Types of Propane Regulators

Updated November 21, 2016

Propane gas is widely used for both heating and cooking needs. The propane gas regulator acts as an important component of the propane system by regulating the flow of the propane gas to the appliance being powered. In addition, the regulator also lowers the pressure of the gas between the propane tank and the appliance. The type of regulator used on the tank depends upon the specific application and its requirements.

Underground Regulator

Utilised on underground propane tanks, underground regulators are actually housed in an underground shroud or dome that helps to protect the regulator from debris and water. The protection of an underground propane tank regulator is key in ensuring that the regulator functions properly. Vent extensions are sometimes used to ensure that the regulator can "properly breathe in the event it becomes submerged in water," states Propane 101. The area where the tank is to be placed should be evaluated prior to tank and regulator installation, as it is easier to install extensions during the tank and regulator installation process.

Two-Stage Regulator

Two-stage propane regulators are ideal in situations when the propane tank and the home or appliance being powered by the gas is separated by a large distance. In a single regulator system, such a distance is uneconomical and the home or appliance will not receive the amount of gas needed to power it. Two-stage regulators, as implied by the name, have two distinct stages. In the first stage, the regulator ensures that the pressure of the propane is optimal when going through the service line. The second stage performs a similar function by further lowering the pressure before it is fed into the appliance.

Integral Twin Stage Regulator

The most commonly utilised regulator for residential properties, integral twin state regulators are utilised only for propane vapour services (see Reference 4). The integral twin stage regulator performs the same function of a two-stage regulator but within a single system (see Reference 4). It is often used for propane lines that run only a short distance and with moderate BTU loads (see Reference 4). Comprised of a regulator inlet which is attach to "the pigtail at tank pressure" (see Reference 4) the propane comes into the side of the regulator with the high pressure capabilities where it is lowered and moved onto the second stage, which further lowers the pressure before it is sent to the appliance (see Reference 4). At this second stage, the pressure is lowered to 11" water column and the propane is sent through the line and downstream to the appliances (see Reference 4).

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