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Natural Gas-Propane problem

will try to get him some information. As usual the Wall responds with plenty of good help. I was taking a much needed nap, wide awake now.

Comments

  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    natural Gas-Propane problem

    Hi Fellas!
    I have a Pool Heater, Propane fired, that I have to get operating, but have little experience with Gas Heat.
    Is there a difference between a Natural Gas Valve and a Propane Gas Valve??? I know there is a pressure difference.
    11" WC for propane, 3.5 for Nat. Gas.
    This unit fires up but then goes right out. Any ideas?
    Believe me, any help would be appreciated.
    Go on this job Tuesday.
    John
  • Scott G.
    Scott G. Member Posts: 15
    A few other things...

    You not only are working with different manifold pressures. Also consider orifaces will need to be sized for which ever gas your using. And if the unit has a pilot lite, you'll have to change that oriface to. Good Luck... Scott G.
  • BIG differences...

    ALthough the gas valve body is the same, if it is currently set up for LP, you'll need to change the main orifices, pilot orifices and pressure regulation spring for the gas valve regulator.

    If you attempt to install a boiler set up for natural gas on LP, you will also need to do all the above.

    I hope you are a professional. If not, seek professional help, and by all means do a combustion test on the appliance once the conversion is completed.

    If you don't test, you won't know until its too late. waking up dead is not a good way to start the day.

    ME
  • Glenn Harrison
    Glenn Harrison Member Posts: 405
    A couple of questions

    Is this a new unit that you are needing to start up after install, or is this a unit that has already been in service that has stopped working? If it is new, did you order it as a propane model or did it come as a natural gas unit and a propane conversion kit needs to be installed? Is this a 24 volt or milivolt system?

    The answer to your first question is sometimes. If it is a standard opening valve it normally can be converted from natural to propane with a change of the valve pressure regulator or spring. If it is a slow opening or step opening valve, then these are gas specific in most cases, so you have to specify natural or propane. As far as pressures go, normally propane will be 11" to 13" inlet pressure, with a 10" manifold (burner) pressure. Keep in mind tho I have seen propane manifold pressures as low as 7.5" and as high as 11", so check the rating plate of the unit, the install manual, or with the manufacturer as to the needed manifold pressure. Your incoming pressure will need to be minimum 1" higher than your required manifold pressure with the pool heater and all other appliances fired.

    My guess is 1. The propane pressure is dropping when the unit fires and the valve can't stay open. 2. This is a milivolt system and you are loosing milivots after the unit fires due to a weak thermopile or coroded wiring connectionsor components.

    Glenn Harrison, Residential Service Techician

    Althoff Industries, Crystal Lake, Illinois

    Althoff Industies Link
  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    Waking up dead

    Mark, you are right, waking up dead is not good.
    I've got 42 years in HVAC, mostly Oil Heat, very little Gas.
    This unit has been using Propane. The customer installed a used gas Valve, after having a problem. Now I am told that it will fire up, but then goes out right away.
    I am going on this job Tuesday, haven't seen it yet.
    Just a tad leery about it already. I just didn't know if the valves were the same.

    John
  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    Thanks Glenn

    Thanks Glenn!
    This unit has been operating. Not a new installation.
    I really don't want to wake up dead, as Mark said.

    John
  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    And thank you Scott

    Thanks for your input Scott. Need all the help I can get on this one.
  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    Timmie

    Timmie McElwain, where are you?


    John
  • Glenn Harrison
    Glenn Harrison Member Posts: 405
    You're welcome, John

    I agree, Neither myself, or my customers need to wake up dead. My personal feeling is that if the customer has been playing with this thing and has installed a USED gas valve, I would make him put in the appropriate new O.E.M. gas valve, and any other parts that he has replaced inappropriatly, before doing anything else or walk away from this semi butchered unit. Propane is way to dangerous to be playing the used part game.

    Glenn Harrison, Residential Service Techician

    Althoff Industries, Crystal Lake, Illinois

    Althoff Industies Link
  • Glenn Harrison
    Glenn Harrison Member Posts: 405
    Try doing a search here for propane

    John, you can also try doing a Wall search using the keyword "propane" or "LP" and see if any past posts/threads pop up with the answers you look for.

  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    Walking away. Good idea.

    Glenn,

    I think you are right. I'll go look at this thing and then I'll walk away from it.
    I was just hired here with this company and this is my first job on Tuesday.
    I did tell them I was an Oil man, and little Gas experience.
    Walking away is probably the best thing to do.
    Thanks again.
    John
  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    Woke Timmie up!

    Thanks to all you fellas for your input and help.
    Special thanks to Timmie for waking up from his nap to talk to me on the phone with some real good advice.
    You fellas are OK in my book.

    John
  • MURPH'
    MURPH' Member Posts: 88
    ANYONE THINKIN

    About how far the run of pipe is (what size) and possible problems with the duel regs at the source??



    murph'
  • John G. Merritt
    John G. Merritt Member Posts: 140
    Length of supply/Regulators

    Thanks Murph' will check that for sure.

    John
  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 767
    Could be Simple

    I find a lot of times if the pool hasn't been used much or just opened after the winter the filter needs backwashing. When the filter gets filled the flow switch won't allow the flame to keep firing. I have had people argue that they are going to back wash the filter next week. At the beginning of the season the filter needs more backwashing than usual.

    Leo
  • Glenn Harrison
    Glenn Harrison Member Posts: 405
    That wasn't quite what I meant.

    I was thinking that I wouldn't put my name on it without getting the right valve in the unit. I f customer refused to get unit up to snuff then I would refuse to do any work on it and walk away. Most importantly, you do what your comfortable with.
This discussion has been closed.