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Old 09-13-2015, 06:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by woodie View Post
Another thing is it worked for years ,and I have not changed anything to make it all of a sudden do this.
So something broke down...

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Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
A bad regulator maybe?
Bad, or not working properly due to accumulated liquid. Propane often has a bit of oil in it, which tends to accumulate in the regulator. Get enough in there, and it stops regulating properly. I've had this, and poured a millilitre or so (a "thimbleful") of oil of of the regulator after removing it. There should be no oil in a regulator.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:53 PM   #12
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Bad, or not working properly due to accumulated liquid. Propane often has a bit of oil in it, which tends to accumulate in the regulator. Get enough in there, and it stops regulating properly. I've had this, and poured a millilitre or so (a "thimbleful") of oil of of the regulator after removing it. There should be no oil in a regulator.
I agree, that is definitely another possibility. The fact that it was working when the trailer was last used and suddenly is not now would make me suspect that something has frozen up during a period of non use, whether inside the regulator or the excess flow mechanism. On edit, I should have mentioned that propane is actually a byproduct of the refining process, so it's anybody's guess what contaminants it could possibly contain, such as oil.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:03 PM   #13
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This seems like a reasonable thing to to, but if it is the excess flow valve, this will actually make the problem worse, because there will a rush of propane flow to re-fill the low-pressure plumbing.


I agree - leaving the downstream system pressurized is the way to get the valve to reset.


Having the grill's valve open means a big rush of propane flow when the tank valve is opened, so definitely have everything downstream turned off when opening the tank valve.
Is the trick then to just disconnect the hose from the propane tank and leave the beyond the regulator full of propane ?.If so that is what I am doing now and will leave it for an hour or so and see if there is any change.I may just go get a new regulator in the morning.
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Old 09-13-2015, 09:50 PM   #14
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Still no change so guess I'll get a new regulator.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:26 PM   #15
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Is the trick then to just disconnect the hose from the propane tank and leave the beyond the regulator full of propane ?
To reset the excess flow valve, I don't think you even need to disconnect the hose... just shut off the tank valve so there is zero flow, and wait a while.

There is still the trick of turning back on - I just crack the valve slightly, listen for the hissing of flowing propane, and wait until the hissing has stopped (the lines are full) before spinning it fully open. This is very different from steadily turning it open over several seconds, which is what might reasonably be understood from the instruction to "open the tank valve slowly".

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Still no change so guess I'll get a new regulator.
It never hurts to have a spare, even if it turn out to be something else. If the brand of regulator is not the same, the mounting screw holes might not line up... it might be worth checking which brand you have, or what the hole spacing is.

You could also get a spare "pigtail" (the hose from regulator to tank), in case the problem is a stuck or defective excess flow valve in one of the pigtails. This normally has an inverted flare on the regulator end, so it can be changed without dealing with any pipe threads (and so no thread sealant is required). To minimize excess flow valve issues, you might consider a pigtail with the higher-flow-rate excess flow valve, indicated by a green hand nut. The regular size (black hand nut; 50,000 BTU/hr) can flow more than enough for an Escape's appliances, but the the higher-rate (green; 100,000 BTU/hr) valve should be less sensitive to surges in flow.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:03 PM   #16
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I went and got a new regulator today and started to install it ,but the old one has the base riveted to the trailer and the screws can only be accessed if the base is removed.Escape if you are listening this makes changing regulators very difficult.I had to crawl under the trailer and turn the fittings 1/16th at a time ,being so tight the copper pipe twisted and cracked before I noticed it.So now I had to go to the store and get a new length of pipe.Crawling under again to remove the old pipe ,it runs through the frame and Escape had to of put the fittings on after threading the pipe through the frame ,because now the new pipe with fittings won't go through the same hole.Now I have to bend the pipe around and over the frame of the trailer and now my new pipe is to short.
Since I am going camping tomorrow,I macgyvered it until I have a chance to get back to the propane store,and drill out the rivets to do this properly.
But it now works ,stove furnace,fridge all at the same time.
The old regulator was full of oil.
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:24 PM   #17
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Glad to hear you got it working.

A bunch of years back, previous to owning an Escape, I had issues with propane very similar to yours. What it was, was a waxy white substance, kinda greasy, that was clogging the lines. I had to clean out my regulator, and blow out the lines, and all was well. I got rid of the bottle that caused the grief too. I must have got the contamination when the bottle was filled.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:55 PM   #18
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When we fill propane tanks that have run completely empty we always purge them. You may have some air in the tank.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:53 AM   #19
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I went and got a new regulator today and started to install it ,but the old one has the base riveted to the trailer and the screws can only be accessed if the base is removed.Escape if you are listening this makes changing regulators very difficult.
That's surprising, and definitely something to check out when getting familiar with the trailer. Thanks for the tip.

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I had to crawl under the trailer and turn the fittings 1/16th at a time ,being so tight the copper pipe twisted and cracked before I noticed it.So now I had to go to the store and get a new length of pipe.Crawling under again to remove the old pipe ,it runs through the frame and Escape had to of put the fittings on after threading the pipe through the frame ,because now the new pipe with fittings won't go through the same hole.Now I have to bend the pipe around and over the frame of the trailer and now my new pipe is to short.
Regulators are often mounted on the threaded rod which is used to clamp down the tanks, which means it moves when the tanks are moved, which means that the regulator output is connected to the trailer with a hose. The point is that a hose is a valid alternative to copper line, especially if you need something that needs fancy routing and a store is open which sells them. A 3/8" copper line would have a 3/8" SAE female swivel on each end, and that's a common hose configuration.

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The old regulator was full of oil.
Well at least we know what the problem was...
The old regulator may be fine once drained. I think it's at least worth keeping around as a spare.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:08 AM   #20
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... I should have mentioned that propane is actually a byproduct of the refining process, so it's anybody's guess what contaminants it could possibly contain, such as oil.
Trivia: propane can come out of the well with oil, but is commonly a component of the liquids (they're liquid when under pressure) which come out of natural gas wells along with the gas. The propane is separated from this mix (natural gas liquids if it came with gas), and the heavier parts (butane, etc.) are mostly used as components of various chemicals including plastics. The separation can be imperfect, plus oils can be picked up from equipment along the way.

I wouldn't say that anything is a byproduct of refining - all components are valuable products, and dealing with the balance of those components is one of the challenges of the oil and gas industry... you don't get to pick one part and just get that.
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