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Old 08-01-2006, 02:05 PM   #1
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Leaky Propane Bleeder valve...

I just came home and went over to my A/S to turn on the inside roof vents to cool off the trailer. After I locked it back up, I was walking past the Propane tanks in the front and I smelled propane gas. I immediately opened up the tank shield top cover and noticed that a small amount of gas was leaking from the front of the tank valve (the oppsite side of where the LP lines are attached). I checked that the shut off valves were off (and they were) but gas was still coming out. I looked closer at the location were the gas was coming out of and it looked like a pentagon-shaped screw. Not sure what to do, I called the A/S dealer where I bought it from and spoke with the service tech. He told me it was the bleeder valve and someone probably forgot to tighten it when the tanks were filled (they filled the tanks by the way). He said to take a screwdriver and turn it until it stops and if that didn't work take it to a propane filling station to have it fixed.

Well, after about five minutes of turning (the screwdriver suggestion wasn't an easy tool to use to turn it), it seems to have stopped leaking. At one point while turning it it seemd the bleeder was wide opened (and scared the heck out me). I kept turning until it stopped. This is yet another item that goes on the list to have checked. For a bleeder valve, it doesn't seem to feel "tight" in either direction and seems to sit loose. Are bleeder valves something that sounds like I described and should they be loose or firm in feel when turning? I know this is a novice experience and question, but I'm not into experimenting with filled propane tanks.
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Old 08-10-2006, 12:20 AM   #2
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I am not an expert, however I believe that propane is heavier than air. And when the tank is filled the bleeder screw is opened for two reasons. To let out any air in the tank. And to tell when the tank is filled. It is an opening in the top of the tank (via the valve) that is opened during filling only. After the tank is full the screw needs to be closed or you will have the leak that you experienced.

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Old 08-10-2006, 12:59 AM   #3
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hi classic67

many modern lp filling pumps have built bleeder valves built into the pump head/handle. many do not so they will use the tank head bleeder valve. you need to know how this works and like so many issues this should hav'e been covered in detail at the delivery.

the screw should be firmly fit. wear gloves when working with the lp tanks because the contents are cold and freezer burn happens....

do you know how to disconnect this tank...by turning the green acme handle? first turn the top knob in the off direction till firm.

unhook the tank and mov'e it away from' the trailer. wearing gloves, use the screw driver to fully insert the bleeder valve screw.....should be a firm' feel but only one hand needed to tighten.

spray a little soapy water over the tank head. look for bubbles=leaks.
no leaks good. leaks retighten bleeder screw. rechec'k top knob. still leaks? leav'e the tank away for things...find an rv' dealer or lpgas service center. call them' and take the tank in.

this is covered in your owners manual with pictures.

while lpgas is denser than air that has nothing to do with your problem' or the solution. it does help to explain why the lpgas detector is close to the floor.

please report back on what results you reach.

regards.
2air
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:30 AM   #4
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Classic67----I had the exact same problem with one of my tanks a few weeks ago. If I understand you correctly you said this was oppsite the hose connection. If this is so it is not the bleeder screw the dealer talked about. The bleeder screw is on the side of the valve and is nothing more than a screwdriver slotted scew which may or may not have a small hole in the side of it. What you are discribing is the Pressure relief valve at the rear of the valve , opposite the hose connection. It has an octagon or pentagon shaped hole. If you look closely you can see a spring through the hole. The purpose of this is to limit the pressure in the tank so as not to have it rupture. One of my tanks did the exact same thing you discribe. When fully filled it would even hiss for a while until the some of the pressure leaked off. The presure relief portion of the valve was defective and I had to replace the valve. I replaced the valve myself but it COST ME !!!!! If you have the Worthington Aluminum bottles with gauges there is a PROCEDURE YOU MUST USE OR YOU'LL RUIN THE GAUGE UNIT !!!! If you're interested PM me and I'll give you that info.------Pieman
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Old 08-11-2006, 05:10 PM   #5
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classic67.....

pieman is correct on this....of course it's not the bleeder screw...your description is clearly the pressure relief valve or safety pressure valve...

i tried to find a pic of it....no luck.

this valve purpose is to allow excess pressure to escape the tank preventing it from rupture...if its too hot out or the tank is over filled (>80%) pressure can build in the small empty space. valve will open and pressure will escape...and some gas. pressure drops and valve closes...

the valve is working normally when this happens..was it really hot out? were the tanks over filled? how would you know really....

it can also be a defective valve like mike had.

sticking a screw driver in the hole wouldn't be a great idea..and might just damage the spring, threads and so on.

given your unit is so new...this has got to be a warranty item. unless dealer claims you damaged it some how....or they treat this like the electronics...and point ya toward a 2ndary vendor...

you know it isn't even easy to get to...on the opposite side and in the closed part of the collar...

let us know what happens...

2air'
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Old 08-11-2006, 06:57 PM   #6
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Classic67---not to belabor the point but the gauge unit cost is close to $150.00 and if you just unscrew to valve you will RUIN the gauge.!!!!!!
Pieman
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:35 AM   #7
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Mike, Pieman & 2air, thanks for your replies. You are right in that it is not the bleeder, but a pressure release. My tanks were/are filled and maybe this was a normal release I happened upon? I've been checking it regularly and it has not re-occured. It seems the service tech at the dealer either didn't understand my problem or gave me the wrong instructions? In either case, all seems to be in working order. As for the spring, I was carful not to disturb it and it seems fine. When I have the A/S back at the dealer for the other warranty work, I'll have them check this too. Another item on my list.

Thanks again for the help, you guys were right on.
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Old 08-12-2006, 12:02 PM   #8
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Hello classic67,
How hot was it the day you had the release? I had a bottle bleed off in
Las Vegas years ago ,it was 105 degrees out ,pressure had increased in
the bottle until it was too great ,did not lose alot . Even under the cover
the temp can even be hotter ,so its a good chance that was what you were seeing happening there.They do release if the temp is too hot/excessive pressure builds up .

Scott of scottanlily
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Old 08-12-2006, 02:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by classic67
Mike, Pieman & 2air, thanks for your replies. You are right in that it is not the bleeder, but a pressure release. My tanks were/are filled and maybe this was a normal release I happened upon? I've been checking it regularly and it has not re-occured. It seems the service tech at the dealer either didn't understand my problem or gave me the wrong instructions? In either case, all seems to be in working order. As for the spring, I was carful not to disturb it and it seems fine. When I have the A/S back at the dealer for the other warranty work, I'll have them check this too. Another item on my list.

Thanks again for the help, you guys were right on.
calssic67--- It's quit possable that the presure due to heat had risen to the release point of the presure relief valve. With mine it was a defective valve as every time that particular tank was filled it would release gas regardless of temperature until some of the pressure bled off. It was just the one tank that did it. I would keep an eye on it as the new over fill protected valves only allow 80 percent fill of the tank. That said it has to get extremely hot for that kind of pressure increase.---pieman
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:14 PM   #10
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ok,
i'm still peaved
that the service guy
wasn't clearer
and that i misread
the excellent description in post 1
and just jumped to the bleeder screw....
the advice is still solid.
turn off, disconnect, remove tank, move away from trailer, check for leaks...
retighten things, check for leaks,
reinstall tank, connections, check for leaks....

so i took some pictures of the issue at hand
we un deserving owners of new used trailers...
may not do grand restorations...
but we can take a picture
and help a traveler,
when needed.

cheers
2air'

all pix can be enlarged by clicking....and zoomed as needed...
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:18 PM   #11
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ok got your bearings?

click on any pix to ENLARGE the view...2 c better!

another view of the issue in this thread...

the pressure relief valve....

clearly a 5 sided threaded stop

with a spring and a small opening for air escape...

see em?

and the most important view....

DO NOT ADJUST! the pressure relief valve...

cheers
2air'
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all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

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Old 08-12-2006, 07:24 PM   #12
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and finally the bleeder valve,

that is opened/closed during refills

i always check it before and after someone fills my tanks

again ....they should fill by weight or gallons....

but if lpg is squirting out this valve near the end of the fill....

it is becoming....too full.

cheers
2air'

disclaimer...
also known as the fine print....
pix of 2005 40lb/9.x gal. worthington tank...ymmv, ytmv, yvmv...
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Old 08-26-2006, 06:28 PM   #13
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Mike, yes it was in the mid 90's that day and so it is likely that what you described is what was taking place. Unfortunately when i called the tech at the dealer, his instructions apparently assumed I knew more than I actually did about what to turn. That close-up photo by '2air' of the "do not adjust" is clearer than what I may have seen on that day with the propane bleeding out. I indeed turned the that star opening in an effort to stop the leaking.
My fear of course was a fire and I didn't want to move anything that may have caused a problem if I had left well enough alone. Following the directions I was given over the hone seemed to be all I neededd to do. But, yes, in hindsight, I thing moving the tanks away from the RV may have been a reasonable action. The only precaustion I took that day was to have a fire extinguisher at the ready.

Thanks guys for the info.

Fortunately the trailer is at the dealer and all will be checked for proper adjustment now.
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:08 PM   #14
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I have always found this website useful when it comes to rv safety. If you have time you might want to check it out.http://www.rvsafely.com
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