How to Tell the Differences in Propane Regulators

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Propane regulators control gas flow and lower the pressure from the tank to the appliances in the gas system. They act as a safety barrier between the high pressure of the tank and the appliances and also act as a control mechanism for the flow and distribution of the propane gas. These regulators come in different types depending on the application and the purpose they will serve. Telling the difference and picking out the right regulator is a job any homeowner can handle with minimal problems.


Step 1

Inspect the regulator to determine if it is a high pressure regulator. High pressure regulators are labeled with the color red and are often used in a two stage regulator system with high pressure modulation.They vary in size and design, and have a 1/4 inch side outlet for an outlet pressure gauge. They can deliver up to 100 psi and are also used independently where there is high demand appliances and equipment.


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Step 2

Determine if the propane regulator is a twin stage regulator. Such regulators consist of a combined system with a first and second stage regulator joined into one unit. Check to see if a smaller first stage regulator is connected to a larger second stage regulator. They are installed at the tank and deliver steady pressure. They are used only in propane vapor service and in residential propane gas installations.


Step 3

Examine the regulator to determine if it is an adjustable high pressure regulator. This regulator will also be marked with red, similar to the one described in step 1, but will also be adjustable and is typically used to deliver the appropriate amount of pressure to an appliance. They come with an adjustable feature that is available in 0-20 psi, 0-30 psi and 0-60 psi and have an output pressure adjustment control built right into the side of the regulator that differentiates it from the high pressure regulator in step one. They are commonly seen attached to propane torches, heaters and tanks fueling asphalt mixers.


The key to deciphering a propane regulator is determining what it is being used on. This will help determine what type of regulator is being used.