Bus Conversions dot Com Bulletin Board
July 31, 2014, 10:49:20 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This BB is intended for the sole purpose of sharing conversion and bus related information among visitors to our web site. These rules must be followed in order for us to continue this free exchange of info. No bad mouthing of any business or individual is permitted. Absolutely no items for sale are to be posted, except in the Spare Tire board. Interested in placing a classified or web ad, please contact our advertising dept. at 714-903-1784 or e-mail to: info@busconversions.com.

   Home   Help Forum Rules Search Calendar Login Register BCM Home Page Contact BCM  
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: is changing propane shut off a DIY project?  (Read 3984 times)
John Z
1959 GM PD-4104 4139 Northern Minnesota
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 503


"Tubby"


WWW

Ignore
« on: December 31, 2007, 09:06:05 AM »

My main shut off valve has a small leak when it is opened up. It does not leak when it is closed. The tank is a 50 gallon tank. The valve is not the auto shut-off at 80% type, but just a straight shut off valve. My 80% valve is seperate.

Is changing this valve something i can do myself? It looks simple enough, if it comes loose and will tighten up without any special tools. I have located a shop with a new valve for it. I look forward to hearing your experiences with this.

John Z
Logged

Custom patches, caps, t-shirts, lapel pins etc since 1994.
Silver Brook Custom Embroidery and Patches
www.silverbrook-mn.com
 
"Now I Know Why Turtles Look So Smug"
gumpy
Some Assembly Required
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3176


Slightly modified 1982 MC9


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2007, 09:24:44 AM »

I think it's just a matter of emptying the tank completely, unscrewing the old valve, and screwing in the new one. I would use some gas approved thread dope on it.

Do not do this indoors. My family lost a corregated metal shop to an explosion caused by escaping propane while a worker was attempting to change the valve in a 100 lb tank.

Just use common sense.
Logged

Craig Shepard
Located in Minnesquito

http://bus.gumpydog.com - "Some Assembly Required"
boogiethecat
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 633



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2007, 09:28:31 AM »

If your tank is absolutely empty, it's "probably" an ok job to do on your own.  My experience with propane valves is that all of them I've changed (probably 30 or more over the years) are wickedly locked in, usually with loctite or something equivalent, and it takes an enormous amount of torque to break the threads free.  Other than that, as long as you make darned sure that there are no ignition sources anywhere nearby (like a few hundred feet), it's straightforward.
Nothing fancy required about the tools- it will likely take a large pipe wrench with an extension on the handle to break the old valve loose.  Putting the new one back can be done with a standard large crescent wrench or the correct sized open end wrench.  Just make sure it's tight when you get done installing it.

A few things to remember-
  *ABSOLUTELY make sure the tank is empty.  Even when it is apparently empty, if it was emptied when the day was cold and it's warmer when you do the job, there'll probably be gas left and pressure will be built up in the tank.
It's best to consume the tank's contents with the appliances it's hooked to, and when it's all empty, open a valve to the atmosphere for a while to make sure there's no pressure left. Because propane refrigerates itself when it's being withdrawn from the tank, it may take hours to all "go away"...

 *Propane is heavier than air so if your valve is not on top of the tank, residual propane WILL be pouring out when you remove the old valve, again just make sure there's no ignition source within a few hundred feet.  Even then, consider using a blower or fan to blow air across the job area to dilute any vapors and blow them far away.
  *Obviously don't do anything to make sparks while you work
  *Use a good "permanent" thread compound on your new valve, and make sure it's compatible with propane. No teflon tape. You don't want it to come loose.

Last comment, is is a very good idea to replace this valve.  I had one on a BBQ tank that did the same thing... closed fine but leaked a bit when opened.  I thought it was just the packing, and logically it seemed that giving the gland nut a little twist to tighten it would fix it.  But it turned out that what the problem was, was that the gland nut threads had been poorly machined at the factory, and being that it was a tapered thread (a nifty but horrible manufacturing shortcut that a lot of valve makers use) the whole thing was hanging in there with less than one thread all along.  Turning it  only 1/8 of a turn broke the nut entirely free, the valves launched itself out of the tank and there I was with a five gallon *full* tank, venting like crazy with no valve to shut it off.
It was kinda super scary.  Fortunately it was outside and away from any ignition sources.  I just walked away and watched it for about 20 minutes.  I'm really glad that it didn't get messy... so yes, fix that valve...
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 10:13:19 AM by boogiethecat » Logged

1962 Crown
San Diego, Ca
John Z
1959 GM PD-4104 4139 Northern Minnesota
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 503


"Tubby"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2007, 09:36:09 AM »

Thanks guys! OK, i have a few gallons left in there so will turn on a htr or the stove untill it is all burned up. I had heard also about it taking a lot of torque to bust the valve loose. Guess i will give it a try, and if i can't break it loose, then find somewhere to bring it to have it done. I appreciate your help and input.
Logged

Custom patches, caps, t-shirts, lapel pins etc since 1994.
Silver Brook Custom Embroidery and Patches
www.silverbrook-mn.com
 
"Now I Know Why Turtles Look So Smug"
TomCat
It's 4:20 somewhere...
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2007, 09:36:53 AM »

Great post Gary. However, I don't believe I would encourage a rookie to try this. And although I'm not aware of any special industry proceedures to change out a propane gas valve, there may be some.
I am aware that this process usually takes some special tools, specifically a brass cresent wrench, and as Craig stated, some gas rated thread sealer.

Good luck regardless of your action.

Jay
87 SaftLiner
Logged

On The High Plains of Colorado
oldmansax
Tom & Phyllis
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 985


'82 Bluebird Wanderlodge PT40




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2007, 11:36:23 AM »

All good advice. Also remember not to use any tools that may spark when removing  the old valve. Outdoors, with a large fan to further ventilate the area, is a very good idea.

When I was still doing gas work, I used "Megalock" on all threads. It is approved for gas work and is used by a lot of gas fitters here and also by the local gas company. It will setup hard and "lock" the valve in place. You should be able to buy a can at you local plumbing supply.

Above all, be safe!!!!!

TOM
Logged

'82 BlueBird WanderLodge PT40 being rebuilt
Delaware

DON'T STEAL! The government hates competition!
gus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3491





Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2007, 12:50:51 PM »

One thing you should try is turning the valve "ON" as far as it will go. Many LP valves leak when in the ON position but don't leak when turned as far oo as they will go. This was difficult for me to accept after all my Navy training about NEVER turning a valve on all the way to the stop!

A non-sparking wrench is nice but pretty hard to find.

The good part is that all the LP fittings I've ever used were brass or bronze so won't spark even when using steel tools.

Make sure the new valve is compatible with your connector. I've done a bit of LP work lately and had to educate myself about the different kinds of "new" and "old" connections.

Having said all this, my recommendation is to do as I did and remove the tank completely and replace it with a couple of 20-30 gal portable tanks. You will thank me the first time you have problems finding a place that will both fill the large permanent tank and have space enough for you to maneuver close enough to reach it. I really got tired of having to do this, now all I have to do is carry the empty to a filling station and leave the bus in place.

This is also a very good method of knowing exactly how much gas you have left.

I replaced mine with two 20 gal portables because I'm old and wimpy and don't like to carry the 30 gal tanks! I also installed two more 20 gal tanks in another bay for a heater supply and as spares.

An added benefit was that the portable tanks took less space in the bay than the original permanent tank.

This was not my idea, I got it from one of the bus forums - some of the best advice I ever got.
Logged

PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
Gary LaBombard
"Rustless Money Pit"
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 944


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2007, 05:03:24 PM »

John,
 
It is ironic that you have to change your pressure regulating valve. On you LP tank.  I just had to do that while we were at Jacks Bus Rally Party at Arcadia.

I will not try to sound contradictory of any information given here but will tell you what I did do and felt very safe in doing it.  I am enclosing a photo of my valve and have identified where my leak was and how to disassemble.  My EOM valve had a small leak you could smell and if you listened close you could here a small gas / air leak when the main LP tank valve was turned on.  When the valve was shut off there was no leak sound and no smell. 


The tank pressure regulating valve has a pressure releasing vent on the bottom with a screen over it to prevent MUD Dabbers from cloggom it as I have indicated  the location in my photo.  Apparently with age there is a small rubber flange inside that allows the valve body of this vent to leak.  You cannot get a bubbly leak using soapy water here.  The vent is too large and the leak is too small. 

Jack told me to try Horizon Coach there at Arcadia for a new LP pressure valve. And they had one.  I of course removed my old one to try to get a perfect match if possible but just knew that with age there had to be a new model and there was but their technician there assured me that the one I bought would do the trick and it did.  No more smell or worry!!  $20 total cost.

(1)  Be sure to turn off the main supply gas line from the tank to the coach.

(2)  Remove the rubber line on the right side of the valve that supplies the LP gas to your coach.

(3)  Use a 7/8 open end wrench to loosen the threaded fitting supporting the valve body to the shut off valve.  NOTE!!  This is a LEFT HAND THREAD and you have to loosen in the normal tightening direction.  Also this may be tight with the thread dope used but it will loosen.  Be sure your wrench fits nice and snug.  Do not use an oversized wrench which will slip and round off the edges of the assembly fitting that assembles the leaking valve to the shut off valve.

(4)  Bring your old pressure regulating valve with you to camping world or LP Gas supplier to purchase new replacement.  Do not remove any of the fittings on the old valve until after you are assured that the new pressure valve will fit with the fittings you have on your old one!!

(5)  Also purchase the correct thread locker dope they recommend to use, (DO NOT USE TEFLON TAPE)!!  Put this thread locking dope on all the male threads as you assemble them.

(6)  Removing the brass fittings assembling all the valves together.  (Remember which one goes on each end for proper assembly of the new pressure regulating valve. They may be a little difficult also as they will be quite tight and you may need the use of a bench vice to hold them to disassemble the fittings.  Use the correct wrenches to disassemble them from the old leaky pressure valve body also, or else you will ruin them and your day!!!

(7)  Assemble the fitting on the end of the new valve that the hose assembles to that feeds your coach LP appliances.  Use new thread dope on male threads, do not get into the inside of brass fittings at any time!!
 
(Cool  Assemble the fitting with new thread dope on the other end of the new pressure regulator valve that will assemble the pressure regulator to the main shut off valve.
 
(9)  Remember the only fitting that is left handed is the one that is screwed into the main shut off valve.  You have to turn this to the left to assemble it, be sure the vent of the new pressure valve is pointing down ward and tighten the fitting into the main shut off valve.
 
(10)  Assemble your rubber hose that feeds your LP appliances in your coach to the right side fitting of your new pressure valve.

(11)  Turn on your tank shut off valve and listen for leaks, smell for leaks and use a spray bottle with clean soapy water in it to spray all the fittings to test for leaks from not applying your thread locking agent properly.
 
(12)  If you do not smell anything, if you do not hear anything and do not see any bubbles at any of the fittings, you did a great job. 

I donít think I had to mention this but will, DONíT SMOKE AS YOU DO ALL THIS WORK!!

I do not see any need for draining your LP tank all the way out.  If your tank is shut off and the leak you hear is from the same valve as in my photo I am enclosing then you should have no problem or worries.  Oh, donít have a airplane mechanic standing over you as you assemble and disassemble this valve, then you will get nervous.  He he.  Now remember this is the way to replace the pressure regulating valve on the aft end of the shut off valve that feed your coach.  If you are having any leaks in the filling valve of your tank, then delete this instruction and have a LP technician fix you up but I believe your problem is the same as what mine was.

Well John I hope this all helps you out or you get it in time and that your leak is in the same place as I indicated in my photo.  I was going to post this after the rally was done etc.; but feel you may be able to use it now.

Gary   
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 05:05:39 PM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
gus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3491





Ignore
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2007, 08:09:11 PM »

Gary,

You changed your pressure regulator.  The way I read John's first post this is not his problem. His problem is the main valve at the tank so he has no way to prevent gas escaping when he removes that valve.

I don't think he will be able to screw in the new one before the gas all escapes and I wouldn't want to try it - this is a sure fire way to have a big boom.

One word on left hand threads. Not every LP nut is LH and it seems to me there is no standard for where they are used. There isn't one LH thread on all the new connections I have with the portable tanks.

The one sure way to tell if a coupling or fitting is LH is to look for the notches cut in the edges of the nut flats on LH threads. If there are no notches it is a RH thread.
Logged

PD4107-152
PD4104-1274
Ash Flat, AR
Gary LaBombard
"Rustless Money Pit"
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 944


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2008, 04:26:24 AM »

I have no idea why my response to gus was not posted, I am in a limited wifi area, so it went to the toilet I believe.  I will try again.

As gus has pointed out if your valve that is leaking is the one on the left or the fill valve then I have no experience with but reading your post I still believe it was the valve I did replace that you too are having problems with.  If so my way of changing worked but if it is the fill side of your tank, then leave it alone, take it to the professionals to fix it.  It will be a cheap price to pay to have installed to perhaps save your life.

John, let us know what valve it was and what you did to repair or replace it so that everyone will know what to do and they will. 

Thanks Gus again,
Gary
Logged

Gary
John Z
1959 GM PD-4104 4139 Northern Minnesota
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 503


"Tubby"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2008, 07:51:55 AM »

Good morning everyone, and Happy New Year! I am pretty sure it is the main shut off valve, or the one on the left in your picture that is leaking. When i first noticed the leak it would not leak when the valve was fully backed out. At that time it only leaked between being full shut or fully open. Now it leaks when fully open too.

I located a shut off valve (the non-auto shutoff type) for 40.00. Tomorrow when the stores are open i am going to call an RV place to see how much they estimate for the valve and having them replace it. The propane places i called on Monday would not work on it,,, they said they only did residential work.

So for the time being at least, i do not suspect the regulator is leaking.
Logged

Custom patches, caps, t-shirts, lapel pins etc since 1994.
Silver Brook Custom Embroidery and Patches
www.silverbrook-mn.com
 
"Now I Know Why Turtles Look So Smug"
TomCat
It's 4:20 somewhere...
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 411



WWW

Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2008, 08:09:25 AM »

Good morning everyone, and Happy New Year! I am pretty sure it is the main shut off valve, or the one on the left in your picture that is leaking. When i first noticed the leak it would not leak when the valve was fully backed out. At that time it only leaked between being full shut or fully open. Now it leaks when fully open too.

I located a shut off valve (the non-auto shutoff type) for 40.00. Tomorrow when the stores are open i am going to call an RV place to see how much they estimate for the valve and having them replace it. The propane places i called on Monday would not work on it,,, they said they only did residential work.
So for the time being at least, i do not suspect the regulator is leaking.

John,

If you don't get any satisfaction at the RV place, locate an LP dealer that does propane conversions on motor vehicles. If they determine your tank is OK, it should not be an issue for them to change your main shut off.

Jay
87 SaftLiner
« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 08:20:30 AM by TomCat » Logged

On The High Plains of Colorado
John Z
1959 GM PD-4104 4139 Northern Minnesota
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 503


"Tubby"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2008, 08:16:08 AM »

A good tip! Thanks Jay.

I hope to make a trip down south in about 6 weeks, so i need to get this taken care of.
Logged

Custom patches, caps, t-shirts, lapel pins etc since 1994.
Silver Brook Custom Embroidery and Patches
www.silverbrook-mn.com
 
"Now I Know Why Turtles Look So Smug"
belfert
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5396




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2008, 09:47:03 AM »

Is there not a large Propane dealer nearby like Ferrell Gas or Amerigas?  Duluth maybe? 

I would think they should be able to replace the valve although with the big propane guys swallowing up all the little guys they may not want to do this anymore.
Logged

Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
John Z
1959 GM PD-4104 4139 Northern Minnesota
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 503


"Tubby"


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2008, 10:04:55 AM »

The first places i called were big names, but local companies. One outfit said he would not even fill my tank! He told me i should not have propane in a vehicle!!! I told him almost every RV on the road used propane, and he said he wanted nothing to do with it - strictly home delivery! So tomorrow i can call around in Duluth and see what i find out. Thanks.
Logged

Custom patches, caps, t-shirts, lapel pins etc since 1994.
Silver Brook Custom Embroidery and Patches
www.silverbrook-mn.com
 
"Now I Know Why Turtles Look So Smug"
Pages: [1] 2 3  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!