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Old 01-23-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Glacier, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 76
Hot water heater propane alarm

When my 2018 Escape 21 has a breeze blowing directly on the hot water heater outside cover plate and the heater is running, a distinct smell is noticed and shortly after the propane alarm goes off. This does not occur when heater front plate is not facing the wind. My 19 Escape had the same heater and did not do this in 8 years of use. Is this an installation issue or a product deficiency.?
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:24 AM   #2
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Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 3,809
I have the same problem with my 21 & water heater. I used some electrician's putty to improve the seal around the gas line & electrical wires & it helped, but I still sometimes have the problem. I don't know if Escape uses a dual propane/CO detector since I replaced mine, but I also have a CO detector with a digital readout, and it is CO that is setting it off.

Opening the vent & the door solves the problem, but not ideal in cold weather.

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Old 01-23-2020, 10:25 AM   #3
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Trailer: 2015 Escape 19 "Seventy Degrees"
Posts: 3,099
We had a couple at Quartzsite a few years back with a 17 that had exactly the same problem. Till yours, first time I’d ever heard of that issue. Wish I had some answers for you, but about 5 of us tore into it during the gathering and could come up with no solution.
Since it’s not a common thing, I’d guess it is either defective wh or install. Never has happened on our 19 to date and we’ve been in some good broadside windy conditions.
Me personally, I’d order a new wh and install with all new connections, etc since that is not something I’d want to have to keep dealing with.
Maybe someone else here has figured out something different and can weigh in.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:26 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Redwood City, California
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
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What does the flame look like when it's burning? If it's yellowish rather than blue, it's probably getting more propane or less air than it should. Probably worth just blowing it out with canned air. When everything's working correctly, it should be burning pretty lean (blue) and not really leaving unburnt propane to set off the detector.

If it is a blue flame, then the propane's coming out somewhere between the valve and the combustion chamber. Hard to say whether that's an actual leak or (more likely) just the breeze blowing it out of the burner assembly.

Might be worth having the propane regulator pressure checked, and replacing the orifice+burner assembly (pretty easy to get at, and seems to be <$15).
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Old 02-01-2020, 08:40 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Glacier, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 76
Hot water heater propane alarm

Thanks for your input. Propane flame is blue, no soot, and works ok unless wind is blowing perpendicular to trailer length. Exhaust smell then comes into area under bed and sets of the alarm. Hmm? is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2020, 05:19 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Southern Alberta, Alberta
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 1,712
Ours did the exact same thing, you could really smell it inside the trailer and it set off the alarm. After trying a few things what finally fixed the problem was taking the gas supply tube off between the regulator and the orifice, when it tapped it out came some tiny specks of something black like carbon. I then cleaned the orifice while everything was apart. It then worked fine even with the wind blowing right at it.
Hope this helps.
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:41 PM   #7
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Glacier, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 76
Thanks. Will try that.
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