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Old 07-14-2013, 11:38 PM   #1
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Propane line test

So I wanted to pressure test my propane lines and find out that there is a very slow leak somewhere more obvious with higher psi. Just curious, what is the acceptable leak rate if any?
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Old 07-14-2013, 11:54 PM   #2
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lp leaks?

None.
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:15 AM   #3
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At only 11 inches of water pressure, there should be no leaks at all in your propane system, that is none are acceptable.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:02 AM   #4
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None at working pressure.

Use something like Big Blue leak detector spray to find it.

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jeremy9107 View Post
So I wanted to pressure test my propane lines and find out that there is a very slow leak somewhere more obvious with higher psi. Just curious, what is the acceptable leak rate if any?
If you do air test, be sure to physically disconnect and cap the lines to each appliance -- don't rely on a valve. Purge the lines of gas before pressurizing.

I typically pressure test at 30 PSI and consider the system to be leak free if the gauge doesn't show any pressure drop after 15 minutes. Sometimes there can be a slight drop due to the effects of temperature change, and if that happens, I'll watch it for another 15 minutes or more and see if the gauge continues to drop.

But the higher quality non-drying leak test solutions work extremely well, too, even at service pressure. With the better test solutions you can leave them overnight and look for bubbles in the morning, which turns up problems you might not find otherwise.
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:16 PM   #6
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I didn't read all, but are you concerned about "possible" or "actual" leaks?
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:15 PM   #7
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This is what I used. I had all the shut off valves shut off. I pumped the tester up with a bicycle pump.

Mine held 15# pressure for 3 days. I ended the test at that time.

I replaced all the lines except the first leg of 5/8" and I replaced all the shut offs before the test.

I got the bicycle stem with pipe thread at the auto parts store. It's an air conditioner part.

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Old 07-18-2013, 12:52 AM   #8
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CWF, I have an actual leak, just can not find it and it is very slow. I have sprayed the lines and connections and can't seem to see it. I am using a similar test set up as Splitrock. I have turned off the shut off valves to the stove, fridge and hot water tank. I can't find a shut off valve to the Suburban furnace I have though. I also have an additional heater mounted on the kitchen cabinet that I assume is an after market install that definitely does not have a shut off valve. Does the Suburban furnace typically have a shut off valve?
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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You can start capping off branch lines and figure out where the leak is that way. If you put several psi of pressure on gas valves that are designed for a fraction of a psi then they might leak. The copper lines are not an issue as far as pressure. Probably 5 psi would be enough pressure. Soap and water will find the leak if you have some idea where it is. Try tightening all the joints and go from there.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:06 AM   #10
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Do NOT use fire to locate leak....even tho spectacularly effective.

Have you replaced all flex lines, have you soaped the full hose length?

Have you checked valve and tank and regulator?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:28 AM   #11
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That alerted you to the fact that you have a slow leek?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:35 AM   #12
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Also, should you have a leaky shutoff valve leading to leaky control valve the leak would still show up.

How long does leak down take?
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Old 07-18-2013, 07:42 AM   #13
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CWF, I have an actual leak, just can not find it and it is very slow. I have sprayed the lines and connections and can't seem to see it. I am using a similar test set up as Splitrock. I have turned off the shut off valves to the stove, fridge and hot water tank. I can't find a shut off valve to the Suburban furnace I have though. I also have an additional heater mounted on the kitchen cabinet that I assume is an after market install that definitely does not have a shut off valve. Does the Suburban furnace typically have a shut off valve?
My 1969 had the shut off valve inside the cabinet next to the suburban. Not on the outside.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:17 AM   #14
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Get a bottle of AC Lead Detector solution and spray on ALL points. By ALL point I mean the regulator, the gauge on the tanks, the tank valves. Short of a ware through on the copper lines the leak will be at a connection point and the test above leave out half of the likely points. You have to go all the way to the output side of every shutoff valve to complete the test. Small pieces of dirt may become affixed to the seat of one of the control valve. Remove the line after each valve and test at that point with solution.

I have seen the tank gauges, flare connection where the hose to copper connection is made, the hose itself leak, and a failure of a double seated shut off valve on a heater.

Keep in mind that gas may have a smaller molecular size than air and those pass through at 11 in. of water where air may not pass through at 30lbs.
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