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Old 11-09-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
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Propane Pigtails

frank's most excellent post on upgrading his a-frame to hold 4 golf car batteries and the other paint and such that he did at the same time reminded me of a problem.

In his last pic, he shows adding an automatic change-over fitting to the regulator assembly, plus he mentioned that his pigtails were looking a little poorly so he is going to replace them, too.

My pigtails are only a couple of years old, and they are all cracked all along the length of the hose.

What occurs to me is that the relative short length of hose is expected to make two opposing 90 degree bends on fairly small radius and that is contributing to the cracking problem. So, it occurs to me that if I could put a 90 degree brass elbow on the regulator, then the hose would make a single 180 degree bend, but on a much larger radius and hopefully slow down or even eliminate the cracking.

I borrowed frank's photo and circled where the elbow would be, and (crudely) drew in the new position of the pigtail hose.

I have already tried one welding supply house and they don't have the right elbows. If any of you happen to locate a supply of the correct elbow, please let me know
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
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If the hose makes too wide of a bend, would it not be in the way of putting the cover over the tanks?

I think my tank cover is pretty tight over the tanks.

Just a thought.

Phil
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillong
If the hose makes too wide of a bend, would it not be in the way of putting the cover over the tanks?
I don't think the loop would extend out that far. If the pigtails were touching the cover, they'd just flex out of the way. I still think a larger 180 degree bend, even with some distortion from the cover is going to be less damaging than two smaller 90 degree bends.

I don't use the cover. But then we go through a number of tanks each year because we primarily dry camp and rely on the propane exclusively to run the fridge and hot water. It's easier to swap tanks (at least for me) if I don't have to mess with the cover.

We also get a lot of wasps around our place and much as I might spray, they still like to build nests in my cover.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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I know CW sells green ACME nuts. Could we just substitute a nylon or stainless braided hose for the rubber?
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:50 PM   #5
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I had to replace the pigtails on a trailer a few years back, and they did interfere with the cover. The shortest ones I could find at the dealer were about 3" longer than the originals they replaced.

While I'm sure it's not good, I sort of coiled them over once so they'd be toward the middle of the tank and out of the way.

Jon
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: Propane Pigtails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Collins
I have already tried one welding supply house and they don't have the right elbows. If any of you happen to locate a supply of the correct elbow, please let me know
Steve,

The fitting is 1/4" inverted flare. I've never seen an elbow with that on both sides. I have seen tons that go to male pipe thread.

I think there's a good reason for that. With pipe thread, it's easy to crank it a little further to get the fitting clocked into the right position. With flare fittings, that's almost impossible without damaging the fitting.

I'm not sure which regulator you have, but both of the auto-changeovers I looked at (Camco & Marshall) came with a pair of 1/4" male pipe thread to 1/4" inverted flare adapters installed from the factory. If your regulator has the same setup, it would be easy to just remove the adapters and either replace them with a pipe thread to inv. flare elbow, or just put a 1/4" pipe thread street elbow in then reinstall the adapter.

I think the elbow with maybe a longer pigtail will relieve some of the stress on the connections. I'm not sure that it will stop the cracking (mine are cracking too, obviously). I think the main cause behind the cracking is that these things pretty much sit in one position forever. Rubber doesn't like to sit still, that kills it pretty quick.

- Frank
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