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Old 10-25-2020, 10:09 PM   #1
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Propane switch difficulty

I ran a propane tank dry this morning, with outside temperature of 11F. I opened the other tank and switched the regulator. I could not get flow to the regulator though. The little red/green indicator in the regulator stayed red.

It is a brand new tank. I was really angry with the dealer for delivering my trailer with an empty tank, but when I got home I found the tank was full. The pigtail was connected very tightly.

At home I reinstalled the tank and it worked.

My question is - what could have caused this, and how do I prevent this in the future?
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:15 PM   #2
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Inside the pigtail ACME Nut is a 'flow limiting device'....a spring loaded ball bearing that trips closed to limit flow of propane
Downstream leak OR Opening Cylinder OPD valve too fast
Flow has to be 'balanced' on both sides of that ball check valve
Close OPD...wait 30 seconds then SLOWLY open OPD fully
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:17 PM   #3
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When you switch from an empty tank to a full tank turn the tank selector first then very slowly open the tank valve. Opening it quickly will cause it to shut most of the flow off as it senses an open, high flow output.
If you are in a quiet place you can hear it click which is the safety prevention flow valve shutting flow down to a trickle.

Beat me to it Old Biscuit

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Old 10-26-2020, 08:00 AM   #4
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Sounds like operator error! I probably opened both tanks when I left home, and just flipped the selector lever from one to the other.

I am accustomed to having an automatic switchover regulator. I will order one for this trailer today. Perhaps I will get an AP Products tank monitor also.

Thank you fellows so much for your prompt and helpful response!
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:31 AM   #5
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Also, make sure everything that uses propane "downstream" is off before you open the valve on the new tank.
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Old 10-26-2020, 08:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jergle View Post
Also, make sure everything that uses propane "downstream" is off before you open the valve on the new tank.
What is the motivation for doing so? Air in the lines, maybe?

Once I get an automatic switching regulator it is probably moot, but I am curious.

Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2020, 06:31 AM   #7
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If you have something open downstream, the flow limiting device may see that as a leak and cut off the flow. Found that out the hard way when changing out the tank on a camp stove. Took me a while to figure out why I wasn't getting any gas.
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:21 AM   #8
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Open the tank valves very slowly. The tank has an excess flow device that will set when there is a sudden flow. If you feel or hear a click, the excess flow set. Close the valve and wait a few minutes. Then slowly open the valve. The came is true if you manually switch tanks, transfer control slowly.

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Old 10-27-2020, 08:05 PM   #9
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Thanks, guys. After 30+ years of RV fun there are still things to learn!
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Old 10-27-2020, 09:19 PM   #10
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Agreed. Great thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHinman View Post
Thanks, guys. After 30+ years of RV fun there are still things to learn!
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Old 10-28-2020, 09:06 PM   #11
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Sounds like operator error! I probably opened both tanks when I left home, and just flipped the selector lever from one to the other.

I am accustomed to having an automatic switchover regulator. I will order one for this trailer today. Perhaps I will get an AP Products tank monitor also.

Thank you fellows so much for your prompt and helpful response!
The regulator should auto switch over. When it does, AND GAS FLOWS TO THE REGULATOR the red/green indicator will go half red, half green. The regulator flows at a limited flow (but not limited enough to cause problems) and once you flip the lever to the full tank, the indicator will go green. As noted, the flow fuse in the pigtail connector at the tank tripped closed.

From the Marshall Excelsior RV catalog.

Operation
Ensure that the regulator has been mounted with the vent
pointing downward so that water or debris cannot gather in the
regulator. Place one of the two cylinders in “primary” by
switching the black changeover lever in the direction of the
selected cylinder. The arrow on the lever will denote the
“primary” side. Open both cylinder valves slowly. The indicator
on the top of the regulator will turn green.
The “primary” side of the regulator will continue to supply gas as
long as sufficient gas is present in the “primary” cylinder. When
pressure in the cylinder drops below a designated pressure, the
“reserve” side will open and continue to primary gas to the
regulator. At the time that the “primary” cylinder becomes
exhausted, the indicator on the changeover lever will turn partial
red and green, indicating a cylinder change can be made.

Cylinder Exchange
Prior to removing the empty cylinder, position the black
changeover lever so that it points to the alternate cylinder that is
now supplying the regulator. Close the valve on the empty
cylinder and remove. After the empty cylinder is refilled and
reconnected, slowly open the cylinder valve. The new cylinder is
now the reserve cylinder. The indicator at the top of the regulator
will turn green.


The MEC RV catalog contains a wealth of information if you read thru it.

https://www.marshallexcelsior.com/si...log_2020_0.pdf

Charles
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