Propane tank full but won't work

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Anyone had a propane tank that wouldn't let the propane out? Nearly full tank, used several times for small cooking jobs (blackstone). All of the sudden it acts as if it's empty, nothing coming out. I took it to the local place to have it refilled thinking it was empty, it was not. Guess a bad shutoff valve on the tank? Did a tank exchange and all is working again. He said it happens.
 
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How cold is it in your area. There are a number of reasons that propane regulators or even tanks will freeze in cold weather. In warm weather locations some suppliers will provide something other than propane, forgot what it is called, and other times it is just the regulator.

 
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That was my first thought, something froze. I probably could have / should have just waited but the guy told me it happens and suggested doing a tank exchange to get a better tank than the one you get from Lowes.
 
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Here is an article about butane a common substitute for home fuel purposes and is less expensive than Propane. It has a much higher freeze point than Propane. Some warmer weather providers will substitute butane if there is not the risk of freezing weather due to its lower cost.

 
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So, you are talking about a portable propane tank? Probably 5-gallon? If so, the valve has some functions built in for tip-over protection, etc. I have had them fail if they were tipped on their side, etc. It only takes a brief tipping to have that happen,

The cure was to set the tank on a solid surface, close the main valve and then open the pressure relief valve briefly until you hear gas venting. Then, close the pressure relief valve firmly, lift the tank and tap the base gently on the firm surface. That will usually reset the tip-over function. If not, replace the tank as you did.

My preference when buying a new propane tank is to do it through a propane dealer. Yes, it will be more expensive than the Chinese stuff sold at the big-box hardware stores, but it will be a quality unit.

TJ
 
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Neal, how did you resolve this issue?
 
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Neal, how did you resolve this issue?
I paid for a tank swap at the local store but I could have tried what @TJ&LadyDi offered. I did in fact have my tank horizontal as I swung it into my pickup bed. I'm sure it's something I did but to answer your question, tank swap.
 
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Some regulators act like a fuse. Our 5th wheel regulator would do it. When connecting...we had to very slowly crack the tank valve and let the pressure build. If we opened the valve quickly...it sets, and won’t let gas flow. It’s designed to stop a sudden catastrophic line rupture... This lesson was learned the hard way...on a very cold night.
 
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This may not have anything to do with your tank issues Neal, but my neighbor had us down to cook some steaks last week. He tried to fire up his grill and couldn't get it going. Propane bottle felt almost full. Needless to say with 3 hungry couples waiting I ran back to my site and fetched my grill to use.

Talked to him the next day and found out that newer regulators have some type of built in delay. He called the factory and they explained to him that if he would have opened the valve and waited a little longer it would have worked as designed.
 
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@Neal I have had similar circumstances with the Blackstone Griddle using the bulk adapter hose to hook it up to a 20 lb. propane bottle. Symptoms are low to no gas flow, so it appears as if the tank is empty. Each time, after I disconnect the hose from the regulator and put it back together, it works perfectly. It's almost as if there is a bit of moisture inside the regulator and once the gas flow stops when done cooking it freezes preventing gas flow. Just a theory, but I have two Blackstone griddles and both exhibit the same quirks when cold out.
 
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