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Old 12-23-2009, 10:20 AM   #1
wingnut60
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Propane problem

Another nagging problem I have is occasional propane smell in the trailer--usually not enough to set off the alarm. It always occurs when the tanks are low. I have replaced the regulator, and checked every line connection with bubble solution for leaks--none found. I also replaced the original detector with a new one. I could not get into the furnace area--yet. Also, when the tanks are getting low, the center burner on the stove will burn yellow, yet the 2 rear burners work normally. The system was checked by CW about 18 months ago and pronounced leakfree.
I am at a loss to figure this out--even when the tanks get low, there should be no way for propane to escape the system?
Right now, I have both tanks full and everything is working fine. It is worrisome to not know if I have a safety problem that may be serious if I can't get it figured out.
Any ideas from you experienced campers?
I have really been helped by all the suggestions from the Forum--impressive--and thanks.
Joe
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
Motor31
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Running the tanks dry means you run out of the fuel before you run out of the smell additive. The smell doesn't burn when the fuel mixture is below optimum ratio. The solution is pretty simple, don't run the tanks down to full empty and let the pressure drop in the lines. The flame will go out on the stove but there is still residual gas, below the burning pressure and mixture that will escape. Once the pressure drops you then have to purge the air out of the lines to get things to run properly but there is still the smell additive in them. The detector doesn't detect the additive, it looks for propane. Your nose will handle detecting the smell though.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:11 AM   #3
terry and jo
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I have to echo Mike on this one. In an earlier life, I used to be a propane/butane delivery driver and as a part of that job, I also did some minor work on propane/butane appliances.

That was one of the things I told all of my residential customers. If they smelled gas, call me immediatly and I would get out and deliver fuel to get rid of the problem. I remember many a night of going out after quitting time to refill people's tanks.

While we aren't living in a fifth wheel full time yet, I fully intend to have two extra propane bottles always filled and in the back of my pickup when we do.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:17 PM   #4
wingnut60
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proane

Terry and Mike,

Thank you--I agree that I need to not let the tanks run out. But I am a little unsure what is going on to get the smell in the trailer if there are no leaks and no usage.
I am going to have to go back and rethink what was going on this time--I had been keeping the furnace on 40 for freezing nights and not much propane was being consumed (did not want to winterize, but have now) as I watched the glass on the regulator. Then, seems to me suddenly, out of propane on both tanks. The setup on my TK3 makes it hard to changeout the back tank--I have been trying to work off the front tank only--and guess I was using off the back tank and didn't realize it.
Now I have both tanks full and don't plan on using any propane til spring--will see how it goes.
Joe
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:01 PM   #5
BobW
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We had a problem like that. Our detector went off at night. I shut all the tanks to the off position and opened the windows. I the morning I found that one of the stove top burners had a slow leak. Just snugged up all the connections and that did the trick.
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Old 12-23-2009, 01:23 PM   #6
wingnut60
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propane

Bob,
Thanks for the suggestion--I wondered about that also, so I did check all the connections under the stove top and all the way back to the tanks.
Joe
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