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Old 07-29-2019, 07:10 PM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
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Detecting a Propane Leak

Hi All! I'm hoping that I may be able to get some advice about a propane leak that we have. There is a distinct propane smell outside of our Airstream near the furnace and inside under the kitchen sink (also where the furnace is. We have sprayed all of the connections and no bubbles. I even had a RV repair person come out to check and they said there were no leaks at the connection points. We installed a new LP/CO in November and it is not detecting a leak...but I trust my nose. Is there any advice you might be able to give to finding the source of the leak? Appreciate any help!
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:22 PM   #2
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Your profile does not disclose what kind of Airstream you have. If it is a modern one with two propane tanks and an auto-switchover valve that is normally displaying green flags then shut off all your propane appliances and your propane tank valves. The valve should still show green. Let it sit overnight. Flags still green? Probably no leak, as the pressure has remained in the lines between the tank and all appliances.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Baby Zeppelin View Post
Your profile does not disclose what kind of Airstream you have. If it is a modern one with two propane tanks and an auto-switchover valve that is normally displaying green flags then shut off all your propane appliances and your propane tank valves. The valve should still show green. Let it sit overnight. Flags still green? Probably no leak, as the pressure has remained in the lines between the tank and all appliances.
Thanks for the response! We have a 1994 Excella. It does have an automatic switch over but I don't see a green/red indication on ours. That being said, it is pretty fragrant outside and inside our Airstream. Mostly outside but certainly when i open the kitchen cabinets (that is where the propane lines run to the furnace and the stove. No leak on the stove connection but I do have a concern that the flames on the gas stovetop have started showing orange/blue instead of just blue.
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lakagyeama View Post
Thanks for the response! We have a 1994 Excella. It does have an automatic switch over but I don't see a green/red indication on ours. That being said, it is pretty fragrant outside and inside our Airstream. Mostly outside but certainly when i open the kitchen cabinets (that is where the propane lines run to the furnace and the stove. No leak on the stove connection but I do have a concern that the flames on the gas stovetop have started showing orange/blue instead of just blue.
Wonder if the gas valve on your stove is leaking. Don't know how to test it, other than by splashing sudsy water on it. You might see if you can disconnect and cap of sections of the propane plumbing and see it you can localize the leak. Propane operates at very low pressure beyond the regulator, for what it's worth.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:05 AM   #5
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Trust your sniffer

I know in the natural gas industry there are actual meters that sniff for natural gas. If I were you, I would call around for furnace technicians that may have such a device.
In the meantime, if you havenít already, either shut off your tanks or at least try and isolate the leak. Maybe shut off furnace valve first. Smell will linger for sometime though. Makes it difficult to know if you remedied it by isolating a particular line or appliance. I have seen gas valve blocks have leaks that were very hard to detect.
Personally, you alls safety is first.
They add the smell into gas so you can detect it. At least thatís what I have been told. Trust your sniffer.
Good luck, safe travels,
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:19 AM   #6
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See my recent thread - you may not have a leak after all. Check your propane tank level ...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f287...it-196039.html
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:50 AM   #7
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The almost empty tank does sometime provide a more pungent odor in propane appliance even though you have no leaks. Also check those propane pigtails that come off the tank into the regulator. I've had those leak twice over the course of 15 years at the small end due to the deterioration of the hose at the small coupling.

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Old 07-30-2019, 01:36 PM   #8
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Propane leaks are so hard to find. I am having some issues and I think I am going to have to pressurize the lines with an air compressor and do some soap testing.



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Old 07-30-2019, 06:03 PM   #9
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Detecting a Propane Leak

Donít go to more than 4-5 pounds of air pressure on the lines. Gas valves on the appliances donít like lots of pressure. 11 inches of water is about 0.4 pounds per square inch IIRC. Be careful.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:22 PM   #10
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Gas leaks are serious.

Hire a certified gas contractor. The contractor has the knowledge and equipment to certify your system. Money well spent as opposed to injury or even death. It is best to shut the tanks down ASAP.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:08 AM   #11
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Get a gas sniffer. Here is one from Rigid tools on Amazon. Works very well and much better than your nose. Approximately $150.00 which is going to be less than the service call.

RIDGID 36163 Model micro CD-100 Combustible Gas Detector, Gas Leak Detector
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:04 AM   #12
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Donít go to more than 4-5 pounds of air pressure on the lines. Gas valves on the appliances donít like lots of pressure. 11 inches of water is about 0.4 pounds per square inch IIRC. Be careful.
Thank you- how can you tell how much pressure is in the lines?
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:07 AM   #13
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1994 30' Excella
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Get a gas sniffer. Here is one from Rigid tools on Amazon. Works very well and much better than your nose. Approximately $150.00 which is going to be less than the service call.

RIDGID 36163 Model micro CD-100 Combustible Gas Detector, Gas Leak Detector
Thank you- this is great since Iím not getting any nibbles!
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:34 AM   #14
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Thank you- how can you tell how much pressure is in the lines?
The pressure is very low, on the order of about Ĺ psi. Therefore it's measured using a column of water.

See http://blog.goodsam.com/what-do-you-...-water-column/
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