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  • Regulators, Air vs Gas

    I need to replace the regulator on my fathers gas grill. Not sure what the deal is with it but I've heard this complaint from several people. After being lit for a length of time the flame fades out to almost nothing. Takes for ever to cook anything too. So what I have to do is disconnect the regulator from the tank and open all the control valves for a minute or so. Then close them and hook the regulator up to the tank. Then the flame burns normal. After a few cook outs the flame starts to fade again. I never really paid any attention to the length of time it takes for this to happen but it's an ongoing problem and has been ever since he bought this thing.

    So the other day, I took the regulator off, had enough. I guess all these newer grills have fixed regulators, no way to adjust the pressure like the older ones.
    I guess by disconnection the regulator from the tank and opening the valves allows the spring / diaphragm to re-set itself??

    I don't really know what the difference is between a regulator designed for any gas like acetylene vs one used for air or O2. The rubber maybe. I've had several apart over the years and they all look the same inside.

    In the picture you can tell which one is from the grill, made by Global. The one on the left looks like it came off an old furnace from the 40's. made by Penn Controls Inc. Model 1001 type 931 if that tells you anything. Probably natural gas? Don't know what it's set at as far as pressure. I suppose it can't hurt to try it.

    The adjustable blue on I believe is an air regulator since it's marked 250 psi max. that one is made by Alemite model 32330-3 which means nothing to me since I cant find any info on it.

    They do sell adjustable regulators for gas grills and or propane heaters, maybe I should try one of those. I just don't want to buy any chinese junk and then have issues with it a few months later.
    I don't really want to buy a good one at a welding supple store and pay $200 either.

    Any ideas???

    JL...................

    Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    DZER

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    • #3
      What Doozer said! DO NOT ever mix equipment for one type of 'gas' with that of another type. Each gas has a different energy content and the temperature changes during use are different.
      Get the correct part. Get on google and you will find bbq units with pressure adjustment. Most grills today use a valve on the front panel to adjust the flame.
      Look for units intended for crab cookers or turkey oil fryers as they don't have flame knobs separate from the regulator.
      Stick with a known US brand.

      Pete
      1973 SB 10K .
      BenchMaster mill.

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      • #4
        Not really a problem in search of a solution. The really cheap ($12 to $20) propane fixed regulators last a decade or two. Replace whatever you have with the same type of regulator and enjoy the meal.

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        • #5
          Doozer - a man of few words. This time, anyway! Or maybe not, if a picture is worth a thousand of them
          "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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          • #6
            As stated, just buy the correct stuff. It is cheap and it works well.
            Worth mentioning - If the problem occurs shortly after lighting, or when several burners are turned on in quick succession, or if the valves were left on and the tank was subsequently opened, it might be a simple matter of procedure.
            Make sure everything is off. Open the tank valve SLOWLY, wait several seconds, then open one valve slowly and light it. Wait a couple of second before slowly opening subsequent burners.
            If gas is released too rapidly, the OPD valve on the tank presumes a leak. If you have to start over, turn everything off, bleed the pressure, wait a little bit, and start over with the above procedure.
            Last edited by Joel; 08-24-2020, 01:48 AM.
            Location: North Central Texas

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Joel View Post
              As stated, just buy the correct stuff. It is cheap and it works well.
              Worth mentioning - If the problem occurs shortly after lighting, or when several burners are turned on in quick succession, or if the valves were left on and the tank was subsequently opened, it might be a simple matter of procedure.
              Make sure everything is off. Open the tank valve SLOWLY, wait several seconds, then open one valve slowly and light it. Wait a couple of second before slowly opening subsequent burners.
              If gas is released too rapidly, the OPD valve on the tank presumes a leak. If you have to start over, turn everything off, bleed the pressure, wait a little bit, and start over with the above procedure.
              Shouldn't have to go through any of that procedural stuff. Never had to in the past with any other gas grills. I had no intentions of installing any old regulator in place of the original, just inquiring about the differences.

              This is the mfg. of the original................ China POS, that figures. https://illidagas.com/en/our-products/lpg-low/

              JL..................

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              • #8
                The diaphragms and seals in a regulator are matched to the gas to be used by the manufacturers of the equipment. It would not be wise to disregard that.

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                • #9
                  The BBQ's need the gas to be delivered at a very specific pressure to work with the orifice in the burners to get a proper and safe flame. Then the knob varies the volume of gas which draws in a matching amount of air to burn correctly. Don't mess with it. Those valves are cheap and typically work just fine for a LONG time provided the gas used was not contaminated with something else.

                  Check that the little sintered filter is in place too. If it's missing and there's a hole to the inside of the reg there may be some little bugs have taken up residence. And with the low pressures used by BBQ's that might be all it takes to mess things up.

                  When these regulators are working correctly there's no need to open things carefully or in any sequence. And they are so cheap to buy and USUALLY so reliable it's simply not worth messing around with them.
                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
                    Shouldn't have to go through any of that procedural stuff. Never had to in the past with any other gas grills. I had no intentions of installing any old regulator in place of the original, just inquiring about the differences.

                    This is the mfg. of the original................ China POS, that figures. https://illidagas.com/en/our-products/lpg-low/

                    JL..................
                    Gas grills have had internal shut off feature in them for many years. Its very common to trip that if the valve is opened quickly. Its a safely feature to limit the gas flow to a slow trickle if a hose breaks. It is triggered by a sudden rush in flow from the tank, opening the valve fast will trigger it sometimes.I never ran into the problem either UNTIL this year, thought the regulator was bad but resetting it using the standard procedure did the trick and its worked fine since. A friend also had the same problem and couldn't believe the cause or the fix until he tried it.

                    As for the difference in different regulators..... propane is regulated down to 11 inches water column as a standard by the regulator, thats only about 1/4 PSI !! Any other type regulator will put out FAR too much pressure and result in the image Doozer posted !
                    Last edited by Sparky_NY; 08-24-2020, 11:34 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by old mart View Post
                      The diaphragms and seals in a regulator are matched to the gas to be used by the manufacturers of the equipment. It would not be wise to disregard that.
                      Thanks for the tip.

                      JL..............

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                        The BBQ's need the gas to be delivered at a very specific pressure to work with the orifice in the burners to get a proper and safe flame. Then the knob varies the volume of gas which draws in a matching amount of air to burn correctly. Don't mess with it. Those valves are cheap and typically work just fine for a LONG time provided the gas used was not contaminated with something else.

                        Check that the little sintered filter is in place too. If it's missing and there's a hole to the inside of the reg there may be some little bugs have taken up residence. And with the low pressures used by BBQ's that might be all it takes to mess things up.

                        When these regulators are working correctly there's no need to open things carefully or in any sequence. And they are so cheap to buy and USUALLY so reliable it's simply not worth messing around with them.
                        I understand that. The regulator for some reason is slowly reducing the gas supply to the control vales after a period of time, usually not much time, a few uses.

                        I never had this problem with any gas grill that I've ever had.

                        I was thinking of getting one of these. https://www.bbqguys.com/bayou-classi...tor-with-valve

                        Adjustable from 0 to 30 Lbs.

                        JL....................

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                        • #13
                          Joel and Sparky are on the right track. You really must make sure the burner valves are OFF before you open the tank. People get in the habit of using the tank valve for shut-down and forget to close the burner valves. This leaves a relatively open path and when the tank valve is opened the flow-limiter engages and restricts flow. What you really do when you disconnect the regulator and shut off the tank is allow the flow limiter to reset. Just be mindful of your shut-down/start-up procedure and things will likely work just fine.
                          Southwest Utah

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                          • #14
                            For my hot blue burner set up I use an adjustable gas regulator. I can turn up the pressure till the flames burn off the burner and go out. It's worked fine for several years.
                            Originally I had a fixed propane regulator for the burner but it wouldn't allow enough gas through for the flame to burn hot enough to boil the bath, so that's when I switched to the adjustable regulator. I figure I'm having the same issue with the grill.

                            JL..................

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                            • #15
                              The aforementioned flow limiter is in the fixed regulator stem. It can be removed, but that's not advisable for a grill. On my forge I use an adjustable regulator like yours but I connected it through a standard barbi-type coupling which had the flow limiter. I did remove it for the forge application because I run 5-45psi and high flow.
                              Southwest Utah

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