Cold Weather Starts with Propane

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by ed2hess, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,558

    Should these propane units be harder to start in winter compared to summer?And if so what can you do? Keep the tanks in warm area for example?
  2. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,358

    Just wondering what do you consider cold in Texas?
  3. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,558

    A vapor system. We can't get enough vacumn from the Kohlar provided carb. So we hooked it to the fuel pump but still not enough on cold day.
    By cold I mean 25F. Is it possible that I could simply suck on the tube to get it started? I think I will try to put a vac pump on it. Once the unit gets started and runs it is okay for the rest of the day. Let it sit over nite and I have to grind down the battery again.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,558

    I have three units running on propane and the other two don't have any
    problems with the set of tanks I am using...but is there a way to identify the
    forklift tanks? I can post pictures of the tanks. I see no freezing up any where. I do slam the valve open so I will try doing that slowly. I got my brake bleeder pump ready for tomorrow. Right now we are using the fuel pump but what about just hooking directly from the vac line going to the fuel pump to the reg valve?
  5. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    I'm sure McCoys should be more than able to tell you if you are using the right tanks or not.. (assume you got them from there?)
  6. Arbor32

    Arbor32 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    We have had some rare problems of the regulator's freezing inside. Not enough to show visable signs, but enough to have issues starting and shutting off. While the unit runs it will actually start to backfire and then turn off. Once that happens it won't run for 20 minutes or so. We had to replace the regulators on these units.
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,558

    Well this morning at 32F it wouldn't start so I took the hose off and sucked on it and the unit started right up. This is simple case of needing a little more vacumn. So where to I manufacture more vacumn? We first tried to use the port on the sepecial propane carb then we hooked to the fuel pump. So if I hook to the vac line going to the fuel pump will I get more vacumn?

    By the way after sucking on it to get it started I hooked the hose back
    up to the fuel pump and then it continued to run. I don't want to suck on the hose all day.
  8. Marek

    Marek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,388

    Arbor, I hear you are looking into some propane trucks ? Do you think it will be to your advantage being our propane costs here are so high ? Are you also looking into propane powered mowers ?
  9. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    I am located north of Dallas. From my experience with our school buses, it is harder to start propane engines in cold weather. We have about 60 propane-powered school buses. In cold weather, say below 40 degrees, it takes a LOT of cranking to get them going in the morning. The newest buses have a wait- to- start feature on them. It takes about 12 seconds for the light to go off, then they do start with somewhat less cranking. I am not sure what exactly happens during that wait to start period of time.
    If the batteries are even a little low on charge, you can forget about starting these things on a cold moring without a jump.
  10. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    I'm curious what model regulator you are using. On certain models, everything you described can be explained by a incorrectly adjusted "idle" screw on the regulator.


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