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Propane won't flow? Maybe this....

2oldman
Explorer
Explorer
..is your problem.

Had a propane problem where the OPD valve would not open. Got a tip from youtube I thought I'd pass along.

Usually when I open the valve *very slowly* it will click open, but if not, then I've used a screwdriver on a valve on the side to relieve pressure until it would. They can be overfilled regardless of the OPD. This time that tactic didn't work.

Guy on the tube said to remove the hose fitting, and look directly into the valve and you'll see a metal washer, or valve, that needs to be 'reset'. In other words, it's stuck, and needs to be pushed in and forced loose. I did that with a phillips screwdriver and a bit of WD40, a few times, hooked it up and voila.. good to go. It takes a bit of pressure to actually move it. It's spring-loaded.

About an hour later it was closed again, so I repeated the above and overnight it stayed open. They guy said to open the valve a little bit first, but I didn't see the need for that as I really didn't want cold and highly flammable gas spewing out at me.
"If I'm wearing long pants, I'm too far north" - 2oldman
5 REPLIES 5

red31
Explorer
Explorer
excess flow is controlled by a little ball that moves to limit flow in case of a hose break.

The OPD has a spring loaded valve that needs to be depressed by the POL or ACME to allow flow. A melt-able piece in the ACME melts during a fire and causes the spring to totally shut the valve, not limit it as does the excess flow.

Container pressure (and spring) keeps the valve closed with nothing depressing it, opening the OPD valve with nothing connected pressurizes the small space between the main valve and this spring loaded mating surface for the POL/ACME. Shutting the main valve leave pressure on the spring loaded mating surface and may require extra force to open when attaching an ACME/POL.

3_tons
Explorer
Explorer
More correctly, it’s called an ‘excess flow check valve’ - just saying 🙂

3 tons

orourkmw
Explorer
Explorer
Thank you. I was pulling my hair out. I followed every advice I could find on Google, except for the clown on YouTube who advised unscrewing the valve from the tank and dumping out the liquid propane.. He’s going to get somebody killed. Anyway, with the valve closed I spray WD-40 and used a torx screwdriver to push in the check valve, with the valve opening pointing away from me and gloves on, just in case. At first, very hard to push, but the more I worked it the easier it became. Thought I had it, but no flow, so I repeated the procedure, and had success. Two thumbs up for this advice… It sure is better than beating the tank on the ground

Lwiddis
Explorer
Explorer
All good advice. TY
Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad

mobeewan
Explorer
Explorer
The propane cylinder valve has a built in spring loaded in-line check valve in the outlet of the valve where the POL fitting or acme nut with internal POL screws into the valve. That check valve feature was added in the 1980s to gas valves on propane cylinders. People would forget to shut off the cylinder valve before unscrewing a hose and gas would come shooting out of the cylinder. The check valve keeps propane from coming out of the cylinder when the hose is disconnected.

Keeping the valve hand wheel open and inserting a screwdriver into valve outlet and shoving the check valve poppet will cause freezing cold gas and maybe even liquid propane to blast your hand as you noted. It can also create a spark causing the gas to ignite and freezing cold gas or liquid will be the last thing to worry about after severely burning yourself by igniting your brand new homemade flame thrower.

It is possible something has come loose or gotten in the way that is keeping the in-line check valve poppet from depressing when the POL fitting / Acme nut is connected and not allowing gas to flow.

It is possible that the threaded retaining ring for the check valve has backed out and needs to be retightened. Some have a small hex in the center and some have slots 180 degrees apart.

An Allen wrench might be able to be used to tighten the retaining ring with the hex. I have one with the slots. And used a small piece of flat bar to retighten it. Can't remember if it was left or right hand threaded. Found out it was loose when liquid propane was squirting past the threads when i took it to get refilled. Tightened it up and all was fine to get it refilled.

Make sure the tank valve is completely shut off before playing with the retaining ring.