The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) teamed with Battelle Memorial Institute and the Gas Technology Institute to determine whether scientific or engineering support exists for both the 15-year and the recently extended service life recommendations for some propane vapor regulators.
Testing LP Gas Regulators
This study tested first-stage, second-stage, and integral two stage regulators collected from 49 U.S. propane marketers representing 27 states. Using feedback from regulator manufacturers, equipment vendors, and industry experts, Battelle developed a testing protocol to measure the effects of regulator type, manufacturer, age, and environment on regulator performance. The protocol was based on Underwriters Laboratories Standard 144, LP Gas Regulators, which, for newly manufactured regulators, defines performance standards for leakage, flow rate, lock-up pressure, and pressure relief.
- Scientific or engineering support was not found for a 15-year service life limitation.
- Regulator failure rates did not significantly increase until regulator ages were above 25 years.
- Regulator manufacturer and environment did not significantly affect regulator performance; however, warm, dry environments had a higher percentage of failures.
- Two stage regulator systems operating for 20-25 year showed no significant degradation.
- Age had little effect on the performance of first-stage regulators, and only a slight effect on second-stage regulators.
For a condensed look at the report’s findings, simply download the fact sheet here.