Propane tank 'freezing'
I am somewhat new to using propane, as we got it hooked up last fall for a cooktop and fireplace. I have a 100 lb tank that I own, which is somewhat temporary until I get a larger underground tank.
On several of the coldest nights in the past few weeks, we found that we turned on the cooktop, it burned for about 5 seconds then slowly went out. I have since found that if I go outside and pour a bit of warm water on the top of the tank and regulator, then the propane flows again and the cooktop works fine. And, once it's working, it keeps working.
I'm guessing that we've got some water in the tank or lines and the regulator is freezing. The tank was given to me after it had been sitting empty and I think open, so probably got some condensation inside. And, I didn't get it purged before filling.
At this point, my tank is still nearly full and probably won't need refilling for many months (we use it daily for the cooktop and very occasionally for the fireplace). Any suggestions for what to do in the meantime, or should I just keep with my current method on the few coldest nights? I read another post that talked about the vent possibly being frozen closed, which will keep the regulator from working properly - my tank is not covered and the photo shows how the regulator is mounted - is it possible the vent is getting frozen shut? If so, what to do?
Also, what do I need to do to get the tank purged? Do I need to run it until empty? Or should I just take it to be refilled like normal, and they'll be able to pump out the remaining gas and purge it? Is it likely the regulator will then still have water in it, and I'd need to do something with that too?
Photos of my tank and regulator:
Thanks for any advice.