Almost all RVs use liquid propane gas (LPG) to power their appliances such as stoves, ovens, water heaters, furnaces, or refrigerators and some outdoor grills can also be fed via your RV's liquid propane connection. To consistently supply fuel to these appliances and to control proper operation LPG systems require
RV Propane Regulators.
There are a few different types of propane regulators depending on the application.
- Single Stage Regulators - used with short term appliances such as barbecue grills and portable campfires.
- Two Stage Regulators - used on all RV's using propane for appliances, furnaces & hot water tanks.
- High Flow Two Stage Regulators - required on larger RV's using multiple furnaces, outside kitchens & accessory connections for grills and portable campfires.
- Automatic Changeover Regulators - used with multiple propane tanks allowing for uninterrupted lp supply as the main tank runs out of propane.
How a Two-Stage Propane Regulator Works
Unlike home applications that use two stage regulators systems (1st stage is at the propane tank usually 20+ feet away and the 2nd stage is at the entry of the home) The two stage propane regulator on your RV is a combined unit. Since the supply and appliances are so close it is more economical to combine the first and second stage into one unit.The first stage of the regulator reduces the incoming pressure to about 10-11 psi (pounds per square inch) and the second stage further reduces the pressure to a working pressure of about 0.5 psi.
As the LPG vapor leaves the cylinder it flows through a regulator pigtail which contains two safety features: excessive flow and thermal protection devices. The main section of the regulator contains a diaphragm which monitors the pressure of the gas flowing through a small needle.
If the gas pressure is at acceptable operating levels the valve remains open. If the pressure is excessive, the needle will push against the diaphragm which ultimately causes the valve to close.
This is a
very basic description of how the process works. If a problem occurs, RV owners should leave any adjustments or repairs to a qualified RV technician.
Tips for the RV Owner
Can I Install a New Regulator Myself?
It’s not a difficult job to change an RV propane regulator however, it's important that you fully understand the installation instructions before beginning the job.
All RV propane regulators have a 1/4" female input (2 in the case of change over regulators), but this where you need to pay attention. Some regulators use 1/4" inverted flare fittings and some have 1/4" NPT (national pipe threads) threads. When you choose your propane tank pigtail hose these types of threads must match. So you only would use 1/4" male NPT threads with 1/4" female NPT threads. If you go this route you must use gas rated PTFE (Teflon) tape which is yellow in color. This tape provides multiple benefits for NPT connections. First, it lubricants the joint allowing the male threads to be turned deeper into female connection providing a better seal, it also fills in any imperfections in the threads, again providing a better seal and lastly it will keep the 2 fittings from seizing up due to corrosion allowing for easy removal if needed. If you go the inverted flare fitting route you do not use a sealing tape and the flare portion of the fitting create the seal.
On the outlet side of the regulator you will find 3/8" female NPT threads and you will need to use gas rate PTFE tape on this connection.
Always spray soapy water on your connections looking for bubbles to ensure there are no leaks.
If you’re thinking about replacing your propane regulator
contact us for information on parts and installation. We can help you tackle the job.