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Old 12-13-2009, 06:34 AM   #1
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Just got out of the hospital and do not want to blow myself up...

Spent the last several weeks in the hospital for emergency neck surgery and now it is back to the little tin hut and day after day of rain to recooperate.
I noticed my oven was getting very sooty on the walls and the flame was popping a bit, then the pilot went out. Tried to start my catalytic heater, nothing doing. Went out and switched tanks over and everything seemed to return to normal. Figured the first tank had just gone low and then empty.

I took the other tank in to get it refilled, but it only took 1.2 gallons. Came back home and left the set up as it was using tank #2. Then on two occasions, when lighting the oven pilot, a few minutes later the propane alarm went off. Hit the silence button, turned everything off, opened the door and windows and no more alarm. I am using my microwave instead and an electric heater since I am still a little too under the weather to seriously sit down and figure this out right now.

Anyone have some ideas and easy to follow instructions for checking this out? Could the other tank have bad gas in it? Also please put in a good word to God for me that this will turn out to be a simple problem.....

Yours truly,


Carol Clarke
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:06 AM   #2
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Carol,

I had noticed your absence (so look forward to your posts!), was a little worried about you. Sorry to hear about your neck surgery, and hope you have a quick recovery.

Can't help you with the propane/oven issue, will let the pros do that.

Take care of yourself, and good to have you back.

Maggie
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:46 AM   #3
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My fear of gas is well known-being a former burn nurse. One of the reasons that I still have bought electrical appliances to use in our 78. I know that really isn't an option for you so hopefully the experienced folks can help you out. Really glad you are back and hope things go better for you and you are back to your art soon.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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It may be a bad LP regulator.
Here's a link to one, with an automatic switchover valve:
Propane Auto Changeover Two-Stage Regulator - Item - Camping World

The price isn't bad, if you have the cash and can DIY. If you do DIY, make sure you use the yellow Teflon thread tape.

I also had to have my neck bolted back together a few years ago. The neck brace I had to wear for a week or so scared the crap out of our dog...
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:35 PM   #5
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If your regulator has gone bad nothing will work as it should. Are your other gas appliances working correctly now or are they also acting up? It's possible that you have a loose connection in the gas system in the oven itself. There's a line that goes from the back of the oven control knob to the burner under the oven, and a pilot light gas tube that runs alongside it, to the pilot light itself. In mine the smaller tube is the main burner feed and the larger line is the pilot light feed- not as I would have expected. If you can check the connections at the back of the knob and at the burner and pilot areas one of these could be loose. The ones behind the knob are easy to get to, lift up the cooktop and they are right there. The other ends are under the floor of the oven, and I would suspect them more, if for no other reason, because they are harder to get to(Murphy's law). Maybe you can get some help with this if you are laid-up. otherwise just get more microwave food for now

Good to have you back!
Rich the Viking
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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Black soot is unburned fuel, check air supply, spiders have been known to clog air vents.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:40 AM   #7
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Oh my gosh, thank you all so much for your kind words and helpful ideas. It is amazing to me that so many people I have never met are trying to figure out problems for me, especially at a time when I feel like a sick kitten and pretty helpless.

All the other appliances were working fine on Tank #2. I have been too nervous to turn them on since that alarm went off. There is no way I can get my head down to check connections in the oven just yet. (This post surgery head gear is a bit tricky on the best of days, with my luck I would probably just get my head stuck IN the oven. I can just imagine my neighbors when they finally find me... "Now why do you think she went through all the pain of the surgery if she was just going to off herself in the end?")

I MIGHT be able to check an air vent for spiders if someone would tell me where they are. My trailer has the original "Magic Chef" 4 burner stove/oven combo which has always worked great up till now. How will I know if a spider is in there? How do I get him out? I don't suppose I'll be doing the usual hit him with a dose of Spider Be Dead spray....

I must be getting better, my sense of humor is coming back...

Thanks again everyone,
Carol, that bear lady in California
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:02 AM   #8
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You haven't lost your wit and sense of humor. We had mud daubers in our propane lines, complete clogged everything, we were told to put a fine mesh screen over the opening to prevent it from happening again---which it has, thus far.

The thought of you and the head gear in the oven or under the trailer, trying to resolve this on your own, is a little frightening. Who is nearby who can come and help you?

Forums members? Carol needs assistance so she can relax and get back to the business of healing---and writing hysterical stories for us to read and enjoy!
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:28 AM   #9
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Well if any Airstreamers are in town in Ojai, CA right now, I would certainly appreciate anyone who might be able to come by and take a look. As one of the Ojai Studio Artistis, I would be willing to barter some art work for your trouble. Go to Ojai Studio Artists | Home and click on Artists, then look for Carol Clarke in case you are interested. Even my local mechanic here is bartering auto repair for my paintings. To top it off, my back surgeon traded his $22,000 surgery bill of my previous surgery for one of my big landscape paintings. When he told me that the night after the surgery when I was going berserk about how I was going to pay for everything, I suddenly had the feeling I could quite possibly levitate right off the bed, float myself down to the beach and walk on water. Sometimes there are moments in life you will never forget for as long as you live...

I am ready and waiting!
Carol
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:39 AM   #10
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Sounds like the angels are on your side.
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Old 12-18-2009, 06:40 AM   #11
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Carol,

If we were able and could help you, we would. You are a treasure.

Maggie
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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Carol, do you have anybody near you that may not be exactly a design engineer, but can follow instructions?
Do you know if the oven and catalytic heater run off the same branch? That is, do both those items run off a single copper line from under the trailer? Does the water heater work properly? Is the line for the water heater closer or further away from the LP tanks than the oven?
When you said the catalytic heater didn't work, do you mean it wouldn't light, or wouldn't stay lit?
We had a trailer come in for repair that had water in the LP lines, and it did some very goofy things. My initial question is if you can find somebody there that can use a pair of wrenches to loosen the LP lines at the fittings, and see if water or bubble come out. I still think you have a bad regulator, it is allowing too much pressure into the system, but we'll try ruling out the "free to fix" stuff first.
I don't think it would be mud dauber nests inside the lines, you've been using them daily until you went to the hospital, and a pure propane atmosphere is not conducive to insect life.
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:09 AM   #13
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not in order

-----

air / fuel mixture (air supply)

crimp / debris in fuel line

regulator failure
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:27 AM   #14
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The oven and the back catalytic heater run off the same branch.
I believe the water heater is on the same line.

The only time I had a problem with lighting my heaters was the same day the oven was making a popping sound and I noticed the pilot went out. I assumed I had run out of propane and switched it over to the other tank. Then everything suddenly worked fine.

I can't remember exactly what I did that made my propane alarm go off. It was several days later. I think I tried to light the oven pilot light. So I shut off the propane going to the stove/oven which is located under my left front stove burner.

I stopped using the catalytic heater then only because I was feeling nervous about a leak.

What should I do or try turning on first?

Carol
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