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Stove flame suddenly has yellow tips...


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We've been living full time in our Buccaneer for about 6 weeks and I noticed today that the blue stove flames have suddenly got yellow tips. I'm guessing this indicates partial combustion  with the potential for CO poisoning? The only change to the van set up is that I have attached a larger patio gas bottle via an adaptor (see earlier post). However the bulkhead regulator is pointing to the on board propane bottle so the patio gas shouldn't be being used. Any ideas as to whats happening? 

Russ

 

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Russ, I believe that you're correct, yellow flames mean partial combustion. When I was a working man, I worked for BT and we had gas appliances in them. If any started showing yellow flames, we were instructed to return the van to our garage and get them checked. It was usually caused by the oily content of the bottled gas. Maybe you should contact a mobile gas service engineer for your own peace of mind.

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Yellow tips can also be caused by impurities in the gas and/or dust in the air intake.

Worth getting a CO meter or alarm.

Edited by Stevan
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When you say “stove flames” do you meant the caravans cooker or the heater? 

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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1 minute ago, Mr Plodd said:

When you say “stove flames” do you meant the caravans cooker or the heater? 

 

Just cooker. We have electric hook up for heating.

I disconnected the patio gas cylinder and the flames returned to blue.

Perhaps its the regulator not liking the patio gas?  

 

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4 hours ago, RussJ759 said:

Just cooker. We have electric hook up for heating.

I disconnected the patio gas cylinder and the flames returned to blue.

Perhaps its the regulator not liking the patio gas?  

 

 

The regulator does just that, it regulates (lowers)  the pressure from the cylinder!! So there’s nothing for it to “not to like”  

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I thought that there were different regulators for propane or butane?

If its not the regulator then perhaps the jet size is wrong on the stove?

I believe that patio gas is a mix of propane and butane and could have different burning requirements to pure propane.

If its not easily fixable then I'll have to swop to a new propane cylinder.

Russ

 

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If you have a bulkhead regulator, then the only difference is the pigtail. 
The jet size will have nothing to do with it. 
Depending on the size of the bottle the regulator needs to be higher than the outlet of the bottle

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Could be you are running out of gas OR more likely the gas is not boiling off quickly enough to feed the demand. Given the cold weather you are of course using Propane aren't you?

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14 minutes ago, Woodentop said:

Could be you are running out of gas OR more likely the gas is not boiling off quickly enough to feed the demand. Given the cold weather you are of course using Propane aren't you?

 Been happening for 6 weeks but isn't patio gas a mixture propane and butane?

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1 hour ago, Squash said:

 Been happening for 6 weeks but isn't patio gas a mixture propane and butane?

 

There you have it!   Patio gas is the same as the gas in my blow-lamp cylinder which clearly states that it''s a mixture of Butane and Propane.   Since a Butane regulator is designed to run at 28mB and a Propane at 37mB,  the regulator in the OP's outfit is either a 28mB or a 37mB.   So the patio gas won't burn correctly.

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3 minutes ago, Jaydug said:

 

There you have it!   Patio gas is the same as the gas in my blow-lamp cylinder which clearly states that it''s a mixture of Butane and Propane.   Since a Butane regulator is designed to run at 28mB and a Propane at 37mB,  the regulator in the OP's outfit is either a 28mB or a 37mB.   So the patio gas won't burn correctly.

A bulkhead regulator and appliances designed to use one are set to an inbetween pressure and work correctly on either Butane or Propane, or any mixture of the two.

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1 hour ago, Jaydug said:

 

There you have it!   Patio gas is the same as the gas in my blow-lamp cylinder which clearly states that it''s a mixture of Butane and Propane.   Since a Butane regulator is designed to run at 28mB and a Propane at 37mB,  the regulator in the OP's outfit is either a 28mB or a 37mB.   So the patio gas won't burn correctly.


But the bulkhead regulator fitted in caravans is suitable for either propane or butane, you don’t change the bulkhead regulator to suit the gas, just the pigtail to fit the gas bottle.

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As Steven said the fitted Whale 924 bulkhead regulator will work with either Propane or Butane so its not that causing a problem. I have read elsewhere that butane can burn with yellow tips in cold weather and provided it isn't a smokey flame, all is OK,

I have a CO alarm fitted so will get warning if there is an issue. I would be more worried if we were using gas for heating....

Russ

 

 

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:


But the bulkhead regulator fitted in caravans is suitable for either propane or butane,

 

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Calor Patio Gas is 100% PROPANE as clearly stated on Calor's page here:  https://shop.calor.co.uk/gas-bottles/patio-gas-bottles.html so a Butane / Propane mix is not the reason.

Same as in the UK LPG at garages and to CH storage tanks the gas is 100% propane.

 

Russ:  Is yellow when switched to use the patio cylinder or only when it's connected and 'on'? 

How much gas is left in the other propane 'in use' cylinder?

 

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I spoke to the local Calor gas centre this morning and they have confirmed that the only difference between a patio gas cylinder and a propane cylinder is the connection, not the content  - " clip on" 27mm for patio and standard screw in for propane.

So, no point in swapping out my patio gas cylinder for propane.

The chap wasn't sure why my flame colour should have changed but said it may be that the external cylinder temperature is lower than the one in the  locker or possibly some oil/grease leftover from manufacture of the long pigtail or the clip on adaptor which will flush out in time.

Making tea this morning, I did notice that the flame was less yellow which is promising...

 

I also was told that the bulkead regulator gauge does not change gradually as the gas runs out but shows green until empty and then flicks over to red.

So I'll continue to use the current arrangement but keep an eye on the flame and check for "sooting up" on the kettle etc.

 

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the thread - I learned a lot.

Russ

 

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Thanks for keeping us up to date Russ.

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7 minutes ago, RussJ759 said:

or possibly some oil/grease leftover from manufacture of the long pigtail or the clip on adaptor which will flush out in time.

 

This has been done to death on many forums, and is a fallacy, there is no oil or grease left over from these processes on pigtails or fittings, any oily / greasy deposits, ( it looks more like soft wax)  in pipework regulator or jets and is well known, or should be, in the bottled gas industry and are known as ' heavy ends .'

 

The phenomena is known about in the camping, sailing, house boat, occasionally in the LPG car or static engine  situations etc and comes about as a gradual accumulation over the years, depending on the volume off gas having been used and the head scratching problem raise its head due to pipework layout where there are low points that can form a ' sump ' for the heavy ends which are suspended in the gas and condense out, all be it in minute quantities, but can build up over time.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Silversurf said:

 

This has been done to death on many forums, and is a fallacy, there is no oil or grease left over from these processes on pigtails or fittings, any oily / greasy deposits, ( it looks more like soft wax)  in pipework regulator or jets and is well known, or should be, in the bottled gas industry and are known as ' heavy ends .'

 

The phenomena is known about in the camping, sailing, house boat, occasionally in the LPG car or static engine  situations etc and comes about as a gradual accumulation over the years, depending on the volume off gas having been used and the head scratching problem raise its head due to pipework layout where there are low points that can form a ' sump ' for the heavy ends which are suspended in the gas and condense out, all be it in minute quantities, but can build up over time.

 

 

Absolutely! At one time I had a car adapted to LPG, and the evaporator had a drain cock so that the heavy ends could be blown out periodically. I have no doubt that the yellow tips are due to poor combustion of these heavy ends.

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