Chris The Curious

Looking for a regulator

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Gettin' all the pieces gathered for my forge build.  I'm looking for a regulator.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't I be looking for a max 20psi regulator?  I think I've heard something about a "red top regulator" being mentioned.  Can't seem to find anything like that on-line in searches.  I've also heard the regulators sold for oxy/acetylene rigs work great............is that correct?  Those are pretty expensive, I'd think.

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Go to Amazon.com, and input "propane regulator." Take the time to  read up on and think about the various regulators you'll find listed there.

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Search, "Adjustable High Pressure Propane Regulator." You want 0-30psi.

Be wary of people who "SAY" things like oxy acet regulators work GREAT with propane. This is ONLY true if the regulator is rated for propane, otherwise it's a serious safety hazard. Propane is NOT Mr. rubber's friend unless it's a special rubber.

Chris: Please bounce what you see and read online off us BEFORE acting on it. We'll warn you away from the crazy dangerous moronity prevalent online.

Frosty The Lucky.

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So what did your local propane dealer suggest when you asked them about a 0-30 psi regulator?

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Mine? :huh: They're on the shelf to your left around the corner as you leave the show room into the shop / warehouse area. About $30 last time I checked. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks, Frosty.........I appreciate the offer to help.  Regulators aren't within my expertise, to say the least.    Don't know the first thing about them to be completely honest.  Going on-line, one looks just as good as another.  I'm also getting to the bottom of my "money bucket" at this point. 

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I once got one for US$2 off a turkey fryer. Fellow at the fleamarket hadn't packed it well and the hose flopped out and ground the brass connector half off on his way to the fleamarket.  So he sold me it for $2 and I took off that connector and replaced it with one from an old propane grill---one with the large opening through it.  Worked a treat for a decade+

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Just don't get in a hurry Chris, slow and steady will get you there faster and by a smoother trail. 

Anyway, lots of us enjoy helping folks and it can be easy to step into something dangerous without knowing, especially following the recommendations of some guy on the internet. Mostly I don't have enough friends I can afford to lose one if I can help it.

IIRC, Propanewarehouse had good prices and gave a break on "packages". Reg, gauge, hose, fittings. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks, Thomas. 

Thanks, Frosty, I'll check there.

 

7 hours ago, Frosty said:

slow and steady will get you there faster and by a smoother trail.

 

Sounds as if you've taken some handgun training!  "Slow and steady makes for faster and more accurate".  ;)

 

Frosty,

Is a rubber hose okay for this purpose............or should I plan on a shielded?

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A lot depends on how your system is set up and used.  I've never had a problem using a PROPANE RATED plain hose even with students around; but it is run so it can't overheat or accidently come in contact with hot steel.  If you build and position a burner such that the chimney effect heats the head when you shutdown or the exhaust heats the hose in use you WILL have problems. 

A "rubber" hose won't work, an acetylene hose won't work UNLESS IT"S RATED FOR PROPANE. ("T" as I recall).  I found a propane supplier locally who sold propane rated hose by the foot.  I later picked up some coleman propane hoses at a garage sale, still in the unopened original packages.

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Thanks, Thomas.  By "rubber", I meant rubber propane hose.  The way my setup will be laid out, the hose won't be anywhere near the forge, or anything hot.  Just wondering if I "have" to buy the more expensive braided metal hose.

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It's something to be fussy about as propane leaks can get you on the news!  (And many people assume, wrongly, that if it's ok for Acetylene it must be ok for propane!)

Some folks have run their hoses through metal pipe if they have to cross a impact danger zone.

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As others have said, you really do want a 0-30 adjustable.  I started with a 0-20, and had to go bigger.

If you want to go brand name, the marshall excelsior part number in the 6120-30.  But that doesnt have the POL adapter to fit the tank.  But with the NPT fittings you could use pipe from the regulator to the forge and not have to worry about rubber hose.

 

 

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Thanks, Vern, I hadn't even considered "hard" plumbing.  Makes sense...........Not going to have to travel but about 3 feet at the most.  Thanks for waking me up!

I'll still need to get a gauge to go in the line.  But that saves the cost of the hose.

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3 hours ago, Chris The Curious said:

I'll still need to get a gauge to go in the line.

No you don't. You don't tune by the gauge you tune by ear. The ONLY thing gauges are really good for is repeatability if you make a habit of changing heat frequently. The other things gauges are commonly used for is to tell other people at what psi someone THINKS a burner should run. It doesn't matter what my burners run under where you live. 

Just leave the gauge fitting on the regulator plugged. If for some reason down the road you just MUST have one, install one or put a T fitting in on the output side of the regulator if it doesn't have a fitting. Psi isn't going to change between the reg and the burner jets, a LITTLE passing through a needle valve.

I've had a gauge on my forge I don't know how many years and had to use Windex to clean it enough to read when I couldn't believe the min -max range under which NARB appeared to be working. Still didn't tell me NARB is stable stop to stop on a 0-30 psi regulator and the gauge doesn't read either end. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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I've been reading reviews on Adjustable Regulators until I'm blue in the face.  Every one I look at has many positive and many negative comments.  Is there a regulator out there that is consistent in it's dispensing of propane ?

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I wouldnt read too much into the reviews, its heating a forge, not running a finiky furnace.

 

But the big three in terms of quality are MEC (Marshall Excelsior), Fisher, and Rego.  

 

*Edited to add: I think you may be overthinking it, pick one that looks good and go for it.*

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Vern has it right.

Basically, a few extra dollars now means you avoid hassle and disappointment down the road.

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15 hours ago, vern509 said:

I think you may be overthinking it, pick one that looks good and go for it.

Ha-ha..................overthinking is my middle name.  But thanks for reminding me. 

As Mikey suggested, I just don't want the hassle or disappointment down the road because I tried to save a buck.

Okay, so this is the one I'll go with.  It's the same one they use on the forges where I go on Thursday night.

 

Regulator.JPG

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Excellent choice but it'll probably only last a couple generations after you pass it on. :rolleyes: The brass plug is where you connect a gauge but leave it plugged. Reading numbers off a gauge mean NOTHING you'll be tuning by ear whatever you build as a final burner. Gauges are only useful for repeatability IF you actually need different specific temperatures in your forge. That's a MAYBE down the road a ways. Unless your hearing is worse than mine, the sound and look of the flame will mean a LOT more than gauge ever will. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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The hose that's coming with the regulator is 1/4" ID.......................so that means I should get a 1/4" needle valve and 1/4-turn shut off valve......yes?

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Nope, 1/4" is the hose ID, not the size of the fittings. Propane fittings are typically 3/8" tapered pipe but Regulators themselves not always. Look at the valves and fittings offered on the site you ordered from and buy THOSE size fittings. Or you can do what I do, take your new regulator & hose to a REAL plumbing, HVAC supply (NOT a big box or hardware store) and try fittings till you find the right ones.

The guys behind the counter can help but do NOT tell them you're making your own propane burning appliance, they'll clam up. Liability issues you know. <_<

Frosty The Lucky.

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