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Old 09-29-2017, 01:36 PM   #1
KCG
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Exclamation can hear gas sometimes, and can smell from tanks

When I walk by the tanks outside, I can sometimes hear the gas, could it be that it is leaking? I also smell it when I walk by. My husband's hearing isn't all that great, so when I tell him to listen, he does not hear the gas leaking out. Is this normal--to have the sound and the smell from the tanks? We just took her to MT from Seattle, and I'm pretty sure I did NOT smell or hear this until we got home! It was quite a bumpy ride on some of the freeways, so I'm wondering if something has shaken loose! Our airstream is a 1997 Excella 1000--and we are getting ready to take her on a long winter's trip...thanks so much!
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Old 09-29-2017, 01:44 PM   #2
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Is this normal--to have the sound and the smell from the tanks?
Um, no. If you can SMELL gas, and especially if you can HEAR it leaking, you have a problem that requires immediate attention. Take it to an RV repair shop or even a propane vendor and have them find the leak with a tester. It should be fairly inexpensive to diagnose and repair, such as a hose or valve. Replacing the whole assembly might be prudent depending on its age.
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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If you have something using gas in the trailer-say the furnace or the stove- you may hear it flowing through the regulator, but not leaking into the air.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:55 PM   #4
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If you have something using gas in the trailer-say the furnace or the stove- you may hear it flowing through the regulator, but not leaking into the air.
Hi

In terms of hearing the gas, sure, the fridge is a really common user of LP. In terms of smell, not so much. If you have a gas smell, get it checked. Best guess is something is loose ....

Bob
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:32 PM   #5
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If an appliance is using gas you'll usually hear it going through the regulator.
Smells should be checked out. Remove the cover and spray all the connections to check with gas leak detecting spray. You spray it on and look for bubbles. Check all the parts of the regulator as well.
It's available at most hardware stores and costs about $5 a bottle. A good ace, true value, donit best should have convenient little bottles.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:52 PM   #6
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Mine we're doing this last weekend. I had moved the bottles back onto the battery box to replace the coupler with a bulldog. Next day I smelled the gas and investigated. Gas leak got worse when I wiggled the hoses and seemed to be coming out of the gas connection on both tanks. I hand tightened the connections to no avail. After trying other diagnostics ( and not getting a return call from that Seattle area dealer) I decided to try again. I ended up really torquing down on the connections, and the problem seems to have gone away confirmed by the dish soap test. Not saying that's your problem, but could give it a try.
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Old 09-29-2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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If you have a bad leak the tank will empty pretty quick. Close the valve on the tank and if the smell goes away, you know you have a leak. You should not smell gas outside the trailer unless you are right next to a vent from a gas appliance that is working. I had a bad leak where the hoses from the tanks were leaking where the hose was crimped at the regulator. Water with some liquid dish soap is great for detecting leaks. Brush on and look for bubbles.

Perry
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:42 AM   #8
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Did you just have your tanks filled? Sometimes when the sun heats up the tanks and they are full they will bead off pressure. Other than that like the opportunity say check for leaks or it could be a faulty regulator.
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Old 09-30-2017, 09:45 AM   #9
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Did you just have your tanks filled? Sometimes when the sun heats up the tanks and they are full they will bead off pressure. Other than that like the opportunity say check for leaks or it could be a faulty regulator.
Could very well be pressure relief valve off gassing. Check your connections to make sure that I use a water and soap mixture in a spray bottle to determine if you have a leak
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Old 09-30-2017, 11:24 AM   #10
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You don't need anything fancy to check for a leak. Just a squirt of dish detergent in a cup of warm water and pour it over all the connections and hoses. Most likely leak is at the hose connection to the tanks, or the connection of the hose to the fittings. pour the solution over all fittings and wait. If you have a big leak you will see big bubbles. if it is a slow leak you will get foam.
Regulators sometimes sing as the gas passes through. Mine does first thing in the morning when the hot water heater is turned on, then quiets down.
JCW
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:13 PM   #11
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Just had a similar issue, determined it was an old hose from tank to regulator. It was determined that the rubber hose had become hard and it cracked, allowing gas to leak. Replaced both hoses from tanks.
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Old 09-30-2017, 12:52 PM   #12
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All of the above is good advice.
As a rule, I just check to see that all is tight when I shut down.
I do this by shutting off all users of gas; and shutting off the tanks.
The regulator indicator will show 'green'.
If it still shows green a half hour or so later, I can be pretty sure that all is tight.
(There will be some pressure decay over an hour or so, and it will eventually show red.)��
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:23 AM   #13
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Our propane tank began leaking in its 8th year of life. I could both smell and hear it, but only when I crawled under our rig (it started out small). You can see pics, a short vid, and read about the tank replacement job in this blog post.

Separate from the tank, though, is the issue of hoses in the under-belly distribution system. Certain exterior hoses that were installed on our 2007 Airstream Interstate only have a reported 5-year lifespan. This fact was NOT disclosed in the owner's manual (could be that someone's legal action comes out of that eventually), but we discovered it after a friend's fill line developed a large leak (he and his wife have the same model and year of rig as we do). After learning about his rig spewing a lot of propane without any obvious damage of provocation, I did the research, including phoning the hose manufacturer to ask questions about the replacement interval for that particular specification of hose. I proceeded to have all new hoses fabricated for our rig by a shop that was an authorized representative of the hose manufacturer, and my husband and I installed them. You can see pics and read about that job here.

It's extremely important that you get any propane system breaches fixed right away. Rigs (whether trailers or motorhomes) can, and do, go up in flames by virtue of problems that develop with the propane system. One of them did so in California earlier this year, and a news helicopter just happened to catch the thing on film. This is not an Airstream - it was determined to be a Roadtrek - but the principles are the same and the construction standards are presumably similar.

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Old 10-02-2017, 07:43 AM   #14
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When I heard that sound one of my pigtail connectors was leaking.
Just turned off the gas till I could get an NPT pigtail connector.
The NPT connectors are a little more scarce and a little more expensive.
99% of pigtail connectors are "male inverted flare".
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