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.
How a Two-Stage Propane Regulator Works
The propane regulator is mounted near the propane cylinder(s) and works in two stages. The first stage reduces the incoming pressure to about 10-11 psi (pounds per square inch) and the second stage further reduces the pressure to 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
- RV propane regulators used in new RVs are usually two-stage regulators; however, appliances may also have their own regulators for safer operation.
- To ensure proper function of your unit, keep your propane regulator covered and protected from the elements.
- Newer RVs may have automatic changeovers; check for operating instructions.
- Before storing your RV for long periods of time clear out propane lines by operating a stove burner until the lines are empty.
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 installation instructions before beginning the job.
- You’ll need a special tape or pipe "dope" specifically rated for propane.
- Check the condition of the pigtails; it's a good idea to replace them at the same time.
- Check the condition of your hoses and replace if cracked or showing signs of wear.
If you’re thinking about replacing your propane regulator
contact us for information on parts and installation. We can help you tackle the job.
By Bill Rowell