Bulk head regulator

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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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What legislation or regulation mentions this age limit? Regulators are not even date marked. When they fail, they fail safe. The regulator is included in the pressure drop test as part of the annual service.

I am not aware of any legislation or regulation concerning this but various interested parties in the industry put a maximum of 10 year life on LPG regulators of the type we use.
Just a couple of near related examples LINK 1 and LINK 2 both touch on the subject.

There are differences the more you look into this between, "from date of manufacture" and "date first put to use".
As swelling of the control seal due to exposure to LPG is sometimes claimed as the underlying reason to change, then date of manufacture has little technical relevance, but is likely to be the only tangible one, even if available.

The date of the body casting I have found as a circle character, cast in the body, but that is no assurance when the casting was made into a regulator.

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By comparison, but with no direct connection, on our natural gas domestic utility that we have had for 42 years, whilst the meter has been change the regulator has only once been changed.
There these have way exceeded ten years use, with exposure to that gas 100% of every minute of those 42 years.
 
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Ern

May 23, 2021
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Marine regulations for gas are quite special for obvious reasons. Drop holes are not very good, and you can't run for it when at sea! On leisure vehicles with a bulkhead mounted regulator which does not get the abuse of bottle mounted regulators, I doubt that anything more than an annual service including drop test is required. Replacing a bottle regulator (£7) is a simple thing which some might consider a good idea because they do get bashed about, but a bulkhead regulator replacement fitted and tested by a caravan technician would be a serious waste of money.
 
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Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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There is not any legislation about replacing regulators just best practice and common sense.

LPG is an acidic seeking gas which means it is always looking for the easiest way to get out of the cylinder and being acidic is damaging the internal workings of the regulator.

Quote " The regulator is included in the pressure drop test as part of the annual service. "

No it is not. It is isolated for the pressure test but is in use for the tightness test, there is a big difference.

The pressure test is at 120Mb, the tightness test is at 30Mb.

Domestic gas is a different animal altogether, it is not acidic and not a seeking gas, and is at a much lower pressure than LPG .
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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There is not any legislation about replacing regulators just best practice and common sense.

LPG is an acidic seeking gas which means it is always looking for the easiest way to get out of the cylinder and being acidic is damaging the internal workings of the regulator.

Quote " The regulator is included in the pressure drop test as part of the annual service. "

No it is not. It is isolated for the pressure test but is in use for the tightness test, there is a big difference.

The pressure test is at 120Mb, the tightness test is at 30Mb.

Domestic gas is a different animal altogether, it is not acidic and not a seeking gas, and is at a much lower pressure than LPG .
Thanks for the info, which I didn't know. Like many caravan owners, we don't hold on to our new caravans for 10 years, and if the regulator hasn't failed in service, we rely on the annual service. Perhaps dealers selling 10+ year old caravans should be legally obliged (or at least recommended by NCC) to fit a new regulator as a safeguard.
 
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Jun 30, 2021
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What legislation or regulation mentions this age limit? Regulators are not even date marked. When they fail, they fail safe. The regulator is included in the pressure drop test as part of the annual service.
Bulk head regulators show the manufacturer date on the sticker, single stage regulators are engraved. I did the LPG acops gas course and service vans for a living.
 
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Ern

May 23, 2021
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Bulk head regulators show the manufacturer date on the sticker, single stage regulators are engraved. I did the LPG acops gas course and service vans for a living.
I agree Truma branded bulk head regulators have the yellow sticker and some bottle regulators have casting batch dates, but many regulators never have. What I am questioning is your statement that "regulators should not exceed a 10 year life span".
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I agree Truma branded bulk head regulators have the yellow sticker and some bottle regulators have casting batch dates, but many regulators never have. What I am questioning is your statement that "regulators should not exceed a 10 year life span".
Looking at Calor and Liquidgas.org websites they have a recommendation viz 10 years. And that’s the position recommendations.
Are pigtails mandated to be changed on a time period? Not for caravans, but it’s eminently sensible from a safety perspective.
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Are pigtails mandated to be changed on a time period?

No, it is not mandatory, it is a recommendation that 5 years is advisable to change the rubber pigtails as the gas causes them to go brittle and liable to break or leak. The key to what is mandatory and what is not is if mandatory the regulations use either "Will" or "Must", ie the pigtail MUST be changed....
Advisory used "Should", which is not a demand but a recommendation.

Even Stainless Steel pigtails are lined with PTFE and while they may last 20 years there is no guarantee, and they can still suffer from the oily deposit in the gas .
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Even Stainless Steel pigtails are lined with PTFE and while they may last 20 years there is no guarantee, and they can still suffer from the oily deposit in the gas .

Thanks for the info. Seems that taking into consideration the cost of the stainless steel pigtail and the normal pigtail, you might as well stick with the normal one as it works out cheaper over the same period of time?
 
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Damian

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Thanks for the info. Seems that taking into consideration the cost of the stainless steel pigtail and the normal pigtail, you might as well stick with the normal one as it works out cheaper over the same period of time?

I agree with you, however some people seem to think that SS pigtails solve all the problems, but I have had to change quite a few due to being contaminated with the residue.
 
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Feb 27, 2011
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Update, many thanks everyone for all the advise and inputs. All going nicely; short pigtail now fitted. I'll be fitting a stainless one once this one has time-expired.

Interesting fact - last time out (Sept 2019) the gas side of the water heater had stopped working, ie wouldn't light. I had made a note to deal with it but now it is working perfectly. Must have been an early warning of the problem to come with the regulator.

Pete
 
Jan 8, 2006
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There was a spate of this difficulty reported when bulk head rather than on bottle regulators came in. I think various things were blamed including the composition of the pig tail. I can’t remember if it was ever fully resolved but I do remember that the position of the regulator appeared as a factor, specifically if it was set lower down on the bulk head than the top of the bottles.
Might be worth a look at where yours is and an internet search might show you the historical issue.
Mel
I had problems with bulk head regulators till my service man moved it higher than the top of the bottle.
 
Nov 28, 2007
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Thanks for the info. Seems that taking into consideration the cost of the stainless steel pigtail and the normal pigtail, you might as well stick with the normal one as it works out cheaper over the same period of time?
My stainless one recently sprung a leak on holiday after 8 years use. Leak where the flexi bit is attached to the screw on bit. Thanks for Amazon delivery I fitted a new rubber one.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Further update. Went away for a few nights Mon 19 July. No problems at all, gas working perfectly, also the replacement toilet flush pump, also no leaks from the two new push-fit feeds to the washroom sink. One very happy bunny.
Always good to get a feed back, it helps us all.
 
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