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Old 02-07-2011, 08:14 PM   #1
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1973 29' Ambassador
Columbia , Missouri
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Gas for the first time

Hello all,
We have a 1973 29' rear bed ambassador, we have done a lot of cleaning and small visual repairs but have not turned any gas on yet because we sent the tanks away to be tested filled and have new valves installed. Now the tanks are on their way back and we don't have a clue where to start testing things, and don't have any papers on where to start, any help out there?
Thanks
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:29 PM   #2
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Soapy water on all connections with gas on.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:01 PM   #3
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You should have a series of gas valves in the gas line mounted under the trailer this will give you the ability to shutoff the gas to the water heater and the furnace. Your stove should have a valve under the stove top as well. Checking with soapy water is a good way to find any leaks and so is your nose.

One thing that I do to periodically test for leaks is to open a propane tank and then close it. You should have an indicator on your regulator that will turn green when the gas is turned on. With the gas turned off, it should stay green. Mine will stay green for several hours. If yours turns red (no gas pressure) as soon as you close the tank valve, you have a problem.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:57 PM   #4
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What kind of problem is it? I think mine goes red when I turn it off...

Carol
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:27 AM   #5
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What kind of problem is it? I think mine goes red when I turn it off...

Carol
If it goes red immediately, you either have a leak or one of your appliances is on. If everything is off the pressure in the lines should keep the indicator green for a while. The refrigerator (on gas) or the pilot light on the stove could cause this.
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:48 AM   #6
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I guess then my next set of questions would be how do I go about lighting each unit, are there procedures to find online, or in paper, I have never lit a pilot light before and honestly don't know how.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:01 AM   #7
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Use a match or a lighter that you use for your grill to light the cook top. The furnace should light on its own like your furnace at home. The water heater lights on its own or you need a match or grill lighter depending on which kind you have. The frig. again depends on the type. You should be able to get papers for each appliance.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:11 AM   #8
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Use a match or a lighter that you use for your grill to light the cook top. The furnace should light on its own like your furnace at home. The water heater lights on its own or you need a match or grill lighter depending on which kind you have. The frig. again depends on the type. You should be able to get papers for each appliance.
The "lights on its own" thing is not standard for all '70s models of furnaces and water heaters.

In fact, we replaced our water heater in 2009, and chose a new model with no auto-lighting (due to price, and less things to go wrong).

Also, I would suggest the long-nosed BBQ lighter, and not a match, since gas fixtures sometimes light up in an aggressive fashion. You'll be more comfortable with a lighter, and they last longer than packs of matches.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:25 AM   #9
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Oh yeah, use the long-nosed lighter!

Quote:
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Also, I would suggest the long-nosed BBQ lighter, and not a match, since gas fixtures sometimes light up in an aggressive fashion. You'll be more comfortable with a lighter, and they last longer than packs of matches.
Using a long-nosed lighter means your eyebrows will also last longer if you get one of those "aggressive" lightoffs!

The long-nosed lighter also works better for reaching into places such as the oven pilot buner, which at least on my oven is WAAAAY back under the bottom of the oven.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:13 AM   #10
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Remember there is a time lag for each burner to be supplied with usable gas flow after installing a fresh tank on a system that hasn't been used in a while.

Propane gas pressure is measured by how tall a column of water (wc) is displaced - one PSI equals 27.68-inches wc so the 'weak' 13-inches wc our regulators provide will take a while to purge air and diluted gas from the supply lines.

That pool of purged air & gas can make for a dramatic flare-up if you aren't ready for it!
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:09 AM   #11
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Most pilot light type gas appliances of that vintage have a thermocouple that shuts off the gas if the pilot light goes out. To keep the gas on for lighting the pilot, there's usually a button you have to hold for 30 seconds or so while the thermocouple heats up.

The kitchen stove will usually be the exception to this. Ours has a pilot in the center of the cooktop for the burners and another at the back of the oven.

Most people recommend lighting the stove pilots first when a new gas bottle has been installed, as that purges the air from most of the gas lines.
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Old 03-14-2011, 02:58 PM   #12
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Uh, is it such a good idea to test the pipes live with gas? I bought a fitting with a gauge and a tire pump nipple (Shrader valve) to pump up the gas lines with air, with all the valves turned off to the fixtures. That way, as I work my way along the plumbing, there won't be the potential for gas seeping out puddling somewhere. You still do the soapy water bit, but can safely make sure there are no leaks for most of the system. My two bits.
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:03 PM   #13
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Call your local gas company - they can give you several local individuals that will do a leak test for you. They put air in the lines and with a very sensitive guage can tell you if there is a leak. The costs will be minimal. Much better than using real propane (safer) and a much more reliable test with all the connections behind stuff in your trailer.

Did this on my house years back when we went to buy. I think the cost was $40, 6 years ago.

Mike
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Old 03-27-2011, 08:16 AM   #14
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I just got my Worthington tanks inspected and re-certified. I have made changes to the system on our 66 and am needing the hoses, and regulator next. So I could add a Schrader valve before the tank hoses temporarily to test the system using my compressor?
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