How to Troubleshoot an IMPCO Propane Vaporizer

Michael Davidson

A propane vaporizer increases the speed at which propane travels to machines that require it for power. A propane tank may not be large enough or have the technical capability to deliver propane at the appropriate speed or pressure, but a vaporizer corrects the problem.

IMPCO, which stands for Imperial Machine Products Company, manufactures various propane vaporizers. If a propane vaporizer malfunctions, it needs immediate troubleshooting to ensure it functions safely while also providing the other machine the fuel it needs.


Use a carbon monoxide detector in the area where a vaporizer is in service to alert you to dangerously high levels of CO.


Avoid replacing parts on the vaporizer yourself and never service the system with the propane still connected.

  1. Check the propane tank hooked up to the vaporizer to verify you have an adequate supply of propane. The vaporizer motor can be potentially damaged if it runs with an empty propane tank. Check that the valve is open as well so that the system receives gas.

  2. Inspect the system for signs of leaking. If you smell a strong smell of gas or hear a hissing sound, close the propane valve and exit the area until a professional inspection happens. Examine the vaporizer for cracks or signs of corrosion. The system may not be delivering the appropriate amount of propane because it is leaking out in transit.

  3. Run the motor if no symptoms of leaking exist and push in the primer button. If the system is functioning properly, the motor should come close to stalling as the RPMs drop. Let the plunger pop out and the motor should return to operation. Adjust the air/fuel mixture if pushing the primer causes the engine activity to increase. Use a screwdriver to turn the screw on the vaporizer's mixer.

  4. Replace the air filter. This often corrects performance problems if the filter is dirty or clogged.

  5. Perform a pressure test by hooking up a pressure gauge to the vaporizer. IMPCO recommends that the primary pressure run at 1.5 to 3.5 psig.

  6. Request professional maintenance if the system problems persist.