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Gaztech
Gaztech, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 461
Experience:  Owner at Gaztech
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Propane wall heater runs fine off 20 pound tank until it

Customer Question

propane wall heater runs fine off 20 pound tank until it goes dry.. however hook it up to 100 pound tank and pilot keeps going out. i have a real new regulator.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. How long have you been dealing with this?
Customer: 2 weeks since i started using 100 pound tank
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: yes
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: not that i can think of
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer, my name is Luke

NOTE: I can only get credited for assisting you if you click the 5 star rating at the top of page if we are done

Are you ready?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

What is your make and model?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
the standard wall propane heater made by Heat Star. It works just fine with a 20 pound grill type tank until the tank goes empty. however when i hook up a 100 pound tank the pilot goes out over and over.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
only difference is that the 20 pound tank sits on the porch, roughly same level as the heater. the 100 pounder sits on the ground much lower than the heater. both connected via same hose, same real regulator
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

After you changed tank and regulator did you notice any physical change in the pilot light, such as low flame,

or yellowish tip to the flame..

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
no looks the same regardless of which tank.
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

Pilot flame needs to be blue with no yellow tip, and must heat red hot the tip of thermocouple 1/2 at the top

Is that the case?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
red ring with a nice blue flame coming out, right now with relit 100 pounder, looks the same with 20 pounder
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

When you turn on main burner does the pilot flame stay the same and continues to heat properly the thermocouple, or is the pilot flame get pulled off the thermocouple

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
the thermocouple is resting against the pilot flame socket as in the owners manual illustration, IR30TB LP page 12 illustration 17 & 21. again this thing works just fine with a 20 pounder, 100 pounder just refilled.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
thermocouple does not glow with either tank, not in the flame at all
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

When heated right, The thermocouple produces up to 30 millivolts and keeps the gas valve open to supply gas, if not the pilot will shut itself off. thermocouple will eventually go bad and need to be replaced .

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
this unit has less than 10 hours actual use got it from gal pal. looks brand new can't believe thermocouple could be bad with that little use or that it would be bad with a 100 pound tank as opposed to a 20 pounder. how does the thermocouple know which tank is attached?.
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

20 lbs and 100 lbs should have no impact, Are you saying that if you take 100lb tank off right now and put the 20 lbs on it will work? did you just try that.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
no i just put the 100 pounder on yesterday having run the 20 pounder down to empty. tired of running back and forth refilling the 20 pounder. however i had the 100 pounder on before and it shut itself off as described. propane expert sold me a "real" regulator refilled the 100 pound tank as it had used 5 pounds. he said the real regulator would cure this problem. hooked it up yesterday and the pilot light went out repeatedly last night so the regulator i had was not bad IMHO.
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

Propane reg. are set to give 11 WC pressure,

please attach a picture of new reg.

use the paperclip logo just above.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
the heater is now running for heating purposes just fine with the 100 pounder. however when it shuts itself down the pilot light also goes out about half the time. i know when this happens as the expensive house electric furnace starts and runs for extensive period. this does not happen with a 20 pounder. i ha
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
will get back to you after i have taken the pics and figure out how to upload them
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

OK please do that

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
this should give you an idea
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

Good job

OK that is a set pressure reg and can not be adjusted for pressure

It is possible the preset is not right to 11 wc. pressure

You should have your propane expert mesure output pressure, and bring your heater with you.

It is my extensive experience with those heaters to say that out of box some are not OK and have issues.

Plus that heater does not exhaust outside and produce carbon dioxide and will eventually produce carbon monoxide, (poisonous and very harmful) they should only be used as a temporary measure in a well ventilated space.

Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

Hello?

Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

NOTE: I can only get credited for assisting you if you click the 5 star rating at the top of page if we are done

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
My thinking is that like a water heater there is a tube going down the center of the tank from the valve. on a water heater this is to bring the cold water to the heat, whereas on this it would feed the gas from the bottom. this works fine for about a day, feeding off the top of the tank, then as the level drops so does the supply and the pilot problems start. just went to breakfast for an hour came back the pilot still on. but hit and miss with that tank as opposed to the 20s. the valve was just replaced and the down tube might not be there or be connected, or some other issue relating to that tank. any thoughts on that line?
Expert:  Gaztech replied 8 months ago.

100lbs is the same as 20 lb, your heater uses the vapor space and does not have a tube in the middle. tank is filled at 80% liquid propane and 20% at the top supplies vapor propane for your heater, a 20 lb will lose pressure quicker because of less vapour space so that is irrelevant.

I have 25 years experience as propane technician and confirm 100% what I am saying.