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Old 05-12-2015, 11:01   #1
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Propane will not flow from tank...

We recently acquired our first cruising boat - a 2002 Belize Maestro - and have encountered a problem with propane flow. The stove worked fine a month ago when we received the boat and I shut things off while we moved out of our house. When we returned to the boat and I turned the propane on again - nothing. I checked the tank by weight and it was well over half full. To be safe I replaced the tank in case the valve was defective. No luck.

I removed the regulator and verified it passes air when I blow in the supply end. No problem with the regulator function. However, when I put the regulator on the tank with the downstream end disconnected no propane flows. If I manually push the regulator into the tank to activate the OPD valve I get propane flow. It acts like the supply end of the regulator is going into the tank valve too far and blocking the flow.

I looked at replacing the regulator with a new one but have not found a source for the metric adapter needed to connect to the hose that feeds the stove. The previous owner confirmed this has been an intermittent problem since he owned the boat for the last 5 years and he would just shut off the gas, remove and reconnect the regulator until it flows again.

Anyone have any thoughts on what can be done to fix this problem? Not being able to cook is getting old.

We are currently in West Palm Beach, Florida area...
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:09   #2
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

That's a butane regulator. Do they work ok with propane?
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:11   #3
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

IT has been working (mostly) for several years. I also noticed the Butane lakeland suspect it is original equipment.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:39   #4
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

Newer tanks need a newer regulator and fitting . You can't get gas out of a new tank with an old reg. Sometimes anyway.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:46   #5
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

If the tank is one of the newer ones with an OPD valve, try opening the tank valve VERY SLOWLY to pressurize the lines.
If you have a long hose from the tank that has been depressurized and you open the tank valve quickly, the OPD function will shut off the gas because it thinks there's a leak.

Shutting the valve resets it for another try.

I hate how all this "safety" crap is invading our lives.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:55   #6
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Propane will not flow from tank...

Is your electric shutoff valve maybe broken?
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:55   #7
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KFuller View Post
We recently acquired our first cruising boat - a 2002 Belize Maestro - and have encountered a problem with propane flow. The stove worked fine a month ago when we received the boat and I shut things off while we moved out of our house. When we returned to the boat and I turned the propane on again - nothing. I checked the tank by weight and it was well over half full. To be safe I replaced the tank in case the valve was defective. No luck.

I removed the regulator and verified it passes air when I blow in the supply end. No problem with the regulator function. However, when I put the regulator on the tank with the downstream end disconnected no propane flows. If I manually push the regulator into the tank to activate the OPD valve I get propane flow. It acts like the supply end of the regulator is going into the tank valve too far and blocking the flow.

I looked at replacing the regulator with a new one but have not found a source for the metric adapter needed to connect to the hose that feeds the stove. The previous owner confirmed this has been an intermittent problem since he owned the boat for the last 5 years and he would just shut off the gas, remove and reconnect the regulator until it flows again.

Anyone have any thoughts on what can be done to fix this problem? Not being able to cook is getting old.

We are currently in West Palm Beach, Florida area...
KFuller,

I suspect you are going to have to replace that outdated set-up as we did...

There are many types of propane [LPG] regulators, so I recommend you find a Propane supplier that will work with you and have them make-up what you need choosing the correct regulator using a modern OPD connecter on the tank. If you are going to be cruising, buy a couple more spare regulators while you are there... they may last 5-15 years on a boat... or not... They are cheap.]

As an example, I bought a regulator with a built-in valve to choose from one of two, or both, tanks. They made up the hoses and the whole thing was under $100. (I paid a little extra for heavy duty hose. Be sure to get UL21 rated hose at a minimum...)

If the propane sniffer system is of the same vintage, consider replacing it and the solenoid valve as well...

I understand your concern about some special fitting on the existing line going to the stove, but perhaps it wouldn't hurt to replace the feed line as well?

Propane is wonderful, but I believe it deserves a higher priority risk assessment regarding decisions about installation and maintenance... [e.g., don't treat it like potable water plumbing... water doesn't explode- except in certain grade B movies...]

An internet search will reveal lots of good information...

I hope you are back to cooking onboard soon.

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:09   #8
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

Not sure why, but I have had 2 regulators just go bad all on their own. For $25 I'd start there.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:25   #9
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

Read thisPropane Systems by Don Casey - BoatUS then get back to us. Your boat was never properly converted to propane from Butane. We do this on charter boats all the time. If your not comfortable with the work find some one in your area that is and hire them. Bad things happen with poorly installed and maintained propane systems.

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Old 06-12-2015, 08:28   #10
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

Thanks for all the info and advice - some very useful info. I am looking at what it will take to redo the system. Sounds like the best course of action to get this done right.
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Old 06-12-2015, 11:38   #11
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

Cheap way out, go to ACE hardware, or any similar store. Buy a replacement gas grill regulator. Whatever system you go with, I would leave the gas shut off when not using the stove.

Bring the old regulator with you and have the store clerk provide a fitting to hook your system to the new regulator. Most hardware stores have a wide variety of adapters and fittings and should be able to provide a suitable solution.

If you don't have an electric shut off valve in the line near the regulator, I would consider adding one. Much easier to remember to flip a switch near the stove then climb out of the galley and turn the tank valve off every time you use the stove.
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Old 06-12-2015, 13:13   #12
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

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Originally Posted by KFuller View Post
Thanks for all the info and advice - some very useful info. I am looking at what it will take to redo the system. Sounds like the best course of action to get this done right.
If your going for a redo, look into natural gas: way lot safer. It goes up, not down. We used a pressurized diesel stove for many years. Slow but rugged. Need a vent hood with it. Advantage is you can run a line from the tank to the stove. We also heated with diesel. One fuel, all purposes.
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Old 06-12-2015, 13:42   #13
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

had a similar problem, never had good propane flow, I changed the tanks from France to composite cylinders, changed the regulator but needed an adaptor for the change in thread with and found it (this was the tough part) at Londsdale fittings in Baltimore (6851 Moravia Park Dr), they were most helpful....now I can cook.
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Old 10-12-2015, 06:36   #14
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
If your going for a redo, look into natural gas: way lot safer. It goes up, not down. We used a pressurized diesel stove for many years. Slow but rugged. Need a vent hood with it. Advantage is you can run a line from the tank to the stove. We also heated with diesel. One fuel, all purposes.
No cruiser in their right mind would switch to natural gas. Hard enough to find in major metropolitan areas and impossible to find in most places.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:54   #15
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Re: Propane will not flow from tank...

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
No cruiser in their right mind would switch to natural gas. Hard enough to find in major metropolitan areas and impossible to find in most places.
I thought of this but since I only sail in upstate NY I did not want to add my 2 cents.

In a re read of the entire post I see that the regulator shown has the old style propane tank fitting. The old tanks can still be filled but finding a business to fill them is difficult, usually a propane supplier, not the many tank filling stations. I feel that the poster should convert to the newer style tanks which are available in fiberglass ( you can see the level of propane through a sight window) or aluminum. Also the availability of filling stations makes refueling easy. The only expense beyond a new tank would be the purchase of the regulator from a hardware store such as ACE , Lowes, Home Depot - ect. The same as used on gas grills, along with a fitting to allow the existing hose to attach to the regulator. Probably under $25. You could also use your home grill tank or get an adapter and use the camping type cylinders, one or two pound tanks in a pinch.
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