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Understanding Two-Stage Propane System Regulators

Understanding Two-Stage Propane System Regulators

Click to ExpandUnderstanding Two-Stage Propane System Regulators

Within a propane system, various types of regulators can moderate the amount of gas pressure between a propane tank and an application. Mechanical factors like supply pressure effect and droop influence regulator performance. During the reduction of supply pressure as a system’s cylinder empties out, delivery pressure fluctuations occur and create the supply pressure effect. Droop has to do with delivery pressure and the difference in conditions between zero flow and maximum flow for that regulator.

Two-stage regulators incorporate both a first and second stage regulator component to reduce system pressure as part of a two-step process. Together, they allow for steady delivery pressure with minimal supply pressure effect and a large amount of droop, resulting in a safe, efficiently functioning system.

What Are Two-Stage Propane System Regulators?

While integral twin-stage regulators can be more practical for general installations, two-stage propane regulators are ideal where you have excessive distances separating the building or equipment from the corresponding propane tank and so require a certain amount of pressure for sufficient propane delivery. The necessary BTU for the application and the size of the pipes also factor into the decision.

As the name indicates, these regulators are responsible for decreasing cylinder pressure using a first and second stage regulator. The first stage regulator provides the main management of gas pressure. It will not, however, lessen variable tank pressure all the way down to the levels acceptable for the appliance. Second stage regulators, then, provide that additional reduction.

Two-Stage Propane System Regulators: Operation

As the distance between a propane tank and its appliance increases, the gas pressure decreases. By utilizing two separate regulators, you can ensure safe operation and appropriate pressure levels throughout. These pressure regulators operate as follows:

  • First stage regulators. These high pressure regulators adjust for any differences in tank pressure. Technicians install them directly onto a tank, and then the regulator decreases the pressure between that tank and its service line. The purpose of this is to provide inlet pressure of approximately 5 to 10 PSIG to the second stage regulator downstream.
  • Second stage regulators. To adjust pressures between the service line and the appliance, technicians install these regulators outside a building. The low pressure regulators moderate the delivery pressure from the first stage regulator and generate outlet pressure that then flows through to power an appliance. The goal for this equipment is to continue decreasing the pressure in the system to reach safe and appropriate levels for the application, usually an equivalent pressure of about 11″ w.c.

The two regulators work in tandem, meaning neither can do the job on its own. Technicians must correctly match their type, size, and pressure ratings for proper functionality.

Benefits of Propane Systems

Two-stage regulators can potentially save customers some money up front as these systems use pipes of a smaller diameter. Also, they sometimes require fewer adjustments and less maintenance. In colder climates, dual regulators can keep a system from freezing up because delivery pressure splits between two separate regulators.

Ultimately, you benefit from superior reliability and performance when opting for a propane system. Given its high efficiency, propane is environmentally friendly. It burns cleaner than other fuels and emits fewer greenhouse gases. As propane is non-toxic, it allows for secure on-site storage of an above- or below-ground propane tank on your property without any eco-hazard issues should a spill occur.

Just about anything in a residential or commercial building that is electrically powered can alternately be propane-powered, with propane as the more dependable energy source. In particular applications such as providing heat, propane generates a steadier, warmer heat than electricity, particularly in temperatures below 30° F, with longer-lasting equipment. In case of power outages, you’ll have no concerns with propane.

Two-Stage Propane Regulators From IPS

At IPS Equipment, Inc., we offer numerous propane regulators to fit your needs:

Choose IPS Equipment for Your Propane Equipment Needs

Since 1968, our customers have trusted IPS to provide quality propane equipment and exceptional service. As a full-line equipment distributor, we offer such propane components as Blackmer pumps, meters from Liquid Controls, and RegO products. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to meet your technical specifications and all industry quality and safety standards.

We are ready to help. Contact us to learn more about our family of solutions for the propane industry.