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OT: LPG issues
Posted by: DP
Date: January 29, 2007 11:56AM
We were Up North for the weekend and had some interesting issues. Started Saturday night after things got down to about 6º F for the low. My wife wants to take a shower but our tankless water heater (Rinnai) won't stay lit. Error code says it's not getting gas (checked the flue; not blocked). OK, will call service Monday as the furnace and stovetop still work but then we notice that the stovetop won't work while the furnace is running and then discover that the Rinnai works fine if the furnace and stovetop are not on. So we got to thinking that maybe the pressure from the pig has dropped due to the cold. Is this possible? And could we also have a bad valve?
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: papercup
Date: January 29, 2007 12:00PM
[groups.google.com]
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 29, 2007 12:03PM
Well... I know that when I'm running my propane forge (probably 5 times the delivery volume of a water heater...) and it starts icing up... I start getting sputtering of the burner when the propane isn't vaporizing fast enough in the tank.

So yeah, I'm gonna assume that it's possible that it's a problem.

Can't say for SURE... of course, and haven't followed Papercups link to see what (if anything) it has to say.



Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: DP
Date: January 29, 2007 12:08PM
Thanx, papercup-will read it all when I have time but it seems that the low temps may be the reason. As to pinpointing the issue I'll have to check further but this helps.
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: January 29, 2007 12:14PM
Been reading that thread..
Looks like a flame war of personalities, more than a useful problem solving endeavor..
But maybe you can glean some useful troubleshooting tips from it.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: DP
Date: January 29, 2007 12:31PM
My friend emailed me and said to check out hvac-talk.com.
I saw that a flame war was breaking out on the Google site...
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 29, 2007 01:02PM
I found this on hvac-talk.com.


At 20 F outside temp, the tank has about half the internal pressure as at 50 F. If your regulator is not working properly or the piping is marginally undersized, it could be part of the problem when the tank temp is low.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: Racer X
Date: January 29, 2007 01:12PM
now I know why no one uses propane stoves for cold weather camping!
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: January 29, 2007 07:06PM
It is quite a bit worse for butane. My wife's grandfather's generation had butane tanks for heat in central Texas in the early 1900s , until there was a really cold snap, not enough pressure, and folks died from exposure.

The process of turning propane liquid into a vapor also takes a certain number of BTUs, and if the tank cannot transfer that much heat to from the outside to the inside, the temperature in the tank, and thus the pressure, will drop until equilibrium is reached. This can keep the burner from getting proper flow.

This is what Paul F.'s talking about when he describes his tank freezing up. The high flowrate required by the forge means a lot of vaporization, and a lot of heat transfer is needed to keep the temperature up. But the heat transfer is only effective at or below the liquid level in the tank. So if the level is somewhat low, there is not much surface area for heat transfer, and the tank may ice up, even in warm weather.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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Re: OT: LPG issues
Posted by: DP
Date: January 29, 2007 09:19PM
I'm on a forum at hvac-talk.com and the consensus there also seems to be the cold and/or the regulator. I will call our supplier tomorrow and discuss it with them. Thanx all for your help.
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