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It can be confusing trying to figure out the answer to the question “do I need 2 propane regulators?“. It’s a question that has plagued many grill owners in past and just recently it has become even more difficult. But, before we answer the question, let us first give you a little background information on what a regulator is and does.
What is A Regulator?
The word “regulator” is usually used to describe how much pressure fuel -gas- holds in its tank. But, the pressure in a tank of propane can vary widely. The reason for this is the tanks -gas- contain various amounts of air in them. This varies greatly from brand to brand and even from one tank to another. In order for the gas to be ignited you need at least 1/2 inch of pressure, measured on a gauge like the one below, which is about 12 pounds per square inch (psi).
But, the amount of psi needed to burn off the air in the tank is much higher than that. It is usually about 12-14 psi. This is why you have two separate gauges on the grill regulator. The one on the far left is labeled 20 pounds per square inch (psi) and has a red line marked at 20 or below.
This is the regulator that makes up for the natural pressure in the tank. The psi goes up and down due to the pressure of air in the tank. This is why you need to keep an eye on that gauge when using a new tank, or a tank that you haven’t used in a while, so as not to put too much pressure on the grill.
The right gauge on the regulator measures what comes out of your hose and goes into your grill manifold.
The gauge on the right side has a green line at 13 psi and is labeled 13 psi and is marked LP (for liquid propane). You want to keep this gauge as close to the green line as possible. If it gets above the green line, you will have problems with your grill not starting or running. This is usually because you have too much gas in the lines.
And, you will need another regulator to turn that down
Here is the hard part. If you have a grill that is built from about 2002 on. It will either have a single regulator system, or an older style dual gauge regulator hooked up to the propane tank by a manifold with what is called a jumper hose.
Up until 2002, the regulators and manifolds were different and this was never an issue with grill owners who bought a grill before then.
Do I Need 2 Propane Regulators?
The answer is “yes”. You need to have two regulators on the propane tank when you have a grill that is newer than 2002.
As mentioned above, you need a regulator that regulates the pressure. The other regulator turns down the pressure so the grill manifolds can burn off any air in them. If a grill manifold is not completely burned off, it will not send gas through to all burners at the correct pressure for each burner.