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Old 12-30-2010   #11
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
Keep all the alcohol for yourselves. You will not want to touch the tanks after he's been in the rack with them! I won't write what I saw him doing with a propane tank late one night, when he thought everyone was asleep!

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Old 12-30-2010   #12
BackCountry's Avatar
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1970
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 86
If you are using a blaster and it is really cold in the morning with a low tank you may get some freeze up. Rolling the tank on its side when it is less than a quarter full breaks up the semi frozen propane and gives more surface area to turn the liquid into gas. At work in the winter when the 100 lb tanks get below a 1/4 tank they freeze up. When this happens I put the tank on its side in front of the 350,000 btu heater and cook out the rest of the propane.

If you are running through large amounts of propane and start to get freeze up, switch tanks and let that one warm up in the river as suggested earlier. You won't have a problem unless you are pushing large quantities of propane through your appliance - 100,000 btu or more.

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Old 01-01-2011   #13
sealion's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 131
The only place I ever had trouble getting propane out of a tank was in North Dakota in the winter. I thought the tank was getting empty, but it was just butt ass freakin cold. It wasn't the propane either, it turned out to be something in the heater itself that was freezing up. I can guarantee that no temps in the grand will hinder our propane flow.

Put me in your "spot" loop and if you DO have trouble, I will hike in and sleep with your tank at night.
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Old 01-03-2011   #14
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
I'm no expert but here is my experience.

the expansion of the liquid into a gas inherently requires heat (evaporation is a cooling process) which is why the tanks chill when they are being used. most of the smaller 1lb tanks ice up because you are removing the propane at a high rate (compared to the volume) which means quite a bit of heat is required to maintain the remaining lp as a liquid. The larger tanks "chill" much slower as the % rate of propane being removed starts out pretty low and increases until the tank is almost empty.

If they start to ice around the valve they will stop working. If propane freezes up in a hose or regulator it can cause problems with the gas not being able to flow. It can also condense in a hose and form liquid which blocks the gas from flowing.

using air to warm it doesn't help much since air is pretty still, doesn't conduct heat much, and can get mighty cold as well.

water is your best bet for supplying the heat to keep the liquid propane from freezing.
Water has a pretty good specific heat 1cal/cc and as well when liquid it has convection which can help evenly distribute the heat of the water to the tank. You don't normally think of cold river water as a heat source but compared to an icy bottle of propane its like a nice hot bath.

the water will continue to supply heat to the propane tank even until freezing (at which point 80cal/cc) and you are assured that worst case the ice forming is 32F and the propane is still liquid at that point. Of course you want to change the water out before it starts to ice but if your propane heater has to run all night this should at least guarantee it will still be running in the morning.

If using small tanks, and you have a large supply of them, you can rotate the stock of them and warm them in a bucket of river water.

if its a larger steel tank you might not be able to submerge it in water but you might have to operate it next to/in the river water.

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