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Propane too cold to work on WE

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    Propane too cold to work on WE

    It was so cold here in DEVON of all places that the propane was too cold to vaporise! Have a gas fire here fuelled by propane and it would not work! Today it is warmer and working fine.....! I know when you burn the gas the temperature lowers and it is stored foolishly in a place subject to wind chill but nevertheless it must have been darned cold!

    #2
    oo-er!!!

    That sounds COLD!!!!

    Is it a fire in your house or in your 'van that wasn't working?

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      #3
      In the house but the point is here that the theorectical limit of working is optomistic. I was surpised, initially thought fault in fire... but not working weekend and with 'warmer' temperature working fine.

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        #4
        Must have been really cold, Sue! Propane is more likely to work than anything at low temps I believe! You'll have to wrap the tank/cylinder in bubble wrap or something to keep it warm!

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          #5
          Place a windshield around it! or if possible plant a hedge.

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            #6
            Propane has a boiling point of -42 degrees but apparently gets a little sluggish to vaporise around the -32 mark. I know as you use gas it cools (in much the same way as when you use an aerosol can it cools when used) because the decrease in pressure frees the molecules up for movement, they have a higher heat capacity and can draw in thermal energy from the surroundings, lowering the temperature.

            I'd presume your gas isn't entirely pure propane, you probably have a bit of a mix in there for the sake of manufacturing cheapness.

            Still... THAT'S COLD!

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              #7
              There is a theory that if you have a mixture of propane and butane the propane boils of first leaving the butane which will not vaporise below 0 degrees. The other possibility is moisture in the pipe work froze, a kettle of hot water poured over the regulator and pipe work might cure it, worth a try if it happens again.

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                #8
                Originally posted by jayjay View Post
                Must have been really cold, Sue! Propane is more likely to work than anything at low temps I believe! You'll have to wrap the tank/cylinder in bubble wrap or something to keep it warm!
                Curiously jayjay the bottle would get cold even more quickly if you wrapped it up! Even on a summers day the gas could "freeze".
                Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

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                  #9
                  My first home was a mobile home (now the size would be called an annexe). The problem in winter with the gas cylinder outside (just below the window) was that the regulator not the gas in the cylinder froze. We had a coke stove and in winter stood a kettle of water on the top, thus with a kettle of water already hot, we just opened the window and poured water over the regulator, keeping back just enough water to make a nice cuppa. It was good waking up to a kettle gently beginning to whistle. Ann

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Twolitre View Post
                    Curiously jayjay the bottle would get cold even more quickly if you wrapped it up! Even on a summers day the gas could "freeze".
                    That's interesting! I've read about ppl going winter camping who wrap them up in a fleece blanket so they don't freeze... so that's a waste of time and effort then?

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                      #11
                      Here's why jayjay.
                      The "cold" comes from inside the bottle as the liquid gas vapourises into "gaseous" gas. Which causes the bottle temperature to fall (the principle on which your fridge operates). To prevent freezing the bottle needs to take heat from its surroundings. Wrapping the bottle PREVENTS the bottle absorbing surrounding heat. If the surrounding air gets too cold to "heat" the bottle sufficiently, it freezes. The only real solution is, as on some vans, to have a locker accessed from outside, but built in so that (though sealed) it gets the benefit of a little heat from the van inside temperature. Or alternatively pouring water over it. AND it can be cold water!
                      Jim.
                      Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Twolitre View Post
                        Here's why jayjay.
                        ....... Or alternatively pouring water over it. AND it can be cold water!
                        Jim.
                        Aw shucks - you mean we wasted our lovely hot water and could have used cold on the regulator, what a good job it did not cost anything extra . Ann

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Twinkletoes View Post
                          Aw shucks - you mean we wasted our lovely hot water and could have used cold on the regulator, what a good job it did not cost anything extra . Ann
                          Maybe not altogether Ann! Hot water will relieve the situation for longer if the outside temperature is still critical.

                          Jim.
                          Keeping people waiting is stealing a part of their lives.

                          Comment

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