Propane copper pipe corrosion - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-16-2013, 10:56 AM   #1
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Propane copper pipe corrosion

Pulling out my carpet exposed about an eight inch section of copper pipe that is pretty corroded. This is located in the closet right at the entry point. Not sure if this will impact over time and eat the pipe or form a protective layer ala black pipe rust. It would be a PITA to change it but since the unit is gutted, now would be the time if it is necessary.

Any owners who are in the refrigeration or heating industry that could shed some light on what to do would be greatly appreciated.
thanks
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #2
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You can try cleaning off the corrosion and see if the copper is pitted. If it is I would replace it. After cleaning it, pressurize the line and check for leaks with soapy water, liquid dish soap is good. There was a recent discussion about whether to use black iron pipe or copper on propane lines. If you have a flaring tool you could just replace that corroded section. DO NOT use the compression type fittings.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #3
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That, my friend is the patina copper gets from being exposed to moisture. First thing, find out where the moisture is coming from. Then check to see if it has intruded into the actual pipe itself. Most likely, clean it off, remove the moisture intrusion, and your problem will be solved.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:19 AM   #4
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The clean-and-inspect approach makes sense, but I personally wouldn't bother; I would just replace it, and do it right this time.

The two large grey lines arcing across the lower left corner of the photo are presumably water lines. Some points to ponder in a better installation: Why would a propane line be cable-tied to a water line? Does the propane tubing get mechanically stressed each time the water pump starts or stops and the water line shakes? Is the propane tubing getting wet each time cold water flows and condensation forms on the water line? Is the propane tubing sitting in a pool of water, as suggested by the copper corrosion products on surrounding surfaces?
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:09 PM   #5
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Those blue electric pinch-on connectors catch my eye. They are notoriously unreliable, especially in a area where corrosion is a problem. Just a heads up.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:09 PM   #6
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It looks like it was inside that piece of material which held moisture, it is patina which copper obtains with aging, not rusted, just clean it up and find the leak.
Nev-r-Dull will work on it.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:28 PM   #7
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Agree Tom. There must have been two dozen of them in there and I stripped them all out except what you see now and that's right at the INPUT from the 7 pin, They cut the nice 12 gauge wire and added scotch locks right there and went to 14- could not believe it!!! And then down stream it goes back into 12 again.
I will have a nice bus line going from a fused box to all lights and accessories. Heavy gauge wire the old fashion way.
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Old 03-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #8
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Mike, I am with Jim sure looks by what looks to be signs of floor staining and the black spots on the wall covering etc that water may have been getting in from higher up?
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
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Agree Tom. There must have been two dozen of them in there and I stripped them all out except what you see now and that's right at the INPUT from the 7 pin, They cut the nice 12 gauge wire and added scotch locks right there and went to 14- could not believe it!!! And then down stream it goes back into 12 again.
I will have a nice bus line going from a fused box to all lights and accessories. Heavy gauge wire the old fashion way.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:21 PM   #10
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Do yourself a favor, order yourself a junction box from E trailer.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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Those blue electric pinch-on connectors catch my eye. They are notoriously unreliable, especially in a area where corrosion is a problem. Just a heads up.
The guy that designed scotch-locks should be flogged every time somebody has a trailer wiring problem. I'm almost done getting rid of them in my camper, and I've had to cut out about 12" of wire on either side to find shiny copper again, and splice a piece in with crimps and marine heatshrink.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:56 PM   #12
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Interesting that the corrosion is limited to that section of copper that's in contact with the carpet. My guess is moisture wicking, could be from anyplace.



I'm with the don't-worry-about-it-if-there's-no pitting crowd. Do be sure to get rid of the carpet that's touching the pipe, and here's some advice from a hypercareful gas user:

Once it's all sorted out, a simple pressure test of the whole propane system can be done by any gas/RV place. I have mine tested once a year at a cost of about twenty-five dollars.

Francesca
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:00 PM   #13
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Interesting that the corrosion is limited to that section of copper that's in contact with the carpet. My guess is moisture wicking, could be from anyplace.



I'm with the don't-worry-about-it-if-there's-no pitting crowd. Do be sure to get rid of the carpet that's touching the pipe, and here's some advice from a hypercareful gas user:

Once it's all sorted out, a simple pressure test of the whole propane system can be done by any gas/RV place. I have mine tested once a year at a cost of about twenty-five dollars.

Francesca
Hijack, but can they test for CO from a cracked furnace manifold? I'm going to put a monitor in my camper, but I would like to have that checked anyway.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #14
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Don't know if there's such a test...but if your manifold is cracked you probably want to weld/seal it up somehow. CO isn't a big hazard with propane, but certainly that manifold crack may interfere with the operation of the furnace.

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