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"Spare" regulator fittings?


pepe63xnotuse

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Hi all..

 

Due to it being mentioned the other day,I'm looking to rig up a spare bottle-mounted regulator I have,so that if the bulkhead reg' ever fails,at least we won't be stuck..

 

What I'd like to check is ,what size male fitting am I after,to mate with the existing nut and olive on an 8mm OD copper pipe?(..I'm assuming 3/8" :-S )

 

I'm looking at the first few on here:

 

http://www.gasproducts.co.uk/acatalog/Gas_Hose_Nozzles_and_Clips.html

 

Thanks.

:-)

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May I suggest be careful and take professional advice before you think about this. Normally a bottle mounted regulator is connected to the system via a low pressure hose and a hose nipple into the pipe system. If you have a bulkhead regulator fitted to your rig then you will have to disconnect that and attach your hose nipple to the entry pipe to the system and then connect your bottle as was done 'in the good old days'. However, once you break off the existing regulator you are technically in breach of the gas regulations, unless you are a registered Corgi fitter, in which case you know all about it, and would not be asking here.

 

Might I suggest you think about using the spare regulator as a 'free standing' back up connected to a cylinder and freestanding hob unit. Then you will not touch your exisiting system until you can get it fixed correctly.Of course that means you cannot run the fridge on gas, which if you have a EHU may or may not be a problem.

 

Sorry to be a bit negative but the Regualtions have boxed us all into a corner where unless we are prepared to break the Law, we really cannot do too much ourselves.

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Pepe,

 

Forget carrying a spare bottle top regulator and attempting to 'lash up' a system.

Change your existing rubber high pressure pigtail for a stainless steel from the likes of Gaslow. Then there will be no worries of the regulator getting clogged with the so called 'oily residue'.

 

And as for Corgi, it has now been replaced by Gas Safe and DOES NOT apply to MotorHomes as has been stated in reply to your earlier post.

 

HTH,

Keith.

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Thanks for the replies.

.

Point taken about renewing the original hose..and we've already got a bottle reg & hose set-up,that we use for cooking outside on,so that isn't really a problem..

 

But Sod's Law says it would fail when we're on a festival site for a week and with the fridge not work I'd have warm beer..NOOOOoooo!!..:-S

 

..and as I've already got a spare reg' knocking about anyway(..which I didn't know I had *-) ),along with plenty of hose and clips,it makes sense just to prep' it as a "get by" fix..

(..but I was just a little unsure of the actual size the fitting is likely to be... :$ )

 

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Keith,

 

I am most curious and very suprised at your comment. Regardless of whether the name has changed, are you stating that gas systems on motorhomes are not subject to the same regulations as caravans even although they are identical? If you submit your outfit for a habitation check is the gas system exempted and would any Approved Workshop be happy to pass a 'modified' system?

 

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Anyone reading this should make there own enquiries as to wether it is factual.

Here's a little known 'fact', it would appear that anyone can work on the gas systems in their own home! let alone a motorhome. The 'authorities' carefully word any guidance to imply that all work should be done by gassafe engineers, but those of us that have looked into it can find no law that supports this, the law relates to working for others as far as houses are concerned, BUT, I've no doubt working on your own gas system in a house would invalidate any insurance you might have.

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pepe63 - 2011-04-07 8:41 AM

 

Thanks for the replies.

.

Point taken about renewing the original hose..and we've already got a bottle reg & hose set-up,that we use for cooking outside on,so that isn't really a problem..

 

But Sod's Law says it would fail when we're on a festival site for a week and with the fridge not work I'd have warm beer..NOOOOoooo!!..:-S

 

..and as I've already got a spare reg' knocking about anyway(..which I didn't know I had *-) ),along with plenty of hose and clips,it makes sense just to prep' it as a "get by" fix..

(..but I was just a little unsure of the actual size the fitting is likely to be... :$ )

 

As your Chausson (apparently) has 8mm OD metal gas-pipework, then, logically you'd need an 8mm fitting to match. See:

 

http://www.gasproducts.co.uk/acatalog/Fulham_Gas_Hose_Nozzle_x_8mm_Compression.html

 

There is a potential problem with your plan as there's no guarantee - should you ever need to mount the nozzle-fitting to your motorhome's pipework in place of the current regulator - that the existing 'olive' on the pipework will make a gas-tight seal with the nozzle-fitting.

 

Best practice would be to use the new olive that would be supplied with the nozzle-fitting. However, to fit a new olive would require the existing one to be removed and that may prove impracticable without cutting (and consequently shortening) the metal pipework.

 

Realistically, I suspect that the risk of not being able to obtain a gas-tight seal will be relatively small. I've had to replace two failed regulators on my Hobby and I've never had a problem obtaining a seal using the original olive.

 

If you are really concerned about your current regulator failing at the worst possible moment, you'd probably be better off purchasing an identical replacement regulator rather than fiddle about with a Fulham nozzle, low-pressure hose and worm-drive clips. That way - if your regulator fails - replacement should be pretty straightforward (though there's still the risk of the 'old' olive not sealing properly).

 

Received wisdom nowadays is that 'clogging' of regulators is due to constituents in the LPG itself and that replacing rubber hoses with metal-core ones or replacing one brand of regulator with another will not guarantee that you will never experience the problem.

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Thanks for that response Derek..

That looks like the fitting!. ;-)

(..I just wasn't sure if the male fitting that came from the original reg' was/could differ in someway,meaning that the nut would've been different :$ ).

Thanks for clearing that that up for me...

 

The only reason I'm not just carrying a spare bulkhead reg',is that apart from that hose fitting,we've already got the "bits" knocking about... :-)

 

 

That's intersting what you say about it being the gunk in the LPG causing the some of the problems,rather than it just being down to the hoses...

 

Thanks again..

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I agree with Colin that the Law is a bit vague on this issue. If you look in an accessory store there is a notice beside the gas parts that states 'they should ONLY be fitted by a competent person' What exactly defines a person as 'competent' is not explained., however any workshop will advise that a fitter should have been trained in caravan/motorhome gas systems before being allowed to work on them. That does not normally include the owner.

 

However, it is the case that if you submit an outfit for a service or habitation check and the workshop feels the system has been modified/tampered in a way they feel is incorrect, thay can and do, refuse to work on the outfit until it is corrected to their satisfaction. This may or may not be an issue unless you have a Warranty to try and maintain.

 

Of course if you have made a bodge job of the system, then it is better to get it fixed correctly. Of course a domestic system is another matter, although even here the so called experts can get it wrong.

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Dave225 - 2011-04-15 8:20 PM

 

I agree with Colin that the Law is a bit vague on this issue. If you look in an accessory store there is a notice beside the gas parts that states 'they should ONLY be fitted by a competent person' What exactly defines a person as 'competent' is not explained., however any workshop will advise that a fitter should have been trained in caravan/motorhome gas systems before being allowed to work on them. That does not normally include the owner.

 

However, it is the case that if you submit an outfit for a service or habitation check and the workshop feels the system has been modified/tampered in a way they feel is incorrect, thay can and do, refuse to work on the outfit until it is corrected to their satisfaction. This may or may not be an issue unless you have a Warranty to try and maintain.

 

Of course if you have made a bodge job of the system, then it is better to get it fixed correctly. Of course a domestic system is another matter, although even here the so called experts can get it wrong.

 

As far as I'm aware there are currently no UK regulations legally inhibiting owners of caravans or motorhomes from DIY-fiddling about with their leisure vehicles' gas systems. Whether owners are properly trained or not, competent or not, there's no legal impediment preventing them from replacing regulators, installing refillable gas bottles or tanks, replacing gas heaters, adding BBQ points, etc. It's not a question of "vagueness of the law" - if a caravan/motorhome owner chooses to carry out DIY work on his/her vehicle's gas system, there's no legal reason why they cannot do this.

 

DIY on leisure-vehicle gas systems is mentioned on the followiing link:

 

http://www.a-tconsulting.co.uk/caravan_tech/gas_matters.html

 

Although it is undoubtedly best practice that caravan/motorhome owners leave gas-related work to 'professionals', best practice is not the same as legal obligation.

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Without trying to raise any contentious issue I have since learned that the definition of 'competent' is someone who has a full understanding of what they are doing, an understanding of all the relevant regulations, and all the necessary equipment to complete the job safely.

 

Although your average owner is probably aware of the dangers of gas etc and has in the past happily, and safely changed olive connections etc, it is unlikely the average DIY'er would have the correct (and quite expensive) equipment handy to do the correct safety checks. To work on gas systems in an Approved Workshop requires completion of a 5 day training course as a minimum and again I doubt that most of us have gone that far.

 

Changing a bulkhead mounted regulator is possibly ok, if you are in a bind, if you have a good idea of what you are doing and it has the advantage of being in a separate locker with drain holes so if per chance there was any leakage, the gas drops out. I personally would never touch anything inside the outfit, as my healthh and safety are at risk.

 

There is also my other point that any workshop can refuse to touch your outfit if they feel the system is, in their opinion, unsafe.

 

If you wish these are the points I feel led to my comment regarding 'vagueness'. Yes, there is nothing legally stopping you doing the work, but fulfilling the terms of 'competent' may be beyond most of us. It would have been far better for there to be a regulation stating exactly what you can, and cannot do yourself.

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The problem is finding a truly competent person.

 

When we bought a new narrowboat some years ago, we had a serious smell of gas which is serious in a boat.

 

When the boat builder's mechanic came out to us he found that the gas pressure test point had been over tightened by the trained boat safety inspector, who was also the boat builder, so causing a gas leak.

 

We also bought a new Autosleeper in 2003 which also had several leaking joints underneath the van.

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One way to help avoid regulator clogging is to ensure that the pigtails only ever run downhill - with no upward loops or bends - from regulator to bottle so that any gunge coming out of the bottle can't run uphill and has to run back down to where it originated - the bottle.

 

Although I too have spare bottle regulators and all the fittings I carry a spare bulkhead mounted regulator just in case as it is very simple to change like for like in the dark, wet and cold - which is when Dr Sodde recommends a regulator failure occur!

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Dave225 - 2011-04-16 4:34 PM

 

Without trying to raise any contentious issue I have since learned that the definition of 'competent' is someone who has a full understanding of what they are doing, an understanding of all the relevant regulations, and all the necessary equipment to complete the job safely.

 

Although your average owner is probably aware of the dangers of gas etc and has in the past happily, and safely changed olive connections etc, it is unlikely the average DIY'er would have the correct (and quite expensive) equipment handy to do the correct safety checks. To work on gas systems in an Approved Workshop requires completion of a 5 day training course as a minimum and again I doubt that most of us have gone that far.

 

Changing a bulkhead mounted regulator is possibly ok, if you are in a bind, if you have a good idea of what you are doing and it has the advantage of being in a separate locker with drain holes so if per chance there was any leakage, the gas drops out. I personally would never touch anything inside the outfit, as my healthh and safety are at risk.

 

There is also my other point that any workshop can refuse to touch your outfit if they feel the system is, in their opinion, unsafe.

 

If you wish these are the points I feel led to my comment regarding 'vagueness'. Yes, there is nothing legally stopping you doing the work, but fulfilling the terms of 'competent' may be beyond most of us. It would have been far better for there to be a regulation stating exactly what you can, and cannot do yourself.

 

It's all a question of how an individual competence, knowing your limitations & how you perseive RISK.

All this negativity induced by a long term of Nanny oriented Labour Government, incapable of making a descision without referal to so called Ex-perts. The EX refering to the majority of them beyond the point of actually doing a Trade Job.

I have converted 3 Vans in the past, no Nannies overlooking me then & I never had a problem with any systems I installed.

So if you don't think you are capable of fitting a replacement Regulator, fine don't do it. BUT please don't preach that none of us should.

What next, not allowing us to change an Oil Filter because there is a perceived risk that it will drop off and leave a trail of Oil down the road - BUNKUM.

Elf & Safety (in it's present form) are killing this country, lets hope David Cameron has this on his list to sort next.

I accept I am hopeless at Wallpapering, but know that is one of my limitations so I don't even start to look at that Job. (& it's not due to working at Heights.) :D

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I'm with you on this John but when people ask such basic questions that it throws into doubt their ability to both find out how and what to use and thereby how to do the job I am tempted to say that if you need to ask - don't try doing it yourself?

 

I'm the other extreme - I'll take almost anything apart first and then consider how to get it back together afterwards and, like you, I've never been beaten yet - except electronics - which still baffles me - but it is surprising what you can repair and get away with if you apply a little ingenuity!!

 

 

 

 

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I do hope this comment wasn't aimed at me and my op ?!? :-S

 

Tracker - 2011-04-16 11:27 PM

... when people ask such basic questions that it throws into doubt their ability to both find out how and what to use and thereby how to do the job I am tempted to say that if you need to ask - don't try doing it yourself?

 

If it was..I assure you Mr Tracker that you have no need to doubt my ability or competance(..as I was a service engineer working on MOD drops units which involved dealing with hydraulic,electrical and pneumatic systems!)

 

As I've already posted,the sole reason for my op was quite simply to correctly identify the required fitting,prior to ordering online..it's a pity we can't be as "all knowing" as you isn't it.. *-)

 

..and you wonder why you rub people up the wrong way..:-S

(..*awaits the usually stream of self-righteous Trackerisms*...)

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I was talking in general terms Pepe but you are right your original posting does fit the bill perfectly - so if the cap fits please feel free to wear it!

 

Just because you have very expensive MOD training does not mean you have the ability and common sense needed to work on gas fittings or motorhomes which are far more complex than any aircraft and where there are no instruction manuals or official check lists - all in duplicate of course!!

 

Far from knowing it all I often ask for help - but having a little self taught experience of things mechanical etc and a lot of common sense I do try and do some of my own basic research first - or at least until I run out of ideas!

 

It's good to see some humour in your posting and now it's your turn to be offended again!

 

 

 

 

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...and on..and on...I'm starting to see where Judge' and others are coming from now *-)

 

(Oh..and it wasn't an "expensive mod training" either,before you start bleeting on about any "public sector/tax payers' money" nonsense.. ;-) )

 

...and neither am I offended..just a little puzzled as to why you continually feel the need to snipe, pick holes and generally try to belittle people who post on here asking for advice.. :-S

 

So apologies and thanks for the members who have contributed to the thread in a positive,helpful and non sanctimonious manner.. :-)

 

 

 

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It's strange, but not unexpected, how you choose to ignore the helpful postings and just pick on the ones that you don't like - but I will accept your kind thanks, as indeed many others have been gracious enough to convey to me, for my positive and helpful postings over several years on many threads.

 

Next, if you can show me anyone else who you consider that I have sniped at, picked on, or belittled when advice was sought I would be happy to set the record straight.

 

No? I thought not! Apology due from you I think?

 

Did I mention public money? No - I thought not - so why did you feel the need?

 

Sanctimonious - now there's a nice word - I couldn't have described your posting better myself!

 

I don't mind you having a pop at me when you think I am wrong but I would be grateful if would stick to reality - and please don't invent comments just to support your own thoughts.

 

On and on eh? All I am doing is responding to your rants - you stop ranting and I'll stop responding!!

 

Simples!!

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What pepe63 is suggesting doing is modifying his motorhome's gas system (that includes a bulkhead-mounted regulator) so that a bottle-mounted regulator may be used as an alternative in an emergency.

 

The plan involves removing the existing regulator and replacing it with a Fulham gas-hose nozzle to which can be attached a flexible hose leading to a bottle-mounted regulator and using (presumably) worm-drive clips to secure the hose at each end.

 

In principle, this plan is striaightforward - in practice, it's a potential nest of worms.

 

Assuming that the regulator is easily removable in an emergency (some motorhome manufacturers attach them with pop rivets) then the first thing to ensure is that the Fulham gas-hose nozzle has a fitting to match the diameter of the motorhome's existing metal gas pipework. When attempting to fit the nozzle, there's the possibility that the female nut already fitted to the gas pipework will differ from the nut supplied with the nozzle in, say, interior depth. Even if the existing female nut and the nozzle are compatible, there's no certainty that it will be possible to attain a gas-tight joint using the orginal 'olive'. If a new olive is needed, then the metal pipework will probably need to be cut. If the pipework is soft copper, then care will be required when tightening the nozzle's compression fitting.

 

Even if it turns out to be practicable to fit the nozzle successfully, it needs to be asked whether the on-bottle regulator matches the operating pressure of the bulkhead-mounted one (which is probably 30mbar) and, if not, whether running the motorhome's gas appliances at the 'wrong' pressure will matter in terms of safety.

 

 

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Some good points there Derek. As all new vans have been fitted with the 30mb regulator since about 2003, when some 'expert' in the EU decided that high pressure flexible hoses should become compulsory, it is quite possible that some of the gas equipment designed since then would not operate satisfactorily on the old different propane and butane pressures, from memory 37mb for propane and 28mb for butane.
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Thank you both for your helpful input.. :-)

 

Derek,I take your point as to the possible difficulties in ensuring that the original nut & olive mates to any replacement fitting/regulator(..even if/when swapping "like for like").

and as you say,I may find that the only sure way of doing that would be to cut the pipe and fit a new nut an olive anyway...but I suppose I'll only find that out at the time.. :-)

 

(...and as you are aware, identifing the exact fitting,was the very reason I started the thread..)

 

The point concerning the differing pressures..looking at the "tech/ID label" in the back of the fridge(..which is all I would need it to supply),it shows..

 

P - 30mb/37mb

.

..going by this I *assumed* that a 37mb bottle reg' would be okay as a "get by fix"..is that not correct? :$

(..I am aware that fridges are the most pernickety appliance when it come to gas pressures...)

 

 

Thanks again :-)

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JamesFrance - 2011-04-18 10:31 AM

 

...when some 'expert' in the EU decided that high pressure flexible hoses should become compulsory...

 

Not so...

 

In the early 21st century EU countries were still manufacturing caravans/motorhomes with significantly different national 'norms' for their gas systems. Germany had settled for 30mbar regulation, the UK was using 28mbar(butane) or 37mbar(propane) on-bottle regulators and a low-presure flexible hose, France was also employing 28mbar/37mbar regulators but with a bulkhead-mounted regulator and a high-pressure flexible hose, etc.

 

To quote John Wickersham ("Build Your Own Motorcaravan"):

 

"Since 2003, a standardised gas pressure of 30mbar has been adopted for motorcaravans throughout member countries of the European Union. Therefore, all current gas appliances are built to run at a pressure of 30mbar and are labelled accordingly....The 30mbar regulator is also designed so that it can accept both butane and propane. The manufacturers in most countries have also mounted the 30mbar regulator permanently on a bulkhead panel near the gas cylinders thereby forming an integral part of the fixed pipework."

 

So it's the 30mbar regulation standard that's been adopted (for leisure-vehicles ONLY) by the EU, not the type of gas-hose. There's nothing preventing a leisure-vehicle manufacturer meeting that standard by fitting a bottle-mounted 30mbar regulator and low-pressure ga-hose provided this practice conforms to the national rules of the country where the vehicle is to be marketed. German manufacturers have certainly done this and my own Germany-bought 2005 Hobby came with that arrangement - however, this set-up would not be acceptable if the vehicle had been marketed in France as French national rules prohibit use of on-bottle regulators for leisure-vehicles.

 

 

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pepe63 - 2011-04-18 12:17 PM

 

Thank you both for your helpful input.. :-)

 

Derek,I take your point as to the possible difficulties in ensuring that the original nut & olive mates to any replacement fitting/regulator(..even if/when swapping "like for like").

and as you say,I may find that the only sure way of doing that would be to cut the pipe and fit a new nut an olive anyway...but I suppose I'll only find that out at the time.. :-)

 

(...and as you are aware, identifing the exact fitting,was the very reason I started the thread..)

 

The point concerning the differing pressures..looking at the "tech/ID label" in the back of the fridge(..which is all I would need it to supply),it shows..

 

P - 30mb/37mb

.

..going by this I *assumed* that a 37mb bottle reg' would be okay as a "get by fix"..is that not correct? :$

(..I am aware that fridges are the most pernickety appliance when it come to gas pressures...)

 

 

Thanks again :-)

 

Realistically, I don't envisage any great risk in temporarily using a 37mbar on-bottle regulator with a gas system designed for 30mbar. Your fridge is apparently designed to cope with either pressure and it's likely that your Chausson's other gas appliances will be similarly tolerant. Plainly, if you found that your hob was acting like a flame-thrower at 37mbar you'd have to (rapidly!) think again, but I can't see that happening.

 

I wonder whether you actually need the Fulham gas-hose nozzle...

 

If there's a reasonable length of metal gas pipe on the outlet side of your current 30mbar regulator, you might be able to just slide the nut of the regulator's compression-fitting back along the pipe and then attach a piece of LOW-PRESSURE gas hose directly to the pipe. I'd guess that it should be possible to push that type of fairly-soft hose over the olive already on the pipe and then clamp the hose securely 'downstream' of the olive with a worm-drive clip. For this ploy to have any chance of success would obviously depend on your present installation, but, if it were practicable, it should avoid any need to perform hacksaw surgery on the metal pipework.

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