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Old 10-01-2015, 04:19 PM
Jseph Jseph is offline
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Default Propane tanks?

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On another thread someone stated that using a 100lb tank to fuel a generator the tank (not the regulator) would freeze at the valve. It was also stated that it was necassary to manifold four 100lb tanks to cure this problem. If this is true and I"m not doubting it is than why wouldn't a 20lb tank freeze and what about a 50 gallon tank etc.
I'm curious because I would like to get a Bi-fuel generator. That is when I can afford one.
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Old 10-01-2015, 06:48 PM
rancher1913 rancher1913 is offline
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depends on the tank. I have a laydown tank that will power my big weed burner. the tank is made for heavy use. also have a standup tank that will not even run the pilot on the weed burner because the valve is to small. unless its a huge generator, the gas usage will not be that great and valve freeze ups should not be a problem. most lp engines use liquid propane to the regulator and circulate warm water around it to make usable gas, so you need to make sure of how the manufacture wants it hooked up more than anything.
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Old 10-02-2015, 02:00 AM
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charliemeyer007 charliemeyer007 is online now
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Heat has to leak into the tank to change the liquid propane to vapor. Small tank - small surface area - large tank has a larger surface for heat to leak in. My 100# tanks have the same valve as the old 25# bbq tank.

My IR portable heater will frost the bottom 1/3 of a 1# can even when running on low.
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:04 AM
gungatim gungatim is offline
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I use a 100lb tank on turkey friers, torpedo heater, gas grill, pretty much anything I need to use propane for (even tied into my house line when I accidently ran out, propane company sent me a nastygram).

I have never had it freeze up at the valve. yes, it can get some frost on the tank where it evaporates, but never any problems...
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:54 AM
wldwsel wldwsel is offline
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I have a 20KVA full house generator that's propane fueled. The data that came with it says that 200 gallons of propane will run the unit for approx 80 hours, at full output. I slaved in two 100lb tanks using bypass vales in the event my big tank runs out (it runs the stove for cooking and a fireplace in the winter) and I don't know how much fuel would be there when the gen comes on. I try to keep it at least 1/2 full.

I doubt that a 100b tank would last more than a few hours, but I don't know. In any event, you would want to load shed (turn off) everything you could, and probably go to duty cycles (1 hour on - 2 to 3 off) if the power was off for very long. You would also have to plan your tasks while power was available.


shoot straight - stay safe
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Old 01-16-2017, 12:04 AM
djm1204 djm1204 is offline
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My 30 KW generac uses 2.1 gal per hour at full load ( 125 amps ) or 1.2 at half load. I have a buried 1000 gal tank, but it is only filled to 80% or 800 gallons, so at half load the generator can run - amazingly 666.66666 hours or continuously for 27.7 days

Anyone can do the math, running it 1/2 the time would give me almost 3 months of electricity.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:05 PM
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makobytes makobytes is offline
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Here is a chart that will list the vaporization rate of propane tanks based on size and ambient temperatures.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:47 AM
jmanatee jmanatee is offline
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Most LPG generators run on Propane Gas, (I have heard some do run on liquid)

A Propane tank needs to evaporate the liquid to make the gas. Vertical tanks like 100lb tanks have very little surface area to evaporate from. Horizontal tanks have a lot more area. Think of a cup of water sitting on a driveway evaporating in the summer if you dump the cup it evaporates much faster because there is so much surface area.

If you live in cooler climates this can be a big issue. The propane wont evaporate fast enough and you will get fuel starvation at the gen. Often times you need a large (300+ gal) horizontal tank to accommodate this in cooler weather.

I believe I heard somewhere they make tank heaters to help with this.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:19 PM
Cowboypapa Cowboypapa is offline
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The boiling point of propane is -44 F. Liquid is storage, vapor is used for combustion. In a propane tank you have liquid/vapor seperation. Determined by, altitude, temperature, pressure of the gas inside the tank etc. At sea level on the beach in southern california, propane works well right out of the tank. In -60 F in the mountains of alaska, an electric heat blanket is required to heat the same tank enough to actually make useable vapor. The amount of fuel storage or tank size has less to do with things than regulator and carbeuretor calibration to each other and the engine being driven.
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Old 01-17-2017, 01:31 PM
Cowboypapa Cowboypapa is offline
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Accidently hit the reply button, oops. In answer to the original question. Adding more tanks is not curing the icing problem. The added pressure is forcing its way through a faulty regulator. The most common problem would be a dirty regulator vent, this would keep the diaphragm from working properly. The regulator could also be out of adjustment. The filter could be clogged or the diaphragm could be gummed up. I wouldnt just replace the regulator without taking it apart first to identify the problem. A clogged filter or gummed up diaphragm could indicate and old tank with odorant oil buildup. Opening the valve on the empty tank and turning it upside down in a clean drain pan will tell the tale. A teaspoon or less of oil in an old tank is acceptable, more than that and youve found your problem. Just drain the tank and youre good to go.
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