Written by TW Williams

All too often we hear stories of a gas leak leading to an explosion that frequently causes damage to property and sometimes even causes the loss of life. It’s made even more tragic by the fact that this type of problem is easily preventable provided you take the necessary steps. It’s best to start by understanding one thing. You must leak test all gas systems. It has always been a goal of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) to require all LP gas systems, put into service or interrupted during service, to be leak tested. This link is an example of a ‘Gas Check’ form as provided by the Propane Education and Research Council. This form and participation in the ‘Gas Check’ program are voluntary. However, most LP gas dealers in the US incorporate some form of documentation. Leak testing can be done in all manner of different ways with all manner of different pieces of equipment. The simplest way that I’ve found is using a non-alkaline based soap solution such as our leak detection solutions by Winton Products. Do not use household dish detergents as they contain alkaline and will cause corrosion which will in turn create leaks in other places that you may not expect.

Presto Tap Gauge Operation

The Presto-Tap leak detection system has been gaining popularity with both industry professionals and manufacturer’s alike. The Presto-Tap leak detection system is a relatively new product with an old school approach. It’s based on the relationship of vapor pressure to liquid temperature of propane inside the container. Each mechanical gauge is designed for specific segments of the LP gas system. Most fixed piping systems have 3-4 segments that need to be tested. The first segment is the container pressure (0-300 psi). Next is the first stage regulator (0-30 psi) and the second stage or intermediate stage regulator (0-5 psi in a 2 psi system or 0-30 inWC) is a final stage at the appliance inlet. It should be emphasized that, in most cases, the most accurate point to leak test is between the container service valve and first stage regulator. This is due to the smaller cross sectional volume of the connection and the resulting drop in pressure is noticed quicker than any other section of the piping system. Propane marketers are now able to utilize delivery technicians to perform a leak test on ‘out of gas’ deliveries without the use of tools. Knowing the relative temperature of your surroundings will help give you an approximate propane liquid temperature which will, in turn, aid you in determining if the container has experienced an ‘all out.’ The following chart is a relative comparison of the vapor pressure of propane and it’s liquid temperature.

Temperature VS Pressure The 0-300 PSI gauge would be used between the container and the first stage regulator by incorporating the Presto-Tap pigtail. NFPA 54-2012 edition, 8.2 and Annex C.3-(2)(a)(b)(c) offers guidance on the correct procedures to follow in the event of an ‘out of gas’ call and should be part of every LP Gas dealer’s written procedure. For more detailed instruction on how to use the Presto-Tap LDS System, check out this brief presentation. Tarantin Industries carries the complete line of Presto-Tap gauges and accessories and Engineered Controls, aka RegO products, now offers a variety of service valves and pigtails with Presto-Tap installed for your convenience. Visit our website at www.Tarantin.com for more information.


Salesman TW Williams

TW Williams

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