Faint smell of propane - question on hose removal - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2020, 04:36 PM   #1
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Faint smell of propane - question on hose removal

My Scamp has 2 propane tanks. I can smell some propane, it's not strong, but it is enough that I can smell it. I only smell it at the tank area, not inside.

I'd like your input on what to do.

My first thought was to take the tanks off and unscrew the part that goes into the trailer and take the regulator and hoses down to the RV shop. They're kind of one unit.

If that is okay to do, is it okay to just unscrew the hose at the trailer? It seems that maybe there is some propane in the hose.

Please let me know your opinions, I am stopping now and will wait for input.

Thank you.
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Old 01-21-2020, 04:58 PM   #2
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Do you notice this inside or outside the trailer?

If outside, check each of the connections for tighteness. You may want to go to your local hardware store and pick up some gas rated teflon tape (usually yellow in color as opposed to the white used for water pipe fittings). Unscrew each fitting, wrap the male end with the tape and reconnect. Use soapy water at each connection and along the lines to identify any leaks. Beyond this, there's not much your local RV shop can do except to test regulator.

If its inside and you're not comfortable working with gas lines, it would be best to have a pro handle that for you.

Last year, I had a leak I eventually tracked down to the valve on the propane tank itself. To check this, remove the tank(s) and put it in an enclosed area where there is no chance of a spark. It doesn't take much of a leak to produce the tale tale odor.

Good luck, be careful and post back with what you find.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Cindy K View Post
Do you notice this inside or outside the trailer?
I added some text to my first post that answers this as I forgot to mention that it is outside only.

I will definitely report back. I have taken the tanks off so I will try to isolate them to see if one is leaking.

I will go buy some gas teflon tape.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:04 PM   #4
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Sounds like the regulator is leaking.. like mine did... see:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...yle-82507.html
Although it looks like the reg is installed right whereas mine was not, it can still go bad.


Find the leak (wherever it is), fix the leak, have a timed pressure drop test done with a manometer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
..

I will go buy some gas teflon tape.

..
No Teflon tape on flared fittings, but you no doubt know that already, or you would be going to a professional instead.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Sounds like the regulator is leaking.. like mine did... see:
http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...yle-82507.html
Although it looks like the reg is installed right whereas mine was not, it can still go bad.


Find the leak (wherever it is), fix the leak, have a timed pressure drop test done with a manometer.



No Teflon tape on flared fittings, but you no doubt know that already, or you would be going to a professional instead.
Good catch Gordon, I should have been clearer in my recommendations. Thanks.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:09 PM   #6
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fant propane smell

I have always smelled faintly propane around my tank and its there on my 500g propane tank for my home.

and yes they have been to my house and checked apparently this is a normal part of owning propane!

as for Teflon tape I believe it is recommended for propane flare fittings I use it!

had propane for 50 years

bob
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Cindy K View Post
..
Last year, I had a leak I eventually tracked down to the valve on the propane tank itself. To check this, remove the tank(s) and put it in an enclosed area where there is no chance of a spark. It doesn't take much of a leak to produce the tale tale odor.

...
DO NOT put a tank you think is leaking in an enclosed area!

Even if you think there is no chance of a spark, accidents happen. Putting it in an enclosed area is just asking for an explosive buildup of gas.

Keep it in an open area far from any ignition source and do a bubble test.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
I have always smelled faintly propane around my tank and its there on my 500g propane tank for my home.

and yes they have been to my house and checked apparently this is a normal part of owning propane!

as for Teflon tape I believe it is recommended for propane flare fittings I use it!

had propane for 50 years

bob
Wow.. some advice...

Lisa.. please take it to a professional. I would shut off the tank and if no leak is found with the valve off then take the entire camper in for service.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:16 PM   #9
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Wow, thank you for all the replies, while you all were replying, I was outside and have found the leak!!!

I realized I should have done the bubble test with soapy water first and forgot.
So I reattached the tanks and some big bubbles came out, see photo.

I have isolated the culprit to be the 3/8 inch hose from the regulator to the trailer entrance...the leak is at the regulator side.

I can just undo that hose and replace, correct?
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:02 PM   #10
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Yes you can replace the hose assembly. I have replaced all hose assemblies and the regulator on my Trillium 4500 and Boler 13 (sold). Also run an LP detector inside the trailer.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:10 PM   #11
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Consider the hose, fittings and regulators are probably original to the trailer, making them 28 year old. Myself, I would replace them all, You can find them on Amazon for not much $$.

Working on the propane system on my 1977 Trillium is a 2020 project. I will replace hose and regulator for sure. Meanwhile, I leave the propane at home.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:11 PM   #12
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Congrats - sure looks like you’ve found it. Replace the hose, do the bubbles test and call it good.
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Old 01-21-2020, 06:45 PM   #13
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Ran down to the RV store, bought a new hose, got home and the fitting on one side was wrong. So now I have to take the hose back.

BUT, as I was taking off the old hose, the side where the bubbles were coming out was loose.

Oh, I'm so embarrassed!
I do think I'll replace that hose though, sooner than later.

I apologize for the false alarm.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:10 PM   #14
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I would still re-seal with teflon paste, tighten down and bubble test. Then bubble test every LP fitting/joint inside and outside the trailer. Oh and turn on the LP detector before testing anything. Its best to have an lp certified plumber or RV tech do it...
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
I would still re-seal with teflon paste, tighten down and bubble test. Then bubble test every LP fitting/joint inside and outside the trailer. Oh and turn on the LP detector before testing anything. Its best to have an lp certified plumber or RV tech do it...
Now there is some good advice. Use gas rated Teflon paste and/or tape since its a pipe thread and not a flair, that is if you choose to not use the best option.

I would only add one thing, read the article I linked to. It describes a few tests that should be done, including a test that will detect a leak anywhere in the system (unlike a bubble test).

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Old 01-21-2020, 07:28 PM   #16
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use common sense

I certainly agree if you smell a leak turn your gas off and look for it.

it will save you life

bob
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
I have always smelled faintly propane around my tank and its there on my 500g propane tank for my home.

and yes they have been to my house and checked apparently this is a normal part of owning propane!...
Quote:
Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
I certainly agree if you smell a leak turn your gas off and look for it.

it will save you life...
OK Bob I give.. which is it? Normal or not normal?.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:19 PM   #18
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Thank you all. I will have it tested by the RV folks.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:11 PM   #19
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Propane Smell

First, it takes just a very small amount of LP escaping to smell. But won't be enough ignite.

Second, the valve on top of each tank should be opened all the way out, so the stem seals against an internal seat. You will get a small leak if opened only half way.

To do a bubble test the valves need to be open, so gas pressure is at each connection.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:30 PM   #20
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Second, the valve on top of each tank should be opened all the way out, so the stem seals against an internal seat. You will get a small leak if opened only half way.
Thank you, I didn't know about the valves needing to be opened all the way.
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