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Old 03-09-2008, 12:28 AM   #1
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flare nut split

I decided to put off going over gas connections for our new appliances until after the axles were replaced so it was easier to move under the trailer. I discovered today while doing the axle swap 4 of the nuts at connections (typically where the individual appliance lines meet the valve) were split parallel to the line itself (90 degrees off from the thread). Is this from over tightening at some point? They all seem to be towards the bottom (the ground) so it seems odd they would all crack for that reason, and all crack on the same face.

The more frustrating point is that I have to replace the line or splice (which I'd rather not do) it as the only way to get a new nut on there is to remove the flare.

Also considering either replacing or eliminating the individual shut off valves. With all new appliances I'm not sure I need them, and all seem hopelessly stuck (and I wonder if they won't leak getting them unstuck). I'm thinking of using T's unless someone has a source for new valves (so far no luck at local hardware stores or plumbing supplies).

I'm thinking of replacing the entire gas line system, but not so thrilled with the cost of copper.
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Old 03-09-2008, 06:39 AM   #2
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This is a pretty common problem. It is likely the result of a seam in the tubing that is used to machine the nut or The fact that they are on the bottom may have been caused by the action of salt water concentrate dripping to the bottom of the nut. Unfortunately, you may have to replace the effected copper lines, as there may not be enough slack to allow you to reconnect them after you have to cut them off at each end to replace the nuts.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:32 AM   #3
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You don't have to replace the lines. You can get a tubing cutter, a double flare tool, and some new nuts, and repair them.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:38 AM   #4
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Not a hard task to replace the nut, we had to on our Trade Wind. I have seen gas valves at Home Depot, Balll Valves. Should have them inline, you never know if you will need to isolate... Good Luck!
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:47 AM   #5
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Be sure to buy 'forged flair nuts' and you won't have this problem again!
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:07 AM   #6
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I tend to like isolation valves it gives you the ability to work on an appliance while the others are still in operation ( New appliances are no guarantee ). You may be able to salvage the old tubing but I would inspect it very closely. If the flare nuts are failing the tubing may be on the way. Inspect every inch of your propane system using leak detection, I bought a trailer who the PO had repaired a leaking propane leak with electrical tape and a hose clamp, the leak was behind the cabinet in the interior very dangerous. When I confronted him about he pushed it off on someone he had do work on the trailer. Propane is a very unforgiving fuel and will blow you up in an instance. Propane is heavier than air and collects at the low points which is why the lines are under the trailer and not routed inside the trailer or frame it is even more dangerous on a boat.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:21 AM   #7
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Had same problem, by replacing the valves, which are longer than the old ones I had enough length remaining to make the necessary new flares.
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:02 AM   #8
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valve and "B" nut source....

In my continuing, but fruitless, effort to avoid the Wal-Marts and Home Depots and support my local businesses I have found that my local Propane suppliers always have a huge , in stock, supply of high quality spare parts. Way more choice than you will ever need for an Airstream. Of course, I am in Texas, home of the "King of the Hill." ( I think thats an esoteric joke.)
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Old 03-09-2008, 10:49 AM   #9
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Hank Hill would remind you that you can also do a very good initial leak check using an old-timey manometer that measures column inches of vacuum or gas pressure. After shutting off the gas supply you can attach the manometer hose to one of the stove valve control fittings, for example, and see if over a period of 10, 20, 30 minutes the water column in the manometer has fallen at all. This will determine if there are ANY LEAKS whatsoever in the system, unlike a gas detector, which has to be placed in proximity to the leak, depending on how sensitive it is. I find the gas dectector better suiting to FINDING a leak than determining if the entire system if leak-proof, for which the manometer is ideal. but then, I'm the biggest propane-paranoid you'll ever meet ;-)....
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:11 PM   #10
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We've got gas. I replaced all the branch lines of the copper and new valves on each one (found female thread ball valves rated for gas at home depot and then just used a coupler to make it all go together. Restrapped all the gas lines up, and finally turned off all power and went through and pressure checked the system, found a couple small leaks, just tightened and all good (via the soap and water meathod).

Anyway, finally got to light up all the appliances, stove first, then furnace, then refrigerator, all lighted right off the bat and worked great. Can't test the new water heater until I finish the water lines.

Did find and replace 4 split nuts on there, and all 4 were split on what appeared to be the casting seam. All new were the forged nuts, only a few cents a piece more.

thanks for all your help guys.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:44 AM   #11
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Good work and now you can feel a lot safer.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:50 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goransons

I'm thinking of replacing the entire gas line system, but not so thrilled with the cost of copper.
Do it now before it goes even higher.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:28 PM   #13
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yep, all new flares and mostly new copper. Received 8 bucks for the old axles at the scrap yard, and 10 bucks for the old gas lines, just a few pounds of it! Cost for fittings, valves and pipe clamps and hose for protection going through the floor was around 200 bucks for the entire system.
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