cosmicvoid
Last night, after an hour or two of ominous glitches, the utility power finally died. I was really bummed when the 5283 failed to start automatically. This gen was installed in early '07, and has been maintained well, and has never failed to run, either for an outage or an exercise cycle.

Last night, though, was unusually cold (20°F), but the gen cranked OK but would not start. After a few minutes of cranking, I suspected that the LPG regulators were frozen, since there is no flow thru them except when the generator runs. But without power, I couldn't think of a way to warm them up. Finally, the mental light bulb went on, and I opened up 4 packs of chemical hand warmers, and let them heat up for 15 minutes. Then I took some old ace bandages and wrapped 2 warmer packs under each regulator (high pressure reg at the LPG tank, low pressure reg at the gen), and waited another 15 minutes.

After cranking for 3 seconds, the gen fired right up and I was in business! So, watch out for frozen regulators.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
Great tip.

I'd be that you're going to get some more of those to have on hand. :rolleyes:
Skip Douglas
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mastr
You are paying for LP, not water. Call your propane supplier, ask them to drain the water from your tank and put a [B]little[/B] methanol in.
More is not better in this case- [url]http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/FS_11992%20Using%20Methanol%20in%20Propane.pdf[/url]
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ceb58
mastr;7749 wrote:
You are paying for LP, not water. Call your propane supplier, ask them to drain the water from your tank and put a [B]little[/B] methanol in.
More is not better in this case- [url]http://www.propanecouncil.org/uploadedFiles/FS_11992%20Using%20Methanol%20in%20Propane.pdf[/url]


I agree, I have never seen regulators freeze unless they were under heavy load with too small supply lines to the equipment. Your regulators ether have condensation built up in them or too much moisture in the LP.
Do you have a drip leg on the piping ether before or after the secondary regulator?
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cosmicvoid
This is the first instance of frozen regulators in almost 4 years of use, so I don't yet have enough data. I asked the propane supplier to put some methanol in the tank this week, and I will see if it cures the problem during the next cold spell.
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Do you have a drip leg on the piping ether before or after the secondary regulator?
No drip leg either before or after. The "before" leg comes straight up out of the ground and takes a 90 into the 2nd reg, so any moisture would be sitting in the pipe underground.
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ceb58
cosmicvoid;7751 wrote:
This is the first instance of frozen regulators in almost 4 years of use, so I don't yet have enough data. I asked the propane supplier to put some methanol in the tank this week, and I will see if it cures the problem during the next cold spell.No drip leg either before or after. The "before" leg comes straight up out of the ground and takes a 90 into the 2nd reg, so any moisture would be sitting in the pipe underground.


That is not necessarily true. The pressure coming from the first stage regulator is enough to "blow" water and trash into the secondary regulator. I,personally, like to install a cut off, into a drip-leg, into the secondary then to the gen. This will catch any trash or water before it gets to the secondary reg.
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cosmicvoid
The propane supplier installer was not clever enough to do that, but it would not be difficult for me to add a "T" and a drip leg, when the weather warms up.
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MASTERTECH-MW
Put you a heater blanket on it. They make one for that exact purpose, In winter time I use a small Allen wrench and barely press the regulator. Works every time.

Mastertech
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Scotty306134
A couple of the above posts refer to a 'drip leg' to collect water and other debris in the line. If the drip leg did collect water, wouldn't it freeze and possibly split the pipe over time causing a serious and dangerous leak?
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cosmicvoid
When I put in a drip leg, I'll add a drain valve to get rid of accumulated water. I don't know what others do.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
cosmicvoid;7782 wrote:
When I put in a drip leg, I'll add a drain valve to get rid of accumulated water. I don't know what others do.
I would just put a pipe cap on the bottom of the drip leg and not waste the cost of a valve. You'd need the pipe cap beyond the valve any way so that the neighbor kids cannot open the valve and allow gas to leak out to atmosphere.
Skip Douglas
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ceb58
Scotty306134;7781 wrote:
A couple of the above posts refer to a 'drip leg' to collect water and other debris in the line. If the drip leg did collect water, wouldn't it freeze and possibly split the pipe over time causing a serious and dangerous leak?


The drip leg should be at least 3/4"x 4-6" long this will hold a good amount of water. If it fills up with water in less than a year you have a larger problem. The cap should be removed and checked at least once a year.

cosmicvoid;7782 wrote:
When I put in a drip leg, I'll add a drain valve to get rid of accumulated water. I don't know what others do.


I agree with what Skip said. I would not put a valve on the leg. Just use a pipe cap. A valve would be to easy for some one to open or accidently hit and crack it open.
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ohmslaw
I agree. No valve just a cap. The drip legs are really considered sediment traps therefore allowed in freezing conditions. NYS gas code states that a drip shall not be used in freezing conditions when wet gas is present. I would get in many arguments with propane suppliers over the fact that we did not install drip legs and I would show them the NYS code. I have since given up on this and I just install them. The reality is that we have a vast amount of pool heaters with drips in the north east and they never have a problem. Every time I take a cap off the pipe is dry. So here is my take on this now. Install a sediment trap. Make sure the gas changes direction in the tee and do not install a drain. If you are accumulating water in the trap you have other issues to deal with .
Tim
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cosmicvoid
Ok, drip leg with cap, and no valve. I was mentally using the example of a valve like on my compressed air system water purge, I guess, and didn't think about the implications of it being outdoors.
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