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Old 12-02-2012, 02:13 PM   #1
IONH
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Default Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

So yesterday my Mr Heater wouldn't fire. It was in the upper 20's *F outside. I brought the tank to be filled and it only took 8 gallons, so I was happy it wasn't empty though unhappy I went to the trouble of bringing it to the fill station. Still would not fire when I got it home and hooked back up.

Today, before pulling apart a line at the disconnect coupler to see if the regualtor was flowing, I thought I'd try it again. Fired right up.

It is just over 50 *F today, do you think the cold impacted the regulator yesterday? Are regulators usually good for colder temperatures? If so, is this a sign my regulator is failing?
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:52 PM   #2
Milton Shaw
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

Regulators outside can freeze up. There is a small bleed hole on the outside of the regulator that water can collect in and then freeze with the fuel shut off. Thawing out with warmer weather is why its working now. You need to dry the regulator out and then keep it out of the rain. I have one on a gas grill that has done that several times.
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Old 12-02-2012, 02:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

What size tank?
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

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Originally Posted by Milton Shaw View Post
Regulators outside can freeze up. There is a small bleed hole on the outside of the regulator that water can collect in and then freeze with the fuel shut off. Thawing out with warmer weather is why its working now. You need to dry the regulator out and then keep it out of the rain. I have one on a gas grill that has done that several times.
Is that the screen I see on the very end of the regulator?

Could I just put something over it so water can't get in the end?

As a short term solution if this happens again, could I use a heat gun to thaw it out and what is the maximum temperature you would suggest so nothing explodes?

It is a 100# tank.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

I couldn't read the capacity of your regulator in the pic,maybe not enough flow. Regulator should be mounted so the vent ( screen ) is down so any moisture will drain out. also could be your tank is too small, not enough wetted surface, or in other words not enough vaporization.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

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I couldn't read the capacity of your regulator in the pic,maybe not enough flow. Regulator should be mounted so the vent ( screen ) is down so any moisture will drain out. also could be your tank is too small, not enough wetted surface, or in other words not enough vaporization.
I don't know the flow rating unfortunately. That blurry picture is the only one I have.

As you can see in the hooked up tank picture, the regulator is mounted horizontally. Do you think I should put some pipe out of the tank so it can face downward?

I'm thinking about taking a small tupaware and cutting it so it can sit over the regulator to at least keep the direct rain off it. I don't think enough snow would accumulate to be concerned about its weight.
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

The regulator has a safety feature that shuts down flow in case of accidental disconnection, maybe 75 kbtu is more flow then its rated for and its occasionally tripping the safety feature. Try giving the manufacturer a call, they should be able to tell you how many btus that regulator can support.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

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Originally Posted by philjafo View Post
The regulator has a safety feature that shuts down flow in case of accidental disconnection, maybe 75 kbtu is more flow then its rated for and its occasionally tripping the safety feature. Try giving the manufacturer a call, they should be able to tell you how many btus that regulator can support.
I remember when I bought the regulator, it was rated for something like 100k BTU. I know I verified that.

I think the freezing issue is the likely culprit here so I will have to do something to shelter it from the weather to minimize that.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

"You brought the tank to be filled". Just a guess but at 75kbtu you likely overdrew the tank/regulator combo and it froze up, possibly damaging the regulator. LP tanks are sized to the load as well as the regulator. As temps decrease so to does the vaporization rate, meaning you may need a bigger tank to support the necessary btu load.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

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Originally Posted by Jackfre View Post
"You brought the tank to be filled". Just a guess but at 75kbtu you likely overdrew the tank/regulator combo and it froze up, possibly damaging the regulator. LP tanks are sized to the load as well as the regulator. As temps decrease so to does the vaporization rate, meaning you may need a bigger tank to support the necessary btu load.
Don't think that's the case. The heater did not work at all on the day I posted this thread so I don't think it froze up due to use at the time.

I'm adding a picture of the weather cover I put over it to try and keep some of the moisture out of the screen area.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

My heater acted up too, but mine wasn`t starting due to having too much back pressure in my vent. It would kick in but when asked for fuel it just wasnt there.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

I used grill last night. Temp was below 40F and I had to wait about 5 minutes until there was adequate pressure at the burner to light. After lit, no problems.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

Just moisture in the regulator that froze, I've had it happen. I just took a bucket of hot water out and poured it over the regulator and that fixed the problem. Take a piece of old innertube or something to make a flap to cover it, should help.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

Was upper 20's today and the heater fired right up. I guess the cover I made helped.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:24 AM   #15
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

We had this happen once, somehow the regular was full of dead insects.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

Frozen again tonight. 10*F out.

If I was going to be out there for more than the expected about 90 minutes, I'd have tried a heat gun to see if I could free things up. Instead, I went back inside.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

Waitaminute... how large of a tank is this connected to?

Tanks themselves can easily freeze up in winter if undersized. IE, the very minimum you could run that heater on would probably be 100lb, and that's probably too small for cold temps.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

I see you have a 100# tank. This should be large enough. But, have you considered contracting your propane out? If they dropped off a 120 gallon tank, they would provide two separate (high pressure/low pressure) regulators or a better two stage unit than you have, and handle everything.

Propane delivered is almost always MUCH cheaper than if you go have your tank filled somewhere... I paid $1.39 a gallon this summer. The tank rental may be a bit if you don't hit their minimum, but it'd be worth it.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

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Originally Posted by ishiboo View Post
I see you have a 100# tank. This should be large enough. But, have you considered contracting your propane out? If they dropped off a 120 gallon tank, they would provide two separate (high pressure/low pressure) regulators or a better two stage unit than you have, and handle everything.

Propane delivered is almost always MUCH cheaper than if you go have your tank filled somewhere... I paid $1.39 a gallon this summer. The tank rental may be a bit if you don't hit their minimum, but it'd be worth it.
Correct, 100# tank.

It is entirely likely I will not go through a 100# tank in a year with this heater.

When I was investigating the use of LP for cooking/heating (decided against it), all companies wanted a fee for 'renting' their tanks when I did not use a specified minimum amount of LP per year. That's where they get you.

Also, they were not *MUCH* cheaper than going down to True Value hardware store about 5 miles away from my house, so the fee for not hitting the minimum usage per year would not make up for it.

Are you suggesting that if I go with high/low pressure separate regulators I would not have this problem?
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:34 AM   #20
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Default Re: Two Stage Propane Regulator Problem in Cold?

Hmmm... My shop is 24x40 metal, with 1.5" styrofoam in the walls, covered with osb; at least 6" fiberglas in the ceiling covered with osb and two insulated steel doors, two small windows. I've run my 75k Mr. Heater for a couple Sunday's, and find that I'm using 10% each day from my 120 gallon tank, while keeping the temp inside at 60-65*. I'm thinking at this rate, my tank will be good for only about 8 days running. Do you think you'll be able to last all season on a 100# tank? Maybe you have more insulation in the walls than I do?

I'm seriously looking into getting a larger tank for when I retire within the next couple years. BTW, the temp coming out of the front of the heater is 162*. Do I have a problem? Any thoughts?
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