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Old 12-07-2006, 10:50 AM   #1
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This morning one of our cylinders of propane went empty. Switched to the second cylinder. The furnace ran but was blowing very little heat. Turned on the range thinking we had some air in the lines, it worked fine. After filling and replacing the empty cylinder I switched back to it and the furnace worked as usual. I don't remember using the second cylinder in the 2 years we have owned our coach. I'm thinking I may have a problem with the automatic changeover regulator. Has anybody had a similar problem or have an idea as to something it might be?
Thanks for your help.
Paul
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:37 AM   #2
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Are you saying the range operated normally on the 2nd cylinder but the furnace didn't?

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Old 12-07-2006, 11:44 AM   #3
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clspds,

Yes....I have had some problems with the gas system on our 05 coach. Last winter during some very cold weather. i.e. teens, I had two events where during the night the furnace ran a tank out and I still had a full tank. When the furnace tries to light three times and doesn't it goes into cut off and will not function until you turn it off, then back on. My first thought was a change over regulator failure. I called and talked to a guy at Marshall Gas, they manufacture the change over regulator. This guy ask me if the tanks were side by side or on opposite sides of the coach. When I told him they were on opposite sides then he ask me if there was a regulator on the street side near the bottle, there was not. Well to make a long story short, he convinced me that was the problem. I installed the recommended regulator which ,by the way, has a check valve in it which prevents gas from the curb side escaping when you remove the empty street side bottle. The only gas that can vent is what is in the pigtail. The change over regulator does not really work like you think it does. It uses gas from the near empty cylinder until it will not supply the demand for gas, then it starts making up the difference from the full cylinder. This way the near empty is allowed to completely deplete. When you see red in the regulators window you have already been using gas from the full cylinder for a while. Although this seemed to correct the problem, PI replaced the change over regulator when we were there last summer.
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Old 12-07-2006, 11:46 AM   #4
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Paul,
First, I would ensure the second cylinder has sufficient propane -- that being okay, then I would suspect a problem in the change-over valve. I'm certainly not an expert on propane systems and I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will chime in.
John
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Old 12-07-2006, 12:56 PM   #5
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Rusty JC: Yes, the range worked properly. The furnace ran, but the air was slightly above room temperature. When I put on the cylinder that I had filled this morning and switched to it, the furnace ran properly and blew hot air.

Highturn: Thanks for the info. Can you give me some more information on the regulator you bought and what did PI say about installing the second regulator?

Chief John: Cylinder #2 is full. I am thinking about switching cylinders from side to side and see what happens.

Thanks all you guys for your help.
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Old 12-07-2006, 04:32 PM   #6
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Paul..
I had a bottle run out very quickly, the one we used at Gettysburg I think only used the furnace 2 times and the range a few times. The other bottle seems to last forever... Haven't quiet figured that out.. I looked for a leak and haven't found one... I realize that is different than your problem.. but still a bit odd. You guys don't need heat out there anyway do you? more Airconditioner!!

Take Care.. Buddy says hi!
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by clspds:
Highturn: Thanks for the info. Can you give me some more information on the regulator you bought and what did PI say about installing the second regulator?
Clspds,

RVIA started requiring the second 30 PSI regulator with a check valve on coaches built after September 1, 2005 so all new Excels have it installed at the factory. If you call Marshall Gas or The Excel service Center they can sell you the regulator, I think they run about $30.00+-.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by clspds:
Rusty JC: Yes, the range worked properly. The furnace ran, but the air was slightly above room temperature. When I put on the cylinder that I had filled this morning and switched to it, the furnace ran properly and blew hot air.
OK, where I'm left head-scratching on this is why the range would work and the furnace wouldn't. The only thing I could think of is that there was enough air in the line to the furnace that it finally got purged about the time you turned the refilled original cylinder back on.

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Old 12-08-2006, 05:41 AM   #9
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RustyJC,

I think you probably have the right theory. The plumbing running from the curb side to the street side can harbor a lot of air; however if you install the second regulator with the check valve, all of that line will remain charged with LP gas. The only air that will be introduced is in the pigtail, which isn't very much.
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Old 12-08-2006, 05:50 AM   #10
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I'm with you on the benefits of the 2nd regulator, but if the air was trapped between the bottles, why would the range continue to work when the bottles were switched over?

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Old 12-08-2006, 05:59 AM   #11
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Perhaps just residual gas in the line near the range and the air hadn't got there yet.
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:16 AM   #12
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Daryl: It was 37 here this morning.

Highturn: Thanks for the info on the regulator.

Rusty JC: I am puzzled as well. Furnace and range worked great last night with new cylinder. I don't think there was any air trapped in the lines after we ran the range - we ran it for quite some time.

I am thinking maybe the burners on the range require less gas to work properly than the furnace would (don't know - just guessing). Thanks again for all your help.

Paul
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:16 AM   #13
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Update:

I switched cylinders to opposite sides. The older cylinder worked fine in the new position. This told me that I don't have a moisture problem with that tank. Tried new cylinder at its new position, same problem. Swiched valve back to the side that works and let it run awhile. Started to work fine. At this time I switched valve back to the problematic side and let the furnace run til the air started to cool. I then switched the valve back to the working side. After switching the valve back and forth a few times the furnace started to work properly on either cylinder. This leads me to conclude the following: either there was a restriction in the valve that was worked out by switching back and forth or there was moisture in the long line and it took guite a long time to work its way out. Either way the furnace and range have worked properly for the last 24 hours.

Thanks again guys for your help and ideas.

Paul
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:21 AM   #14
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Paul - don't you just love it when you "fix" a problem but don't know what caused the problem?? Whatever, it works and that's all that matters!
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