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Has anyone else found that the new propane tanks are kind of finicky? I've had some problems with both my weed burner at home and my BBQ on the boat getting adequate fuel. I did a little googling and found that the new tanks have some sort of a "free flow" safety device as well and you can get full gas flow by not openning the valve all the way up. I'll try it next time I'm BBQing, but just wondering if anyone else has run into this problem?

This webpage talks a little bit about the issue:

http://www.enigmetallic.com/propane.htm
 

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I have noticed something similar to what you describe - if I neglect to close the BBQ burners before opening the tank valve, even with the tank valve open there's no gas flow. I suspect that the "free flow" limiter doesn't like the surge to the open burner and cuts off. If close the tank, shut the burner valves, and reopen the tank it works fine when I light the burners after that.

But I've only noticed this at home on the larger BBQ. On the boat things seem fine.
 

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Just try turning on the valve slowly. There are valves in the line that close when there is a surge. Turn it on slow, no surge, no problem. I have had this problem with the propane system om my motorhome. If it happens, turn off the valve at the bottle. wait a minute for the pressure to drop, turn the valve on slowly........
 

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It's the safety feature of the valve. If there is a leak the excess flow valve will close. It is also designed to not open unless an appliance is attached. The old style valves were very dangerous in that if left on, or if a line leaks, gas just kept flowing. Kids used to crank open them and get LPG in the face and on the hands causing freeze burns. Ensure appliance is connected properly and off, open valve slowly, if not working, wait 5 min. for any gas to clear and for the valve to reset itself and repeat.
 

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Another source of grief with propane appliances is that new cylinders are not purged properly when filled for the first time to eliminate contaminates and primarily any moisture. Moisture or water will ice up when filled with LPG. Always close the valve on an empty cylinder, especially the old style valves which are still in use. Technically a cylinder should be purged when filled for the first time, revalved or left open when empty. Many times they are not.
You can also get contaminated LPG just like any other fuel. I have heard from others that those bug traps are especially sensitve.
 

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Another thought. If it is happening only after the cylinder has just been filled, it may be that the cylinder has built up pressure especially if it's in the sun causing the excess flow and the excess flow valve to shut. Partially opening the valve would help. You can also vent some pressure by opening the spit valve. On the opd it is a small set screw on the side. Crack it open in a well ventillated area and let off some pressure. If you see liquid propane, it definately has to much pressure or is overfilled, let it go until it is just vapour. Hope this helps.
 

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Good point on the purging, Bushrat. We are running into a situation nowadays that municipal bylaws prohibit purging of new empty tanks for environmental reasons - and we are forced to buy "pre purged"/prefilled new tanks.
 

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A lot of the cylinders on the market are refurbished these days. I doubt they take the time to purge when the cylinders are revalved and filled. I see cylinders sitting at the hazerdous waste depot with no valve because the valuable brass has been taken to the scrap metal dealer. The cylinder is picked up for "refurbishing" by the propane company. A shot of paint, new valve, fill, back in service. If you have been having trouble it is llikely a refurbished cylinder. Trade it at a swap and go or buy a new one and make sure the attendent actually purge it. I didn't know that about the bylaw?
 

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Freesail-

The composite cylinders are great, and you can actually see the level of the propane remaining in them. However, they need to be covered for the same reason... otherwise sunlight can cause them to heat up a lot...greenhouse effect of the somewhat clear sides...
 

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I like the idea of the composite tanks and probably will buy one to replace my old-style tank when it finally runs out of propane. It's tough even finding an outfit to retrofit an old tank anymore.
 

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There is also a big weight difference with the composite tanks vs. the old steel ones.
 

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My former slip neighbour recently bought one of these new composite tanks... I like the idea but this tank was at least 6" taller than a standard metal tank and so probably won't fit in the formerly "standard" propane locker/compartment. He had his lashed at the aft end of the cockpit sole.

I made contact with the manufacturer of one of these types of tanks and they could not assure me that there would be no problem filling them (in Canada).
 

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It's tough even finding an outfit to retrofit an old tank anymore.
Sailormitch,

When we bought our boat I had to have the propane tanks retrofitted with OPD valves. At that time, there was a guy in Annapolis running a business that specialized in this procedure. He did a great job (picked up the tanks at the boat, did the valve work, purged and re-filled the tanks, then returned and re-installed them, all on his own without me having to meet him at the boat) at a fair price. I referred quite a few people to him and everyone reported back with a similar good experience.

Unfortunately I'm blanking out on his name now. But I have often seen his card posted on the bulletin board at West Marines in Annapolis.
 

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Sailormitch,

When we bought our boat I had to have the propane tanks retrofitted with OPD valves. At that time, there was a guy in Annapolis running a business that specialized in this procedure. He did a great job (picked up the tanks at the boat, did the valve work, purged and re-filled the tanks, then returned and re-installed them, all on his own without me having to meet him at the boat) at a fair price. I referred quite a few people to him and everyone reported back with a similar good experience.

Unfortunately I'm blanking out on his name now. But I have often seen his card posted on the bulletin board at West Marines in Annapolis.
John -- Thanks for the tip. You just gave me an excuse to go to Naptown (not that I really needed one.) Hopefully he's still in business.
 

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gas man told me too release the gas just slightly too allow valve too adjust .Then turn the rest of the way on and gas will flow.I have done it several times.Gas co. right down the street from me.
 

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Concerning the original post, and just to be clear, the OPD valve is in the tank, and prevents over-filling. It does not limit flow, per se. It could prevent flow if it is sticking and not working properly.

There is a valve that is designed to limit flow but it is NOT in the tank, it is in the line between the tank and the regulator.

If you have persistent problems with one, you can change it relatively easily.

Hose with "excess flow protection" :

Camco 24" Pigtail Propane Hose Connector - Walmart.com
 
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