Using 100# propane tank to run coleman stove/lamp? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

Hi. I have 2 100# propane tanks that I want to fill. My question is whether I can use them to run a coleman propane camping stove and propane lantern. I have purchased the adapter hose and will run it into the house from the outside tanks via the dryer vent. Is the pressure in a 100# tank more than the pressure put out by a 20# tank? I know that a 20# tank can be used safely with these smaller propane appliances. I have battery powered CO detectors to monitor that risk. Thanks in advance for any answers.

-- incredulous (, December 19, 1999


Your 100# tank has a regulator on it that steps down the pressure from that tank so that you can hook it to appliances, etc. You should probably ask a propane dealer these questions, tell him what regulator you have and show him the lantern you want to hook up. Don't take chances.

-- (, December 19, 1999.

You might want to post the question here:

since these folks use such tanks.

-- Interested Spectator (is@the_ring.side), December 19, 1999.

inc-- the answer to your question is yes. I have 100,40,and 20 lb. tanks. I purchased a conversion hose for stoves/lamps from a local sporting goods store, but I saw the same hoses in various lengths at the regional propane dealers sales office. I got the original hose a year ago, but if I had the extra money, I would purchase the longer hoses. I also purchased some extra orifices for a couple of differing applications while there. Which reminds me, I had planned to purchase orifices for a variety of fuels, ie; diesel, kero, gasoline, and natural gas. I had better take a look around once more to see if there are any other wish list items I can still squeeze in.

-- spun@lright (, December 19, 1999.

You must have a regulator.

-- && (&&@&&.&), December 19, 1999.

My propane dealer told me that I can't put a gauge on my 100# propane tank. Is this correct? How will I know how much is left in it? Thanks for your help, LauraBeth

-- LauraBeth (, December 20, 1999.

A pressure gage by itself will not give you an indication of the amount of propane contained within your tank.

Propane at room temperature exists as a liquid only under pressure. As you draw off some of the pressure (gas) from your tank, the liquid propane in the bottom of the tank "boils" off to refill the gas at the top of the tank.

Assuming the propane tank remains at constant outside temperature, a pressure gage will read the same thing (perhaps 125psi at 40F) no matter how much gas/liquid you pull off. That is until you get to the very end when the liquid propane has boiled off and you have only the gas remaining in the tank. Then the gage will "plummet" and will read zero just as the last amount of gas leaves the tank.

What you need are the "temperature type" gages that are a thin plastic film applied to the outside of the tank. They change color as the heat travels into the tank to "boil" the propane liquid and you can see indirectly the level of liquid propane inside. These are cheap and readily available at any RV or camping supply house.

There are other systems that can be bought that are more complicated, more money, and not necessarily more accurate.

Hope this helps.

-- Joe (, December 20, 1999.

Why do you need a regulator if you are using appliances *made* for propane? As I understand partial pressures, the pressure in the gas above the liquid propane will be the same whether there's an ounce or 1000 gal. of liquid propane in the cylinder underneath it. I could see needing a regulator if you are running propane into a natural gas (household) appliance, but wouldn't a propane appliance HAVE the proper regulator in it?

Just askin',


-- Someone (, December 20, 1999.

The answer to your question is *yes*

Certain appliances are made to directly hitch to propane cylinders and have either an integral pressure regulator (charmglow grilles are like this) or a governing orifice (coleman propane lanterns are like this)

Other appliances such as you might find on an RV or camper trailer are made to take gas directly at low pressure and it's usually more cost effective for the RV or trailer manufacturer to have a single regulator for all the supply low pressure propane and only a "control valve" for turning on/off each appliance or light at it's location.

You have to "coordinate" and "match" the appliances to their regulated or non-regulated sources of propane supply.

Using natural gas appliances on propane is possible but is a similar problem in that natural gas is normally supplied to home distribution at fairly low pressure (sometimes inches of water column pressure). Sometimes drilling out the orifice or a replacement orifice is required or possibly a special regulator. Again, you have to size your appliance to the source of fuel pressure and have appropriate "orifices" or regulators for each.

Hope this helps,

-- Joe (, December 20, 1999.

You said you were going to use your Coleman propane stove INDOORS? Is that advisable? Everything I have heard says to only use those OUTDOORS. Anyone with any thoughts on this?

-- Lee Barber (, December 21, 1999.

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