Propane Leak - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-13-2003, 08:30 PM   #1
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Propane Leak

Went to Beavers Bend SP in Oklahoma last Thursday. Set up the Casita, and went touring around the area. Got back to the campsite about 6 PM. Opened the door to the Casita, and Propane fumes poured out of the door. Checked the stove, and it was shut off. Opened the fantastic fan and sucked the fumes out. Campers next to us wanted to know where the odor was coming from. Thats how full our TT was. Noticed the red light was on for the hot water heater, but the light did not go off in the alloted time. Went outside to see what was hapening at the hot water heater. Lo and behold I had a fire where it was NOT supposed to be. The fitting that comes out of the Casita, and threads into the hot water heater, had a nice blue flame, about an inch high. I and 2 other campers raced to the front of my rig to get the gas shut off. In the time we were gone, maybe 6 hours, we lost a full tank of propane. The igniter on the heater is probably worn out, and we belive the fumes got into the igniter area which lit off and backflashed to the leak. Since the normal unit did not fire off, the igniter continued to spark, and wore it out. We have a coleman stove with us, so hot food was avaible, but no hot water. I WILL be calling The Casita factory in the morning. The fitting looks to be cross threaded. The warranty on the trailer runs out on the 29th of this month.
:o
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:04 PM   #2
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Propane Leak

Wow Robert:

You are very lucky. You could have come back to a much worse problem than you did. I will be interested in hearing how Casita handles this situation. Please let us know.

Wayne
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Old 04-13-2003, 10:04 PM   #3
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Gas leak

Robert,

It concerns me that you found the fire outside and the fumes inside. The hot water heater is sealed between the inside and outside. The fumes from that leak shouldn't have been inside. It seems strange that they would be inside from that leak. Second the flame would have burned all the gas leaking there.

I am wondering if you could have another leak inside. It would be rather strange to develop two leaks at the same time. But I can't see how the gas could get inside from the outside leak.

PLEASE CHECK FOR OTHER LEAKS!!!

Good Luck
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Old 04-16-2003, 03:23 PM   #4
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Fixed leak

The propane leak has been fixed. The flair on the Casita side of the union was cracked. The path for the smell of the propane leak was..........where the propane line comes through the opening to hook up to the hot water heater. When the trailer was built, a dab of silicone was put there, BUT not enough to completly seal the area between the hot water heater and the area under the bench seat. That is how the fumes got into the living area of the trailer. When it is dark, put a flashlight into the compartment where the power cord is stored. Aim it at the junction area of the fittings, and look in through the hot water heater side of the fitting. If you see light, fill it up with silicone. Casita covered the repairs. Trailer was repaired at Leisure World, Duncanville, Texas.
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Old 04-16-2003, 03:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for the update, Robert. Glad you found somebody who could diagnose and repair the problem!!

Good advice to the rest of us about checking that ''seal'' on the water heater compartment, too. :yep
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Old 04-16-2003, 08:21 PM   #6
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**Casita covered the repairs**
Yeah!! Casita!! :jump-r
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Old 04-22-2003, 04:41 PM   #7
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Wow, Robert! I'm glad everything worked out ok ... and that no one was hurt.

Propane leaks are something Casita (and other manufacturers) don't take lightly.

In fact, Casita has a "zero tolerance" policy for assemblers who work with and run RV propane lines on the assembly line. If an assembler or inspector lets one trailer get by with a leak, they lose their position instantly.

Since your trailer was almost a year old ... had you noticed a whiff of propane before? I'm wondering if the flair had a flaw which caused it to crack over time.

Or do you think it was leaking the whole time?

And, I want to thank you for also curing one of my "Boy, I wished" thoughts.

I've been a little jealous of those who have the auto-ignitor water heaters ... I have a manual start heater ... and we work on the "on demand" system. When Pam demands hot water, I have to go outside and light the water heater (often thinking Boy, I wished I had an auto igniter).

But your experience has caused me to think otherwise. I think I'll just stay with the manual start ... so that if something is amiss, I'll know it instantly when I try to light it.

I'm glad you were able to get it fixed and I'm glad nothing serious happened!
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Old 04-23-2003, 09:50 AM   #8
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Propane leak

Yes, Charles, I did notice a propane whiff a few days prior to the trip, but I blew that off as I was "un-wrapping " the casita from winter storage. Had the h2o heater on and the stove was checked out also. Shut them both down, and after lunch smelled the whiff, but blew it off as left over from un-wrapping. The flair on the casita
side of the fitting was cracked.
I live 40 minutes from the "Rice Factory". Called them and they said take it to Bubbas, and we will pay for the repairs. Did what they said, and all is well. Gots me a Bubbas within 1 mile of my home, and he is a good one at that.
CU Later, Has to round up the wagons and ride on down the trail, as you described, about a year ago on the CASITA CLUB.
Robert
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Old 04-23-2003, 10:40 AM   #9
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Good to see you here, Robert!

The webmaster, Michael Sanders, has gone to great lengths to create and maintain a safe, sane place for all of us to play. I will only log onto moderated websites.

Michael's recruited a great group of folks to serve as moderators. And their efforts show in the success of this website.
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Old 04-24-2003, 05:51 AM   #10
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Hi All
I had my wheel bearings packed on monday also a total check of propane sytems and appliances.Guess what was found.#1Propane line was cracked in a flair and repairs made with black tape.Its amazing it held together.(I bought it this way,I didn't know.)Also found line pinched.Replaced 12feet of copper tubing.All well now.:)
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Old 04-24-2003, 08:37 AM   #11
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Propane Leak

That is........2........TWO.......leaks. I spoke with a propane dealer and he suggested we should get a small plastic squeeze vial. Add some liquid soap and water to it, or purchase a product called leak tec. Pressurize the system, and squirt a little on the fittings. When bubbles form, you have a leak. I guess a good time to do this is after a rough ride on a lousey road, or a beat up dirt road. Anyway, Chester, glad you found your leak easier than I found mine.
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Old 04-24-2003, 09:59 AM   #12
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Good solid advice ... I suggest that all of us double check the propane lines ... no matter what make, model, age of fiberglass rig you own!

Ches ... glad you found the problem before it became a problem. Gotta wonder about the sanity of the guy who fixed the cracked fitting with black tape!
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Old 04-24-2003, 12:40 PM   #13
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Sanity? You would assume sanity? I used to know a guy (and I emphasize USED TO KNOW) who hooked up a propane line to the drain valve on the electric water heater in his home. He turned on the gas, and then went to the breaker panel to turn on the electricity to the water heater. I'll let you just imagine the rest of the story.
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Old 04-24-2003, 06:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Orginally posted by Charles Watts

Good solid advice ... I suggest that all of us double check the propane lines ... no matter what make, model, age of fiberglass rig you own!

Ches ... glad you found the problem before it became a problem. Gotta wonder about the sanity of the guy who fixed the cracked fitting with black tape!
Hi All
We first checked propane system with a pressure meter.Needle fluxuated indicating a problem.Checked all lines with soap at joints.Still pressure fluxuating.Traced all lines a second time.Found one part of line with tape on.Removed tape and leak became evident.

Did you know that propane being a petroleum product leaves oil in your propane lines.When we removed old line and replaced it the RV Teck showed me .Got out 1/8 cup oil. Had to replace regulator also.Oil residue.
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