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Old 03-03-2011, 07:34 PM   #1
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Gas bottle valves - backseat

I have noticed quite a few new members have joined our club and will be heading out on their first camping trips this summer. I thought I would share some gas bottle info I learned the hard way while full timing in New Mexico.

I noticed I was going through a lot of gas but didn't seem to be using that many of the gas appliances. When having a bottle filled I mentioned this to the attendant and told him that I didn't notice or smell any leaks. Being experienced, he asked me how I opened the valve. I told him I opened it about 3/4 of the way and left it. WRONG!!

Those valves have a backseat and must be opened all the way and slightly snugged full open to seat the backseat. The backseat seals the valve stem opening. He said when I had it hooked up to open it the way I usially do and squirt some soap bubbles around the stem opening. I did that and immediately had lots of bubbles. I then opened the valve fully, snugged it a bit and the bubbles stopped.

Most of you probably already know that. I should have but didn't.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:39 PM   #2
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Hi Paul

I knew there is an unserviceable seal in the tank shutoff stem above tank shut off seat as some times you can fail a LP pressure drop test as it can leak out the top of the valve and you have the valve closed.

But it did not dawn on me that it too can leak while being turned on given the right situation. I had a wiff of LP stink when I turned on my tanks last year. And I leak solutioned the green nut several times and found nothing. Then I remembered your post from a long time ago where you mentioned the full open trick. So I tried it and so far there is no more wiff when I open up the tank cover to shut the gas off. So I now practice the fully open valve too but did not before.

In the old days before the age of the new ACME plastic gas connection nuts at the tanks with a flow restrictor in them, it was common to see it recommended to not open the tank all the way as part of a safety feature as there is no way you can use all that volume. Now the green nut I think is rated to pass ~ 70,000 BTU's and that is plenty to run the camper. The black ones that are on BBQ grills etc pass about 1/2 of the green nut. That was part of going to the new standard was to limit how much LP could flow in the event you had an issue down stream. I have not recently in light of the new flow restrictor nuts remember seeing the partail open the valve comment any more.

Thanks for passing this along.

John
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galaxiedriver View Post
Most of you probably already know that. I should have but didn't.
I didn't know that. Thanks mucho.

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Old 03-04-2011, 07:03 AM   #4
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I guess I was a everything or nothing kind of guy since I would always open the valve all the way. Glad to know I was doing right if even by accident.

Thanks!

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Old 03-10-2011, 04:24 AM   #5
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Thats good information. We always have our open all the way.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:11 AM   #6
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Well, I never knew that either, but I always opened mine all the way, too.
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