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Gas for Cooking

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by MainePellethead, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Have a relatively simple question I believe... using propane for cooking(just have a 100lb cylinder) and it ran out. Gas company delivered, but they want to send a tech to check the line for 40 bucks. Is that necessary? The line is only 3 years old and was running just fine when it ran out a week ago. Is it fine to just turn on the tank and save the 40 bucks?

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  2. Badfish740

    Badfish740 Minister of Fire

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    You could probably test it yourself-just get some pipe fittings including a ball valve (to seal the line), a schrader valve (the kind like you see on a tire), and a cheap pressure gauge. Use a bike pump to put 15 psi or so into the line, close the ball valve, and wait an hour. While you're waiting put some soapy water on all joints to check for bubbles. After an hour if there's been no bubbles and the needle hasn't moved on the pressure gauge, you're good. That's what the $40 tech visit would entail.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Tell them to pound sand and light up the stove.
    Butcher, milleo and LEES WOOD-CO like this.
  4. FrankMA

    FrankMA Member

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    I have run out of propone a couple times and my supplier has never suggested that a tech be sent to check the line. Sounds like your supplier might be having a slow week...
    Butcher likes this.
  5. milleo

    milleo Feeling the Heat

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    I would report them to the Better Business Bureau.
  6. festerw

    festerw Member

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    May be a local code, my company told me that if the tank runs empty they're required to pressure test the line before refilling the tank.
  7. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Well leaking propane is no joke. Much more dangerous than Nat Gas for instance, but if your nose works you've got a pretty good leak detector right there. The odorant is strong!
  8. milleo

    milleo Feeling the Heat

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    So if my gas grill runs out I have to pressure check the line???? I fill my own tanks to run my cook stove....But never heard of such a law to pressure check a line if you run out but I don't know a whole lot anyway....I live in Maine....Got no time for such nonsense.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Every time you switch the 100 pounder out, you depressurize the line. No different than running out of propane.
    milleo likes this.
  10. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Unless his usage appeared really high compared to his previous usage, indicating a leak. The smell test should work, although I remember reading about a batch that didn't get the stink installed, thus didn't smell when there was a leak.
  11. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    We have a 100 lbs tank, but use it only for cooking on the stove, The oven is electric. Just using it for stove cooking, we topped off this fall at about 3 or 4 gallons. It would take us about 5 or more years to run our 100 pounder dry. You may have a leak if your only using it for cooking on the stove.
    They should have checked it out when they delivered.
    Put some soapy water on each fitting and look for bubbling.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The idea is that if it ran empty then you must have a leak because you had plenty of warning to fill it up. The unexpected depletion of your fuel tank indicates a leak. Pretty crappy if you ask me. Might even be a ploy to sell more gas since you will be calling all the time or setting up auto fill to prevent this "fine".

    I'm not a fan of the soapy water test unless you have failed a pressure test. Professionals pressure test and if it holds, then it holds. If pressure loss occurs, you can then try and search it out. They sell premade pressure testing rigs with the schrader valve and gauge at home depot. You can use this rig to test plumbing and gas.
  13. FanMan

    FanMan Feeling the Heat

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    When I nearly ran out last week because the gas company was later delivering, I called and told them I was out. I hadn't actually run out but it was at zero on the gauge. They wanted to schedule a tech to come out and relight the pilots. Told 'em no, I could handle pushing a button.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Not in defense, but just to point out...the days of pilot lights is what prompted some of this. Peeps woulds actually run out, get a refill and then forget that the stove down stairs has a pilot light. I ran out of propane once and had a delivery the same day. They shut the gas off at the tank to make sure it wasn't supplying a pilot (unlit).
  15. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    That shouldn't be an issue with the safety valves in use today. Anything with a thermocouple won't allow gas flow to the burner unless the pilot is lit or the pilot button is depressed while that button is in the PILOT position. That flame creates a minute amount of millivolts, generally <30mV, which in turn holds the electromagnets in the valve open to allow gas flow. No flame = no mV = no gas flow. Most of them are 30 second drop out. Extinguish the pilot & listen. You will hear the "click" of the magnets snapping shut within 30 seconds...
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, Bob, but I can take you to one old stove in my mothers basement that doesn't have any of that stuff on it.
  17. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    I bet you can. I'm sure there are still a number of old units in use that don't have the safety valve set-up. Most LP companies know what's in the homes that they're supplying fuel for, but that doesn't stop Joe Homeowner from thinking it's OK to add appliances...If my LP company wants to light my pilots, & they were negligent in keeping up with their delivery schedule, they are welcome to light them, but if they tack on a fee, we're gonna battle.

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