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Old 01-07-2011, 09:23 PM   #1
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Installing Propane light

I just put a propane light in my 1960 AS but don't know how to connect it. It is on the end of the overhead galley cabinet right over the stove. I would like to run a line behind the cabinets from the stove connection. Can I just put a "T" in the stove line and then run the hose or pipe to the lamp? I've never worked with copper tubing before and don't know what I'm doing.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:31 PM   #2
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Yes, you can put a "T" in the line. The pressure is all the same on the down stream side of the regulator.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:31 PM   #3
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Lucy code requires all tees to be outside of the trailer. You will have to run a new copper line down through the floor and tee in to the original lines under the belly. You will need a pipe bender and flaring tool to make the new copper line. If this is the only gas line you need it might be more economical to have a local RV shop hook it up rather than buying tools. Code also does noy allow rubber or flexible hoses inside the trailer so it has to be copper pipe.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Lucy code requires all tees to be outside of the trailer. You will have to run a new copper line down through the floor and tee in to the original lines under the belly. You will need a pipe bender and flaring tool to make the new copper line. If this is the only gas line you need it might be more economical to have a local RV shop hook it up rather than buying tools. Code also does noy allow rubber or flexible hoses inside the trailer so it has to be copper pipe.
Whoa! that sounds complicated so I think I'll take it to an RV shop for hook up.

Thanks for the info! I sure don't want to blow up my little trailer after all the work I've put into it (not to mention the $$$!)
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:47 PM   #5
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Lucy it's not that complicated. After watching you do your electrical work I'm sure you could easily do this but the cost of the tools makes it cheaper to get a shop to do it. If you were replacing all the propane lines in your trailer then yes buy the tools and do it yourself.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Lucy it's not that complicated. After watching you do your electrical work I'm sure you could easily do this but the cost of the tools makes it cheaper to get a shop to do it. If you were replacing all the propane lines in your trailer then yes buy the tools and do it yourself.
Hey! You've been following my electrical stuff, huh? It feels so good to get it all done and actually have it work. I certainly couldn't have done it without the forum!

BTW, I'm Lindy, my dog is Lucy but we are ok with being called by each other's name.

My neighbor has every tool under the sun so maybe he would have what I need. Just a pipe bender and a flaring tool? If he has it can you help me put it all together? I think all the other propane lines are ok but haven't had them tested yet. That's on my list of things to get done... my VERY LONG list...
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:01 PM   #7
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What "code" applies to putting a light in a 1960 trailer?

My '64 has several T's in gas line inside (to oven, cat heater, lamp). They look stock, at least old.

Does "code" require I replace them?
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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Sorry Lindy. Yes I have been watching your work and coaching by Minno and TGTwinkie. Minno and I are friends through the forums. I am quite impressed by your abilities and willingnes to tackle new things.
You would also need a pipe cutter to cut the pipe to length. A long drill bit to get through the floor and belly will also help. 1/4" line will be fine for the lamp so you would need a reducing tee. Your main line should be 1/2" so 1/2"x1/2"x1/4" tee, a few feet of 1/4" copper line rated for gas and a couple of 1/4" flare nuts, some rubber insulated clamps to hold the line in place and a grommet for the hole in the belly will be all the materials nedded.
Flaring pipe is not hard just practice a few times to get the right depth of the flare and of course have a leak test done after installation. Soap test all new fittings and have the whole system pressure tested using a manometer.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari64 View Post
What "code" applies to putting a light in a 1960 trailer?

My '64 has several T's in gas line inside (to oven, cat heater, lamp). They look stock, at least old.

Does "code" require I replace them?
What was done in 1964 can stay and was allowed at the time. IMO I would replace them but you do not have to. Shut off valves also must be outside of the trailer. All lines must terminate at the appliance with no connection points inside. Think of it this way the fewer connections which could be potential points of leaks inside the better. However your system has worked well for 47 yrs so it's totally up to yourself.
It would be a good idea to install a propane detector and a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke alarm for your own piece of mind. That way if anything does go awry you will be aware of it in time.
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Sorry Lindy. Yes I have been watching your work and coaching by Minno and TGTwinkie. Minno and I are friends through the forums. I am quite impressed by your abilities and willingnes to tackle new things. Thanks! It has been a lot of fun learning all that they've taught me.
You would also need a pipe cutter to cut the pipe to length. A long drill bit to get through the floor and belly will also help. I know my neighbor has a pipe cutter and I have a long drill bit so that's a start. 1/4" line will be fine for the lamp so you would need a reducing tee. Your main line should be 1/2" so 1/2"x1/2"x1/4" tee, a few feet of 1/4" copper line rated for gas and a couple of 1/4" flare nuts, some rubber insulated clamps where do I get all this stuff? At a hardware store? to hold the line in place and a grommet for the hole in the belly I've already got rubber grommets will be all the materials nedded.
I'll crawl under the trailer and take pictures of the line that is already there so you can tell me where to tee into it.

Flaring pipe is not hard just practice a few times to get the right depth of the flare and of course have a leak test done after installation. Soap test all new fittings and have the whole system pressure tested using a manometer.
Looks like I'm going to have another adventure!

Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2011, 10:29 PM   #11
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Lindy RV stores or propane outlets will have the fittings and lines you need. Make sure you get copper line for gas and not plumbing pipe. I got mine from both kinds of places. I can order RV parts wholesale but found that the local propane gas suppiler was competitive with the RV wholesaler and had what I needed in stock.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:08 PM   #12
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Copper Tubing

Hi Lindy: It's me again. I see you are on another project. Just to clarify a few things. The material you are looking for is called copper tubing not pipe. Pipe is ridgid and tubing is flexible, the two are made of different copper alloys. It is available at places like Home Depot or Lowes.
As mentioned in an earlier post, you need to purchase the type designed for propane gas. If your neighbor has the tools that would be great. You will need a tubing cutter; a flaring tool set and perhaps a tubing bender.
Does your gas light have fittings on the back?
Is there by chance any of the copper tubing attached to the light?
If not you should take the light with you to get the proper fitting that matches the threads on the pipe going into the light?
Make sure you get fittings for flared fittings, Not ferrel fittings.
Here is a web site to show you how to do it.
www.askthebuilder.com/Copper_Tubing_Flaring_Tool_Video.shtml

If your light is similar to mine, it will use 1/4" copper tubing.
The problem with buying it at HD or Lowes is you will have to buy a considerable amount and it's expensive these days. You could go to a plumbing and heating shop; tell them what you want it for "propane" and they may sell the tubing to you by the foot and have the fittings as well.
Here is another one.

http://www.rvtechtips.com/?p=229
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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Lindy I should mention that you will most likely have to replace the original line you want to tee into. Copper TUBING gets britle with age and will not flare properly. Since your mentor is now posting I will now bow out and leave you to his wisdom.
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Old 01-07-2011, 11:44 PM   #14
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Lindy; wasagachris is correct. The copper does get brittle. Even with the new stuff, when you flare it you must be careful not to push the pipe too far into the flaring tool. If there is too much material above the surface you will get a deformed flair or one that is split. If you decide to use the old tubing to put the tee in; make sure you check for splits or deformations. And by all means check for leaks!

Hey wasagachris! Please don't bow out; all input and critique is welcome. Sorry if I offended you; sometimes I get carried away with the technical mumbo jumbo. So hang in there with us.
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Old 01-08-2011, 06:40 AM   #15
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I love those old gas lights but they do have some problems. First is the heat they put out. I've read some old camping tales that mention that the gas light was enough to heat the trailer in cold weather. Next is the CO problem, you must be sure to open a vent so you don't build up too much CO in the trailer. Last, the mantels are very fragile; you'll need to stock up to be able to keep the light in working condition.
It's a nice vintage touch but LED lights make a lot more sense today.
The tools needed to run the gas lines are very simple. I beleive that 3/8 copper line was used on your trailer. You have two choices; flare fitting or farrel fittings. The flare fitting is a bit more difficult to do. You cut off the line with a tubing cutter, slip on the fitting and the use the flare tool to flare the copper tubing. Practice this with scrap tubing until you are sure of your skill. The farrel fitting is much easier. Cut the tubing, slid on the fitting and a new farrel and make up the connection. The flare fitting last longer and leaks less.
I wouldn't worry too much about code. Unless you are building trailers for sale or doing work for the general public you only need to do the work in a safe manner. My old 72 AS had tee fitting inside the trailer body. Most of the fitting were outside the trailer body.
One way to avoid making long runs of copper tubing is to use a small propane canister. (the ones you see in the camping section at the store) If you mount this in the cabinet next to the light, you can avoid trying to get the lines through the walls. Also, this will be a small amount of propane. If you do get a leak there will not be a big problem.
Good luck.....post a pic of your gas light when you get it running.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:51 AM   #16
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Aaaggghhh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
Lindy I should mention that you will most likely have to replace the original line you want to tee into. Copper TUBING gets britle with age and will not flare properly. Since your mentor is now posting I will now bow out and leave you to his wisdom.
I'm should replace ALL the copper tubing? I think I'll put this project on hold for a while. Besides, my neighbor with all the tools is quite ill and it would probably be rude of me to ask to borrow his tools right now.

Are we talking BIG bucks to buy what I need? If I'm able to buy the little Pacer I'm looking at maybe it would be more expedient to go ahead and have the tools on hand (it is SO easy to rationalize buying new tools!) since that would mean replacing all the propane lines on it as well...

PLEASE don't bow out!!! As you can tell from my electrical thread, I need all the help I can get!
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:52 AM   #17
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FWIW , I believe that gas fittings required what is refurred to as a double flare , different technique and tool than a single flare.
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Old 01-08-2011, 07:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlb435 View Post

One way to avoid making long runs of copper tubing is to use a small propane canister. (the ones you see in the camping section at the store) If you mount this in the cabinet next to the light, you can avoid trying to get the lines through the walls. Also, this will be a small amount of propane. If you do get a leak there will not be a big problem.
Interesting you should suggest this since that is originally what I wanted to do. It's not as though I'll be using the lamp a lot - mostly just when we're dry camping. Problem is I haven't been able to find a hose connection that has the fitting to connect to the lamp on one end and to the canister on the other. I've been to True Value, the lumber company and two propane providers and nobody has one (Home Depot is 2 hours away). One of the propane companies said that the canisters aren't really propane (huh? it says propane right on the canister). So, any suggestions as to how to do this?
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:16 AM   #19
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Lindy: here is another website that may be of some help.
How to Flare a Copper Tubing Gas Line | eHow.com

In doing some seaching for material that will help on flaring copper tubing. I find that the use of the word "pipe" and "tubing" are not mutually exclusive. They are used to interchageably describe the same thing.

I have understood that "pipe" was measured and sized by the inside dimension and "tubing" was measured and sized by the outside dimension. But I can't find anything that will confirm that understanding.

I hope wasagachris will come back to this thread, his general knowledge and especially knowledge of the code are very valuable.

In regard to using the small propane bottles to supply the light. You will need to install a regulator. You cannot and should not connect the bottle directly to the light. If you have access to an old gas fired BBQ, you might be able to adapt the regulator for use with the light and small bottle. The regulator will screw onto the bottle and the other end of the hose on the regulator may be able to be adapted to the fittings for the light. But you should bench test this set up, I don't know if the BBQ regulator would be of the proper pressure and volumn for this application. If the pressure is too high, you won't have a light: you will have a blow torch.

Single flare fittings are used on gas lines. Double flare fittings are used on things like brake lines. I'm not sure if ferrel fittings are designed for gas. Maybe someone could chime in here to confirm it one way or the other.

It's been a while since I've purchased tools for this purpose so I don't know the cost. But what I would recommend is to buy a set of quality tools, not something you would find in the bargain bin. If you decide to buy that is.
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Old 01-08-2011, 08:37 AM   #20
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New piping

I'm should replace ALL the copper tubing? I think I'll put this project on hold for a while. Besides, my neighbor with all the tools is quite ill and it would probably be rude of me to ask to borrow his tools right now.
If you are going to tie into the main gas line downstream from an existing shut off valve. I would take wasasagachris's advice and install a new section of copper between the valve and the appliance it currently feeds. Included in that section would be the tee to enable you to also connect the light.

In thinking back when you were installing the PVC pipe for the brake wiring you posted photos of the belly of the trailer. I didn't notice any gas line running down the belly pan. Could you post pics of what is there?
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