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#1
Old 07-29-2011, 05:16 PM
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Need answer relatively fast - propane tank question

Just bought a new propane bbq. Bought a propane tank, hooked it up, was able to get it to light for a few seconds but now it won't light. I think the triangular valve/tap thing on top of the tank might be closed, but I can't tell because it won't turn in either direction. Isn't it supposed to turn easily? What's the deal?
#2
Old 07-29-2011, 05:31 PM
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Take it off and put it back on, sometimes they don't seat right. Turn the valve off before you disconnect it though. You may have to turn it pretty hard to get it to move the first time, but you won't break it with your hand.
#3
Old 07-29-2011, 05:36 PM
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Also, when you do have it back working, I always turn it all the way on, then 1\4 back...so I always know where it is when I turn the grill off.Too many times I've left them wide open and drained the tank, so now when the 1\4 turn you always know what way is on or off.
#4
Old 07-29-2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFLuvly View Post
Take it off and put it back on, sometimes they don't seat right.
Ok, I just did that now...

Quote:
Turn the valve off before you disconnect it though. You may have to turn it pretty hard to get it to move the first time, but you won't break it with your hand.
... but I couldn't do this part, because as far as I know the valve is closed - it's still in the same position as it was at the store. I can't get it to budge, and I'm usually the go-to guy for stuck jars and stuff. Should I try using a wrench?
#5
Old 07-29-2011, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmendrik View Post
Ok, I just did that now...



... but I couldn't do this part, because as far as I know the valve is closed - it's still in the same position as it was at the store. I can't get it to budge, and I'm usually the go-to guy for stuck jars and stuff. Should I try using a wrench?
They can be very tight when new. The guy at the propane filling place I go to had a tough time getting mine open. You might want to take it to someone who deals with these things routinely. Are you sure there's propane in it? They don't come already filled, you know.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-29-2011 at 05:58 PM.
#6
Old 07-29-2011, 06:00 PM
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Are you sure you are turning it the right way? You can crack it open before you put it in the BBQ, just to get it moving, but you have to be very careful, propane is very cold coming out of the tank and can cause burns. Heavy rubber gloves like this guy is using will protect you, http://pressherald.com/archive/i...010-01-10.html . If you are not comfortable doing that you can hook it up again and use a wrench to get it moving, just be careful.

ETA: Counter clockwise to open.

Last edited by JFLuvly; 07-29-2011 at 06:02 PM.
#7
Old 07-29-2011, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
They can be very tight when new. The guy at the propane filling place I go to had a tough time getting mine open. You might want to take it to someone who deals with these things routinely. Are you sure there's propane in it? They don't come already filled, you know.

I think it's full. I bought it from Lowe's; they took it out of the place where they give you a full propane tank when you trade your empty one in, and it shows up on my receipt as "Propane & Tank sale". Also, it's pretty darn heavy.
#8
Old 07-29-2011, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFLuvly View Post
Are you sure you are turning it the right way? You can crack it open before you put it in the BBQ, just to get it moving, but you have to be very careful, propane is very cold coming out of the tank and can cause burns. Heavy rubber gloves like this guy is using will protect you, http://pressherald.com/archive/i...010-01-10.html . If you are not comfortable doing that you can hook it up again and use a wrench to get it moving, just be careful.

ETA: Counter clockwise to open.
Yep, tried turning it both ways.
#9
Old 07-29-2011, 06:07 PM
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I would give the wrench a shot just to get it moving, as soon as you feel it release stop turning, then you can do it by hand.
#10
Old 07-29-2011, 06:20 PM
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I propose that we create a new sub forum for questions of this nature - to be called "Propane and Propane Accessories".
#11
Old 07-29-2011, 06:28 PM
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Thanks all. Problem solved with monkey wrench - the valve was just overtightened before. Now for some reason the electric ignition doesn't seem to be working well, but I can smell the gas when I turn on the burners, so I should be able to light it with a match.
#12
Old 07-29-2011, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmendrik View Post
Now for some reason the electric ignition doesn't seem to be working well, but I can smell the gas when I turn on the burners, so I should be able to light it with a match.
The electric push button usually unscrews. Inside you will find a battery. Usually AA or maybe AAA. Replace the battery. Good for another year or two.
#13
Old 07-29-2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmendrik View Post
I can smell the gas when I turn on the burners, so I should be able to light it with a match.
I sense another "need help fast" thread coming soon.
#14
Old 07-29-2011, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmendrik View Post
I think it's full. I bought it from Lowe's; they took it out of the place where they give you a full propane tank when you trade your empty one in, and it shows up on my receipt as "Propane & Tank sale". Also, it's pretty darn heavy.
The "trade a tank" you see at stores is the most expensive way to buy propane. Take it to gas company next time and you pay only for what they fill it with. While you are at it get a spare. Hate to run out in the middle of a cook out.

Happy grilling.
#15
Old 07-30-2011, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano83860 View Post
The "trade a tank" you see at stores is the most expensive way to buy propane.
Very true, and they cover the true cost by underfilling the tanks. A properly filled tank (still not "full") holds 5 gallons or 20#. Check the fine print at the tank exchange and you may find there is as little as 3 gallons/12# in the "full" tanks.
#16
Old 07-30-2011, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fir na tine View Post
The electric push button usually unscrews. Inside you will find a battery. Usually AA or maybe AAA. Replace the battery. Good for another year or two.
Mine is piezoelectric and does not need batteries
#17
Old 07-30-2011, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevbo
Very true, and they cover the true cost by underfilling the tanks. A properly filled tank (still not "full") holds 5 gallons or 20#. Check the fine print at the tank exchange and you may find there is as little as 3 gallons/12# in the "full" tanks.
That's not quite true. Barbecue tanks today are properly referenced by weight, not volume. Their full capacity is 20 pounds, or about 38 pounds total - a normal empty barbecue tank weighs 18 pounds empty. Current federal regulations do not allow a tank to be filled beyond 80% of capacity, so what we used to call a "5 gallon" tank can only hold 4 gallons.

If you really want to know exactly how much your tank can hold, look on the collar for some numbers - the first one you want will be TW - this is the tare or empty weight. The other number you want is WC or water capacity. For a 20# tank, the WC figure will be 47.8 or so. Now for a bit of math. Divide the WC figure by 2.39 to find the number of pounds of propane the tank can hold and add the TW figure. As mentioned above, this will be about 38 pounds. If your freshly filled* tank does not weigh this much, you're overpaying. The tank exchange companies are notorious for underfilling - both Blue Rhino and Amerigas only fill to 15 pounds, so avoid them if you can.

If you're having your own tanks refilled at a gas station, U-Haul shop, etc, and they do the usual "crack the bleeder screw and pump in liquid propane until it starts spraying out of the bleed" method and they only charge you for however many gallons, don't worry about being shorted - you're receiving the functional maximum that particular tank can hold and you're only paying for that particular amount.
#18
Old 07-31-2011, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFLuvly View Post
Are you sure you are turning it the right way? You can crack it open before you put it in the BBQ, just to get it moving, but you have to be very careful, propane is very cold coming out of the tank and can cause burns. Heavy rubber gloves like this guy is using will protect you, http://pressherald.com/archive/i...010-01-10.html . If you are not comfortable doing that you can hook it up again and use a wrench to get it moving, just be careful.

ETA: Counter clockwise to open.
There is a discharge check valve on the OPD valve that will prevent you from discharging any product unless it is connected to a PLO fitting.
To check your valve when unsure if the tank valve is "ON" or "OFF" you can remove the hose or hose/regulator and you will vent off the gas trapper in the discharge, however this could be gas from a previous valve on and off condition so a reconnect and disconnect will then answer weather your valve is on or off.
One should first determine if there is product in the cylinder and absent a scale the best way to do that is to open the manual 80% valve (bleed screw).

The OP 1st stated,
Quote:
Just bought a new propane bbq. Bought a propane tank, hooked it up, was able to get it to light for a few seconds but now it won't light. I think the triangular valve/tap thing on top of the tank might be closed, but I can't tell because it won't turn in either direction. Isn't it supposed to turn easily? What's the deal?
And also stated that he is using an exchange cylinder.
By taking everything OP stated I would guess that the exchange cylinder has a damaged OPD valve and was leaking vapor just by connecting the regulator/hose assy. and that is why the OP initially had a few seconds of flame.

Phlosphr posted,
[QUOTE]Also, when you do have it back working, I always turn it all the way on, then 1\4 back...so I always know where it is when I turn the grill off.Too many times I've left them wide open and drained the tank, so now when the 1\4 turn you always know what way is on or off. [QUOTE]
That is the correct way to operate a discharge valve on an acetylene cylinder and a breathing air cylinder, however it is not the correct way to operate a propane cylinder valve even though it gives us that hint as to what condition the valve is instead of horsing a valve the wrong way. the valve is intended to be opened fully and that then seals the valve in the open position so that it will not leak via the stem.
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