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Old 10-10-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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Propane Regulator Adjustment

I was wondering if anybody could give me some advice on my Propane regulator. I am having trouble with my hot water heater lighting by itself, it tries, but will not light, just pops. I can light it manually but would really like to have it work on its own. Secondly, when I light my stove I have an unusually high flame on the first lit burner, then the second ones seem to be fine after that. I understand I need a manometer to accuratly adjust the regulator but I dont have one nor will i have access to one when I get to work where my rv is currently being used. Any help would be great, thanks...

Chris
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Old 10-10-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
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Don't try to fool around with it - just buy a new LP regulator for around $20.

If its the regulator, it is more likely clogged with oil residue than needing an adjustment anyway.
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:33 PM   #3
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new regulator may not be set to correct water column pressure either. Any propane dealer should be able to check pressure and adjust
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:23 AM   #4
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11 wc inches is the standard LP regulator setting, whether residential or RV. I suppose the factory setting could be off, but is does not seem much of a risk to me.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:46 PM   #5
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My generator runs on propane. Does it require the same lp pressure as the appliances? I have two lp tanks, one for the generator and the other for the appliances. I suppose that the two systems are separate for a reason.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
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My generator runs on propane. Does it require the same lp pressure as the appliances? I have two lp tanks, one for the generator and the other for the appliances. I suppose that the two systems are separate for a reason.
Appliances are supplied by a regulator that provides or "pushes" (when properly adjusted) 11" water column pressure to the appliances. As the appliances use the product thereby diminishing the pressure the regulator allows more product to flow, increasing the pressure. All this happens dynamically to maintain 11" w.c.
Engines such as your gen. use a negative pressure regulator. Typical small LP engines produce a vacuum which essentially sucks fuel. The gen regulator allows fuel to flow as a result of the engine manifold vacuum. The engine only sucks what it needs to run at any given throttle setting.
So, to answer your question bluntly.......yes, they are separate for a reason.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #7
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There is a vacuum controlled regulator bolted to the generator engine and there is also a regulator on the lp tank that supplies pressure to the vacuum controlled regulator. What I am interested in is the outlet pressure of the regulator at the tank.
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Old 11-12-2010, 09:50 PM   #8
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What I am interested in is the outlet pressure of the regulator at the tank.
There are too many variables to give a generic answer. In my experience no more than 5 psi on the first stage. I have no way of knowing if that is correct for YOUR system or not.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:06 PM   #9
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Thanks KIX, I found a company that sells a lp conversion kit for small engines and they provide a regulator set at 12 psi. I rarely use my generator so I am wondering how I might use the propane from its tank. I would think that I could tee into the generator supply line with a 11" w.c. regulator. I will talk to my lp supplier to get his input.
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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SASman- I have an Onan LP generator (factory installed) which is connected thru it's regulator to the LP tank regulator which is set at 11 inch WC. All appliances plus genny feeds thru the same LP tank regulator. I have 2 tanks but the regulator is a 2 stage automatic change over when first tank is empty. Do not see the reason for 2 seperate tanks. Restricts the useage of propane supply. A number years ago my tank regulator went south and everyone was telling me I neeeded a special regulator because of genny. Called factory and was told "old wife tale" and to use OTC regular 2 stage regulator. Works fine
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Old 11-12-2010, 10:43 PM   #11
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RVhauler, thanks for the info. I like the way your system is set up. I have used the automatic change over regulators on my livestock water heaters for many years and they work well. If I used my generator a lot then I would not want to change anything. I will take my regulator to my lp supplier and have it checked to be sure of its pressure setting.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks KIX, I found a company that sells a lp conversion kit for small engines and they provide a regulator set at 12 psi. I rarely use my generator so I am wondering how I might use the propane from its tank. I would think that I could tee into the generator supply line with a 11" w.c. regulator. I will talk to my lp supplier to get his input.
That sounds like a good plan. Just as an added check the boss on the tank where the gen line comes off should be labeled as "vapor" and not liquid. Assuming it's vapor it will work.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:05 PM   #13
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Some RV LP generators run off liquid propane rater than gas. There is still fuel pressure involved, of course, but it's an entirely different regulator and flow control mechanism.

There is no inherent need for two LP separate tanks when you have an LP generator, but if one tank it will have two separate feed lines and mechanisms.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:05 PM   #14
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Yes it is a vapor line.
Had a snow storm here last night, power has been sporadic. Spent most of the morning moving snow. Broke a water hydrant off, now I have to fix that. Hope to get back to working on the motorhome tomorrow.
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