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Old 11-20-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
Portsmouth , Rhode Island
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Propane leak-can't pinpoint

2009 25FB Flying Cloud - Just had new regulator installed at factory after they found low pressure due to small leak around water heater along with what they diagnosed as a regulator that was not functioning properly any longer. Everything fine for three weeks - even made it through Superstorm Sandy (Rhode Island) in fine shape with all gas appliances lighting nicely and furnace providing just right amount of heat to keep chill off. Yesterday, interior of trailer smelled of propane with no alarm going off, only what we could smell. Turned tanks off, smell seemed to go away. Turned tanks back on, smell came back. Only thing different recently is that, two days ago, I had the trailer power-washed. All was well for a day before smell started. I know how to do the soapy water test at the tank connections but no clue where any other connections are that I might check. Any thoughts certainly appreciated!

Thanks, Jack

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:14 PM   #2
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Check the pilot in the oven. Some have a pilot off position on the oven dial. If it goes out with the dial set on pilot you will have a smell.

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Old 11-20-2012, 05:17 PM   #3
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Unfortunately, any connection where two gas lines are connected together is a potential leak. The most likely connection I'm thinking of (the way mine is set up, at least) would be where the gas line connects to the furnace.

On mine, the water heater and refrigerator gas connections pretty much would vent outside.
Edit: Duh! Stove, of course!
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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Yes, pilot light on the stove being left on is a good possibility. Also, sometimes a tank that is almost ready to run out puts out a smell from the concentrated odorant used that seems to be detectable even with no leaks. Is one of your tanks about empty? If so, a possibility.

I put an oz or so of dish detergent in a windex type bottle, and fill the rest with water. Shake it up and go hunting, spraying every connection you can find.

Recently the high pressure hoses that run from the tank to the regulator made by even good manufacturers have been having leaks at the connections. I replaced one of mine with a new one, then found it leaked, replaced it with a second one, which also leaked, and the third one did not. My parts dealer said they had been having a lot of returns on even new pigtails.

I have had flare nuts crack and cause a leak. Easy to find that with the spray bottle of soapy water.

Good hunting.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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You could always go fishing for your leak with a match !!!!!

Just a thought that might support the above post regarding the odorant being noticed but no propane alarm activating. If it is the odorant that you are smelling perhaps it wouldn't set off the alarm since the alarm would detect propane and not the odorant. The compound used as the odorant can be noticeable in very, very small concentrations.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
Portsmouth , Rhode Island
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 16
Propane leak - can't pinpoint

Thanks to all who jumped in on this with helpful suggestions! I really appreciate it. Turns out that the oderant in the propane tank is the culprit. This was even confirmed by the guys where I have my tanks filled. Seems that the oderant is not only strong smelling but sinks to the bottom of the tank and gets released big-time when the tank runs out. Could have fooled me! I was mis-led earlier because I had not only strong smell but alarm going off as well. Turns out that the regulator was dying and there was a leak at the hot water heater. Guys at the factory figured this out but never mentioned that the strong smell would stay around. All's well that ends well!


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Old 01-28-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JackRenner View Post
Turns out that the oderant in the propane tank is the culprit...... Seems that the oderant is not only strong smelling but sinks to the bottom of the tank and gets released big-time when the tank runs out. Jack
My tanks have just started doing this after 25 years of perfect service. My local propane dealer says that there is no way to get rid of the excess oderant that collects in the tank, and that removing the valve at the top would let in air and that this was unacceptable as the air could never be totally removed.
However, ten years ago I changed the valves to the OPD type myself, and tipped out the oderant that had collected. I had no subsequent problem.
Does anyone have experience of dealing with this issue? I am not convinced by the explanation I received.
Nick Crowhurst, Excella 25 1988, Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel. England in summer, USA in winter.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:59 PM   #8
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Ah, since many thousands of folks had their non-OPD valves replaced with OPD valves over the last decade -- the process essentially involves removing the old valve and screwing in a new one -- I kind of think that your dealer was a bit confused.


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