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Old 12-01-2008, 08:23 PM   #1
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Gas leak --- HELP?

Was told the gas smell coming from propane tanks this summer might be related to heat and not to worry OK. Saturday my daughter and I were going to do a camp driveway night so that afternoon I open the tank valve (only one gas bottle connected) and then go into the garage to do a few things. My daughter playing basketball on the driveway says "dad, whats that smell"? I leave the garage and boy can you smell the gas! I close the valve immediately. No camp driveway. Today I unhook the gas bottle and switch it to the other side and turn it on. Go do a few things and come back. Whoa! not only do I smell gas but I hear it. I forgot to flip the switch to the side the gas bottle is on and gas is pumping out. Is that normal for it to do that?
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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DrPlay,
I think you did the right thing by closing all valves and, evacuate the unit until all traces of propane gas is cleared.
BTW, DID YOUR PROPANE Detector go off during any of this?
I would highly recommend that you enlist the aid of another member from this forum, who is close by your location, to come over and..Give your unit a safety check walk thru.
Learn as much as you can about the proper operation of all gas operated appliances in your trailer. The gas smell could be the results of a valve control left open. Perhaps
If after checking the unit and, you can still smell gas.
Then..
Tow it to a repair shop and have it checked out by a professional.
Good Luck~
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:29 PM   #3
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You said that you only had one tank installed. This could be the problem. I have noticed that when I remove one of my tanks for filling, I smell some gas from the other tank coming through the regulator unless I shut off the full tank. Before going any further, I would suggest that you connect both tanks, open their respective valves, and see if you smell or hear anything. If you do, close both tank valves and bring the trailer into the dealer or other competent repair person.

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Old 12-01-2008, 10:11 PM   #4
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Maybe I didn't explain the situation correctly. I had the roadside bottle attached and valve open. BUT the switch was pointing to the curbside bottle (which was not attached). The regulator was drawing gas from the roadside bottle and spewing it into the already polluted NJ air!

Does that change any opinions?
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:15 PM   #5
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Propane detector did not go off but I didn't turn the thermostat on nor the stove or any other gas appliance.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:38 PM   #6
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I agree with Moosetags (post #4)...try the set-up completely hooked up with both tanks and see if you smell/hear gas. You should not hear or smell anything once it's sealed and has sat for a bit.

The fact that you had the tank switch pointing to the position of the missing tank may have had something to do with what was happening...point the switch to the full tank and disconnect the empty tank...if you don't smell or hear gas you have probably figured out what was going on.

I doubt that your propane gas detector would have sounded since this all happened outside the unit. If you can't figure it out, don't take chances...shut down both tanks, and take it in for someone to look over the situation. (We often smell a faint gas ordor when disconnecting and replacing tanks, but it should dissipate quickly.)

Good luck!
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Does that change any opinions?
Nope.
Put both bottles on and retry. Your switching valve is probably leaking through.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:43 PM   #8
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Let you all know tomorrow. Goodnight and thanks.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPlay View Post
Maybe I didn't explain the situation correctly. I had the roadside bottle attached and valve open. BUT the switch was pointing to the curbside bottle (which was not attached). The regulator was drawing gas from the roadside bottle and spewing it into the already polluted NJ air!

Does that change any opinions?
Hi, no that does not change my opinion. If you insist on only having one tank, then remove the other hose from the regulator and use a pipe/fitting plug where the hose was.
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:48 AM   #10
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Let you all know tomorrow. Goodnight and thanks.
You have a defective regulator.

They cannot be repaired, and must be replaced.

Why??? It's and explosive hazaed. Parts have never been available for any LPG regulator, ever made.

Andy
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:20 AM   #11
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Hold on here, people....

Let's examine the scenario....

No tank hooked up to selected pigtail...

Plenty of Propane/Butane (I will just refer to Propane from here forward) in the secondary (standby) bottle...

The regulator "selector" (bottle selector) switch IS NOT a valve...it merely activates a cam to give a bit of "help" to the spring controlling the input from the selected tank...BOTH tanks are capable of feeding the the first stage regulator of a two tank system at any given time (via individual spring/pressure controlled ports) and, due to the physical properties of Propane, this "dual supply capability" is actually desireable.

As Propane is drawn off of the "selected" bottle the Propane in that bottles cools, possibly to the point of not supplying enough "gas" vapor to satisfy demand...(ex. water heater and stove being used, then the furnace kicks on). When the pressure to the secondary regulator drops a bit (a very little drop is required), then the "standby" bottle kicks in (and overcomes the slight demand edge the "primary" bottle has due to the selector cam/spring depression) and "helps out" the primary (selected) bottle.

In actual operation BOTH the bottles should be turned "ON" to let the two Primary regulators in the two stage regulator sort of "throttle" between the two. Remember, a two stage regulator actuall contains THREE regulators - two high pressure (one for each bottle), and both of these feed a single second stage (low pressure) regulator. The bottle selector (actually, a spring depressor) allows for this "throttle" action, giving preferential demand to the selected bottle, but allowing the "standby" bottle to kick in when demand dictates.

This is where the feedback problem kicks in...with regulators manufactured PRIOR TO 2006, there is NO check valve to prevent gas backfeeding to the whip (pigtail) of an empty or non-existant tank (which is probably happened to Dr Play, since he had the selector switched to the "open" whip. So, yes, Dr. Play, the fact that you did not have a tank attached to the "selected" tank DID figure into the amount of gas that was lost when the "standby" tank was turned on, but, there would have been "some" gas lost even if the selector was turned to the tank that was connected to the system, assuming, of course, that there was some demand for flow called for by the second stage portion of the regulator assembly.

This "problem" was corrected on units manfactured post 2005 (2006) in that the Feds required some sort of "check valve" or "back flow preventer" on the "newer" units. Some of the manufacturers built the "check" into the regulator body, others installed them in the "whip" end which connects to the bottle (the "green" screw on assembly). For this reason, when replacing whips (pigtails) on the newer regulator valves (ESPECIALLY if you do not know where the check is located in your particular regulator), it is better to purchase the whips with the checks built into the screw in (bottle side) assembly.

Coincidentaly, the screw in assemblies with the "check valve" in bottle end of the whip usually have an "excess flow preventer" combined with the check. This is secondary to the "excess flow preventer" found in the tank valve. This combination of "check valve and excess flow preventer" COULD be a requirement for checking during trouble-shooting a no flow problem on an RV Propane system - you may have to depressurize the system and turn the "Screw In Assembly" every which way but loose to unseat a "stuck" valve, ball, or spring.

I have some WWW addresses should anyone want additional information - please PM me.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:55 PM   #12
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Hey, that's some good information! I always wondered why one tank disconnected could allow a gas off from that pigtail (new regulator circa 2001). I replaced my old one for that specific reason... and found out the new one did it too.

I say hook both of the tanks up and retest (as it sounds like you are going to do). I'd also spray some soapy water around all the connections up front to see if any bubbles form.. evidence of a leak. Also spray it around the regulator. There have been some instances of defective ones that leak (I remember Marshall brands having this issue some years ago).
Marc
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:29 PM   #13
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OK everyone!

Hooked up second bottle, opened the one and no gas smell or noise. This seems very strange as it means if I run out of gas in one bottle and remove it to get it filled I need to turn the other off.

Dennis is it possible that on my 2006 CCD the regulator was manufactured prior to 2006 and is the older type? And even if it is does it make no difference as Marc suggests.

Andy --- should I try turning on the furnace? I'll pay up my insurance and send my daughter to a friends house.

Brian B
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:29 PM   #14
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Check valve idenity?

Hi, 87MH; If this is the case, there must be some way to identify, for example my 2005 model, if I have the regulator or hoses with the built in check valves or not. Not that I ever plan on running with only one tank.
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