Gas - 16 litre conundrum

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by maz, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. maz

    maz Funster

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    Now this puzzled me at the time, and with torrential rain outside keeping me confined my brain is still niggling away at the matter. :RollEyes:

    After Eddie's VanBitz sorted out my leaking filler hose yesterday, they filled up the bottles with LPG for me. Now both bottles are 11kg and both gauges were showing right down in the red, which tallied with my recent gas usage. I was therefore expecting a fill of around 35-40 litres. However the fill was only 16 litres - less than half of what I was expecting. I queried this but was told that they had filled till the automatic cut-off operated - and I have no reason to doubt them. :Smile:

    Both bottle-neck gauges were showing hard against the green sector after the fill, although after the drive back one (or possibly both of them, it's difficult to be sure with those gauges) seems to have moved slightly away from that position. I have checked the level with the inline Gaslow gauge (gas in use) and it stays full green. But from what I remember of using that gauge before, it only moves off green when the gas is almost gone anyway.

    So now I'm wondering if the problem with the filler hose leaking has resulted in the (possible) early operation of the automatic cut-off, in one or maybe both bottles? Could air maybe have been sucked into the bottles - would that do it? I've tried ringing Eddie to ask but just get the answerphone. Still, it is the weekend and he's allowed some time off. :Smile:

    So does anyone have any idea what might be going on here? :Confused:
     
  2. Brisey

    Brisey Funster Life Member

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    Hi Maz, I don't know if the following is correct or not, but when I questioned our dealer about the Gaslow gauges I was told that they show the gas pressure and not the amount of liquified gas in the bottle.
    Brisey.
     
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Maybe simply they were not empty when they were filled?
     
  4. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I filled my gaslow single from empty on gauge and expected 20 litres and only got 15 litres in I think the gauge tell lies
     
  5. maz

    maz Funster

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    Now I thought it was the opposite and there is a float sitting in the liquid gas that drops down as the amount of gas left reduces (after the initial 50% - when it stays full green regardless of whether it's 50% or 100% full). :Confused:
     
  6. chesterfield hooligan

    chesterfield hooligan Funster

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    :Rofl1: perhaps they are :Rofl1:

    :Rofl1: pre decimal bottles :Rofl1:
     
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  7. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    The only way I've ever managed accuracy with a gas gauge is to ignore it. Maybe use all your gas till empty then refill and see if that cures it...

    The summers here now so you won't get cold :Wink:

    Ad salad tastes good:thumb:
     
  8. maz

    maz Funster

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    I've been thinking about that - but in that case both gauges would have had to be reading wrong. If it's a float sitting in liquid, I don't understand how it can drop down lower than the actual gas level.

    Also I'd been using quite a bit of gas for my one night out wild camping every three weeks from Ferry Meadows - space and water heating in sub-zero temperatures. As well as my albeit limited gas use (mainly for water heating but a bit of space heating too) when I was parked up in High Wycombe for 3 days with a bottle initially indicating around 30% left, so I had to make it last as I couldn't refill at that point. In other words, based on my usage I'd certainly expected to have used more than 16 litres.
     
  9. maz

    maz Funster

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    Just been reading through the Gaslow booklet (yet again) and according to that, in the red indicates 18% or less remaining. So if you still had 18% in an 11kg bottle, then the top up could well fall short by around 3.5 litres on 20 litres so that's not too far out.

    On that basis, if both my bottles were at 18% full when filling took place that would add around 7 litres to the 16 that went in. So 23 litres out of an expected 40 litres is still only about 58% of what it should be.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013
  10. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    We did 3 days and nights at Newark in freezing temps warm air heating on all the time and used about 15 litres of gas
     
  11. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Mags, I knocked the meter off my cylinder. They appear to be magnetically coupled and by moving the meter a couple of mm each way when half empty I can make it read either almost full or almost empty.

    They are a total waste of space. In winter I work on the basis of 1 cylinder lasts 1 week. I vary in how much I can get in on the fill day sometimes its only 14l other times almost 20l but in each case the meter reads empty.... I ran the cylinder to empty on the last fill and it lasted 10 days of which 2 days were on empty.:Doh:
     
  12. maz

    maz Funster

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    Yes, I know the gauges are not highly accurate but I have never found them a 'total waste of space' - especially as they take up very little space anyway. :Wink:

    I flick them with a fingernail to check they are not stuck and on filling I can usually estimate what the cost to fill will be within about £1. I fully understand about slight variations in fill each time.

    As mentioned earlier, the gauge is supposed to show red when 18% or less remains in the bottle. Your running '10 days of which 2 days were on empty' actually confirms this rather than refutes it. :Smile:

    The question I am trying (and failing) to get an answer to is whether the recent problem with the filling hose could have caused early operation of the automatic cut-off. :wub:
     
  13. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    No :whistle:
     
  14. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    The point I was trying to make was that they are worse than the specs suggest due to the fact they are not physically attached to the bottles just clipped around the neck and then magnetically coupled... If you have been able to judge anything by them previously I think that was more luck than the quality of the gauge.
     
  15. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Although I have gauges on my Alugas, I don't put too much faith in them. I always just have one bottle turned on and the other off, that way I know if I do run out of gas on one bottle then I've still got a full one. Rather like the gaslow ones, they read full until half empty, then go down quite quickly.
     
  16. maz

    maz Funster

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    Yes, I do the same thing - one bottle on, one bottle off. :Smile:

    And I fully agree with you that the gauges stay reading full until the bottle is half empty and then they start to move.

    But what I don't understand is how two 11kg bottles whose gauges have followed a normal progression downwards until both are in the red can only accept a fill of 16 litres. Even if we allow for quite a bit of inaccuracy in the 18% in the red zone, say it's 25%, and assume that the needle has only just entered the red zone so that there actually is 25% remaining in each bottle - the total fill should still be around 30 litres. That's about twice as much as they actually took!
     
  17. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    If I remember correctly they warn you that the float is at the top of the tank so shows empty from about 50%. Just a rough guide really.

    We have "Brisey's" pressure guage, also just rough guide.

    If you want accurate you need and ultrasonic gas gauge.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GAS-BOTTL...=UK_Garden_BBQ_Accs_Parts&hash=item417191419c
     
  18. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I agree beside eddie will have checked them out from a safety issue
    I just use it as a reminder to fill if its near red fill it up
    I have never filled up with gauge showing red and put same amount in twice anything from 12 to 18 litres
    it's doesn't make sense at all
    So I have stopped worrying
     
  19. maz

    maz Funster

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    Here is the Gaslow guide with a good visual explanation of how the contents gauge works:

    http://www.gaslow.co.uk/pdf/Filling-Instructions-2012.pdf

    The gauge does not show empty from about 50%. It only starts to move away from 'full' at around 50% and then drops down according to usage.
     
  20. maz

    maz Funster

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    Ok - I give up. It's like banging your head against the proverbial brick wall. :RollEyes:

    I am not worried about the accuracy of the gauges. I know from my own experience what they can tell me and roughly how accurate they are. I also know from my usage of the space and water heating since the last fill up that I would expect the bottles to be nearly empty. The gauges happen to confirm that usage.

    The automatic cut-off works - there is no safety issue with that. I just feel that it must have operated too early - for whatever reason. Maybe not connected with the leaking filler hose, maybe some other reason.

    A total fill of just 16 litres when you are expecting around 40 litres is not normal.
     
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