Wave 3 Heater Installation - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-31-2014, 05:39 PM   #15
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Name: Russ
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post

Ya lost me there...a flare fitting is a type of compression fitting.

If you're saying that it's the only kind allowed for use in propane and/or RV applications, I'd be most grateful for a linked reference to the applicable rules...
Francesca,
You are correct, but they work a little differently.
The typical compression fitting has a double beveled collar that slips over the tube which gets compressed when the two halves of the fittings come together. The collar is usually made of soft brass which constricts to the tube. The tube yields in diameter a little which adds a variable to the success of achieving a seal. Trades people develop a feel for the job with experience.
The flare fittings work by the flared lip of the tube getting squeezed by the mating surfaces of the fittings. These provide more feed back when tightening and make very reliable connections, thus the approval by the powers that be.
Russ
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
The flare fittings work by the flared lip of the tube getting squeezed by the mating surfaces of the fittings. These provide more feed back when tightening and make very reliable connections, thus the approval by the powers that be.
Russ
Brings us back to my original question:
WHICH "powers that be" have decreed that only flare fittings are approved for propane gasline use?
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:36 AM   #17
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Francesca,
I have no clue who oversees RV construction. I found one industry group that looked to have some basic codes, but they were very limited. Even national plumbing codes may be modified by local agencies to fit local codes. I found several references by respected sources that mention flare fittings as a proper method to connect fuel gas tube connections. I also read a plumbing code section on line that lumped compression along with other sorts of proprietary fittings that could be used if certain other things were done to insure the fitting wouldn't be pulled apart, were properly supported, and the fittings were designed for that specific purpose, and the local authority approved it. Kind of vague. Usually you see some stamps or approval tags on gas accessories like flex hoses etc. Some compression fittings may not be listed.
On race cars we use 37 degree flare AN fittings on fuel lines. We use stainless steel tube with those systems. They withstand vibration well and never leak if tightened properly. Methanol eats at the aluminum fittings, so periodic inspection is required. AN type and standard 45 degree fittings are not compatible, so can't be inter-connected.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:35 AM   #18
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Francesca, standards regulations or rules aside, standard plumbing compression fittings are not suitable for copper RV gas lines. Here's why:

Standard compression fittings depend on the pipe not deforming past a certain point in order to maintain a leak-proof seal. Copper tubing's advantage for RV users is that it is malleable -- you can easily bend it by hand -- so, even if you insert a sleeve inside the tube to support it, the vibration created by towing the trailer will eventually deform the copper in the union. Then the fitting will fail and propane gas will leak into your trailer.

Not a good idea.

Flare fittings, on the other hand, work with the malleability of the copper to create a wide, funnel-shaped "flare" that can be smashed between specialized, cone-shaped threaded nut and fittings that further deform and flatten the copper inside a defined space. As the fitting is tightened, the volume of that space decreases and the malleable copper has no choice but to deform, flow into, and fill that space, creating a durable, air-tight seal.

In flare fittings the malleable nature of copper isn't a liability because, even if the trailer flexes and vibrates the fitting, the copper can't deform and create an opening because it has no where to flow/deform to inside the enclosed and confined space of the flare fitting.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:22 PM   #19
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Peter, thank you for putting rational ideas behind the advise to not use compression fittings. I now get the reason for flare fittings. Makes sense.

I will probably still use 316, since it is what I am familiar with.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:27 PM   #20
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Black pipe and stainless fittings will certainly work, just don't use flexible pipe for the last few feet as you might in your home. The vibration of towing will fatigue the thin-wall flexible pipe, and it'll leak. Either hard-plumb the whole distance or use copper tubing with flares for the final connection; RV gas appliances all come with fittings for flared copper.

I kind of like the idea of installing hard pipe outside the trailer, then using flexible copper with flares to connect the hard line to the appliances. That said, that's not what I plan to do.

We'll be installing all our gas-piping (and plumbing and electric and so on) from scratch in our Surfside project trailer. I'll use copper pipe with flares, but plan on placing as much of the pipe and fittings on the underside of the trailer as I can. Our main line will snake back from the propane tank to the curb side where it will "T" off to the refrigerator, then snake across to the street side where it will "T" again for the furnace, water heater, and (last of all) head up to the cook top. That'll keep all but the actual connections to each appliance outside the trailer, making for fewer unions that could potentially leak into the actual enclosed living space. It'll also make flushing and charging the line during setup a lot easier.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:06 AM   #21
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Dave , Please do NOT use SS for propane plumbing . SS work hardens , and will crack and leak . thx john
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:54 AM   #22
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John, 316 SS tubing is used at 1000psi on the instrumentation plumbing of large, (100 to 5000hp) gas compressors that vibrate constantly. The gases involved are any number of hydro carbons, (including propane) and hydrogen sulfide. These installations are, in some cases, on the order of 40 years old. Since this is industry standard, I think the same stuff will be fine at inches of water column on a travel trailer. For the life of me, I can't understand why this would be against code.

I have yet to see the relevant code prohibiting this.

Below is are a couple of pictures of pneumatic control pannels. Pressure logic. The bottles are for timers. These probably use air, not hydrocarbons. They don't make them like this any more.
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Clipboard01.jpg   Clipboard02.jpg  

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