Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-19-2009, 05:07 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
1976 24' Argosy 24
Bonita , California
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 32
Images: 13
Water heater propane smell

72 23' Safari has a slight propane odor in the street side closet when the water heater is operating. Flame is well adjusted, pilot does not seem to adjust and is a little yellow (rich). Turning off the heater removes gas odor. Doesn't appear to leak from the Roberstshaw contol or fittings.
__________________

__________________
Bonitafarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
 
2008 27' International CCD FB
Vero Beach , Florida
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 24
Sorry to hear about your predicament.

I don't know much, but I don't mess with leaking propane. Keep windows open and fans going. Shut propane off at tank. Do you have a propane detector? One other thought is propane does not have a smell. They add sulfur to it so we humans can smell a leak. Just maybe it is the hot water that has some sulfur in it from well water or a water heater that needs to be cleaned.

If it was me I would get help from someone that knows propane

Please be careful

Caveman
__________________

__________________
AlumaCave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 08:34 PM   #3
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar

 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,642
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
What is the make and how old is the water heater? Ditto on getting a propane detector. You can also use a propane sniffer to help pinpoint leaks. By the way in addition to a propane detector it's a good idea to have a CO detector and a smoke detector. I think there are units that do all three.
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 08:47 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
1976 24' Argosy 24
Bonita , California
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 32
Images: 13
It's the original Bowen, I replaced the Robertshaw control about 5 years ago. But think about how the water heater works, Its a water tank with a burner that goes in at the bottom around the tank and out the exhaust at the top. I suspect here could be a leak in the flue/ hot exhaust sytem but since the flame is good where is the odor from? I doesn't appear to be incomplete combustion, but since the odor stops when the gas it turned off at the control, it must be past that point. I have smoke detectors and CO detectors but run with scissors.
__________________
Bonitafarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 09:14 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Lumatic's Avatar

 
1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,642
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
It sounds like you are on the right track. I'm sure you considered it may be time to replace the heater. Is the smell raw propane or flue gases?
__________________
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
Lumatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 09:22 PM   #6
Rivet Master
Airstream Dealer
 
Inland RV Center, In's Avatar
 
Corona , California
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 16,499
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonitafarms View Post
72 23' Safari has a slight propane odor in the street side closet when the water heater is operating. Flame is well adjusted, pilot does not seem to adjust and is a little yellow (rich). Turning off the heater removes gas odor. Doesn't appear to leak from the Roberstshaw contol or fittings.
Does the water heater main burner make a "roaring sound" when running?

Andy
__________________
Inland RV Center, In is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 09:29 PM   #7
3 Rivet Member
 
Currently Looking...
Cincinnati , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonitafarms View Post
.............. but run with scissors.

Kinda like Edward Scissorhands?!?!?!

Woody
__________________
Woody.303 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
Since the smell is only while the burner is on check the orifice to make sure it is screwed in tight. It has to be that or the piping from the gas valve. I have seen them loose and gas leaking out there. Sometime seeing a flash flame there while the burner is on.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
Moderator
 
jcanavera's Avatar

 
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,002
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
One last thought....is the propane tank near empty? Many times the chemical added to give propane its odor will be concentrated at the bottom of the tank. When the burner operates on that last amount of propane, you will detect the odor during the burn.

Jack
__________________
Jack Canavera
STL Mo.
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 07:05 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
richinny's Avatar
 
2011 34' Classic
Westchester Cty.NY , / Miami FL
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 3,122
good point. that odor will linger a while too!
__________________
Ricky
2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
richinny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 03:58 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
1976 24' Argosy 24
Bonita , California
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 32
Images: 13
Thanks for all the input !! The tank is 3/4 full; no roaring sound, ( can adjust flame to make it noisy); seems to be a propane smell, it is slight, but enough wife finds it objectionable. noticeable inside the rig, not outside;connection to control, pilot and orifice are secure.
__________________
Bonitafarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 04:10 PM   #12
Rivet Master
 
HowieE's Avatar
 
1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,813
Images: 12
If you smell it inside you have a leak in the lines not in the heater. Make a solution of Simple Green and spray every connection under and in the trailer until you see small bubbles.

I just found the elbow below the tanks had worked it's way loose at the Flared joint. My wife could smell it about half of the time. Tank drained in a month.
__________________
WBCCI 12156 AIR 3144 WACHUNG TAC NJ6
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

HowieE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 04:32 PM   #13
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
1976 24' Argosy 24
Bonita , California
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 32
Images: 13
The odor is only there when the heater is operating. I shut it off at the Robershaw control, not at a petcock. If it was a line before the control, it would be there all the time. We ran it 30 minutes this weekend at a rally, no odor before, none afterward. Stove and oven work fine, didn't use furnace (It's 92 degrees in Sandy Eggo right now). I am leaning to it being a flue leak, So much for replacing the spongy bathroom floor this weekend.
__________________
Bonitafarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 06:31 PM   #14
2 Rivet Member
 
1972 23' Safari
1976 24' Argosy 24
Bonita , California
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 32
Images: 13
Good news, bad news. worse news. Ok so I decided to buy the water heater. It arrived and today I went to put it in. This involved emptying the closet and I saw light...from the lamp indicators MOUNTED DIRECTLY ABOVE THE EXHAUST VENT FOR THE WATER HEATER. Odor was probably flue gas leaking in through the bottom of the plastic housing. Duct tape would have fixed it !
Since I had the water heater, figured I might as well put it in. Pulled the old heater out and found some termite droppings. Pushed my finger through the floor in several places, so I will have to replace some flooring.
Good thing we have the Argosy moho to go out to the next rally in,
__________________

__________________
Bonitafarms is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Smell of propane in '81 MH Astrodokk Classic Motorhomes 7 11-14-2009 04:08 PM
Smell propane pjude Furnaces, Heaters, Fireplaces & Air Conditioning 5 11-11-2008 10:12 AM
Resolved propane smell....I think Dan S All Argosy Trailers 6 10-21-2007 07:30 PM
Combination propane electric water heater Pecos Pete Water Heaters, Filters & Pumps 10 03-03-2007 09:40 PM
Propane smell jimmieanna LP Gas, Piping, Tanks & Regulators 19 08-19-2006 03:24 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:04 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.