Odor from SDS2 cooktop - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-11-2019, 03:55 PM   #1
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Odor from SDS2 cooktop

I have a 2018 Escape 19 with the Suburban SDS2 flush-mount 2-burner stove. All was fine until about 6 months ago when one of the burners began emitting a foul stench whenever it was lit. Can't tell if it's propane or something but the odor lingers for a long time in the trailer. No alarm from the propane detector. Odor also seems to be inside the cabinets beneath the stove.

So, since I am full-time and don't have the luxury of leaving the trailer somewhere, I just used the other burner which was fine. Now, however, the second burner is emitting the same foul odor when lit. I did contact ETI and they said to call Suburban. I did and they said to take to a servicing dealer of which there are very few it seems. But, I will do that when I get back to New England for a few weeks this fall.

So, has anyone else experienced anything like this? I will be using a propane detector first to see if it's propane. If it is, then I will request replacement or repair. If not propane, then I have no idea what it might be?

Thanks!

Carl
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:45 AM   #2
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So, I had a little spare time so decided to take the bottom cover off the cooktop and look up underneath. I found that the compression fitting onto the left hand burner was totally unscrewed! Only friction was holding the tube into the burner. So I tighten that up and now have no odor from that burner. The right side burner, however, still emits a propane odor but the compression fittings seem to be tight. Guess I will need to pull the cooktop when I get back to New England and look at it more carefully. Apparently, that compression fitting was never tightened at the suburban factory.
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Old 09-13-2019, 10:51 AM   #3
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That's scary. Good on you for taking the initiative and finding it. I wonder if it would be prudent for that type of fitting to have a drop or two of Loctite?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:04 AM   #4
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Is it possible that there could be some water in the propane line to the stove?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:20 AM   #5
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Also are you familiar with the smell of mercaptans (used to "odor up" propane gas)? Is that what you are smelling?
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
That's scary. Good on you for taking the initiative and finding it. I wonder if it would be prudent for that type of fitting to have a drop or two of Loctite?
That probably wouldn't hurt. My experience with compression fittings is that, once they're secured properly, they really don't loosen. So, not sure what happened here.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:39 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Randy in Maine View Post
Is it possible that there could be some water in the propane line to the stove?
I suspect not as the flame was the proper color blue.
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy in Maine View Post
Also are you familiar with the smell of mercaptans (used to "odor up" propane gas)? Is that what you are smelling?
yes, I am familiar with the propane additives odor. What I smelled inside the trailer seem to be a little bit different. However, as noted above, once I secure the loose compression fitting, the odor ceased. So, yeah, it was propane!
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:54 PM   #9
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Hi Carl - we had the same problem on our recent trip. Our propane stove was leaking propane while in use. Fortunately I have a sharp sense of smell, backed up by the propane alarm in the trailer. At this point we were in Dawson City. We had a plumber check it out. He confirmed that there was a leak but he did not have the correct parts. He did install a shut-off valve so that we could still use the propane for other appliances without endangering our lives. Super lucky- we did not blow up the trailer or die in our sleep!!!

We got a plumber to check the stove. He confirmed the leak and told us that the aluminum tubes that feed the propane into the elements were a very loose friction fit - so loose that they did not stay in place. They should have a crimp collar fitting to secure them. Super lucky- we did not blow up the trailer or die in our sleep!!!

He installed a shut off valve under the stove so that we did not have to worry about further leaks. The trailer is now at ETI being repaired.
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:27 PM   #10
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We have the same issue with our cooktop, on our recent trips we kept smelling gas when using the left burner, on one occasion the propain alarm went off. Yesterday I found that the left aluminum tube feeding gas to the left burner is loose on one end, the compression ring on this end is missing.
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Old 09-22-2019, 09:50 AM   #11
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Update

So, being stationary for a while, I used my propane sniffer to check out the cooktop. Even after snugging the loose compression fitting on the left burner, it still leaks propane. Right burner leaks propane where the orifice holder tube goes into the valve. Took the tubes off and find that the compression collars are not in good condition so that is likely why they are leaking.

Seems that others are having similar problems suggesting a lack of quality control and use of poor quality connections on the orifice holder tubes.

Bottom line... if you have this stove, be very careful about propane leaks!

Not convenient for me to take trailer to ETI so will either have a Suburban service place repair or may just order the tubes and replace them myself as repair centers are few and far between.

I've notified Suburban of the issue and am awaiting a response.
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Old 10-01-2019, 08:10 PM   #12
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Another Update

I dropped the stove off at the nearest Suburban service facility. They confirmed that both orifice holder tubes were leaking at the compression fittings and that the tubes were deformed at the ends. Suburban has sent them a new replacement stove that I will pick up tomorrow. So, keep an eye and nose out for potential leaks if you have this cooktop. The good news is they apparently stand behind their product!
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Old 10-03-2019, 03:15 PM   #13
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Now thatís what I call customer support

The Suburban cooktop in our new e19 had a broken gas tube from day one. After having bad smell every time we used it I took a close look and found the issue. Suburban customer support referred me to local dealers (40 miles away) that didnít seem eager to help, very busy and can look at my issue in a month or more. Called Escape and after verifying our cooktop model Dustin promptly arranged for a new one to be shipped to us. From browsing the forum for a while I knew Escape is not your average RV manufacture\dealer but itís nice when you experience it first hand.
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