You can fill up a propane tank, at least not all the way. If you do, then you would get liquid propane running through your system and that could be risky. The bleeder valve stops the refilling at 80% so you get gas and not liquid in your propane lines.
The bleeder valve is attached as a solid piece to your regulator valve. It is lower than the handle you turn to shut the propane on or off. Usually, it takes a screwdriver to open the screw that opens the bleeder valve. Then when you see propane coming out, you just tighten the screw to shut the valve off.
To learn more about bleeder valves and their job, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can handle any repairs with ease and confidence. Take a few minutes to see how this important information can help you.
The bleeder valve is right below the valve handle that turns the propane on or off. It is a little lower than the fill valve so that it can tell the propane dealer when to turn the propane supply off.
Once you see propane spurting out of this valve, you know that the tank is 80% full and you should not add any more propane to the tank. Propane is a gas that needs room to expand before it gets to a flame.
Make sure to double-check to see that you have tightened the screw back up. Leaving it slightly open means that some of the propane will escape and you will lose a lot of fuel.
The bleeder valve is a safety device. It is attached to what is called the dip and that dip is a tube that extends down into your tank and stops at the 80% mark. Once the propane has reached that level, it will go up the dip tube and out the bleeder valve if it is open.
When you see propane coming out of the valve, you know you have reached the end of the tank that can be filled with propane. You have to be careful when refilling a propane tank.
The dip tube is not supposed to be submerged in actual liquid propane. It needs to remain in the vapor space for the bleeder valve to work properly. Some dealers do not use the bleeder valve as their nozzles and tanks are designed to stop refilling automatically once the propane tank is 80% full.
80% is the maximum safe capacity for propane tanks.
The reason the bleeder valve is on a propane tank is for the reason to prevent accidents from happening. Those accidents take place when a propane tank is overfilled. The type of accidents that can happen range from leaks to explosions.
What you need to do when you suspect the tank has been over-filled with propane. is to take the tank to a safe spot, and open the bleeder valve. You should see spitting and spurting take place as the extra propane leaves the tank through the valve.
Once the spitting has stopped, your tank should be okay and the gas has room to expand. The key to bleeding your tank is to make sure you closed the bleeder valve tightly. You do not want any leaks.
If you hear a hiss coming from the tank, check the valve to see if it is fully closed or not.
The main reason you can’t open the valve is that it may have frozen on you. If you are camping in very cold weather, this is the most common issue. The source of this issue is the moisture that is inside the tank.
Another common source of this problem is that there is a small rubber gasket on the inside end of the bleeder valve. It does come off and block the opening making it so you can’t open the valve.
This is a repair for a propane dealer, not one of the smaller refill outlets, to get the valve removed and repaired. They should also clean the valve area to make sure that it is operating correctly and there are no obstructions.
Other than that, you may have a defective valve which means you have to replace the whole assembly. Again, not a DIY task but a distributor task.
When you are having this trouble, you should not try to fix it yourself. One reason is that you have no place to transfer the gas before working on the valve. Another reason is that you have to make sure the tank is empty before removing the parts. Not always something a DIYer can do.
The best way to handle this problem is to let the experts and the professionals handle it. They will have all the necessary tools and equipment to get the job done right. Plus, they have the training to handle this repair.
When we say experts and professionals, we do not mean take the tank to the refill stations. You need to take it to a distributor who has trained technicians on staff. This is a simple repair but it is also a risky one that requires gentle handling.
If the valve is frozen sometimes you just have to let it sit in a warm location until it is thawed out. That is an option you can do yourself but beyond that, let the pros handle the work. Take the safest routes possible to protect yourself from injury.
Normally this happens when you do not tighten the set screw up tight enough. It is a simple thing to forget to do or think you have done. Sometimes you get distracted and you do not tighten the screw all the way.
If you hear a hissing sound coming from the bleeder valve, then look to the screw first and check to see if it is loose. If you still hear the hiss there are two sources for this problem.
The first is that there is dirt or obstruction somewhere in the valve. The second is a faulty valve. Both of these sources require professionals to handle the repair work. This is not something that should be done by you.
In the case of a faulty valve, you will need to replace it and there is no other solution for that problem. In case of obstruction, then the valve simply needs to be cleaned and the gasket returned to its proper place.
This part may or may not be found in your big box store outlets. It may be but it is more of a specialty part so do not be surprised if they do not carry this screw. This may be found in propane supply and parts outlets, hardware stores or similar outlets.
It may take some hard searching as the outlets we came across in a simple search either did not have it in stock, listed for sale, or were selling the complete valve only. But you can contact them and ask
In most cases, the screw is not going to be the source of your problem. It will be the bleeder or pressure release valve that has gone bad. The screw is just a simple part with a simple task. It should not go bad on you.
You can try spraying the screw or the valve with some rust cutting lubricants but these valves are made from brass and there may be no rust or corrosion on them. Usually, when a bleeder valve gets stuck, it means that the temperatures are extremely cold and the moisture inside has frozen the valve shut.
If you can, you need to remove the propane tank from its spot and place it n a warn, safe location until the moisture thaws out. If this does not do the trick, the valve gasket may have fallen off or some debris has clogged up the threads or opening and stopped the valve from working.
When that is the case, you need to take your propane tank to a distributor who has the trained people to clean the valve and repair it.
The bleeder valve is an important safety device. When it goes wrong, there is a limited number of sources to look at. Most of those sources need to be handled by professionals in a safe environment. It is not generally a DIY repair situation.
Also, the bleeder valve is there for your protection so treat it right. It protects you and lets you know when there is a leak.