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Author Topic: is changing propane shut off a DIY project?  (Read 4114 times)
John Z
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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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

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« 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.
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« 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.

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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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

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« 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.
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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« 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.
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2008, 11:14:08 AM »

Try an actual location owned by Ferrell Gas, Amerigas, or other big propane outfit.  You don't want the guy who has a tank out back that he uses to fill BBQ tanks as a small part of his business.

In the past, Suburban Propane (Now owned by Ferrell Gas) would change valves and do other work on tanks.
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« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2008, 11:47:24 AM »

Gus,
     You mention that you use 20 gallon portable tanks.  Are they horizontal or vertical tanks?  What are the dimensions?  It seems that they would weigh over 100 pounds each and would require a good, strong back. 
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2008, 01:29:32 PM »

John,

I'm not sure what you mean by auto-shutoff valve since there are two distinct auto valve features. I think both features are now built into all newer tank valves. One prevents overfilling the tank and the other shuts off the gas if the system suddenly starts to leak. I'm sure that both are required now and don't think any LP dealer will fill your tank without at least the first feature.

I definitely would not want to be without both types, LP is a nice big bomb that these two features can keep from ruining your day!

One note, if you get the gas auto shutoff valve type it must be turned on very slowly as it is designed to shut off if gas suddenly flows (A leak). However, all you have to do if you turn it on too suddenly is turn it off and start over.

Lin,

Well, that 20gal statement was a really big goof. I meant to say 20lb which is 4.75gal as I remember.

Quite a difference, but very easy to carry, which is the reason I use them. The 30lb tank is better if you have the vertical bay space and can carry the extra weight, I'm too old for that!

They are the same as BBG grills used to be but I notice they are now down to 16-18lb at the same price!

I got the 20s initially so I could just exchange them for full ones at the nearest quick stop or drug store. About the time I did this they were downsized so now I take them to the nearest LP filling station which I have found to be easy to find. I don't want to go any smaller than 20lb.
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« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2008, 02:56:49 PM »

Gus, sorry but i had only heard about the auto valve to prevent over
filling. And i just heard that when i started to call around looking to get
this situation fixed. I ran out and took a picture of my tank and valve. The
valve is very simple. I am sure it is quite old, so perhaps the whole set up
needs to be redone. The 80% valve is the small one to the right. Regulator
is in the left part of picture. I really like this tank setup, as it lasts
all year, and i find it no problem to get it filled. Almost every truck stop
(i like Flying J) i have been at has been able to easily fill it. Here at
home there are a couple different places i can just drive up to get filled.

BTW, called Ferrel. They asked if it was a bulk tank or a cylinder. I told them a 50 gallon bulk tank in the basement of an RV. They told me to pull the tank and bring it in!!!
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2008, 03:08:27 PM »

Ouch!

I hate to say this, but that looks like a home use tank, not a DOT approved RV tank.

I really, really hope it isn't a home use tank, but if it is, I can understand why none of the LPG places will mess with it. It's a totally illegal installation and could leave them open to beau-ceaux liability by even allowing you to move it that way.

Sorry, I have a healthy respect for what propane tanks can and can't do. A non DOT rated tank isn't built for movement and isn't made of as heavy steel as the DOT tanks are. Aside from that, it's sitting cocked on it's side so any readings for filling will be incorrect as to what's in the tank.

Scary
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« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2008, 04:23:27 PM »

Gus,

Well I'm sort of glad to hear you meant 20 lb tanks.  You had me really feeling like a wimp imaging you walking with those 20 gallon tanks on your shoulders.  Now I'm feeling kind of macho with my 7 gallon tanks.
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« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2008, 07:37:00 PM »

Dallas, what do i look for to determine if it is a home use or a DOT tank? If it is a home use i will replace it. So are you saying the 20 lb barbque tanks are DOT? Or even the larger cylinders so many people are using? Also, what do you mean it is sitting cocked? It is sitting square on all four legs and it has been filled several times. The gauge works just fine. Even if it is a home unit, that has had nothing to do with the places not working on it, as none of them have seen it.  Thanks.
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2008, 07:58:52 PM »

John,

A DOT certified tank will have the Letters "DOT" and some numbers stamped somewhere near the fill valve. The small BBQ tanks have it stamped on the shield around the valve where you pick the tank up.

If it isn't cocked on it's side, I am really surprised since the lifting eyes are usually set on the to so that if the tank is lifted and hits something, the valves will be protected. The valves being as exposed as they are lead me to believe that it's normal position is upright with the valves on top. Maybe it's just the photo's and the way I'm looking at it.

By the way, just as a piece of uninteresting information.... the small tanks like the 20# and 30# tanks must be recertified every 11 years, so if you go to trade off a tank at one of those quick change places, check the certification date on the hand hold/shield. If it's earlier than todays date 11 years ago, it needs to be recertified and many propane places won't fill those tanks without the certification being done.
I think this includes everything up to the 50# tanks but I'm not sure, I don't have my book handy. Also, not all of the tanks with OPD valves can be filled at a standard filling station. We've found that the ones from "Blue Rhino" that are retrofit with OPD valves are a real PITA to fill and must be filled slowly because of a check valve inside the fill valve. If you try to fill them too quickly, the check valve shuts the flow off just as if the tank were leaking out the other way. Bummer!

Good Luck, and I hope I helped.

Dallas
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2008, 08:09:11 PM »

Thanks Dallas. I want to do this just once, and i want it to be right when i am finished. I will be looking for the DOT info on that tank first thing tomorrow. I appreciate the info.
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« Reply #24 on: January 04, 2008, 05:12:35 AM »

John,
 
NO offense intended with my comment here on this thread but please have a LP dealer look at your set up and see if you are leagal and SAFE.  I do not know anything really about the LP Gas set up at this time but this just does not look safe to me, but again what do I know.  Those hoses are susceptible to being damaged, (cut, nicked etc.) with tools etc. and deterioration from age. If your LP dealer says you are good to go and for us to mind our business then that is what I intend to do.  Just have this LP dealer inspection done before using your LP gas system much as it now is, oh and let us know what they said as well.

Gary
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« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2008, 06:44:54 AM »

I must make some adjustments to some statements I made earlier.

* Recertification of DOT tanks is done every 12 years.. not after 11 years.

* DOT AND ASME tanks may be used for mobile applications such as RV service, However, DOT tanks MUST be placed         
   vertically and ASME tanks MUST be placed horizontally.

* DOT tanks 40# and less, built after 1998 must have an OPD valve.

* ASME tanks must be visually inspected by a qualified service person everytime they are filled.

I only looked up these items, so if I missed something else, someone correct me, please.

Dallas
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« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2008, 11:15:26 AM »

Dallas, my tank is stamped with an ICC number. No other markings on it. It is definately made to be sitting just as it is. The feet on the bottom are all original. Plus, if it was made to stand on end the 80% valve would be a 100% valve. Where are you getting your info? Does it show tanks marked with "ICC"? If this tank is good, then i will pursue getting the valves and regulators chked out and updated. Still no luck finding a propane dealer that wants to work with it.
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« Reply #27 on: January 04, 2008, 12:14:28 PM »

John,

ICC Tanks, as far as I know, haven't been used for many years. I got my first Propane certification (as a service tech) in 1976  and seldom ever saw one of the old ICC tanks. Now, there may be a newer standard that I'm not aware of, but, I think those tanks, like aluminum propane tanks, were extinct.

Most of my information comes from the ANSI/NFPA regulation 1192 with much of it being taken from the 2004 LPG Service Personnel hand book from South Carolina. (I was planning on recertifying in SC, but the campground closed before I got the test taken).

Information can also be found on the web by searching through a bunch of google stuff to find parts and pieces of ANSI/NFPA 1192.

Here's something I just pulled up about ICC tanks:
http://jackclarke.net/lprules.htm

It's not a lot of help, but does give some idea.

IHTH,

Dallas


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« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2008, 02:07:00 PM »

John,

Your tank looks nothing like my home tank so I doubt it is. Since it lasts a year I see no reason to change it either.  Mine lasted much less but I think it had a leak. I finally figured out it held only six gallons and took up more space than two of the 4.75gal portable tanks so changing was much better for me.

The 80% valve is what I call the overfill protection valve since no LP tank is supposed to be filled more than 80%.

I definitely recommend the leak protection valve - ask your LP dealer about this. He can also tell you for sure if your tank is legal which is better than trying to figure it out on the forum.  If it weren't legal the LP dealers probably wouldn't have filled it recently.

As I said before, I think both overfill and leak protection are built into all new tank supply valves.

There is no doubt in my mind that the small 20lb tanks are DOT approved because they are standard equipment on the front of RV trailer hitches.
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« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2008, 02:42:17 PM »

Keeping in mind that most home tanks take the gas out of the top, not the side, I'd also 'guess" it's a vehicle tank.  Just waaay old.

Another hint may be this- does the gauge work properly?  IF it were a home tank "cocked on it's side" then the gauge would definitely not work.  If it works properly, that would be even more evidence that it's a tank doing it's intended job.  You can also take educated guesses as to it's intent by looking at how it's brackets are welded on... does it look like it was made to be there, or has it been hacked at? (The photos don't show much about this)  Very few people are stupid enough or properly equipped to add horizontal mounting brackets to a vertical tank via welding.  If it's got horizontal brackets welded on, it was probably made that way intentionally...

There's even more that you can fairly easily ascertain, if you get the tank emptied- remove the gauge. All it takes is those 4 screws and you'll have viewing access to the inside.  You'll have to get a new gasket for the gauge but that's a standard part from almost anywhere that deals in LP tanks. 
 You can then see if the float was designed to be used in a side-mounted tank or a standing tank... and further, looking inside (remember, the tank's still full of explosive vapors so don't use any kind of light that'd make a spark) you could tell if it was supposed to be a side-mounted tank by seeing if there's a bent vapor delivery tube running from your faulty valve up to the top of the tank (inside of course)... there'd most likely have to be one to insure that liquid LP gas didn't come out into your system.  If the valve has no tube, it could actually be a home tank that should be standing up.  That said, obviously removing the valve and seeing if there's a tube attached would tell you the same thing without taking the gauge off, and since you're gonna do that anyway....
  And last, if you do replace the valve, it IS a side tank, etc, you'll probably need to remove the gauge anyway so when you screw in the new valve, you'll be able to see that the delivery tube is properly positioned when you're finished tightening the valve.  The final valve position will be critical to everything working properly... IE if the tube is left aiming down or sideways instead of up, trouble ahead....

As for the age of the tank, DOT stickers etc, assuming it's not a house tank from the above experiments, probably much more important than what the sticker tag on an old tank says, is if it's still worthy of holding pressure.  If you really want to mess with it right, take it out and get it hydro tested and that will tell all in a jiffy.  'twere it mine and it passed hydro, I'd have little hesitation keeping it.  Especially when you see the prices of current tanks- ouch and a half!

I have to add one more silly thought... your valve looks like it is old and as such is very likely of much higher quality than the chinese junk valve that blew on me when I tried to tighten the packing gland nut on my old BBQ tank (the nut you'll see just under the valve handle, that the handle's shaft goes through)
...have you considered just trying to *gently* tighten that nut a bit?  If it's made like most valves are, there's a good chance that simply tightening the gland a bit will stop the leak, then this whole thing is history to you... Smiley

Hey, where are you located anyway?  Maybe one of us x-spurts can come over and lend a hand figuring this all out!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2008, 03:45:48 PM by boogiethecat » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2008, 09:59:04 PM »

John,

After returning home to my own computer and taking another look at your photos I have another view of your setup.

The yellow round cap covers the filling valve hole which is self closing when the filler nozzle is removed. Your fill system is exactly the same as on my ancient home 250gal tank.

I think you have no 80% protection valve. The valve to the right is simply an on/off valve.  The gage next to this valve tells the person filling the tank when you have 80% but I see nothing to indicate you have an automatic overfill prevention device (OPD) as required on new tanks.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2008, 05:50:30 PM by gus » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2008, 06:33:59 AM »

Gus, your right that the tank does not have an auto OPD on it. The manual 80% valve is to the right and down, of the main shut off. It is a bit hard to see in the photo. The head of the 80% valve is about the size of a dime. The manual valve works well unless you get some kid filling it who does not have a clue what he is doing.

This project is temp on hold for a few days, while i take care of some other things. I want to have the tank tested. Either that or replaced. Not sure which way i will wind up going.
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« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2008, 06:52:46 AM »

John I was in the propane business in the 70's.  Looking around the valves and gauge the safety ring may have been removed.  That tank may have been modified. I would replace the tank.  If you are close enough to Elkhart IN you should be able to find a tank at one of the salvage places.
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« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2008, 08:28:27 AM »

BTC et al; thanks for all the input. Some really good info came in on this for me. I have given up on the old tank. It was last pressure tested in 1978. And i have no doubt that it is still sound. After considering the cost to have it tested and changed over to new valves and regulators i decided to pull it. I have ordered two 50 pound tanks, a new regulator with auto switchover, and a gas detector. All that is left is the hoses or lines to hook the new regulator to the bus system. Thanks again for all the help!
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« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2008, 08:36:24 AM »

Be sure to update us and provide some photos when you make the switch.
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« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2008, 08:55:36 AM »

I will take some photos of the project. I was told by the dealer that tanks over 40 pounds are not required to have the OPD valve. These 50 pound tanks have the small 80% fill valve like my big tank has. I liked that idea as it seems more foolproof than the OPD which is just something else to go wrong. The 80% valve is pretty bulletproof, open it, fill until gas starts to come out, stop filling!

I would like to get a manifold for the tank bay so i could put that in as i redo the gas runs. Anyone know if these are available before i head to town and start chasing around looking for them?
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« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2008, 09:52:22 AM »

John,

Unless you use a really large amount of LP I would recommend smaller tanks, maybe 30lb, which you can still carry when full and not have to find a place on the road that is accessible to your bus.

I did this with the 20lb tanks and have been grateful ever since for the absence of all the fuss trying to get the old permanent one filled. I would have preferred the 30lb tanks but they are too heavy for an old guy like me.

I think you can find brass manifolds at any auto supply store which have NPT threads into which you can screw your LP flare fittings.
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« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2008, 10:02:31 AM »

John,
I think you can find brass manifolds at any auto supply store which have NPT threads into which you can screw your LP flare fittings.

    If you use NPT fittings, remeber to use a pipe thread compund that is approved for LP.  Jack
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