Propane: Dual Tank Hookup Question

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Old 10-31-10, 05:45 PM
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Propane: Dual Tank Hookup Question

I have a 100 pound LP tank that serves 3 (soon to be 4) propane fireplaces only in my home. But to get LP delivered, they require me to fill one of those completely, so I need to get a 2nd 100 pound tank ( I do not want one large tank for certain reasons, just the two 100 pound tanks). I want to do it as cheaply as possible. I also don't like disconnecting the flex hose every time I need a fill. It is probably made to not flex over and over and over again, just to get you into a tight place - once and done thing.

1.) What's the best way to do it without have to buy another regulator?

2.) Is it possible to fill one of these 100 pound tanks without disconnecting it? I hate to do small damage to the brass nut built into the very expensive two-stage (160,000 BTU) regulator every time I need a fill.

Please see my current configuration in the photos below. Remember, my desire is to have the two tanks hooked up preferably without ever disconnecting them to fill them and to not have to purchase another two-stage regulator.

Thanks in advance!! -Tony17112acst





 
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Old 10-31-10, 06:14 PM
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LP Tank

That tank is not inteded to be filled on site. It is what is refered to as an "exchange tank". Technically, each time the tank is either filled or exchanged a pressure test is supposed to be done. Your gas supplier should have tanks made to be filled from the truck. A single 57 gallon tank will hold the same amout of gas as 2-100# & take up less space than 2-100# tanks.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 07:31 PM
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The alternative is to have a dual-tank changeover valve/regulator unit. The propane supplier should have these in stock as they are often used on RVs. They come in auto or manual changeover and when it is changed to the full tank the empty can be disconnected and removed for refilling.

We had such an arrangement (manual changeover) at a place I once worked and it was in use for more than twenty years that I know of with no problems.

Grady, the portable tanks are not tested prior to each filling but do need to be re-certified every ten years.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 07:44 PM
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Re-Cert

I understand about the re-cert & wasn't talking about the tank being tested, but the system. I was taught anytime a system pressure drops to zero, a gas check must be performed. This would include run outs or a tank being disconnected to be filled.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 07:52 PM
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Testing the system would place an impossible burden on the owner. Checking the POL nut on the propane tank for leaks after connecting is about all the system testing that is required.
 
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Old 10-31-10, 08:10 PM
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If you don't mind my stepping in here but I will address to the OP about the CSST tubing and the way it set up when you remove the fitting and change the tank over the time the CSST will delope a crack and cause a fuel leak and this is a serious matter to be addressed here.

As Grady and Furd did cover the base very well and a single 57 gallon tank will work better than twin 100 pounders and it will have fill port in the big tank the 100 pounders can NOT be filled at the site it have to be bring the tank to exchange or refilling location with scale to weight in the LP gaz.

Merci.
Marc
 
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Old 10-31-10, 09:02 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Furd, What is a dual-tank changeover valve/regulator unit? I've been browsing propane fitting on the web for about an hour and am not sure what one (or a collection of parts) looks like. Is there a URL you can post (link) for me to take a look? If I could get something like that I'd love to eliminate the flex connector (I'm guessing that's what a CCST is).

I do know about the larger tanks (versus having two smaller ones), but they are not what I'm looking for:

1.) I can't pick it up and move it if I want, like two 100#s.
2.) They are also pretty expensive. My 100# tank is $117 brand new and I got my 1st one for $86 brand new. One large tank will be like $400-$500 I'm guessing.
3.) I'm afraid if I get a larger tank and call the propane Co., they may refuse to deliver because my tank is about 7 feet from two in-wall, permanently installed air conditioners. I think the limit is 8 feet from an air conditioner. This is why I need the option to pick them up ...in case I need to go fill them myself.

I have been taking the 100 # tank to places to get it filled. So I called a local propane delivery Co. to avoid man-handling the 170 pounds in the snow. They said they WORLD fill it (the 100# tank) up and make a delivery but only if it were totally empty. But now that I've read your previous posts, I'm wondering if they misunderstood me.

Any other thoughts are welcome. Thank you. -Tony
 
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Old 10-31-10, 10:05 PM
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I just did a search using the term propane tank changeover regulator and got LOTS of hits. Here are a few.

changeover

changeover

changeover

changeover

changeover

changeover

The CSST that French referred to is Stainless Steel Corrugated Tubing, the flexible part of your gas piping. That is not the proper usage in your installation. The regulator really should be hard-piped and solidly mounted with a flexible high-pressure LP hose or flexible copper tubing used between the tank and the regulator. I prefer a hose over copper tubing but it MUST be a rated LP (Liquefied Petroleum) high pressure hose.

The changeover regulators I linked to all require hoses or tubing "pigtails" for connections to the tanks. Unless you have done LP piping before I suggest that you have a propane supplier make up the fittings.
 
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Old 11-01-10, 07:21 AM
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Please see my post immediately below.
 
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Old 11-01-10, 07:24 AM
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Thanks for the links!! However, they all include the regulator, and I already have $60 invested in a two-stage regulator. I'll search for something without the regulator during the day when I have a half hour free.

I'd like to mount the regulator permanently (as recommended) and then run the LP hose from it. However, whever I see any LP hoses, the ends are always threaded with those very, very large threads and are non-fine (coarse?). My tank doesn't have that; I have a "Excess Flow P.O.L." connection from what I've gathered from the packaging of the two-stage regulator I have.

Are there adapters to take me from the typical end on an LP hose to my 100# tank connection? Is this something that would work?

POL to QCC Adapter

Thanks!! -Tony
 
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Old 11-01-10, 08:31 AM
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OK, I've been looking at LP fittings and hoses for over an hour since my last post and decided I want to have just one hose to connect to one 100# tank. When one tank is empty, I"ll manually switch the high pressure hose (which I need) to the other filled 100# tank. My 2-stage regulator will be fitted to pipe permanently.

Here's what I'm shooting for: I need to go from my regulator's Excess Flow POL(male) to the female POL of the tank itself with a high pressure hose.

But I can't find any female POL to start the hose off the regulator!

-Tony
 
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Old 11-01-10, 12:42 PM
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No, you won't find a female POL fitting for the hose. Take the POL fitting off of the first-stage regulator and connect the hose directly to the regulator. Connect the POL fitting to the other end of the hose. Any well-stocked RV shop or propane dealer will have the parts. Be sure to tell them the maximum BTU requirements of all your appliances.
 
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Old 11-01-10, 03:40 PM
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I have an RV shop in my tiny little town, so I stopped in to look at what the owner had and maybe pick his brain.

I ended up walking out with a high pressure hose with the ends on it I need and a fitting/adapter. The label on the hose says it's 350 psi and is 3/8 I.D. So Can someone verfy:

1.) Is the 350 psi rated hose high enough for my setup?

2.) Is the 3/8" ID of the hose large enough for the 160,000 BTU's the regulator pushes out?

I have been searching for about an hour on the web and cannot find the answer!

Thanks again. -Tony
 
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Old 11-01-10, 04:09 PM
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I'm surprised you found a female POL fitting, especially in a small shop.

Yes, the 3/8 inch ID hose will be okay for 160,000 BTUs provided it isn't too long. I'm assuming it is less than ten feet long.

350 psi is okay. The hose should also have the words NFGA approved LP gas hose on it. It may have a number on it referring to the NFGA (National Fuel Gas Association) code of regulations.


Now get rid of that piece of corrugated tubing and mount the regulator to the pipe with in the same orientation as your picture shows it mounted to the tank. Add a bracket close to the regulator so that it isn't swaying around. Connect up the hose and enjoy your fireplace.
 
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Old 11-01-10, 06:20 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone!

Furd, I decided to give up on the prospect of connecting a hose AFTER the regulator. I couldn't find anything with a female POL (Excessive flow) and your comment to disassemble the two stage regulator was a good one, but I couldn't see how it would come apart where you recommended. I didn't see any way to remove the POL fitting on the end. It looks like it is crimped(?) on. If you see it online and you see a way to do it, let mw know. I put off hooking everything up till tmorrow. This is a Mr Heater 2-stager (model F273863) and the drawing on the box shows the regulator going straight into the propane tank and the hose behind it. So I'm banking on that ...that it's OK to have it on the end of a hose going right into the tank.

As I said, I didn't hook up everything yet, so I am open to another setup.

-Tony
 
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Old 11-17-10, 05:15 PM
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OK, Here's what I ended up doing. I couldn't figure a way to mount the regulator since it has a male POL fitting on the end. So I hooked up the high pressure hose and will have to fill the tanks maually.

I called the main local propane company and they told me over the phone that they'd deliver to my 100 pound POL fitting tank. I spend all my time and some money, now they say that they cannot fill a POL tank from the truck! I swear I see some of these double 100 pound tanks on mobile homes ...I wonder how they do it?

So I am stuck lugging the empty tank to my minivan, having it filled for MORE $$ than the delivered LP, then having to lay it down (while full) on it's side *IN* the minivan, and then taking it around back (full) of the house sometimes through the snow. What a disaster (versus having it delivered)!!

Here's an image of my setup now. Please let me know if anyone sees anything wrong or in anyone has a way to get a refillable setup. I asked the LP company if they know of anyone in the area who would sell a 100 gallon tank, he says "no." It's hard to believe that someone who claims he's "been in the LP business for 23 years" doesn't know of one source that would sell a 100 gallon LP tank. They charge a higher price if they put a tank there themselves, of course. -Tony

 
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Old 11-17-10, 06:12 PM
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It sounds like your local propane guy just doesn't like you. Bulk filling stations (including delivery trucks) have an Acme-thread filling valve but they use an Acme to POL adapter to fill the tanks that have only a POL fitting. You could get such an adapter for yourself and attach it to the empty tank but I suspect the local guy would either swipe it after he filled your tank the first time or find some other reason to not make the delivery.

Sorry.

BTW, I've never seen a regulator that had the POL fitting crimped in place so it couldn't be removed. Nevertheless, your system as now configured is definitely better than it was.
 
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Old 11-18-10, 02:08 PM
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I think you're right about not liking me (or others that have their own tank, because I even asked him if there was a such thing as an ACME to POL adapter and he said "no!"

I may just call and request a fill, then I'll deal with the truck guy instead of some desk guy. Thanks.

-Tony
 
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Old 11-18-10, 06:40 PM
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Well, if he says there is no such thing as an Acme to POL adapter he is flat-out lying. Where I used to work we had 100 pound tanks we used for pilot burners on the boilers. We had our own adapter that we would connect to the tank and then the forklift driver would take the tank to the bulk filling station, fill the tank and then bring it back. I may even have an adapter in my garage but it would take at least a month to find it, or find that I no longer have it.

It could be that he figures it just isn't worth his while to run his truck to your place for just 25 gallons (100 lbs) of propane sale but I would think he could just up the price a bit to cover his cost of operation. Or it could be that he's just a jerk.
 
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