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 6/24/2003 4:54 PM
 
I just had my Propane tank filled on my motorhome. The past 3 times that I have had it filled (it was a new motorhome) They filled it to 3/4 full and there is a warning on the tank not to fill past 3/4. This time the attendant released air from the tank for 10 minutes and then filled it way past full on the guage. Am I safe? or should I vent some out?
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 6/24/2003 5:07 PM
 
Hello: LP tanks have an over fill valve that will vent liquid automatically if the tank is overfilled. You should be fine. As a matter of fact, it is common practice for an LP vendor to fill the tank until liquid flows out of this valve, then he knows the tank is full. Sincerely Dan G.

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 6/24/2003 5:55 PM
 
As a certified LP technician (ok, so I read a book and took a test once) I agree. If the overfill valve is open and it should be on a horizontal tank, then when liquid comes out, the tank is filled to 80%. The regulation is that a tank should be filled to only 80% of capacity to give the gas room for expansion. (not 3/4) I would doubt that a lp person would let the tank fill beyond the liquid flow of lp out of the overfill valve, but anything is possible. Most states require some sort of certification for filling lp tanks but that doesn't mean you didn't get a person who is not certified and does not understand the properties of propane gas! If you open your overfill valve and liquid is still coming out, your tank is probably overfilled.
John Veach www.TheRollingHome.com Cannonville, UT KOA

Libby and John and RV the CAT www.TheRollingHome.com 1999 Fleetwood Discovery 37V Unit 38 Fort Clark Springs Brackettville, TX towing a 2005 Chevy Colorado Z71 4x4 Click here to see our current location
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 6/24/2003 7:16 PM
 
John - In our area it's not uncommon to have the tank heat up to the point where the internal pressure is greater than the dispensing pump can handle, resulting in the tank not accepting any LP until it cools off. It seems like the cushion of air above the 80% bleed valve could only be compressed so much before the dispensing pump couldn't pump, or the pressure relief valve would vent. Have you experienced this? Good luck. - Dave

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 6/24/2003 7:31 PM
 
On a newer MH the asme tank supposedly cannot be overfilled, it has a automatic shut off valve built in. On an older MH if the attendant doesn't open the 80% valve, it can be overfilled. I seen posts on this board saying it was not dangerous. At the Fire & Life Safety seminar I attended, the 30 yr+ fireman giving the seminar says it is extremely dangerous. He said that people dispensing propane for the most part had never seen a propane fire. My old 87' Mh was way overfilled going south the winter before last, my fingers were badly burnt (frozen) from the liquid propane I had to relieve. I was told I was quite lucky & should have had a fireman spraying water on the area while relieving the excess. We couldn't get the fire dept. out because the welcome center workers in TN refused to call them. I guess I'm glad to be lucky, but never again will a tank of mine be filled without the 80% valve being opened.
Fred B. Hinckley OH

Fred Bradley Hinckley Ohio 00 winnebago adventurer 35U 07' Saturn Vue, SMI toad brake
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 6/25/2003 5:43 AM
 
One thing I always do is "use" a newly filled propane tank for 2-3 days and then go back to the other, partially filled tank. That way if the tank is over filled I get the use of the propane I paid for and don't have to worry about the pressure building up due to heat. Since a tank lasts me several months (as a weekender), a couple of days use does not matter from a full tank. Kevin 2000 American Star by Newmar Ford F-250 V-10

Kevin 2000 American Star by Newmar Ford F-250 V-10
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 6/25/2003 1:21 PM
 
I just sent a note to my friend who is retired from the propane service industry to get his answer to this discussion. Here is his reply.
Good Travelin !..............Kirk URL:www.1tree.net/adventure/
"Prior to 98/99 there were no stop fill valves and you could "pack it" to 99%+ as I have done many times. The valve is inside of the fill valve. It is difficult to tell it has one except for about 1/2 larger diameter where it goes into the tank.the over pressure valve is 90 degrees to the fill valve most of the time with a small grate covering the vent area. The tank can absolutely be over filled but the danger is at about -25% for any accident except in very hot weather (110+) when the high pressure valve (over 300 psi) could vent. It has happened to me twice and the tank vented for about 30 seconds and it was over. Remember, propane inhibits all oxygen and the chance of a fire/explosion is very, very small. Fire cannot travel up the vent stream because of pressure and no oxygen. The residual dissipates rapidly and always hugs the ground. "
Lee from Biloxi. This message was edited by Kirk on 6-25-03 @ 2:05 PM

Travelin Man
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 6/25/2003 8:42 PM
 
If the 80% valve is open as it is supposed to be, how can you overfill an ASME tank? You are supposed to stop when liquid propane vents. The retired fireman at the fire & life safety seminar, strongly disagrees & has photos to show proof of such, as to how safe venting propane tanks are.
Fred B. Hinckley, Ohio

Fred Bradley Hinckley Ohio 00 winnebago adventurer 35U 07' Saturn Vue, SMI toad brake
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 6/26/2003 11:08 AM
 
Something not being said here is that if you indeed have an over filled propane tank, you most likely will not be able to use it for long. This will normally result in liquid propane entering the regulator which will freeze it up. The ONLY way to resolve that proplem is to vent the tank. I have seen the remainder of three RV's where the tanks vented. One manually, two thermally. One of these was actually the supid trick of the century. The folks were using a 4-door RV fridge outside their park model protected from the elements by a small leanto type cover, also being protected was the propane bottle right down there next to the fridge. Everybody knowing what vented propane does and where it goes, likewise knowing where the heat source is on most all RV fridges can pretty much guess the ending to this story. There was nothing left. Nobody injured, thank goodness. two little Bijon puppies did not survive... As others said, venting propane is not one of the safest things to be doing, but sometimes it is necessary under the correct circumstances. Happy Motoring, Butch Nancy Lake, Alaska

Happy Motoring, Butch & Sharon Nancy Lake, Alaska OR Mission, Texas
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 6/28/2003 6:06 PM
 
According to Larry Thacker, RIVA cerified RV tech. insturctor, and propane disastor investigator at a seminar on propane safety at the Great American RV rally, the #1 cause of propane disastors is the removal of a propane appliance without installing a plug in the line. He stated that explosions and fires from venting of overfilled propane tanks have happened but are extreamly rare. And he does have news clipping services for all major news media and he does track all reports of propane related fires and explosions. He also testifies as an expert witness frequently. It is what he does, yet he considers it to be an extreamly rare cause of a serious problem. Or at least that is what was stated in his seminar in Louisville the afternoon of June 18, 2003.
And he also said that the #1 source of ignition for a propane fire or explosion was the lighting of a cigarette.
Good Travelin !..............Kirk URL:www.1tree.net/adventure/ This message was edited by Kirk on 6-28-03 @ 6:07 PM

Travelin Man
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