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Old 09-18-2020, 09:38 AM   #1
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Faulty Propane Tank ???

My son returned yesterday from a 2 week long trip with the 15B and commented to me that he thought he had emptied both propane tanks by the last day, as the fridge had stopped working and the hotwater heater would not light. I didn't think much of it at the time and just planned on refilling the tanks in the next day or two. That same night we were running the propane bbq/grill at home and the propane tank on the grill ran out of propane. Given that I have 2 trailers at home each with 2 propane cylinders, I went to the 15B and found one of the tanks was still nearly full (the other was empty). When I hooked the full tank up to the grill at the house and lit it up (and cracked the valve very slowly), the flame was only a small fraction of what it should have been and the grill refused to heat up. I tried opening and closing the valve several times and relighting the grill with no better success. I disconnected that propane tank and went out and grabbed another full propane tank from the 19'. When I connected that tank to the grill, the grill would light and have a normal strong flame. So my conclusion is that the valve on the tank that I borrowed from the 15B was faulty and even though the tank was full, opening the valve would not give the normal gas flow/pressure that the other tanks gave. This would help to explain my son's earlier comment regarding the fridge and hotwater heater not working. I suspect this occurred when the first tank on the 15B ran out of gas and the auto chang-over regulator switched over to the 2nd tank which was faulty, and the propane appliances were then starved for fuel and shutdown. I have used propane tanks for many years, but this is the very first time that I have had this happen to me. I guess that I will buy a new propane cylinder, but am not sure what to do with a nearly full propane cylinder that won't let the propane out. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:02 AM   #2
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This may or may not relate to your problem but if I don't attach the propane hose to the tank very tightly, the propane doesn't flow. Something about those particular fittings is different than regular grill connectors.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:04 AM   #3
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Dave,

If you need to replace that propane tank, try Costco. In my area they sell them for less than $30 with an included gauge. I switched out my perfectly fine ones with these that each have a gauge.

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Old 09-18-2020, 10:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
This may or may not relate to your problem but if I don't attach the propane hose to the tank very tightly, the propane doesn't flow. Something about those particular fittings is different than regular grill connectors.
The fittings were on tight. I think the OPD (?) valve in the tank is either stuck or faulty. Not sure if there is any way to make it work.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Dave,

If you need to replace that propane tank, try Costco. In my area they sell them for less than $30 with an included gauge. I switched out my perfectly fine ones with these that each have a gauge.

Bill
I will keep Costco in mind. Is not a big deal to buy a new tank, but I hate to do so as a replacement of one that is still full and not expired!.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:43 AM   #6
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Several years ago, I had a propane tank with an OPD valve that was stuck. I did as someone suggested to me and dropped the base on pavement from approximately 6-inches/15 cm (?) 5 or 6 times and it jarred the stuck valve open. It’s worth a try before spending any cash to replace it.
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Old 09-18-2020, 12:31 PM   #7
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If you have a commercial propane dealer who sells to both 20 or 30 lb. sized tanks and the house system sized 500 and and 1,000 gallons I’d take the tank to them and ask about options. I had a tank with an I ring or gasket of some kind fail on a tank. I went to the dealer to learn if I could buy an O ring and install it. He said they used to sell those kind of parts but liability is too great now. He weighed my tank, exchanged it for a full one and credited me. Said he could get the propane out of my tank. In good faith I signed up for a punch card pay for 5 tanks an get the 6th fill free. As I was redeeming the punches with my tanks and my son’s tanks, I was able to pick from the tanks in the dock. Little by little I updated all my tanks and got nice paint jobs too. He was not extremely cheap, probably higher than the tank swap deals you see but a lot of those tanks are only 3/4 full. So I supported the local guy, got updated tanks and did not lose the propane in my “bad tank”.
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Old 09-18-2020, 01:35 PM   #8
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What Dave said, look for a real propane dealer that does recertification's and such.
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Old 09-18-2020, 09:19 PM   #9
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I am surprised no one mentioned turning the tank upside down and checking the flow. I have done this several times, once for a very frustrated neighbor wanting to get his grill going when it barely had a flame. We had a stake (steak?) in this as we were guests!
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:12 PM   #10
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Please don't discharge propane from an inverted tank - that gets you liquid instead of the vapour you need and can handle.

As mentioned, the OPD could be stuck: it's operated by a float, and if the float sticks up (overfilled position) the valve will be closed. Jarring it as suggested is the only fix that I can think of, short of removing the valve assembly (which of course you don't do with a full tank).

The reason for needing a tight connection is that the hose end must push a valve open in the QCC system. The tank valve could be detective, requiring a longer nose on the hose end than it should. Perhaps it would work with a different hose.

The usual low-flow problem results from tripping the excess flow valve, but that valve is in the hose end (not the tank valve assembly), so if that were the problem it would stay with the hose, not follow the tank.
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
What Dave said, look for a real propane dealer that does recertification's and such.
I doubt anyone in the area does this for 20-pound tanks (they're so cheap they're not worth the trouble), but there is I would appreciate knowing who it is.
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:48 AM   #12
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OPD valve video

Dave,

I just watched a youtube video called "What is an OPD valve..."

He had an OPD valve in hand and explained how it works, as well as the various safety features on this size tank. I found it very educational.

After viewing the video, and if your tank was nearly overfilled, but will flow a little, you might connect it back to a grill and let it run for an hour or two. The reduction in liquid propane inside might allow the overfill valve to ease off and flow more gas.

The other issue would be the release that occurs when a device is screwed into the brass fitting. Various grill hoses may press more onto that safety device and allow more flow.

Now I'm curious. Be sure to let us know what you work out.

Bill
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:53 AM   #13
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What Dave said, look for a real propane dealer that does recertification's and such.
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:54 AM   #14
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I doubt anyone in the area does this for 20-pound tanks (they're so cheap they're not worth the trouble), but there is I would appreciate knowing who it is.
R & R in Festus, MO
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:24 PM   #15
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R & R in Festus, MO
Dave and I are both in the area of Edmonton, Alberta. I looked up the propane company that I bought a used larger tank from, but they appear to be gone... and I don't know if even they ever worked on the 20-pound tanks.
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:36 PM   #16
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On my last camping trip a couple of weeks ago, I had the same meager flame problem on my Coleman stove supplied by a 20# tank. It was on the last meal of the trip, so I just used my “emergency” 1# bottle. Didn’t think about thumping it on the ground until I read this thread. Went out this morning and thumped the tank on the concrete floor, and viola, the old stove flamed high again.
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Old 09-19-2020, 03:56 PM   #17
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We use lots of propane bottles down here in the South for grills, fish fry's, crawfish and crab boils, etc. I've had that problem a number of times, especially with exchange tanks. I'll pick up the tank and forcibly drop it on a hard surface from a foot or so high. The stuck opd valve releases to it's normal position and the tank will give a full flow from then on.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:58 PM   #18
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I am surprised no one mentioned turning the tank upside down and checking the flow. I have done this several times, once for a very frustrated neighbor wanting to get his grill going when it barely had a flame. We had a stake (steak?) in this as we were guests!
I guess I should not post when tired! I did not mean to imply that you should leave the tank upside down! Turning it upside down will reset
the excess flow valve. Then turn it back rightside up and proceed as usual. Works every time. Turning the valve on too fast is what causes the lockup. I apologise for the misunderstanding.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:33 AM   #19
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The fittings were on tight. I think the OPD (?) valve in the tank is either stuck or faulty. Not sure if there is any way to make it work.
bang the half full tank on the ground a couple times, show it who's boss. that will usually convince the float valve to unstick.
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Old 09-20-2020, 03:41 AM   #20
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What Dave said, look for a real propane dealer that does recertification's and such.
the propane wholesalers around here will recert a 30 lb tank, but a 20 lb standard bottle, they'll just swap, they say its not worth their trouble to cert..

geez, my son uses a 200 gallon tank to run the blowtorches on his burning man truck...
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