Gas Leak? - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-21-2021, 02:09 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
Gas Leak?

I think we have a gas leak somewhere in our trailer. It kinda smells like garbage. Does not smell like I would expect gas to smell like. All our tanks are empty and have been washed out clean. The trailer is clean throughout.
Here is the test we did: we turned the gas off at the tank after opening the trailer up to fresh air. After few hours we checked back and the smell was gone. Then we turned the gas back on at the tank and waited a few hours and the smell was back. The propane detector is not going off.
We have a Dometic stove/oven, and a hotwater heater, and a furnace. We are home and not using any of these items.
So I am thinking of buying one of the propane sniffers they sell on Amazon. I could also try the soap suds method.
Any advice would be welcome.
Thanks.
__________________

Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2021, 02:25 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SLO County, California
Trailer: 2014 21 2019 Expedition
Posts: 4,399
After San Bruno, CA gas explosion the Gas Co will come out anytime to sniff. They found a leak at the attic furnace that was incorrectly installed 20 years prior. I wonder if while they're here the would use their pro grade sniffer to check for propane leaks?

The Amazon sniffer I bought recently was garbage- didn't work and I returned it.
__________________

__________________
"We gotta get as far away as we can!"
- Russell Casse, Independence Day
Rossue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2021, 03:30 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
I tried the soap method on every connection that I could find and nothing. Maybe I need to hire a pro with a pro detector.
Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2021, 05:13 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 6,259
A soapy solution does work for finding small leaks but this works better on smaller pin hole type leaks.

The smell from propane is very distinctive. The fact that you're saying it sorta smells like garbage and not what you'd expect makes me think that perhaps you should give your nose a re-education by opening a valve, the stove would do, and getting a bit of the smell.

Then repeat your exercise and see if there's any similarity to the smell.

I'm wondering a bit if you do have a propane leak what with the smell not being what you would expect and your detector not going off.

Ron
Attached Thumbnails
IMGP0009_resize.jpg  
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 10:07 AM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
So if I have a gas leak that I can smell on the inside of the trailer and assuming the gas detector is functioning (the test alarm button works) then why isn't the alarm going off? Too small a leak? But wouldn't it build up over the days to set off the alarm? I thought the alarm is very sensitive.
I have ordered a sniffer from amazon to help figure this out.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FSVCSSL...roduct_details
Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 10:30 AM   #6
MVA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New Mexico, New Mexico
Trailer: 2017 E19
Posts: 252
By pushing the test button and getting a sound, it is not clear if the detector can detect propane; it can only make noise. I would get a small propane torch (i.e., like you would use for plumbing) and vent a minute amount of propane gas near the detector to see if it can indeed detect propane.

2 cents
MVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 10:48 AM   #7
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
MVA thanks for your 2 cents. I tried it and the alarm went off. So the detector is working. So either my leak is very tiny or I am mistaking the odor. I will wait for the Amazon sniffer.
Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 10:54 AM   #8
MVA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New Mexico, New Mexico
Trailer: 2017 E19
Posts: 252
Super! You could still have a propane leak that the detector does not sense. The detector is inexpensive and a compliance installed device. What handheld model did you order? You can use a torch to test your new detector by venting propane at extended distances.

edit - a long time ago, we had a propane fueled cooktop in our kitchen. The technician could not find the leak with a handheld device even though we could smell the mercaptans in the propane. He ended up replacing one of the valves in the cooktop. Hence, you could smell a leak even though it could be hard to detect with a handheld combustible gas detector.
MVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 11:04 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FSVCSSL...roduct_details

If the sniffer finds nothing I think we will find a mobile RV service and have the system pressure tested.
Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 11:09 AM   #10
MVA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New Mexico, New Mexico
Trailer: 2017 E19
Posts: 252
If you are comfortable with working with propane, I would install a manometer at the regulator and pressure test the propane system. One of my spring, open up the trailer. duties is to pressure test the gas system. There is a 1/8" MPT test port on the side of the regulator. If you have a tech do the work, ensure they pressure test the system.
MVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 11:48 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
rubicon327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Burlington Twp., New Jersey
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19
Posts: 5,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Videocrafters View Post
So if I have a gas leak that I can smell on the inside of the trailer and assuming the gas detector is functioning (the test alarm button works) then why isn't the alarm going off? Too small a leak? But wouldn't it build up over the days to set off the alarm? I thought the alarm is very sensitive.
I have ordered a sniffer from amazon to help figure this out.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FSVCSSL...roduct_details
Here is a small anecdote FWIW. When we first bought trailer from first owner we would occasionally smell a hint of propane inside. After some investigation I realized the original Atwood DV20 cooktop had a small integral regulator that would vent very small amounts of gas that were not enough to trigger the alarm. Not unsafe but enough to be annoying. The Dometic R31 series stoves which I believe are a descendant of the Atwood Wedgwood stoves also have a regulator. Even if everything else is tight I believe it is possible the regulator venting could be a culprit. Not sure why they even have them unless they don't trust trailer builders and customers to regulate the propane upstream properly. I know our replacement Dickinson cook top we installed does not have it's own regulator.
Attached Thumbnails
Dometic R31 series regulator.JPG  
__________________
Mods to Rubicon: https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post249508
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”― W.F.
rubicon327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 01:03 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 6,259
As the British might say, By Jove, I think that you've got it.

I've only looked at the bottom of the stove once when I had to blow the water out of the burners after they were accidentally flooded, It didn't even register that there's a regulator inline.

That might well be the issue as regulators can and do vent. If it is the issue then a manometer check of the system pressure would be in order.

It'll be interesting to see what the sniffer says.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 02:55 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Centex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0 / 2005 F150
Posts: 1,548
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
.... After some investigation I realized the original Atwood DV20 cooktop had a small integral regulator that would vent very small amounts of gas that were not enough to trigger the alarm. Not unsafe but enough to be annoying. The Dometic R31 series stoves which I believe are a descendant of the Atwood Wedgwood stoves also have a regulator. ....
Just FYI the Dometic D21 cooktop (the recent and current base/standard 2-burner cooktop installed by ETI) also has an integral regulator.

It's depicted in the Dometic D21 Cooktop Gas Manifold Assembly PN50817 Installation Instructions.

Have Fun!
__________________
Alan E.
2021 Escape 5.0 / 2005 F150 Supercab 6.5' box / Centex's 2021 5.0 Modifications
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 03:18 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
rubicon327's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Burlington Twp., New Jersey
Trailer: 2010 Escape 19
Posts: 5,819
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Just FYI the Dometic D21 cooktop (the recent and current base/standard 2-burner cooktop installed by ETI) also has an integral regulator.

It's depicted in the Dometic D21 Cooktop Gas Manifold Assembly PN50817 Installation Instructions.

Have Fun!
So does the problematic Suburban SDS2. Regulators seem to be the standard with the major RV oven/cooktop brands rather than the exception.
__________________
Mods to Rubicon: https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post249508
“One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”― W.F.
rubicon327 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 02:26 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
I got the sniffer and walked in the trailer and the alarm went off immediately.
As I walked around it is clear it is coming from the stove. Which specific part of the stove is hard to determine. This is the Dometic R31 3 burner with oven. It is still under warranty. Would the warranty cover a gas leak?
Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 03:34 PM   #16
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Central, Pennsylvania
Trailer: Escape#5 E19, ECD 5/22.
Posts: 24,368
It should. until then turn off the propane at the tanks until fixed.
__________________
Jim
Sometime life gets in the way of living.......
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 04:15 PM   #17
MVA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: New Mexico, New Mexico
Trailer: 2017 E19
Posts: 252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Videocrafters View Post
I got the sniffer and walked in the trailer and the alarm went off immediately.
As I walked around it is clear it is coming from the stove. Which specific part of the stove is hard to determine. This is the Dometic R31 3 burner with oven. It is still under warranty. Would the warranty cover a gas leak?
Glad you found the leak. Were you able to find the location on the leak on the stove?
MVA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 04:47 PM   #18
Member
 
bristol5.0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Bristol, Rhode Island
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0
Posts: 50
Dometic stove recall

Your stove/oven might be subject to a recall.

"Dometic Corporation has decided that a defect which is related to motor vehicle safety exists on the S31, R1731, AND R2131 Series COOKING STOVES that were manufactured between May of 2018 and July 9, 2020."

Actual recall notice with affected stove serial numbers:https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/202...0E071-5848.pdf
__________________
George
bristol5.0 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 05:03 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Hazelwood, Missouri
Trailer: 2021 5.0
Posts: 132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Videocrafters View Post
I think we have a gas leak somewhere in our trailer. It kinda smells like garbage. Does not smell like I would expect gas to smell like. All our tanks are empty and have been washed out clean. The trailer is clean throughout.
Here is the test we did: we turned the gas off at the tank after opening the trailer up to fresh air. After few hours we checked back and the smell was gone. Then we turned the gas back on at the tank and waited a few hours and the smell was back. The propane detector is not going off.
We have a Dometic stove/oven, and a hotwater heater, and a furnace. We are home and not using any of these items.
So I am thinking of buying one of the propane sniffers they sell on Amazon. I could also try the soap suds method.
Any advice would be welcome.
Thanks.
Try this-

Turn off the gas at the tanks.

Undo each line you can get to and reinstall using pipe dope around the threads.

Take your time and make sure each connection is seated well, you can feel one that’s not…

Turn the gas tanks back on and try it out.
Ooshkaboo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 05:47 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Trailer: 2020 19’
Posts: 97
seems like the leak is in the oven. Hard to tell though.
__________________

Videocrafters is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×