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Old 10-14-2020, 08:32 PM   #1
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OPD replacement on propane tank

Pretty much since I bought my Sprinter chassis Winnebago View in 2017, itís had a problem with propane filling. It only takes about 3 gallons at 50% but the fill would go very slow. One campground in Oregon even stopped filling my tank after half a gallon because he was afraid his pump would burn out.

After doing a lot of research, I theorized that the Overfill Protection Device (OPD) was sticking partially closed. An OPD has a float similar to a toilet tank. Once the liquid propane gets to the 80% level, the float shuts the valve down. When the fluid level drops, float drops and opens the valve. An OPD is also known as a Fill Stop Valve.

Since itís a horizontal permanent mount tank, the valve was up tight and I couldnít get a part number off the valve. I found a similar looking valve on Ebay and luckily it fit.

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First step is to empty the tank. I parked well away from the barn in an open field and opened the vent. Be patient as it takes a while to empty that tank. And have an extinguisher close by. I spent the better part of a week letting propane out a few hours a day.

Once empty, I used an adjustable wrench to remove the fill hose connector and then the OPD from the tank.

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Sure enough the OPD float was binding in a semi-closed position.

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This compares the old and new OPDs. Notice that the new valveís float drops to an open position. The new valve comes with coated threads to seal the connection.

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Before installation, I used a gun brush and vacuum to clean the threads on the tank.

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I was very careful not to cross the threads. One very important aspect is to make sure the OPD valve is oriented correctly. Thereís a line on the front of the valve that indicates the top. I enhanced the line with a Sharpie. Make sure that mark is at the 12 oíclock position so the float drops properly.

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Tomorrow Iíll get the tank purged and filled. I have some indicator liquid to check the fittings for leaks.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:18 PM   #2
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Did you take the old one apart to look inside ?.

Maybe a bit of an O ring jamming things up ?
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Did you take the old one apart to look inside ?.

Maybe a bit of an O ring jamming things up ?
Did not take it apart as I had the new part to replace. However, it definitely looks like the 'needle valve' is gummed up and does not easily depress when the cam on the float presses against it.
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Old 10-15-2020, 12:29 PM   #4
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Success!

I went to my local campground/propane dealer and they purged the tank and filled it with 9.7 gallons of propane in less than a minute!

I checked all the connections with a soap solution and no leaks. Stove top burners operated perfectly.

On to the next RV project...
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:16 PM   #5
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Thank you for the tutorial Tom! FWIW, 2 years ago I had the fill valve replaced by my LP supplier(at his shop).
He did not purge the tank afterward, saying it was not necessary on a sunny day. I have not encountered any issues since having that defective fill valve replaced.


I found it interesting he would not pump out the 1/2 tank of propane, instead telling me to vent it to the atmosphere in a distant location from any housing. He reason was, pumping the contents back into his bulk tank could contaminate it if there was anything foreign in my MH tank.
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:12 AM   #6
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Can someone explain the need to purge a tank after a valve replacement?
I replaced the OPD valve on a small portable tank and flow seems to be reduced after the first fill since valve replacement but I did not have it purged.
If thats the problem, any reason the next fill would not be "better"... providing higher flow?
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:11 AM   #7
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Purging a tank after exposure to atmosphere removes the atmosphere, moisture, and other gasses that can harm the interior of the tank. It also removes any contaminated LP in the tank to get a fresh batch. The comment about a sunny day means the tank is well above the boiling point of LP and would fill any gas space in the tank with propane and displace any atmosphere that would get in since propane is heavier than air.
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Can someone explain the need to purge a tank after a valve replacement?
I replaced the OPD valve on a small portable tank and flow seems to be reduced after the first fill since valve replacement but I did not have it purged.
If thats the problem, any reason the next fill would not be "better"... providing higher flow?
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Old 10-16-2020, 09:14 AM   #8
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You purge a tank by adding a small amount of propane gas and let it out 4 times.

Each time, it also purges the air that got in the tank while open.

https://www.propanetankstore.com/blo...-propane-tank/
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Old 11-04-2020, 08:04 AM   #9
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Valve

Thanks for the info but on this tank the safety valve is held in place with 4 screws. I need to find a new one like it. The filler valve screws into this. I can't find any new valves like it. I don't know a lot of places to look. Than
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Old 11-04-2020, 08:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okie mopar View Post
Thanks for the info but on this tank the safety valve is held in place with 4 screws. I need to find a new one like it. The filler valve screws into this. I can't find any new valves like it. I don't know a lot of places to look. Than
Might want to fully read your 'Propane Tank Problems' thread you started a few days ago
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f54/prop...-512517-2.html
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