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Old 01-13-2018, 04:48 PM   #1
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Hot water heater setting off propane detector

My propane detector was going off today. I could definitely smell propane. I'm in a campground hooked up to electric and the only thing I'm using gas for at the moment is the hot water heater. I typically leave the hot water heater off and just turn it on when I need to get the water hot. I left it on today for a period of time longer than normal. I opened up the trailer and aired it out and have turned off the propane tanks and the hot water heater. The detector has reset. Any suggestions? I put in a call for mobile service but it may be a couple of days before I can get it serviced.

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Old 01-13-2018, 04:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sisababe View Post
My propane detector was going off today. I could definitely smell propane. I'm in a campground hooked up to electric and the only thing I'm using gas for at the moment is the hot water heater. I typically leave the hot water heater off and just turn it on when I need to get the water hot. I left it on today for a period of time longer than normal. I opened up the trailer and aired it out and have turned off the propane tanks and the hot water heater. The detector has reset. Any suggestions? I put in a call for mobile service but it may be a couple of days before I can get it serviced.

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Was it windy? I have had the propane detector go off when there was a strong wind blowing into the water heater.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:57 PM   #3
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Was it windy? I have had the propane detector go off when there was a strong wind blowing into the water heater.
We had wind two days ago...not windy now.

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Old 01-13-2018, 06:04 PM   #4
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Was it windy? I have had the propane detector go off when there was a strong wind blowing into the water heater.

Sisababe, did you have windows closed due to it being cool and the Maxx fan on?
If you did I wonder if the slight negative pressure is pulling a small amount of propane from one of the appliances.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:11 PM   #5
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Sisababe, did you have windows closed due to it being cool and the Maxx fan on?
If you did I wonder if the slight negative pressure is pulling a small amount of propane from one of the appliances.
No, I had the windows open, except for the one on the driver's side (the emergency window over the hot water heater). Both back windows and passenger side kitchen and dinette were open. The max fan was not running.

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Old 01-13-2018, 06:24 PM   #6
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We had the experience with the propane detector going off while we were camping off the grid in Washington State with our Casita. When this happened we were packing up the campsite in preparation for moving on. We turned off the propane and swung by an RV service place in Yakima. After checking out the propane system including a pressure/leak test we concluded that the detector was detecting our car car exhaust while Tom was backing up the car to hitch up. Our trailer door was open at the time. This probably doesn't apply to you, but it is nice to be aware that this can happen.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:32 PM   #7
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We had the experience with the propane detector going off while we were camping off the grid in Washington State with our Casita. When this happened we were packing up the campsite in preparation for moving on. We turned off the propane and swung by an RV service place in Yakima. After checking out the propane system including a pressure/leak test we concluded that the detector was detecting our car car exhaust while Tom was backing up the car to hitch up. Our trailer door was open at the time. This probably doesn't apply to you, but it is nice to be aware that this can happen.
Make sense and good information, but no I did not have the tow vehicle running. I could definitely smell propane clearly. Is this just something that happens when the wind blows in the right direction or is it a cause for concern? Do most people leave their hot water heater on all the time or just turn it on when they need it?

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Old 01-13-2018, 06:46 PM   #8
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Lots of things can set of the propane alarm other than propane. Sarah, turn off the water heater but open the tank valve and see if you still smell propane. In other words, try to determine if you only smell propane and the alarm only goes off when the water heater is on.
I leave mine on all the time but I have the electric/gas water heater and I usually have a hook-up.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:48 PM   #9
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I could definitely smell propane clearly. Is this just something that happens when the wind blows in the right direction or is it a cause for concern?



Do most people leave their hot water heater on all the time or just turn it on when they need it?


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Sometimes when a device fires up there's not 100% combustion and a small amount of unburned gas is released. But it's very short lived. A very short time later it's dissipated and there's no further smell.

I'm betting it's about 51/49 on that one. I only heat water and then turn it off.

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Old 01-13-2018, 06:52 PM   #10
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Sometimes when a device fires up there's not 100% combustion and a small amount of unburned gas is released. But it's very short lived. A very short time later it's dissipated and there's no further smell.

I'm betting it's about 51/49 on that one. I only heat water and then turn it off.

Ron
Same here, except when on a site with electric hookups - the electric side is on all the time.
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