Propane regulator freezing up?

Discussion in 'UK DIY' started by Roger Moss, Dec 27, 2004.

  1. Roger Moss

    Roger Moss Guest

    I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and Electrolux
    refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure indoors, but am
    unsure whether this is due to the regulator having some water in it, which
    freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the gas pipe itself (which should be
    impossible, if the bottles only contain dry propane).

    Has anyone had experience of this? Is there an easy way of testing the
    regulator/servicing it/drying it out? I am tempted to put it in a warm oven
    for a while but don't want to damage any rubber components inside it.

    Thanks

    Roger
    Roger Moss, Dec 27, 2004
    #1
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  2. Roger Moss

    MatSav Guest

    On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 20:34:37 -0000, "Roger Moss" <>
    wrote:

    >I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and Electrolux
    >refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure indoors, but am
    >unsure whether this is due to the regulator having some water in it, which
    >freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the gas pipe itself (which should be
    >impossible, if the bottles only contain dry propane).
    >
    >Has anyone had experience of this?


    Yes. It's not due to water at all, it's a property of the pressurised
    propane gas. Propane, although "better" than butane, will not change
    state from the liquid phase to the gas phase at very low temperatures.
    Butane refuses to "work" at anything below about 4°C.

    --
    MatSav
    MatSav, Dec 27, 2004
    #2
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  3. On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 20:34:37 -0000, "Roger Moss" <>
    wrote:

    | I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and Electrolux
    | refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure indoors, but am
    | unsure whether this is due to the regulator having some water in it, which
    | freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the gas pipe itself (which should be
    | impossible, if the bottles only contain dry propane).
    |
    | Has anyone had experience of this? Is there an easy way of testing the
    | regulator/servicing it/drying it out? I am tempted to put it in a warm oven
    | for a while but don't want to damage any rubber components inside it.

    I read in the instructions, that there is a hole in my propane regulator
    which should be protected from rain. This supports your theory. I would
    leave the regulator on the top of the central heating boiler for a day or
    two to dry it out. Airing cupboard would do as well.

    --
    Dave Fawthrop <>
    Subscribe to uk.net.news.announce. A low volume *civilised* newsgroup
    with only the essential information about what is happening in the uk.*
    newsgroups, Request For Discussions (RFDs) Call For Votes (CFVs) etc.
    Dave Fawthrop, Dec 27, 2004
    #3
  4. Roger Moss

    John Guest

    "Roger Moss" <> wrote in message
    news:cqprkn$bas$...
    >I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and Electrolux
    >refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure indoors, but am
    >unsure whether this is due to the regulator having some water in it, which
    >freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the gas pipe itself (which should
    >be impossible, if the bottles only contain dry propane).
    >
    > Has anyone had experience of this? Is there an easy way of testing the
    > regulator/servicing it/drying it out? I am tempted to put it in a warm
    > oven for a while but don't want to damage any rubber components inside it.
    >


    1. You really do mean Propane do you? Butane is useless at sub zero
    temperatures but Propane evaporates at seriously low sub zero temperatures.

    2. A new regulator from BES is only a few quid and this may be a more
    sensible way of sorting the problem
    John, Dec 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Roger Moss

    Guest

    On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 21:01:34 -0000, "The Simpsons"
    <> wrote:

    >
    >"MatSav" <matthew D O T savage A T felthamscouts D O T org D O T uk> wrote
    >in message news:...
    >> On Mon, 27 Dec 2004 20:34:37 -0000, "Roger Moss" <>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and
    >>>Electrolux
    >>>refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure indoors, but am
    >>>unsure whether this is due to the regulator having some water in it, which
    >>>freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the gas pipe itself (which should
    >>>be
    >>>impossible, if the bottles only contain dry propane).
    >>>
    >>>Has anyone had experience of this?


    Is this during use, that is it initially works but then stops. If so
    this indicates the gas being drawn off is removing latent heat faster
    than the propane can be warmed through the cylinder walls. On car
    conversions, where the demand for gas is high, the liquid propane is
    heated by a loop in the coolant circuit to stop this happening. With
    ordinary bottles it is possible to manifold a number together to share
    the demand between bottles.

    I think water frozen in the regulator is a possibility.

    AJH
    , Dec 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Roger Moss

    davek Guest

    > 2. A new regulator from BES is only a few quid and this may be a more
    > sensible way of sorting the problem

    There is a small hole at the side of the regulator body. Most people fit the
    unit horizontal, so that any water will remain inside. AFAIK it should be
    facing down so that it can drain.
    It's just a diaphragm with a light spring resting on it. The spring gets
    weak, the rubber perishes,-should be replaced every couple of years (so it's
    said).
    I couldn't get a decent supply of gas one time. When I removed the tube a
    rather groggy wasp crawled out.
    DaveK.



    ---
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    davek, Dec 27, 2004
    #6
  7. Roger Moss

    Bert W Guest

    Roger Moss <> wrote:
    > I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and
    > Electrolux refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure
    > indoors, but am unsure whether this is due to the regulator having
    > some water in it, which freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the
    > gas pipe itself (which should be impossible, if the bottles only
    > contain dry propane).
    >
    > Has anyone had experience of this? Is there an easy way of testing
    > the regulator/servicing it/drying it out? I am tempted to put it in
    > a warm oven for a while but don't want to damage any rubber
    > components inside it.


    A tiny help from Truma is called Ice-ex. It's a 12v heating element that
    fits on the regulator. It will solve the problems that can occur around
    (mostly some degrees above) zero degrees C.

    --
    Regards, Bert W
    www.whattowcar.com
    Bert W, Dec 28, 2004
    #7
  8. It's been said on here and I concur that it could be several things but
    operate on the principle that it's cheaper to check than buy. First if there
    is no rime around the cylinder itself at the bottom, it is unlikely that the
    cylinder is chilling down too low to vapourise. A 47Kg cylinder will
    vapourise enough gas to supply 15Kw of energy, but it is dependent on the
    wetted surface of the cylinder, so the lower the gas, the less wetted area,
    less gas vapourises so just because you have liquid left in the cylinder
    does not mean it will vapourise. If you have a small cylinder, 6/11Kg or
    perhaps even 19Kg it may not supply enough vapour. Gas in cylinders is an
    impure product and will contain a small amount of water, although a very
    large company was found guilty of ballasting cylinders with water. It is
    unlikely that the water is getting into the reg. It is more likely to be
    water getting into the body of the reg, so you can fit the reg with the red
    cap facing down to stop water ingress, in this position you can pour hot
    water over it to thaw it out. Hot water from the tap won't harm it as long
    as it doesn't get in the body.


    Robin

    "Bert W" <> wrote in message
    news:41d0b5c3$0$6207$4all.nl...
    > Roger Moss <> wrote:
    >> I have a propane bottle, kept outdoors, that feeds a gas hob and
    >> Electrolux refrigerator. In sub-zero temperatures I get no pressure
    >> indoors, but am unsure whether this is due to the regulator having
    >> some water in it, which freezes and sticks it shut, or water in the
    >> gas pipe itself (which should be impossible, if the bottles only
    >> contain dry propane).
    >>
    >> Has anyone had experience of this? Is there an easy way of testing
    >> the regulator/servicing it/drying it out? I am tempted to put it in
    >> a warm oven for a while but don't want to damage any rubber
    >> components inside it.

    >
    > A tiny help from Truma is called Ice-ex. It's a 12v heating element that
    > fits on the regulator. It will solve the problems that can occur around
    > (mostly some degrees above) zero degrees C.
    >
    > --
    > Regards, Bert W
    > www.whattowcar.com
    >
    ROBIN DUMPLETON, Dec 30, 2004
    #8
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