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Old 09-08-2016, 07:52 PM   #1
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No propane getting to any appliance!

Even though they didn't absolutely have to have it, I filled my propane tanks up yesterday in preparation of a camping weekend. This morning I went out and switched the fridge over from electric to propane to hopefully cool it down a little bit more.

I came home this evening to my wife sputtering and spouting about how the fridge just got warmer all day. It was currently at 50°. Except that my wife doesn't sputter and spout, that was me after she told me. I went out and tried to start the stove but no propane came out. The propane light on the fridge was blinking.

I looked at the level indicator behind the propane tanks to see what was happening there, and the indicator was on red. For both tanks. I shut both tanks off waited, and then slowly opened it up. No love. I also unhooked the propane hoses from the tanks and reconnected them. Again no luck.

Does anybody have any ideas what could be the problem? I know I've exhausted my knowledge just from what I did!
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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When did the gas last work?

If you have a gas grill at home try one or both of the tanks there.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:07 PM   #3
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I'd definitely suspect a leak downstream of the regulator if the regulator is not the culprit. It would have had to switch over to bleed off both tanks.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:13 PM   #4
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Did you watch them fill the tanks? Did they use a screw driver to do any adjustments to the flow? I have had the refuel technician shut my tanks off and I had them given to me with a slight leak.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:22 PM   #5
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Thanks folks!

I went out and hooked up our grill directly to the tank. It wouldn't light either. There was also no "pffftttt" sound when I unhooked the tank.

He did fiddle with the screw on the tank, however they were in tight and when I loosened them, pressured propane gasses came out. Strange.

The tanks were last used two weeks ago.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:31 PM   #6
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Take em back to the fill station.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:58 PM   #7
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I guess so. Will do that in the AM. Thanks folks!
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanj04011 View Post
I shut both tanks off waited, and then slowly opened it up.
It cannot be stressed enough that these OPD tanks need to be slowly opened--I know firsthand. Maybe give it another try...
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:10 PM   #9
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Have you removed the tanks from the carrier to see if there's propane? Easy to tell by weight.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:17 PM   #10
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Have you removed the tanks from the carrier to see if there's propane? Easy to tell by weight.
Yes I have. They are both "full" as far as I can tell.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:25 PM   #11
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Yes I have. They are both "full" as far as I can tell.
That definitely sounds like the safety valve. Have you tried 1)shutting off the tank valve 2) completely detaching the tank from the hose 3) reattaching the tank to the hose and 4) turning it back on slowly? f that doesn't work, you might try what others have suggested and have the propane shop look at the valves.

Also, what's the position of your regulator switchover? It should be pointed at one of the tanks.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:33 AM   #12
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I looked at the level indicator behind the propane tanks to see what was happening there, and the indicator was on red. For both tanks. I shut both tanks off waited, and then slowly opened it up. No love. I also unhooked the propane hoses from the tanks and reconnected them. Again no luck.
That's not a level indicator. It shows whether the tank which is currently selected as primary has pressure (green) or not (red). "Primary" means the one the lever is pointing at, as Robert mentioned. Indirectly, that colour indicates empty or not... as long as the pressure from each tank can reach the switchover device.

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That definitely sounds like the safety valve. Have you tried 1)shutting off the tank valve 2) completely detaching the tank from the hose 3) reattaching the tank to the hose and 4) turning it back on slowly? f that doesn't work, you might try what others have suggested and have the propane shop look at the valves.
I agree - to get the excess flow valve to reset, you may need to disconnect the hose from the tank. This valve is located in the end of the hose, and removing the hose from the tank completely removes any trapped propane pressure from the valve to be sure that it will reset.

By the way, turning on slowly doesn't really mean slowly rotating the handle. The most effective method is to slightly open the valve ("just a crack") so that you can hear the hiss of propane flowing, then wait for that to slow down (indicating that the trailer's propane lines are close to normal pressure), then spin it the rest of the way open. You're just trying to avoid a high rate of propane flow.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:47 AM   #13
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I went out and hooked up our grill directly to the tank. It wouldn't light either. There was also no "pffftttt" sound when I unhooked the tank.
The "pffftttt" sound is the release of propane trapped in the hose, so apparently nothing (or no significant amount) came out of the tank.
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They are both "full" as far as I can tell.
There are not many different things to go wrong here, in warm weather.
It's hard to imagine how the service valve (what you open when you turn the handle) could fail (especially on both tanks).
The excess flow valve is in the hose, not the tank, so hooking the grill directly to it eliminates the trailer's valve (although the grill hose has its own).
The Overfill Prevention Device (OPD) is the valve in the tank operated by a float; it is there to stop flow into the tank if the level is too high, so it's hard to see how it could be a problem.
The last valve is opened by the nose of the hose connector when you tighten the hand nut (big plastic knob) - it pushes in a pin in the base of the tank's socket. If you don't turn the nut far enough, there can be no flow.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:58 AM   #14
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The last valve is opened by the nose of the hose connector when you tighten the hand nut (big plastic knob) - it pushes in a pin in the base of the tank's socket. If you don't turn the nut far enough, there can be no flow.
Another good point. Make sure the hoses are fully hand tightened to the tanks so the internal valves can open.


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Old 09-09-2016, 07:00 AM   #15
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Even though they didn't absolutely have to have it, I filled my propane tanks up yesterday in preparation of a camping weekend. This morning I went out and switched the fridge over from electric to propane to hopefully cool it down a little bit more.

I came home this evening to my wife sputtering and spouting about how the fridge just got warmer all day. It was currently at 50°. Except that my wife doesn't sputter and spout, that was me after she told me. I went out and tried to start the stove but no propane came out. The propane light on the fridge was blinking.

I looked at the level indicator behind the propane tanks to see what was happening there, and the indicator was on red. For both tanks. I shut both tanks off waited, and then slowly opened it up. No love. I also unhooked the propane hoses from the tanks and reconnected them. Again no luck.

Does anybody have any ideas what could be the problem? I know I've exhausted my knowledge just from what I did!
This may seem very simplistic, but check the tightness of the hose fittings. I experienced this the first time I removed and filled the tanks. Since then I have learned to fully tighten the fittings. They are very hard to get to on my trailer and I did not initially get them fully tightened. Now I turn the hose fittings until they bottom out. When the fittings are fully secure, you should hear gas when you open the tank valve. Good luck!
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:41 AM   #16
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Thanks everyone for your help! First thing this morning I got up and went down to the filling station where I had them filled, and he hooked one back up and saw that there was pressure coming out of the tank after he disconnected it. He kind of scratched his head and said "I don't know why you didn't get any propane out of the tank." I had him put the other propane tank on the propane filler thingy and then brought them home.

I hooked them back up to the trailer and at least one of them popped the green pressure indicator right away when I open the valve. I have yet to try the other tank as far as the pressure indicator is concerned.

I was able to light the stove and start the fridge. I have no knowledge of such things but is it possible that there was an airlock or something?

I guess if anyone else has the same issue, take it back and have them hook it up to the propane filler thingy. Seemed to work for me!


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Old 09-09-2016, 08:52 AM   #17
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What is this adjust with a screwdriver thing a couple folks referred to? I have never heard of, or seen such a thing. When I refuel the tanks, they just fill until they hit the stamped weight, then stop. No screwdriver needed.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:57 AM   #18
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...I hooked them back up to the trailer and at least one of them popped the green pressure indicator right away when I open the valve. I have yet to try the other tank as far as the pressure indicator is concerned...
The issue seems to be that when you had the tanks filled, you failed to completely screw on the hose connector from the trailer to the tanks. As others have stated, if the connectors are not tightened completely, they will not allow the propane to be delivered from the tanks into the hose. (And the indicators on your regulator will show "red" as you observed. This was probably a worthwhile lesson for you to learn, as I suspect you will not make the same mistake again.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:20 AM   #19
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What is this adjust with a screwdriver thing a couple folks referred to? I have never heard of, or seen such a thing. When I refuel the tanks, they just fill until they hit the stamped weight, then stop. No screwdriver needed.
There seems to be a number of different ways suppliers "fill" tanks. Some do it on a scale by weight (although I haven't had anyone use that technique in a couple of years), others open the relief screw & fill until vapor comes out, and at least one just filled the tank until it stopped. I've ended up with everything from 3.8 gallons to 4.9 gallons in an empty tank. According to my weight to volume calculations, 4.7 gallons is a full tank...
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:30 AM   #20
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What is this adjust with a screwdriver thing a couple folks referred to? I have never heard of, or seen such a thing. When I refuel the tanks, they just fill until they hit the stamped weight, then stop. No screwdriver needed.
Many propane dealers (including most of the ones we use) will open the bleeder valve about 1/4 to 1/2 turn during filling and look for liquid coming out. That ensures the tank is full regardless of whether you're filling by weight or by volume.

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