Ontario Propane Blog

What is a Propane Regulator and How Does it Work?

Posted by James Callow on Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Propane stove

Propane has a variety of uses, and has become an increasingly popular power source for homes, cottages and businesses over the past 10 years. This is because propane is cost-effective, environmentally friendly and incredibly safe.

One of the biggest advantages of using propane gas is it’s precise temperature control. This is incredibly useful for homeowners who enjoy cooking, as well as restaurants which rely on instant heat and spot-on temperature controls to accurately cook meals for their customers.

This precise temperature control is assisted by one important aspect of a propane tank - the regulator. So, what is a propane regulator and how does it work? Budget Propane Ontario answers your questions here.

What is a propane regulator?

The regulator on your propane tank controls the flow of gas from the propane tank to the appliance that is using the propane.

In its simplest definition, the regulator reduces the high gas pressure from the propane cylinder to the much lower gas pressure that the propane appliance needs. Some appliances will require a stronger flow of propane while others will need less.

Since propane becomes a lighter-than-air substance when it is consumed, the regulator on a propane tank regulates the gas as it is being consumed. By bottlenecking the propane down to a safe and usable pressure, a propane regulator helps to ensure that propane consumption is safe.

Are all propane regulators the same?

All propane regulators have the same role for the propane tank that they are installed on. However, there are a range of different regulators depending on what application the propane is being used for.

The most common types of propane regulators are:

  • First stage regulators
  • Second stage regulators
  • Integral two-stage regulators
  • High pressure regulators
  • Adjustable high pressure regulators
  • Automatic changeover regulators

The type of regulator that your propane tank needs will be completely dependent on how you are using the gas. The regulator needs of a restaurant using demanding appliances will be completely different to that of a homeowner using propane to barbecue in the summer.

When purchasing your propane tank, your propane supplier should be able to sit down with you to understand your requirements. They will provide you with a tank regulator that suits your individual needs.

How do I replace my propane regulator

Propane regulators are subject to wear and tear, and overtime will become less efficient. To ensure propane tanks are working efficiently, they require regular check ups and maintenance from a registered professional. During this inspection process, your propane supplier will be able to let you know whether your regulator is working or if it will need replacing.

In general, a propane regulator should be replaced every 15 years. However, some manufacturers recommend a replacement every 25 years.

If your regulator needs replacing or if you believe it may be faulty, it’s incredibly important that you reach out to your propane supplier. Regulators can only be replaced, not repaired. This must be performed by a licensed propane professional.

Do you want to learn more about propane, or request a quote? Contact Budget Propane Ontario today. Our team of propane exports would love to sit down and have a conversation about your needs.

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Tags: Propane Tanks & Cylinders

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