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Problem with hose not pressurizing - solved
on October 13, 2013
I, like a number of others, had the problem where the hose did not seem to allow propane through it (or at least no more than to keep the pilot light lit). I confirmed it was not the heater by using a 1 lb can which heated just fine. I also have two 20 lb tanks on my cargo trailer, and neither one would keep the heater lit other than the pilot light.
This made me think that the 20lb end was not going in far enough to engage the valve on the tank.
However, after doing about 1 hour of research, I found a factoid on the propane check valve, which is required on all propane tanks after 1998.
According to this article (just search for "reset propane check valve"), what happens is if you have a high-pressure line hooked up to the propane tank and just "quickly" open the valve on the tank, the check valve will "burst" (open) and gas will not be allowed through the tank into the line. (I think the tank thinks there is nothing connected to it, so the valve shuts off the gas)
Once this happens, you need to "reset" the valve:
a. Turn off the valve on the tank, leaving it connected to the heater/grill, etc.
b. Disconnect the hose from the propane tank, but not the appliance.
c. Turn on the appliance (or leave it running before step a), and let the pilot light or burner stay lit until it extinguishes (This will purge the remaining gas from the hose.
d. TURN OFF THE APPLIANCE.
e. Hook the propane tank back up, ensuring the valve is closed.
f. With the hose now hooked up to both the appliance and the tank, SLOWLY open the propane valve a 1/4 turn, and you should hear the hose pressurize. This has told the tank that there is something hooked to it, and the check valve did not engage.
g. Once you hear the hose pressurize, you can open the valve on the propane tank all the way.
Following these steps (simplified below), I was able to use the suspect hose on both propane tanks. I am a little perturbed that the manufacture of this hose does not tell you these cautionary notes, as the hose is solely used for bulk tank to throwaway can appliances. I wonder how many others have thrown away this hose because they too, did not know about the check valve? I have placed a sign on the Little Buddy Heater with the simple steps so I never have this problem again...
Here are the steps above summarized:
a. Turn off the propane tank with the appliance running and the hose disconnected from the tank so it burns all the propane in the hose.
b. Turn off the appliance. Connect the hose back to the (closed) tank valve
c. Crank the LP valve 1/4 turn with hose completely connected, listen for the hose pressurizing.
d. Slowly open rest of way. Appliance should light now.