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Old 04-21-2017, 01:58 AM   #1
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Propane Leak

I went out to the trailer this evening to finish loading it for the weekend. I opened the door and it smelt like propane. I left the door open and turned on the exhaust fans to ventilate the space. At the same time I checked all the valves on the stove to make sure they were off. I then closed everything up and left it for an hour to see if the smell returned. It did.

I checked all the fittings and connections on the stove and furnace to make sure they were tight. I also did a visual inspection of the piping to look for rub spots or cracks but didn't find anything. I ventilated, closed it up and came back another hour later only to smell the gas again. I shut off the tanks and left it for the night.

When we returned from vacation last weekend everything seemed fine. The only difference this week was that we left the fridge on propane for three nights because we knew we were heading out again tomorrow. The fridge is now on 120V. I would be surprised if the fridge was the culprit because the connections are outdoor.

It sounds like I am going to have to haul it in to the local service centre and have a propane system test done. Unfortunately they are booking service appointments 3 weeks out right now. Anyone have any interim suggestions that I could try that might still allow us to go away this weekend?


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Old 04-21-2017, 05:37 AM   #2
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Surprised the propane detector didn't go off, guess they only work when they shouldn't.

If you have time, leave the bottles on and turn off the fridge to see if the smell clears. Probably safer to leave it off altogether though.

If it's just for the weekend, you can use a cooler, just like the old days.

You could go somewhere with power.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by msweet View Post
I went out to the trailer this evening to finish loading it for the weekend. I opened the door and it smelt like propane. I left the door open and turned on the exhaust fans to ventilate the space. At the same time I checked all the valves on the stove to make sure they were off. I then closed everything up and left it for an hour to see if the smell returned. It did.

I checked all the fittings and connections on the stove and furnace to make sure they were tight. I also did a visual inspection of the piping to look for rub spots or cracks but didn't find anything. I ventilated, closed it up and came back another hour later only to smell the gas again. I shut off the tanks and left it for the night.

When we returned from vacation last weekend everything seemed fine. The only difference this week was that we left the fridge on propane for three nights because we knew we were heading out again tomorrow. The fridge is now on 120V. I would be surprised if the fridge was the culprit because the connections are outdoor.

It sounds like I am going to have to haul it in to the local service centre and have a propane system test done. Unfortunately they are booking service appointments 3 weeks out right now. Anyone have any interim suggestions that I could try that might still allow us to go away this weekend?


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You said you checked all the fittings to make sure they were tight. Did you check them with a wrench or with a soapy solution? If you didn't use a solution that would show bubbling, I would test again. I would also check the refrigerator connections even though they are "outside."
Did the propane alarm go off? Are you absolutely sure it is propane? After airing it out and shutting off the tanks, then waiting an hour, was there no smell present?
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:56 AM   #4
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Is the propane bottle nearly empty? It is common for the odor to be stronger at the end of the tank even if there is no problem with the system. Something to do with the odor chemical added to the gas. Just a thought.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:54 AM   #5
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Is the propane bottle nearly empty? It is common for the odor to be stronger at the end of the tank even if there is no problem with the system. Something to do with the odor chemical added to the gas. Just a thought.


Yes, the bottle was nearly empty. Interesting thought!


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Old 04-21-2017, 08:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
You said you checked all the fittings to make sure they were tight. Did you check them with a wrench or with a soapy solution? If you didn't use a solution that would show bubbling, I would test again. I would also check the refrigerator connections even though they are "outside."

Did the propane alarm go off? Are you absolutely sure it is propane? After airing it out and shutting off the tanks, then waiting an hour, was there no smell present?

I am pretty confident that it is propane because it smelled the same if I just opened a burner briefly. After airing it out the smell was gone so it wasn't sewer gas.

I checked with a wrench not soapy solution so I will try that. Thanks!


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Old 04-21-2017, 08:04 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Surprised the propane detector didn't go off, guess they only work when they shouldn't.

If you have time, leave the bottles on and turn off the fridge to see if the smell clears. Probably safer to leave it off altogether though.

If it's just for the weekend, you can use a cooler, just like the old days.

You could go somewhere with power.

The trailer is nearly ten years old so I think the propane detector should be replaced. I was surprised it didn't go off as well.

There are very few campgrounds with power open right now where we are headed. I have one in mind I just hope they still have space!


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Old 04-21-2017, 08:07 AM   #8
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Our stock Atwood DV20 cooktop had a propane odor. When I took the cover off it seemed to be coming from the integral regulator that looked to have a small vent. We replaced the whole thing with the Dickinson marine cooktop shortly after and this has no regulator and no smell. I'm not certain it was actually the regulator venting but it was definitely coming from that area. It is worth a sniff.

It was outside but we also found leaks were the pigtails attach to the regulator.

This stuff works great:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/8-oz-All-...2092/100151681
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:16 AM   #9
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It might also be "informative" if you turn on the propane and close yourself inside the trailer. Then you can alternate sniffing near the stove, the furnace, and the refrigerator. That may help you isolate the source if you fail to locate it with a soapy solution.

Edit: And yes, propane alarms should be replaced every 5 years.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for posting about this issue. We can all learn something.
I hope you get it resolved. Please keep us posted.
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