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Old 12-31-2015, 04:00 PM   #1
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Propane Gas Detectors

We're unexpectedly boondocking for the first time ever tonight. The temps are going to be in the 30s tonight, so we want to run the heater. We usually run a space heater for heat, so I'm nervous.

I've got everything running and the Bambi is toasty. Propane Gas Detector has a green light, and is not beeping. Are these things pretty solid and dependable.

Trying not to die tonight,

Lynn


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Old 12-31-2015, 04:32 PM   #2
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Push the test button if it has one, just for piece of mind. If you are really worried buy a second one, your first one us ten years old and may be aged out. Being redundant and safe is okay since you are concerned. Stay warm.
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Old 12-31-2015, 04:33 PM   #3
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It is probably more important that your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors are working.

My 2001 trailer has its original propane detector in it. I understand that the newer trailers have detectors that their manuals say have a limited lifetime and should be replaced periodically. Neither my detector nor its manual have any such warnings so I tested it by leaking a small amount of propane it its vicinity. It alarmed. This is not scientific as I had no way of controlling the concentration of propane, but it at least showed the detector was functional.

Your trailer may or may not have a carbon monoxide detector. Mine did not, so I added one. I also replaced my smoke alarm when it did not go off in the presence of smoke from a wadded up paper towel when I tested it.

If you have your manuals, check them for how to test the detectors. On mine you just push the button on the detector. Also check to see if periodic replacement is recommended. If you don't have the manuals, google the model numbers and see if you can download one.

Again, I'd be more concerned about the furnace leaking carbon monoxide into the trailer than propane, and either is probably a very low chance of happening; but an annual check and maintenance activity is warranted.

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Old 12-31-2015, 04:46 PM   #4
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Propane Gas Detectors

Thanks Al. I have both and the test button on both creates the beep. The carbon monoxide alarm has a sticker on it with a replace by date which I'm well past. I'm going to drive to the Dollar General and see if they sell them. No need to risk it if I can get a new one.


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Old 12-31-2015, 05:01 PM   #5
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Home Depot, lowes and most hardware stores will carry them also.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:02 PM   #6
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If you are really concerned, open a window just a smidgen. Open one that is away from where you sleep. Then pop out your bath vent a little bit. That quantity of air circulation should keep the air fresh inside.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:19 PM   #7
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Thanks all. DG didn't have one and the town is way too small for a Home Depot or Lowes. There is a hardware store in town, but it's not open.

I'm not super worried, but will probably open a vent, just in case.


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Old 12-31-2015, 05:42 PM   #8
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One last question. I can smell propane outside, near the front door. I've tried soap bubbles on all connections and can't find anything. How concerned should I be? The smell isn't inside at all.


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Old 12-31-2015, 05:43 PM   #9
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Turn the water heater off.

I've got some thoughts about taking the CO detector outside in the vicinity of the furnace exhaust and see if it sounds off. But I'm not sure if there is enough CO present to do it. Anyone else have a thought about testing the CO detector this way? Or is the push-button test on the detector adequate?
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcurrie View Post
One last question. I can smell propane outside, near the front door. I've tried soap bubbles on all connections and can't find anything. How concerned should I be? The smell isn't inside at all.


Lynn
Austin, Tx
2005 19' Bambi
I'm sure we can smell propane near our furnace exhaust when it's running, is your furnace running when you smell it?
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:52 PM   #11
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Propane Gas Detectors

Water heater is off.


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Old 12-31-2015, 05:53 PM   #12
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Yes, the furnace is running when I smell it.


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Old 12-31-2015, 05:55 PM   #13
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If you're really concerned, we've slept in campers in good comfort with enough blankets, socks and pajamas without a heater, well below freezing. I wore my stocking cap as well in a few of these situations.
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Old 12-31-2015, 05:55 PM   #14
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My trailer has two propane tanks. The regulator has two ports to connect to the tanks and a third to go to the trailer. There is a fourth port that is a diaphragm to the outside air pressure. Check that for leaks even though there is nothing connected there. You may have to pop off a plastic cover to access it. You should not smell propane anywhere at any time.

I had to replace my two-tank switch and regulator because I removed one tank that needed filling and it leaked propane out that hos even though it was connected to the other tank.

Dab some soapy water along your hoses and at the connection where the flexible hose from the regulator connects to the piping for the trailer.

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