot of frozen fish in his freezer.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:11 PM   #19
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Additionally, if LP is used at a rate higher than evaporation can occur - LP appliances cannot operate. Evaporation rate is dependent on surface area and ambient temperature.
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/p...ix-d_1043.html
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:28 PM   #20
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If the tank was filled in warm weather in a place like southern Arizona you may have a lot of butane rather then propane?if it gets around freezing this is a problem. Happened to a friend of mine and he lost a lot of frozen fish in his freezer.



No doubt that a butane mixture could cause these issues in some cases and locations.


There is no need to insert a condition that can not be proven to explain a phenomenon that happens in areas where butane is not available. Especially when there are so many other provable causes to address. In Northern California we have these issues and some of us (who have made the effort) have been successful in preventing them.

It is useful to know that while butane and propane have different vapor points, when mixed, they behave as one. If the temperature is below the vapor point of butane, it will be carried out of the tank with the butane and burned as easily as if the temperature were much higher. The butane is dissolved in the propane. Because of this, there will be no stratification of butane left in the tank be cause it did not vaporize. It does not have to when mixed with propane. The only penalty with the mixture is slightly reduced vaporization rate and lower peak capacity at full BTU output.


The reason for this behavior stems from the somewhat complex nature of the LPG gases and centers around the principles connected with Vapor Pressure and mixtures of fluids therein.




In short, I don't believe butane is the cause, in most cases.


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Old 01-15-2019, 11:56 PM   #21
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Additionally, if LP is used at a rate higher than evaporation can occur - LP appliances cannot operate. Evaporation rate is dependent on surface area and ambient temperature.
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/p...ix-d_1043.html



Very good point to remember.

Additionally, if the temperature is low enough and the humidity is high enough, and if the BTU demand is high enough, the moisture condensed on the tank can insulate the tank exterior and deny the actual ambient heat access to the tank walls. This can occur at deceptively high temperatures.


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Old Yesterday, 07:57 PM   #22
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The LPG pipes and hoses have been checked for any liquid and found dry , my suggestion would be to inject the alcohol/and/or install an Extend-a-Stay and carry an extra tank of LPG to isolate the symptom next winter.

Flagstaff Snowbowl ski/camp is another option this year!!
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Old Yesterday, 08:35 PM   #23
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Butane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy1 View Post
If the tank was filled in warm weather in a place like southern Arizona you may have a lot of butane rather then propane?if it gets around freezing this is a problem. Happened to a friend of mine and he lost a lot of frozen fish in his freezer.
that is what I was going to suggest as the problem , Butane is mixed in higher concentrations in warmer climates and it vapors off at 30 degrees where propane vapors at -44 degrees , other things that could affect it are not having a full enough tank as wet surface area plays a role in vaporization . but since you said you had the tank topped off to 80% we could rule that out . water in the system would cause an ice blockage at the regulator , you could pour warm water over the regulator and listen for a rush of propane as it thaws . on the plus side it's not to hard a fix , take it to a place that supplies propane for house heating and they should be able to pump it out to their 30,000 gal bulk tank where it can do no harm and fill you back up with the good stuff .
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