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Old 06-02-2015, 09:00 AM   #1
Rapid Dog OP
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Question Propane and Propane Accessories...which regulator?

I built a pottery kiln several years ago that's never wanted to get to cone 10 (2381F). I can fire to cone 5 (2185F).

Set-up:
200 gallon propane tank
<20 feet of 3/4" pipe between tank and kiln
250psi regulator at tank to 3/4" pipe
10psi secondary regulator between tank and kiln (added by the propane supplier)

Calculations are I need 400,000 BTU/HR to fire to temperature in appx 7 hours.

Caveat - I tee'd off the kiln to a second smaller raku kiln that I fire with a Red Dragon 100,000BTU weedburner.
This burner has an 18psi regulator. When I use this burner with a 5 gallon propane tank it roars.
Connected to the new line tee'd off the big tank it's not getting the pressure it needs, just a yellow flame.

This brought me to think about the 10psi secondary regulator...maybe it's too low a pressure, and maybe this is why the big kiln never fired to temp...

If so, what psi regulator might I need?
All speculation at this point, but concrete advise would be welcomed.



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Old 06-02-2015, 09:19 AM   #2
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I can't say what size regulator you need with any certainty. But, I can say that a line operated at 100 psi will pass 10x the amount of flow of a line operated at 10 psi. It sounds like you may still need a 10 psi regulator for the kiln. The line from the tank up to the 10 psi regulator is what needs to be operated at a higher pressure for more flow. Good luck!

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Old 06-02-2015, 09:31 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input Stan.
But my thoughts are a 10psi is too low a pressure to get the BTU's I need.

Maybe there's something I'm missing...
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:29 AM   #4
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Sounds like a question for your propane supplier.
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:44 AM   #5
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Cool2

Well, just called the supplier....he said the 10psi should be good for 600K BTU, but may need adjustment, or maybe not, or maybe not sure....

Why the heck can one never get a concrete answer to a simple engineering question from 'the people who know' ?

Send this thread straight to JO Momma.
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid Dog View Post
Why the heck can one never get a concrete answer to a simple engineering question from 'the people who know' ?
Mmmmmm, I dunno. I'd guess you need an engineer or other competent professional to look at your burner and piping and tell you what you need to know.
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Old 06-02-2015, 04:50 PM   #7
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LPG (Propane) in most applications has a working pressure of 10-11 INCHES WC. which is approximately .5 (1/2) PSI this would be for normal household use. (Furnace, Range, Water Heater, ETC.)

I have seen higher pressures used for Cajun Cookers and Turkey Fryers but they are design certified to work at those pressures and usually include a regulator designed to work with their burner design.

The reason (likely) that your gas supplier is not coming forward and volunteering info is due to liability issues.
I would contact either the Kiln manufacturer or burner manufacturer that the kiln manufacturer uses if it is a "factory built" Kiln.

You may also have luck contacting and industrial boiler service company and see if they are willing to help. They are usually well versed in burners that are capable of millions of BTUH output.

Jacking up the input pressure of the burner will do nothing to increase the burner output if the orifice spuds (Jets) of the burner are the incorrect size and may actually cause an explosion.

Also (and I would assume the propane company would have checked this) how long of a run of 3/4" pipe do you have between the tank and primary regulator and the secondary regulator? Gas works on Volume NOT pressure and your supply piping must be of sufficient size (volume) to supply sufficient gas to the kiln.

Another thing is air intake if you are in a tightly sealed building try running with doors and windows open to see if it effects the burn.
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Old 06-02-2015, 09:20 PM   #8
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Just Speculation

This is out of the norm for most propane suppliers and everyone is afraid of the liability. If the 18 psi regulator is down stream from the 10 psi regulator that is one of the problems. You almost need to install an adjustable regulator at the big kiln and an adjustable regulator at the smaller kiln, without any other regulators back to the tank. It is very hard to troubleshoot without seeing what is happening. BE CAREFUL!

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Old 06-03-2015, 05:08 AM   #9
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Rapid,

Can you clarify a couple of things:
The 250 psi regulator puts 250 psi down the 3/4" pipe which is less than 20' long and has your 10psi regulator at the kiln and a branch line to the Red Dragon?

And neither burner works well?

Sounds to me like we're looking for something like:
  1. Dud 250 psi regulator
  2. Pipe blockage
  3. Lack of evaporating capacity at the tank.
  4. Empty gas tank? (never overlook the really obvious things!)
I don't think its 3. 200 gallon sounds like a big tank and should give up lotsa gas - especially if you've had the Red Dragon burner running on little bottle.

Please confirm my understanding of the configuration is correct, and tomorrow at the office I'll drag out the conversion tables and correct all these garbage numbers into proper SI metric units so that I can understand all this . Dog I'm glad Aussie had the good sense to change the whole country to metric years ago (while I was still at Uni - I've worked all my life in metric).
Back to being serious, I've no idea whether a 3/4" pipe should be good for 600,000 BTU/hr or not, until I get the numbers into metric...
Actually, I should ask again about the 250psi - that seems like a lot, is it right?

More tomorrow night when I've run some numbers

Cheers
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Old 06-03-2015, 07:17 AM   #10
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First off thanks so much for your input all.

This is a self-made kiln and burners.
Kiln dimension internally is 24 cubic feet (2' Deep X 3' Wide X 4' Tall)
I've built several of these over the years albeit usually run on natural gas.
Where I live now there isn't enough pressure on my house line for the kiln, thus the 200 gallon LP tank.
The tank right now is at 40+ %. Using the big kiln, I just completed a ^5 firing last weekend (2180F) so I know it's working as usual.

Tank has the red 250 psi regulator at the tank then running about 16' of 3/4" pipe to the kiln.
On that end there is the 10psi secondary (gray) regulator installed by the propane supplier.
(As mentioned, it did not occur to me until I ran the 1/2' pipe to the small kiln that it might be I'm not reaching the desired temperature on the big kiln due to this secondary regulator)
From that regulator there is a 3/4" flex going to 1/2" pipe going to the kiln, where it's tee'd (split) to each side (each burner) with 1/2" pipe.
Each burner has it's own ball valve as and there is a main 3/4" ball valve downstream of the secondary regulator as well.

The burners are self made, with 2.5" x 12" pipe having a retention nozzle on one end and a squirrel cage blower on the other end.



I've used these for many applications including glass pot furnaces and kilns.
Odd thing is I've never had to deal with regulators on any of these applications, someone else took care of that. Guess I should have paid attention...

The small kiln isn't really an issue as I can use 5 gal bottles as I've been doing.
That said, last night I hook the Red Dragon burner up at the big kiln inlet eliminating the 20+' of pipe to the small kiln.
The result was the same. It just shots out a weak-ish yellow flame.
So the 1/2" x 20" run of pipe is moot at this point.

Quote:
The 250 psi regulator puts 250 psi down the 3/4" pipe which is less than 20' long and has your 10psi regulator at the kiln and a branch line to the Red Dragon?

I've been using the big kiln for several years and it does the job but I had to adjust my clay and glazes to cone 5 instead of cone 10 to accommodate.
It fires fine, but I do have to pay close attention to the fuel/air mixture and flue settings when it gets close to temperature.
The firing curve goes flat and the kiln can stall at that point so it needs some coaxing and time.
The Red Dragon works great off the 5 gallon LP bottles as mentioned.

Quote:
This is out of the norm for most propane suppliers and everyone is afraid of the liability. If the 18 psi regulator is down stream from the 10 psi regulator that is one of the problems. You almost need to install an adjustable regulator at the big kiln and an adjustable regulator at the smaller kiln, without any other regulators back to the tank.

This is exactly what I'm thinking. I have the propane guy coming out next Tuesday to check it out. But he's, as said, hemmin' and hawin' about what the results might be. WTF, it's a free visit. If they can supply the right high volume regulator it might save me some $.

However I don't have a problem buying another regulator as long as I know it's the correct application and safe.

Over at Ceramics Daily I have a thread going:
Propane Regulator, Low Temp Culprit?
One fellow said the same. "Its not PSI it's volume or capacity."
So, groping in the dark here, I'm assuming I need a higher volume secondary regulator and the problem should be resolved for both kilns...

There are regulators available, this being a learning experience, again, I need to be sure.

1,000,000 btu/hr Second Stage Regulator w/Rear Discharge


Ward Burner Systema Regulators & Blowers (this guy is very hard to reach regardless of the suggestions to call him).
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:24 AM   #11
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250 psi regulator? 10 psi gray regulator? Most of the time propane regulators are measured in inches of water column. 10 wc is less than 1 psi. Most of the Red Dragon torches require more pressure to operate. Most of them are not even regulated except for the needle valve on the hose.
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Old 06-03-2015, 08:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little R View Post
250 psi regulator? 10 psi gray regulator? Most of the time propane regulators are measured in inches of water column. 10 wc is less than 1 psi. Most of the Red Dragon torches require more pressure to operate. Most of them are not even regulated except for the needle valve on the hose.
I'm just reading what it says on each regulator coming from the tank.
I'm getting the concept (now) that WC means volume and volume is what I must need...if that's correct.

The Red Dragon has it's own in-line 18psi regulator and needle valve.

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Old 06-03-2015, 10:01 AM   #13
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wc is the scale used to measure the pressure instead of psi. The red regulator at the tank has a maximum inlet pressure of 250psi and it reduces it down to 8 -12 psi. The gray regulator is downstream of that and it reduces the line pressure down to 9-13 WC Which is less than 1 psi!
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:05 AM   #14
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WC is not volume it is still a pressure measurement just an accurate way to measure very low pressure and pressure changes more accurately than a guage. At least back before digital guages. A manometer is what is used to measure WC pressure or vacuum. Some techs still swear by the old slack tube manometer... Nothing to go out of calibration.
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:14 AM   #15
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Looks like me needs more wc/psi/pressure then...



Inlet: 3/4" FNPT

Outlet: 3/4" FNPT

BTU/hr: 1000000

Pressure: 11" WC

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