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Old 02-03-2014, 12:43 AM   #1
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1959 22' Flying Cloud
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LP Leak

So I live in an older Airstream and I have an LP Leak. I can smell the tell tale rotten egg smell strongly and have turned off the tanks. HELP, I have no idea who to call to come out to fix it?? It could be the regulator, a burner in the stove, a gas line, fixture... urgh its overwhelming.

I dont have the skills or time to fix this myself.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:52 AM   #2
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Open the windows and let fresh air in. Once the smell is gone you can sleep until morning and deal with it at dawn.

Call Pro Service in Los Gatos at 408-307-9113.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:49 AM   #3
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Are you sure it is propane? Maybe the refer bit the dust. It would smell more like ammonia.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:48 AM   #4
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If you have an oven, check to see if the pilot is turned off. If it is in the on position and the flame has gone out, you will get that smell inside.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:54 AM   #5
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Where was the smell the strongest? That'll give you a clue right off the bat.

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whispersiren View Post
So I live in an older Airstream and I have an LP Leak. I can smell the tell tale rotten egg smell strongly and have turned off the tanks. HELP, I have no idea who to call to come out to fix it?? It could be the regulator, a burner in the stove, a gas line, fixture... urgh its overwhelming.

I dont have the skills or time to fix this myself.
With the propane turned off at the tanks, turn it off at all of the appliances. Turn on the gas at the tanks. Leave all of the appliances off. Do you smell propane? If so, then the leak is somewhere in the piping/hoses. If not, go to the next step.

Turn on one appliance. Do you smell propane? If so, then you've either got a leak or the propane failed to ignite. Check to see if the appliance is working at all. If it's working, then you've got a leak in that appliance. If it's not working, you've got a failure to ignite.

Hint: Start with the cooktop and the stove. Those are the only appliances with a fire inside the trailer; all the other appliances have a fire outside the trailer. So if the problem is a failure to ignite and not a leak, it has to be one of those two appliances.

Second hint: After cooktop and stove, check the furnace. The firebox of the furnace is more likely to rust through and allow propane into the trailer than the fridge or water heater since the furnace is designed to pass hot air into the trailer, but the others aren't.

Question: What was your LPG detector doing all this time while you were smelling propane? It should have been beeping fit to bust an eardrum. By the time propane reaches a concentration you can smell, it's high enough of a concentration to set off the alarm. Especially since propane is heavier than air and settles near the floor, but your breathing zone is over five feet above the floor. Unless you were sleeping. But in order for the smell to wake you, it had to be strong, and it had to be sudden. You can get desensitized to an odor in about three minutes, so if you don't wake up within three minutes of first smelling it, the smell probably won't wake you up at all.

An LPG detector will tell you when the propane concentration near the floor reaches about 0.2%. You nose will detect propane when the concentration is about 0.4% at your nose. In other words, the detector is more sensitive than your sense of smell. Moral of the story, if you don't have an LPG detector, or if your detector is old enough to warrant replacement, get one!
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:02 AM   #7
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LP Leak

Rotten egg smell can also come from overcharged batteries. You mentioned living in your AS... If you have an older converter that isn't intended for full time charging, it can boil out water and that hydrogen sulfide gas is a common indicator. It is also explosive. In either case, you need to find the source and take the appropriate corrective actions. LPG and battery gas don't really smell the same but for many, rotten egg smell comes to mind.
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:54 PM   #8
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Thank you so much for all the quick responses! I sprayed the pigtails with soapy water and found tiny leaks there, but the smell was so strong inside the trailer that I think I must have another leak. I currently have the gas off, and have not smelled the rotten egg odor so it's definitely gas as opposed to battery. Usually I can go four months or more on my tanks. When I'm about to run out I I have smelled the rotten egg smell. I only have 1/2 tank left and it's only been two months. So yeah, wish I had a LP Detector and realized there was a problem sooner. Could have saved my propane and health to have fixed this sooner. I'm going to do some more tests tomorrow to see if I can isolate it. Thanks "Protagonist" for giving me some steps to follow.

My airstream is old school and has original appliances (stove and fridge) from the late 50's. The stove and oven don't have pilots and have to be hand lit every time. I've been running the fridge with electricity rather than gas and haven't been using the gas furnace, so it's shut off. The water heater does have a pilot. So if it's not a line leak than it's got to be either the water heater or stove. Both are within a yard of each other so it's tough to tell which one is the culprit smell wise.

Thanks "See More" for the Pro Service phone number too.

Xo
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