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Old 01-24-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
Silver Mist
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1977 31' Sovereign
Riverhead , New York
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Question Propane smell from heater

I noticed a faint Propane smell on start up most times it cycles on.

I have a detector nearby that was tested and doesn't go off so it is so minute only a nose can pick it up.

It lasts 3-5 seconds and goes away so it's burning clean the flame looks perfect.

It's warmer during the day here in Fla so it's off all day, so
I gave the nose test outside by the intake/exhaust and I can smell propane there.


I'm guessing the valve that allows propane in is leaking, then when it is fired up burns off 99.9%

What do you think?

'77 Sovereign Intl 31' CB
WBCCI R2 Rep VAC 11411 Metro NY VP

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Old 01-24-2010, 06:05 AM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
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I had the same problem when I put in my new furnace. It was from the fittings leaking. Make sure you use plumbers tape for gas. It is usually yellow in color. I took my fittings apart and used the gas plumbers tape and the smell went away.


Brian & Adrienne
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Old 01-24-2010, 06:16 AM   #3
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1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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Naturally you want to check everything for leaks. however it is not uncommon to get a little odor, particularly as you get to near empty on a propane bottle. The odorizing agent tends to accumulate in the bottom of the tanks over the years. I will usually start to notice a little odor from the stove until the regulator switches to the full bottle then it is gone.
In your case I think you are right that a little is released at ignition. I have noticed that on an unvented heater we have in the basement.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:25 AM   #4
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2008 16' Safari
Destrehan , Louisiana
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You really need to check this out. First, is this the original heater or a replacement? If it's the old unit you may have a rust hole in it.
The heater uses two fans. One blows outside air into the fire box. This is were the gas and flame are. The burned and unburned gases are then expelled outside. The only place to leak gas into the trailer should be from the gas lines that connect to the heater.
The second part of the system circulates air from inside the trailer over the fire box. This heats the air and warms the inside of the trailer.
If you are smelling gas, either you have gas lines leaking, gas control valve leaking or a hole in the fire box that lets fumes into the trailer. Even if you don't smell gas, you could be leaking burned gases into the trailer. Do you have co2 monitors in the trailer?
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:03 PM   #5
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South of the river , Minnesota
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It shouldn't do that and it may be a safety problem.

There might be a leak where the burner connects to the gas valve. I'd check there first, with soapy water. Also, it is possible that the heat exchanger is burned out and has pinholes.
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