Neep help on what kind of regulator for LP gas?

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by thekid1, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Hey guys. I just installed a new natural gas/Liquid Propane gas fired, hot water condensing boiler. Gas line is installed as well. Natural Gas company is taking extremely long(going on 8 weeks now) to come install service. It is December and getting cold and I want to temporarily hook Liquid Propane up to system. My problem is that I want to hook an LP barbecue tank up to the system, but being unsure about the specs on the regulator on the barbecue tank, i dont want to use that regulator. I looked for specs, but it does not specify.
    Anyway, the boiler calls for 11w.c.minimum and 14w.c. for Liquid Propane and no more than 1 inch column of water pressure drop from static pressure to startup. Can someone recommend a suitable regulator for this install and where to get it so I can get this boiler fired up and have heat already. Thank you very much guys.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  2. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,107
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    You should only use a regulator that is made for that tank size.

    A BBQ tank will only last minuets in your application.

    You can not just change gas types. Unless you have the proper orifice you can blow yourself up.


    Good Luck.
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    Maine
    You absolutely can not use L.P. on a natural gas appliance. The pressures and the gas itself is different.
  4. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    IL
    Are you saying that you want to
    1. recharge little LP barbecue tanks from your big propane tank?
    2. heat your house from little LP barbecue tanks
    3. to have the LP gas people to hook up your boiler properly, but you are considering converting your gas barbecue grill to LP?
    4. do something else?
  5. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Thank you everyone for your responses.
    *****Please note i made a mistake. I meant 11w.c. min. and 14w.c. max.
    The boiler i have is a simple turn of a screw to convert from NG to LP.
    The boiler I have accepts NG or LP.

    3. I am trying to temporarily heat my house from little propane barbecue tanks. Again, I fixed my original post that I wrote, but in case no one reread it, i meant to say water column, not psi. Boiler needs 11w.c minimum to 14w.c. maximum. Thanks guys. I am aware a barbecue tank wont hold up too long, but it is a high efficiency boiler in a very small house and its only temporary. Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  6. jac04

    jac04 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would suggest contacting your local propane supplier. Tell them what you are doing, and have them come out and set up a small tank, complete with regulator. Places around here supply them as reserve tanks - they are usually meant to sit next to a big tank and act as an emergency reserve. It will surely cost you something to have this done (hopefully, they will rent you the equipment), but at least it will be done correctly and to applicable codes & standards. The last thing you want is something to go wrong.
  7. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Thank you. I do appreciate your advice and concern, however, the whole point is to avoid using a company. Until NG company comes it is temporary. A gas company is going to do the same thing(step down whatever their pressure is, to 11w.c..
    As long as I know boiler needs 11w.c. , i just need to get a barbecue tank to do that with a proper size regulator. The problem is that the regulator on my barbecue tank does not specify any w.c or psi so i need a new one.

    That being said, can someone specify a suitable regulator that will meet these specifications?
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    Maine
    A couple of things. 1st off nobody makes a regulator that will do what you want it to do and 2nd a 20 lb. propane tank won't vaporize fast enough to supply sufficient btu to the appliance.
  9. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    1) If nothing is available to do this then how does an LP gas company do it?

    2) Wouldn't a small 20lb barbecue tank vaporize fast enough in a 50-100 ft run of 1 1/4 pipe before it gets to boiler? Im not hooking the tank directly next to boiler, its located outside.
  10. jac04

    jac04 New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The LP company has tanks & regulators that are designed to feed fuel to boilers. Heck, even my LP company couldn't get it right the first time. They installed a single regulator that supplied the proper static pressure, but it couldn't handle start-up of my boiler and I had ignition and flame-out issues. They had to install a properly sized 2-stage regulator setup.

    I certainly appreciate what you are trying to do yourself, bit I still say the best thing to do is find a local LP supplier and have them do it. Or, talk to the local LP supplier and ask them what regulator you need to use to hook your BBQ tank to your XXX btu/hr boiler. They're (supposedly) the experts.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  11. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,219
    Location:
    IL
    1. The LP company is probably going to be able to rent the regulator with the tank. The tank that they would rent you is going to be bigger than a the barbecue tank. http://science.blurtit.com/668014/how-many-hours-does-a-20lb-propane-tank-last or http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_..._at_medium_before_I_need_to_exchange_the_tank At $15 per tank refill, that will be some expensive heat.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Victor-2-Stage-Regulator-331891/203263169 is a regulator. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Worthing...ne-Cylinder-with-Multi-Valve-327701/202936849 is a 100 pound cylinder. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Worthington-Pro-Grade-40-lb-Empty-Propane-Tank-302018/202034861 is a 40 pound cylinder

    I don't have advice or experience on using them.

    2. The propane does not come out of the tank as a liquid, but rather as a gas.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  12. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Well this sucks, but the good news is that i have found out that barbecue tank regulators are set at a constant 11w.c. But there is no way this setup with just barbecue tank and regulator would work on an 80,000 btu condensing boiler?
  13. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,107
    Location:
    Houston, TX


    What is the Model Number of your boiler ?
  14. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    alp080bw-2g02
  15. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Sorry to make light of this.but I've seen people blow up their orifices by doing wierd things with Gas. And Kid, yes, LIPA sucks.:eek:
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,167
    Location:
    Maine
    Tank size and length of run.....I doubt the unit will even fire off.
  17. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,107
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    Not sure I would mess with it unless you have a manometer, and a way to measure flow when you go to cranking on that gas valve. It is calibrated for NG now, unless you already tweaked it.

    Then in the manual it says;

    "This conversion should be performed by a
    qualified service agency in accordance with the
    manufacturer’s instructions and all applicable
    codes and requirements of the authority
    having jurisdiction. If the information in these
    instructions is not followed exactly, a fire, an
    explosion or production of carbon monoxide may
    result causing property damage, personal injury,
    or loss of life. The qualified service agency is
    responsible for proper conversion of these boilers.
    The conversion is not proper and complete until
    the operation of the converted boiler is checked
    as specified in this manual."


    The NG gas company may also frown on you doing it.

    The regulator that Reach4 posted should work, but the 100 # tank would be best.

    You will be lucky to get 4 hours out of the 40 # tank.


    Have Fun. Be safe.
  18. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,792
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    The little 20 lb tank will ice up for sure and become unable to vaporize any more of the liquid fuel in the tank as Tom Sawyer said before. The large tank has enough surface area to absorb some "heat" from the Winter air outside and stay warm enough to keep on boiling off gas vapor. I have a 50 Gallon (approx 200 lbs) that keeps up OK with my LP Hot tub heater which is about 125K BTU if I remember correctly. No NG near me.
  19. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,107
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    I bet you do not have to many Fat Ladies floating around with you in your Hot tub. Food is cheaper. You may be spoiled.

    Filling a 50 Gallon and paying for it would make me cry, as the gas man pulls away.


    I would not jack with a new system. I would get fat ladies or small 750 watt room heaters for every room.


    And have plenty of Fritos on hand, If you want the Body to have extra BTUs in storage.


    That is just me. Some people light farts for heat.


    Have Fun Everyone.
  20. thekid1

    thekid1 New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Besides the issue of the tank being smaller, therefore absorbing less heat, icing up and not being able to vaporize(great point by the way), can someone please explain further why a 20lb tank vs a 100lb wont work to feed boiler. Pressure is pressure, right? Either tank is still being regulated down to 11w.c, so what is the difference if the tank is big or small if as long as the little one is supplying 11w.c. which the boiler calls for? I just keep hearing people say it wont work, explain. This is only an 80k btu boiler by the way.
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