A question on using Calor Gas bottle as a backup to the fixed tank

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by aldhp21, Oct 16, 2016.

  1. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

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    I’ve done some experimenting on what I would need to do if my main tank ran out and whether it was worth tanking a spare gas cylinder with me. I've run my fixed tank down to empty and tried two methods.

    1. Regulated from calor bottle into BBQ point
    Fitted a requlator to the calor 6kg lightweight bottle and connected this to a bullfinch adaptor which my BBQ point needs. Making sure the fixed tank was fully empty and the calor cylinder was turned off. Made the connections and turned the calor bottle on. Went into the van and tried all the gas appliances. The hob worked, the oven worked and the boiler worked on gas. Unfortunately for some reason the fridge wouldn’t work. I’ll investigate this further, I suspect this is an issue with the fridge though.

    2. Gaslow fitting into LPG refill point
    I bought Gaslow EasyFit Adaptor UK and a Gaslow Reserve Connection Hose. Adaptor needed in order to connect to a Calor bottle. Connected the bottle to the screw threaded connector on the LPG refill point. Turned the bottle on and got a very audible continuous whooshing noise. I turned the bottle off after about a minute. My assumption on this is that due to the difference in pressure between my empty fixed tank and the full bottle, the LPG was being pushed into the fixed tank and would continue until the pressures equalised. Hopefully somebody with more knowledge can explain it better than me. After I’d disconnected the calor bottle I was able to use gas from the fixed tank for a couple of hours so it had definitely part filled it.

    So in summary it is possible to use a spare cylinder if you’re off grid for a period of time and if I was doing that I would prefer to use the BBQ point method. In practise though it’s probably far easier just to run me gas BBQ and gas generator off the calor bottle and leave the tank for consumption by appliances in the van. If you’re not off grid just fill up as the opportunities arise.

    Question, are my assumptions correct on method 2?

    Many thanks Alan
     
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  2. TerryL

    TerryL Funster

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    Yes. I've got a Gaslow adapter which I use to connect a Spanish bottle to the Gaslow inlet.

    The instructions state that gas from the exterior bottle has to pass through an empty fixed bottle (tank?) although in my experience it doesn't matter if the bottle is full or not - it will keep going until the exterior bottle is empty. On the occasion that I have connected it to an empty bottle, you can plainly hear the gas going into the empty one but stops when the pressures have equalised. It probably went on for so long because your fixed tank is likely of a much higher capacity.

    As far as I am aware there's nothing wrong with using your BBQ point and I would have thought it should power your fridge too (someone else may have a different thought on that). But the really important point to anyone else reading this thread is that you MUST have a regulator set to the correct pressure (probably 30mb) between the exterior bottle and the BBQ point - a bottle mounted one is fine.
     
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  3. Larby

    Larby Funster

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    Insufficient pressure at fridge whilst bottle and tanking equalising?
     
  4. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    Autogas2000 fitted my tank and also fitted a BBQ point so I can connect bottle. I also have a cut off valve on my underslung tank.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    It would fill into the tank....but only vapour to start with until the pressure became high enough to turn the vapour to liquid..
    If the bottle was inverted it would fill with liquid gas, which is what you need.....but it will kill the bottle regulator.
    I would use the bullfinch connector as the best method.
    When folks have refillable bottles fitted at shows the installer usually uses that method to maintain gas supply until the new bottles can be filled at the pumps.
     
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  6. ceejayt

    ceejayt Funster Life Member

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    Don't want to hijack the thread but I have a related question. We are shipping our motorhome to the US - when we do so the two fixed underslung gas bottles have to be empty. When we get to the US I will then need to refill them (I have the acme adaptor) - do I need to ensure that on refill I only fill to 75% and how do I know when I have done that?

    Thanks
     
  7. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    you can buy lpg pumps to transfer lpg from bottles into tanks .
    i have an american krug lpg pump here i bought it in the 70,s for filling lpg powered car tanks .
    there was only about 5 lpg fill points around here so carrying a bottle was important .
    used to be usefull at one time in mroc as they didnt let lpg powered cars etc fill up at gas stations .
    they still dont but i dont have lpg vehicles now .
     
  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    It's automatic shutoff when it reaches 80% full.
    You don't need to worry about it.
     
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  9. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    unless you have the old bleed off valve you open and stop the pump when liquid comes out .
    but hopefully you already know if you have that system.
     
  10. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

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    Thanks Terryl. As I said hopefully it's something I wont need to do but nice to know it's an option.

    Alan
     
  11. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

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    Thanks pappjohn.
     
  12. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

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    The pressure would never be high enough. Both bottle and tank would be at LPG vapour pressure once pressures equalised. As long as the bottle isn't removed until all gas has been used (not transferred but actually used by the vans domestic appliances) then the onboard tank is simply a bulge in the pipe from bottle to appliances. It's still an overly-complex way of doing it unless the output of the bottle is connected directly to the fill point with no bottle regulator fitted. By far the most sensible method as you suggest is via the BBQ point so only the bottle regulator is in use.
     
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  13. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Sorry if it a daft question but .. you know when you say it cuts off? ? Do you mean it stops filling COMPLETELY? Mine suddenly goes very, very slow and I keep pressing it still fills just VERY slowly ... I then panic and stop .. if I kept on would it be ok and just stop when full? Or will it explode .. Hope have explained my question properly.
     
  14. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

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    Thanks Tony, method 2 that I tried did not have a bottle regulator fitted. It was direct from the calor cylinder into the LPG filler point. Hence my assumption "is that due to the difference in pressure between my empty fixed tank and the full bottle, the LPG was being pushed into the fixed tank and would continue until the pressures equalised".

    Cheers
    Alan
     
  15. aldhp21

    aldhp21 Funster

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    Hi movan, is that when filling at the garage? When filling mine I keep my hand on the big black button and at some point
    it comes to an abrupt stop.

    Cheers Alan
     
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  16. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Alan .. yes at a garage. That what worrying me .. mine DOESN'T come to an abrupt stop.. tried different garages so it must be my set up. Hope I don't have a leak.
     
  17. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Quite normal tends to happen in cold weather when the filling pressure is lower, gradually slows down then stops, fill up when temp in the 30's stops abruptly.
     
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  18. gus-lopez

    gus-lopez Funster

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    Yes ,all the ones I've used both here & in UK slow down before stopping completely. I usually take my hand off the button when they start slowing as it is hardly much more that goes in.
    I must admit that even though I worked as an industrial refrigeration engineer & have decanted from cylinders to bottles & got up to all sorts of nonsense. I always have a sense of foreboding when filling. :( Sort of expect a kerboom moment.:LOL:
     
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  19. Neilfg

    Neilfg Funster

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    As we have a small tank (and paranoid) we looked at doing the same thing via the BBQ point (with a regulator) after reading about other people's experiences, but although it seems it is possible it is explicitly not recommended by both Truma and Bullfinch. Not sure why probably just to cover their ar$£s.

    The Gaslow Reserve Cylinder Connection Hose is specifically designed to do it, is only to be used when the main tank is empty, you connect the bottle directly to the gas inlet without a regulator. We have not used it in anger on site yet, but testing at home gave a similar experience to the OP, it did make a disturbing whooshing noise and the tank did have some gas left in it after turning the bottle off and removing the hose.

    I like the BBQ point way the connectors are easier to manage and it seems safer having a regulator nearer the bottle, but we will pay attention to the industry and do it the recommended way if we ever need to.
     
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