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Old 02-18-2016, 08:31 PM   #1
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2010 19' Flying Cloud
tucson , Arizona
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Propane leak at Water Heater

This past week I took the trailer out for a night and noticed a slight propane smell; when I went outside to check the water heater area there was a very obvious propane smell coming from the water heater. Needless to say I turned off the propane at the tanks. I am planning to take the trailer in to the Airstream Orange County repair shop tomorrow.

Is this a common occurrence for the water heater to begin leaking like this? Is there anything one can do to prevent leaks from starting, or is it just something that happens sometimes?

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Old 02-18-2016, 08:34 PM   #2
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If you have the copper tubing flare wrenches, check the fittings where the supply line attaches to the refrigerator, they might be loose due to time and vibration.

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Old 02-19-2016, 09:51 AM   #3
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Get two small adjustable wrenches, cup of soapy water, and eye dropper or Q-tips. Turn off water heater. Turn on gas. Soap up gas line fittings. See bubbles? Use wrenches on both sides of fitting and tighten a very little bit. Repeat bubble test.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:58 AM   #4
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Mix up some soapy water and paint the fittings leading to the gas valve and the valve itself. This should bubble at the leak.

It is most likely the flared nut at the valve and you can tighten it without going to a shop. if the valve body itself is leaking you need a shop
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Old 02-19-2016, 11:44 AM   #5
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Check fittings for leaks with soapy water.

Additionally: Check brass fittings for proper tightness. If over-tightened, brass fittings can crack.

Q: Do you have a propane sniffer??

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Old 02-19-2016, 01:34 PM   #6
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When troubleshooting, begin at the beginning—

Is the water heater line actually leaking propane, or is the heater just failing to ignite? Either one could lead to the smell of propane around the heater.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:43 PM   #7
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is it burning ? is there a spider web in tube ?
I often find the 2 stage valve leaking past when not on , possibly because they are exposed to the elements they are more apt to have problems with corrosion .
back in the day we took them apart and cleaned with zippo lighter fluid , usually did the trick . now , thanks to liability nobody fixes them we just get a new 1 (appx 150.00 ) the leaking past thing rarely leaks bad enough that you can smell it .
is enough however to fail a stand test.
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Kayt, please come on back and tell us how you resolved this.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:11 PM   #9
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I took the airstream in to a service shop and they are replacing a valve in the water heater. Seems like it was bad enough to need to just be replaced. Looking forward to not having a gas smell anymore!

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