Gas leak? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-27-2010, 12:18 PM   #1
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I recently installed a gas guage at my propane tank. If I turn it on and let the guage read and then turn it off, the guage goes to zero over time.

My logical mind suggests that there is a leak somewhere, but soaping the connections does not indicate a leak.

Is it possible that it is normal for the guage to go down when no appliance is turned on?

Or------ should I buy a parachute for decending after the explosion?

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Old 05-27-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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I have seen these gauges lose pressure over time when there was not a leak (boat system); I don't know that I would rely upon one to indicate the status of the system one way or the other.


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Old 05-27-2010, 12:42 PM   #3
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Name: Darnelle
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I'm guessing that with no pressure in the lines, the guage will drop to zero.

Of course with my knowledge of gas lines, I would also bring that parachute.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:01 PM   #4
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Best guess is that the gage itself bleeds off residual pressure. Place a baggie over it and secure the bottom with rubber band; then see if the bag inflates.
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Old 05-27-2010, 02:47 PM   #5
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Best guess is that the gage itself bleeds off residual pressure. Place a baggie over it and secure the bottom with rubber band; then see if the bag inflates.
My two cents, I work with Propane and have my propane fitters license for industrial equipment.

You must know one important thing about Propane(it's heavier than air) this means it will pool or collect at the lowest spot under the trailer or around the trailer if there is a leak, making it a very real danger possibility of explosion.

It is probably a good idea to take it to someone licensed on propane installations and let them leak test it for you, whether it's a leak or a bad gauge or there's nothing wrong with it, you will have the piece of mind in knowing.

No parachute needed.
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Old 05-27-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
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Do these guages not work by measuring a pressure differential while allowing some gas to pass through? If so, I would think that the differential will diminish over time with the gasses passing through the guage and equalizing in the line.

OTOH we all seem to have to wait for the gas to run through the lines each and every time we camp and light up the stove for the first time each trip.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:00 PM   #7
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I have dual tanks on my trailer.
One is new that I bought at Costco and has a built in pressure gauge. I have one of those add on pressure gauges on the other tank.
Neither of the gauges loose pressure.
The propane has been used once in the last 5 months.
I ran the furnace for about 24 hours to test the charge rate of my new 50w solar panel.
I think you may have a leak as my guages don't leak down.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:34 PM   #8
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I agree with Perry -- you have a leak somewhere. But it may not be where you are testing for leaks -- it might be the regulator's diaphram is leaking, it might be the gauge itself, it could be the switchover valve, or a pinhole in the line somewhere.

Because both gauges slowly decline I don't think it is the gauge -- they would both have to leak. I would start by inspecting the switchover valve, the regulator, the rubber hose from the tanks, and then the rest of the lines. You can buy caps for the various fittings, so I would first disconnect and cap the line/hose running from the regulator to the trailer's lines. Test just that section to determine whether the leak is upstream of the cap (gauges still run down) or downstream (gauges don't run down).

Continue dividing the leaking portion of the system until you have isolated the piece that is leaking -- then you have conquered the problem!

Good luck and let us know how you fare.

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