Four warning signs you need a new LP gas regulator
Keeping an eye on the heart of the propane gas system
by Gary Lieb, Fuel Products Market Manager
The propane gas regulator is one of the most important components of a propane gas system. Not only does it control the flow and distribution of propane, but it also provides a safety barrier between the high-pressure tank and the appliances it fuels. To keep the system running smoothly and safely, it needs to be replaced regularly.
Here are four signs that it may be time to replace an LP Gas Regulator:
1. Incomplete Combustion
Incomplete combustion—which can be determined by the height and color of the tank’s flame—occurs when the propane burns improperly.
When the regulator is working correctly and the propane-fueled appliance is adjusted, the flame should be blue and evenly dispersed around the burner. If there are yellow or orange flames, there is likely a problem with the regulator. Other signs of incomplete combustion include soot deposits on the burner and popping sounds when the tank is turned on and off.
2. You Smell Gas
Propane has a distinct odor. If you can smell it, you’ve got a leak.
If it’s a leak in your regulator, it’s most likely coming from the diaphragm—a flexible disc that works with the regulator vent to adjust the flow of gas when changes in pressure occur. If you smell propane coming out of the vent, there’s probably an issue with the diaphragm—and the regulator.
3. The Regulator Has Been Submerged in Water
If a propane regulator gets wet, it’s all over.
The water allows chemicals and debris to enter the regulator spring area, which can lead to corrosion and failure. Though it may seem undamaged at first, the equipment will unevenly disperse the gas through the appliance and lower its efficiency.
All regulators have a date code and should be changed out according to manufacturer specifications.
Keep in mind that though propane regulators may be adjusted by licensed propane professionals, they’re never repaired or subject to repair. They must be replaced. And if you’ve noticed one or more of these warning signs, it may be time for that replacement.