Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
SeaLevel's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Jupiter , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 804
Faint propane smell near stove top

A couple of times on recent trips, we've noticed a very faint propane smell coming from the area of our Dometic 3 burner stove top. It's never set off the leak detector. On our recent trip, to make sure that's what it was, I turned off the valves on the propane tanks and lit all three burners until they went out. After that the smell didn't come back. Any ideas on how to go about troubleshooting this issue?

I would like to fix it before our next trip in early January. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
__________________

__________________
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu
SeaLevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2017, 12:04 PM   #2
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,627
The LPG detector will only sound an alarm when the concentration of propane in the air reaches 10% of the lower explosive limit, or about 2100 parts per million— measured at the detector. As your own experience has shown, your Mark 1 Mod 1 olfactory sensor (your nose) can be more sensitive than that, especially when you place said nose right next to the leak so the smell doesn't have to travel as far.

It's pretty clear that the leak is somewhere in your stove, or in the flexible line connecting your stove to the trailer's propane plumbing.

Since your trailer is a 2016, it's a safe bet that it uses piezoelectric ignition and not a pilot light, so that fact eliminates one possible failure mode present in older units.

You may want to lift out the stovetop and check the connections on the flex line. With the control knobs in the "Off" position, spread a little bit of soapy water around the propane connections, and look for bubbles. If that doesn't isolate the leak, do the same for the three control valves.
__________________

__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2017, 12:21 PM   #3
Rivet Master

 
1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,787
Blog Entries: 13
Could it be that the pilot light for the oven is out? Mine has piezo electric for the burners but you light the oven manually...
__________________
new (usually dirty) Nissan Titan XD (hardly paid for)
Old (enhanced with "male pattern baldness") Sovereign
Young, lovely bride
Goofy dog, dismissive cat
n2916s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2017, 01:45 PM   #4
4 Rivet Member
 
Morgan guy's Avatar
 
2007 27' Classic FB
Fredericksburg , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 292
Is the oven as eazy to lift out as you state, or are there fasteners to remove first? My wife has occasionally said she smells gas near the stove top.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
The LPG detector will only sound an alarm when the concentration of propane in the air reaches 10% of the lower explosive limit, or about 2100 parts per million— measured at the detector. As your own experience has shown, your Mark 1 Mod 1 olfactory sensor (your nose) can be more sensitive than that, especially when you place said nose right next to the leak so the smell doesn't have to travel as far.

It's pretty clear that the leak is somewhere in your stove, or in the flexible line connecting your stove to the trailer's propane plumbing.

Since your trailer is a 2016, it's a safe bet that it uses piezoelectric ignition and not a pilot light, so that fact eliminates one possible failure mode present in older units.

You may want to lift out the stovetop and check the connections on the flex line. With the control knobs in the "Off" position, spread a little bit of soapy water around the propane connections, and look for bubbles. If that doesn't isolate the leak, do the same for the three control valves.
__________________
The Tex-i-can is Ready to Camp
Morgan guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2017, 02:04 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Currently Looking...
Gainesville , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 6,801
Blog Entries: 2
Control valve on oven must be off, not on pilot.
xrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2017, 07:17 PM   #6
Rivet Master
 
SeaLevel's Avatar
 
2016 25' Flying Cloud
Jupiter , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 804
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
Since your trailer is a 2016, it's a safe bet that it uses piezoelectric ignition and not a pilot light, so that fact eliminates one possible failure mode present in older units.

You may want to lift out the stovetop and check the connections on the flex line. With the control knobs in the "Off" position, spread a little bit of soapy water around the propane connections, and look for bubbles. If that doesn't isolate the leak, do the same for the three control valves.
Thanks. I will take a look to see if "lifting out the stovetop" looks very involved.

To others: We don't have an oven or any pilot lights. We have the 3 burner stove with the microwave/convection oven below.
__________________
"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu
SeaLevel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 08:02 AM   #7
Airstream Ambassador
 
AirstreamInc's Avatar
 
Jackson Center , Ohio
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 180
Hi SeaLevel,

We're sorry to learn about the issue you described in your 2016 Flying Cloud. Please call our customer service and technical support team at*1 (877) 596-6111, option 2 so we can learn more and help.

Thanks.
__________________
Official account for Airstream, Inc.
Airstream Customer Service and Technical Support can be reached at 1 (877) 596-6111, option 2.
AirstreamInc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 02:22 PM   #8
"Space A" S/O Registry 11
 
2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 616
Not to ignore any safety tips here, sometimes when the propane bottles get near empty the added odor agent can get really strong. If the smell goes away after you fill the bottles up you are safe. If not. Do some serious leak checking.
Through the yers I have experience this numerous times.
guskmg
guskmg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 7,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeaLevel View Post
. . .
Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Is one of your propane tanks very low, perhaps, as guskmg suggested?

Quote:
Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
Not to ignore any safety tips here, sometimes when the propane bottles get near empty the added odor agent can get really strong.
. . .
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 04:04 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 7,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
The LPG detector will only sound an alarm when the concentration of propane in the air reaches 10% of the lower explosive limit,
. . .
With the detector located near the floor, given that propane is heavier than air, would not the alarm sound fairly easily if there was a leak?

Could guskmg's recent suggestion be the explanation?
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 04:53 PM   #11
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
With the detector located near the floor, given that propane is heavier than air, would not the alarm sound fairly easily if there was a leak?

Could guskmg's recent suggestion be the explanation?
The detector is near the floor, and propane is heavier than air. But propane disperses in air, filling the space available for it to fill, and thereby diluting itself.

Let's say the detector is about 12 inches off the floor. The OP has a 25-foot Airstream. The volume of air below the detector is about 175 cubic feet, or about 300,000 cubic inches in round numbers, minus the volume taken up by furniture which I'll ignore for this example. For the concentration of propane to be large enough to trigger the detector, 2100 ppm, a total volume of about 630 cubic inches (a third of a cubic foot) of propane gas would have to leak into the trailer.

Because of the mercaptans added to the propane to make it stink, your nose can detect propane at a lower concentration than the LPG detector can detect the propane— especially if your nose is in an area where the concentration is greater than it is in the area around the detector.

Since the concentration of propane is greatest right at the leak before it has a chance to disperse into the air (duh) and the concentration at the detector is lower because the propane has already dispersed into the air near the floor, it makes sense that you can smell the leak— if your nose is close to the leak— long before the LPG detector can tell you there's a leak.

What guskmg said is possible. There could be a higher concentration of mercaptans in the bottom of the propane cylinder, if the cylinder has sat for a long period of time so that the mercaptans can settle. And that can aid in the detection of a leak by smell. But if one has been traveling recently, the mercaptans should be thoroughly mixed into the propane by the motion of the tank.

In any event, the OP shouldn't smell mercaptans near the stove when the stove is turned off unless there is a leak, because the mercaptans burn off with the propane when the stove is in use. The flashpoint of ethyl mercaptans is just 97°F, and the propane flame on a stove is hotter than that.

So if the OP smells propane (or rather the mercaptans in propane) with the stove turned off, then there's a leak, regardless of what the LPG detector says.
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 7,265
Thanks for the details.

Peter
OTRA15 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 05:04 PM   #13
Figment of My Imagination
 
Protagonist's Avatar
 
2012 Interstate Coach
From All Over , More Than Anywhere Else
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 10,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Thanks for the details.
You're quite welcome. Long-winded pedantic explanations are my specialty!
__________________
WBCCI #1105
TAC LA-4

My Google-Fu is strong today.
Protagonist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2017, 05:54 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Bigventure's Avatar
 
2016 30' Classic
Currently Looking...
Hinckley , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 622
Images: 4
Faint propane smell near stove top

I would look under the burner top. The gas line connect there at the manifold. It’s very easy to put soap bubbles on, then tighten.
__________________

__________________
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

I chose America
Bigventure is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Propane Cooktop Stove, Propane Oven from 1971 Sovereign colleenkay Airstream Classifieds 0 09-14-2016 03:06 PM
Airstream Risk Taking: It's not for the faint. hshovic On The Road... 14 05-30-2016 08:11 AM
Faint gas smell at furnace solenoid Turtle LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 8 06-21-2014 07:46 PM
Heat -- using propane stove top burners or oven Jim Lee On The Road... 25 01-24-2014 05:12 AM
faint buzz coming from suburban furnace saburkha Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 5 03-10-2012 02:11 PM


Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.