Fill & shutoff valves and Regulator


Capt. Mike

Moderator
geryll: The tank is a fairly standard, generic US manufactured LP tank by Manchester. This is a repair that requires a qualified LP dealer. If you need a reason why, see the photo in the "My photos" folder of the Tech Drawings Link at the top of each index page.

rklann: The camping equipment was contained in a separate supplemental manual to the basic bus owners manual. They are available from several sources in the PARTS and SUPPLIER forums. A copy of the Stove parts & cleaning supplements is posted in the Tech Drawings.
 

kula

New member
This may be a little late to reply to this but it may help others later. I don't know the regulations where you are from but here in Canada according to my Natural gas and propane code book : 4.2.4 "for propane only: Not less than two stage regulation shall be utilized on all permanent installations." With only one stage regulators, if the regulator sticks for any reason you could get full tank pressure at the appliance valve. Something the valves are not designed to do. That is why they use redundant two stage regulators. Hope this helps someone. any other natural gas or propane code questions?
 

treejay

New member
Hi all. I have a question regarding the LP regulator on my 1983 water cooled vanagon westy. Today I witnessed it "venting" some gas on 3 separate occassions. The main valve was closed but it seemed as though it was releasing pressure from the tank. I wasn't aware of this feature if that is indeed what it is doing. So my question, just to be secure about the integrity of my LP system, is is there a pressure relief vent that releases LP now and then, even when the main valve is closed? Today was a relatively hot day in coastal Maine so that might contribute to the situation (it probably does). thanks!
ej
 

icarus

Moderator
I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong,,,

It is my understanding that if you have the original "auto stop" fill valve, on your tank, they are subject to failure. The consiquenses of failure as I undertand it is that the tank can and will vent it's entire contents. I think there is either a diaphram or other rubber componet that fails. I have not had any occasion to change mine, but my propane seller says they are problematic. Changing them to a conventional fill valve is not hard or expensive. Find a good l/p guy and he can do it. I don't know if new valves are available from other venders.

On the other hand, if you have a conventional fill valve, it is possible that your tank was over filled and it will vent as it gets warm. This is normal,(all l/p tanks that I know of have over pressure vents built into the valves) except that should not happen if the tank was filled properly. (If you just filled it, or it was very cold when you filled it that might be the cause)

Given the intermitent nature of the venting I would suspect the latter. To be sure, burn the stove for an hour or two to burn off the over fill and see if that stops the venting.


Good Luck
 

raspyni

New member
I had a strange thing happen today. I went to get the tank filled on my '87 Westy. The guy opened the 'escape' thumb screw like he always does, and then filled the tank. He closed the escape thumb screw, like he always does, and it just kept blowing out propane. But -- not out of the escape hole, but this mystery hole right above it! See the photo and let me know if you can answer the questions! http://www.raspyni.com/propane-leak.jpg

I bought a standard fill valve and escape valve and am going to install them today. Strange stuff!

Barry Friedman
'87 Westy
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
Mine ('90 OE) doesn't have all that. One of the side-effects of Delta 6 suppling VW with many variations of the LP tanks. I'm going to hazard a couple guesses.

Your fill valve looks like it is a more complex design than mine, perhaps with built-in safety release. Thus is a flanged assembly. Quite often, when a mechanism is assembled from components, there is a pin or guidehole cast into the flanges for alignment or to position a gasket during assembly. You may have a deterioriated gasket that is allowing propane to reach this assembly hole.

And it may be a true safety valve that is releasing. If just from overfill, it would stop when within allowable pressures, but often safety valves, rarely used, jam or become corroded.

In either case, since you've already have a new assembley coming, it should solve the problem anyway because you'll be replacing everything from the tank nipple out. This is a case of better safe than sorry; I don't recommend trying to "fix" LP valves or regulators, but to replace.
 

Trout_Teaser

New member
Cap't Mike is gonna slap me for this and I do not recommend it. But sometimes you have no choice. The high pressure side of the 2 stage regulator failed on day one of a 5 day camping trip out to the middle of almost nowhere on my 83.5 watercooled Westy. We pulled off the road late at night and I opened the propane valve to a horrible hissing sound. I messed with it but no luck. I had to keep it turned off. The next morning we rolled back into a two horse town, just a bit bigger then the one horse town down the street, and found a Napa Auto Parts. We tried to get the sucker fixed the right way but no parts to be had and we had fishing to do and malty type beverages that needed to be cold. So on to plan B. The stock regulator was leaking out of a little hole and with very little finger pressure all seemed to be good. So here is where Cap't Mike will smile or curse. Plan B called for JB Weld (bought at Napa) mixed and forced into hole with a little around the edges. After curing it worked just fine and fridge and stove were good to go. I only opted to run this option if after the fix all the flames looked normal. And they did. It worked this time but only try at your own risk and remember ice is cheap and hospitals are not.
Fast forward...
Just replaced the LP Regulator with one from the good guys at GoWesty. The new reg. was longer so some modifications were in order to the lines leading into the van. In hind site I would have done things a bit different. I knew that the lines needed to be cut and I placed the new reg. on the tank and scribed the lines for my cutting on the lines. I made the cut then got ready to flange the lines. Well the upper line was not long enough, due to the 90 degree bend, to slide the nut back far enough to place the clamping device on the line and use the flaring tool. I had to "straighten" the line. Then I had to crimp the old bend with pliers because where it was bent it was not really round and the nut would not slide back over it. A real pain and not first quality work. In the end I made it work but can't say that I am proud of the job.
If I could do it all over I would suggest not cutting the lines so much for the "perfect fit". Cut the lines about half what might be required and give a gentle bend towards the front of the van then upwards until in line with the fittings. An extra quarter inch would have made all the difference.
 

jerepowers

New member
I just replaced the tank and regulator on my 1984 Westfalia. The tank is heavy and clumsy, but is straight forward. (See post in tank.) All the trouble really lies in the lines.

On the GoWesty website, they explain that the current regulator is different than the original one and that you have to cut and reflare the copper lines. What they DON'T explain is that new regulator sits up almost an inch higher than the original one. At least this is true on a new tank and new regulator combination.

Reflaring is not fun, but with a flaring tool and pipe cutter, it's only about 30 minutes of work. I recommend getting the mini pipe cutter. Swinging room is very tight. However, after measuring and cutting 1.75 inches from the lines and reflaring them, the lines didn't match up at all. And because it is heavy duty copper pipe and you are dealing with a relatively small amount, thus reducing your leverage, there is a limit to how much you can bend it.

Here's how I did it:
First, remove the skid plate. I spent 30 minutes goofing around with it in place and eventually I had to remove it anyway.
Second, go into the under sink cabinet. The gas lines run up through it to the stove and fridge. Empty the cabinet and loosen the clamps that hold the gas lines to the cabinet. In my case, I had to remove both shelves to get access to the Philips screws. Then pull the lines up as much as you can. There is a lot more room for flexibility in the lines at the top than the bottom.
Third, don't tighten the regulator to the tank. You need wiggle room in the lines. It is the classic, "attach but don't tighten." I forgot that, of course, because I was so concerned that I have no gas leaks, so it took me 45 minutes of pushing and grunting before I remembered the basics of any kind of plumbing connections. You still have to bend the lines, but by having more wiggle room it won't be as extreme.
Fourth, attach both lines, but just enough to know the threads are on there straight. Then, depending on what kind of "Y" fitting you have, use a regular or pipe wrench on the "Y" connection and tighten the flare fittings to the "Y."
Finally, tighten up the regulator to the tank.

Also, remember that the tank was of U.S. manufacturer and all the nuts are based on the inch system, not metric. On my vehicle the flare nuts were 13/16 and the regulator was 7/8. Make sure you have real wrenches in the correct sizes. There is not enough room for an adjustable (Crescent) wrench.
 

turtle

New member
Hi - re: B. Friedman 13Sep05 note - I have had the identical problem on my '87 Westy; LP escaping through this small 'pinhole'. Today, I took my van into a Kamps propane in Hayward, CA where they replaced the O-rings and re-built the valve. O-rings had deteriorated and valve goop had dried out. Refilled the tank with LP - no leaks, and now we're off to Redwood Nat'l Park on the North Coast next week! Yeah! It cost me $45 labor plus parts - and I'm smiling and happy again!
 

LAEBOY

New member
Propane Tank Leak on my new, used westy.

Hello,
This would be my first attempt on westfalia.org so here goes. I have a 1983 vw westfalia. The propane tank shut off does not work it seems. It is tightened all the way clock wise and still leaks gas the stove burners. Not much though. Even after a long period of time only a small flame will burn for a split second on the left burner. How do I change the shut off valve of a propane tank that is full? Does it need to be empty? Should I just change the entire tank? Any help or insight would be greatl appreciated!!
 

shcrawford

New member
Same thing happened to me yesterday. Filled the tank (unfortunately in trusting the guy knew what he was doing the meter read he put in 3.1 gal -- which in my readings those tanks are 3.0gal tanks and should only be filled to 80%, which would be 2.4gal.) Upon closing the Bleeder Valve it continued escaping out of this little mystery hole, plus a 'vent' (?) or 'back-pressure' vent off the 'on/off' knob and emptied the tank. Getting it looked at and fixed today.

How has the rebuild been holding up? Any other problems? I need to have my refill valve replaced/rebuilt, and am considering Kamps.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Top