Thursday, April 13, 2017

Purging



A Lesson In Propane

8:30am - When outfitting Little Scampy, a gage was put on the propane tank's incoming line in order to know when the gas in the tank was getting low. However, the gage was not accurate. When the gage was warm, the gage showed more gas in the tank. When cold, the gage showed less gas.

Often, when going to refill propane because the gage indicated low, the tank would only take 1/2 of the tank's capacity.

So, the decision was made to remove the gage and let the tank go empty. We carry two backup propane tanks which are those tiny one pound tanks used on BBQs. So, we never run out of propane.

Yesterday evening, our 20 pound tank went empty. When we connected a one pound propane tank, it appeared that this tank was empty! I was surprised! Astounded!

When connecting the 2nd backup one pound tank, it also appeared to be empty! Now I was mystified and phoned my friend Pete Olson for help [Pete lives here in Jojoba Park]. Pete came over and brought with him three one pound tanks.

All three of Pete's 1-Lb propane tanks appeared to be empty as well. Wow! Both Pete and I realized that something was wrong, but we did not know what. Pete suggested an electric heater, and he brought one over.

Researching the problem
I went online and searched for what could cause this problem. I came up with a possible answer.

When a propane tank goes empty, air may enter the incoming line. When a full propane tank is then connected, the propane mixes with that air. The result is when attempting to lite up a stove's burner, the flame either will not lite up or it will lite, then go out.

The incoming propane line needs to be purged of air. If the stove's burner is lit up repeatedly, eventually the incoming line gets purged of air.

Nice to know!

2pm - Propane Tank Gauge
After going over the hassle of using backup one pound propane tanks, I decided to return to using a propane tank gauge!



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8 comments:

  1. George aka Ninja Camper, I'm scratching my head--were all of the tanks truly empty (even Pete's) because of the air in the line or were you just getting false readings?

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  2. Hi Dee,

    I believe that all of the one pound propane tanks, mine and Pete's, had propane.

    I had the 20 lb propane tank filled today. Afterwards, every propane appliance started immediately!?

    Go figure?

    George

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must have the wrong propane hose fitting for the 1 lb. cylinder. That is a guess...

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    2. Click this Link to see what I bought.

      George

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    3. I think you've got it!!! Good job! That purchase will save weight and storage space, as well as eliminating the headache.

      Safe travels.

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    4. I seem to always lose those little adapters...attach it somewhere with a chain or zip tie...

      Best Wishes

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  3. George, another confounding problem can be oil in the propane line. It's a by-product of making propane, and may settle in the low parts of the line. Good to know if there is a problem in the system.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, John,

      In addition to that, it may be that the pressure in a 1 lb tank is relatively low, compared to a 20 lb tank. And, when it cold, the 1 lb tank may not have enough pressure to push the aiir out of the propane line easily.

      I have pretty much decided to stop depending on 1 lb propane tanks. And simply fill the 20 lb tank before it goes empty.

      George

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      Delete

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