Stove problem in snow - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-29-2021, 11:12 AM   #1
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Name: Larry
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Stove problem in snow

Been chasing this issue for a few years.
Original propane stove works great at temps.mid 40ís and up, but colder temps 20ís to high 30ís it struggles and wonít be lit.
Tank is full, Weighed it, changed regulators, blew out the lines and manometer tests normal pressure at home and higher temps.
Last week camping in the snow with temps slightly below freezing it worked fine the first day, but slowly diminished, then would not light.
When it did it went out as soon as a tea pot was put over the burner.
Tried different propane suppliers, thinking I was getting watered propane or too high a butane mix,as well as 3 different tanks.
Just put a new regulator on hoping it would solve it, but same story when it gets cold.
I think it should be good down to 0 F , at least.
Thinking my regulator(s) have been freezing up, but havenít tried the hot water remedy over the regulator. Reg. Vent is pointed down.
Any ideas would be welcomed!
Larry
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Old 05-31-2021, 11:20 AM   #2
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Propane Operation in Cold Weather

This information is from the web site Hunker.com

Liquid propane and water act similarly when temperature drops, but their boiling points differ. At sea level, propane begins to boil at a temperature of -44 degrees Fahrenheit and produces propane vapor, while water boils at 212 degrees F and produces water vapor. As the temperature drops below 212 degrees F, water stays in liquid form, it doesn't change to a vapor. Similarly, as the temperature outside the propane tank drops and approaches -44 degrees F, less propane boils inside the storage tank producing less vapor and a lower pressure.

Critical Temperature
As the pressure inside the propane tank drops, it eventually becomes too low to light a furnace or other appliance. At -44 degrees F or lower, propane stays as a liquid, there is little vapor and propane appliances won't function properly. Therefore, for appliances to work correctly, a propane tank must usually be kept in an area with a temperature greater than -44 degrees F.

Cold Temperatures
In climates where the temperature may drop to well below 0, small, insulated frame shelters house propane tanks. Applying a heat tape specifically designed for propane tanks may keep the tank above -44 degrees. Sometimes propane tanks are buried to protect them from cold temperatures.
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Old 11-16-2021, 08:53 AM   #3
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New propane problem data

Just back from a trip to high Mountains, and desert.
9000í, and plenty cold- down to below freezing.
Noticed this about the propane stove: it lights, but flame is about 80% around the burner.
If I put a pot over the burner, it goes out, but if I support the pot an inch or less over the burner it works.
I put a 1/2Ē perforated grill over the burner, and the pot on that and it works fine.
After a few minutes I can remove the spacer grill and put the pot directly on the burner and it burns just fine.
Iím thinking I have an abnormally high percentage of butane in the mix, and as the liquid gas vaporizes, and cools the tank, the butane stays in liquid form and only the propane vaporizes and the stove works fine.
Iím going to fill another tank at a trailer park here in the mountains, other tank was just filled at a sea level market.
At least I got the stove to perform.
Any other ideas?
Thanks,
Larry
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:02 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Burroman View Post
Iím thinking I have an abnormally high percentage of butane in the mix, and as the liquid gas vaporizes, and cools the tank, the butane stays in liquid form and only the propane vaporizes and the stove works fine.
Why is there butane in your propane? Butane vaporizes at 30.2 F.
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Old 11-16-2021, 10:19 AM   #5
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Donít know, but people have said LPG can vary with % of propane and butane.
USA is supposed to hav 100% propane, but others have said in warmer areas donít be so sure.
I have checked everything else, manometer pressure, gas lines, 3 different regulators, but canít explain the stoves behavior.
Just a guess,
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:44 AM   #6
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I cook with propane. The tank sits outside, sometimes in temperatures well below zero and I've never had a problem. When the tank is filled it typically takes 10 gallons indicating it's more than half full prior to filling. Do you experience the same problem with a full tank? Bearing in mind it was the 70's, I recall the ideal gas law PV=NRT. Might apply here?
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Old 11-16-2021, 12:54 PM   #7
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Propane and Butane (Canada)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burroman View Post
Been chasing this issue for a few years.
Original propane stove works great at temps.mid 40ís and up, but colder temps 20ís to high 30ís it struggles and wonít be lit.
Tank is full, Weighed it, changed regulators, blew out the lines and manometer tests normal pressure at home and higher temps.
When comparing propane and butane, the most important differences come down to the boiling point of the gases. Propane has a boiling temperature of -42įC, whilst butane has a higher boiling point at -2įC.
This means that propane will continue to vaporize and turn to gas in colder climates, which is perfect for the cold winters we get here in Ontario and for outdoor use. When stored as a liquid in a tank, propane also exerts a greater pressure than butane at the same temperature. This makes it more suitable for exterior storage and use. (Information copied from Budget Propane Corporation, Gravenhurst, Ontario)
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Old 11-16-2021, 01:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Burroman View Post
Just back from a trip to high Mountains, and desert.
9000í, >snip<

I would guess you don't have any problem except trying to run your stove at high altitude. How well does it work at lower (5000 feet or less) altitudes?



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Old 11-16-2021, 04:17 PM   #9
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Name: Larry
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I have a similar problem at lower altitude, as long as itís cold- California cold, not Canada cold.
20- 30F and it gives me problems.
Doesnít matter if itís a full tank or not.
I just filled a tank from a mountain supply place that claims 100% propane.
Will be in Yosemite next month with a full ďmountain propaneĒ tank, and will report back.
It does well at low altitude in warmer temps. 45F and up.
At least I get it to work with the perforated plate for 4-5 minutes.
Does it make sense that IF there is a substantial % of butane it might behave like this?
I know when lpg changes state, Liquid to Gas, a cooling effect happens at the tank, and Iím wondering, since butane has a lower vapor pressure the cooling might further prevent it from vaporizing, leaving a higher % of propane.
????
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:37 AM   #10
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When you changed the regulator did you notice any oily residue in the lines.

I suspect over time the lines have accumulated a slight amount of oil and it may be lowering the fuel flow.

I would find the low point propane connection and take it apart and see if any residue is inside. Even though you have blown them out, a solvent soak may be the answer, then clean and dry with air again.

Cleaning the orifice at the stove burner valve with solvent may point out any contamination there.
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Old 11-17-2021, 08:42 AM   #11
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All good tips, but tried all that.
I have the new tank full of propane obtained at a mountain dispenser.
Will try it.
Come Tom think of it Iíve never had problems with my BBQ at my mountain cabin, even in dead of winter. Propane came from up here.
Interesting.
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Old 11-22-2021, 10:35 AM   #12
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Stove problems in cold weather

Better title, because it doesnít have to be in the snow!
Iím looking forward to taking it up to Yosemite this Xmas with the new, ďMt PropaneĒ tank.
Just doesnít get cold enough on central coastal California to test it.
Iím just happy I discovered a ďwork aroundĒ with the perforated spacer. Itís actually one of those old Coleman toaster plates with the arms folded down.
I will report back.
Thanks for all the input.
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