Propane leak?

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by JimmyM, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I switched from 20# to 30# tanks a few months ago. I think I might have a leak though. I went through 1 30# tanks in a few months. When I open the top of the hard plastic tank cover, and stick my nose in there, I get the faint whiff of propane.
    I checked with soap & water a couple of months ago and didn't see any bubbles. But maybe I wasn't thorough enough.
    Has anyone used a propane detector?
     
  2. Douggro

    Douggro Active Member

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    Haven't used a propane detector, just the soapy water. Re-check all the hoses, connection points and fittings - and don't forget the regulator(s) and tank valves.
     
  3. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    A manometer will help me set the low pressure side of the regulator but it isn't going to help me find a leak.
     
  5. Antipodes

    Antipodes Call me Paul

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    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Don't have one myself but have used one for work.
    They are pretty good but different types will give different results.
    If you are looking for one, try and find one that pulls the air in through a hose.
    If will also need to be very calm (Indoors preferably) and you need to get around the system pretty quickly. If there is a leak it will diffuse quickly and make it harder to pinpoint exactly where.
    May take a couple of goes to get the exact position.
    I have seen someone use a ultrasonic injector and then detect where the noise is coming out of the pipe, but I think that won't really work for this scenario.

    But generally the old soapy bubbles have worked for me.

    The valve itself around the gland??
     
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I got a couple of squeeze bottles and made up a soap solution. I bathed every fitting and hose with the stuff from the tank's threaded collar for the valve to the distribution block under the camper. Nothing. I cupped the solution in my hand and covered the regulator vent, nothing.
     
  7. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    1st stage vent is a tiny hole. Valve steam of service valve.
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I bathed EVERYTHING. Every seam, every line, everything.
    Bottle neck, bottle valve: vent, safety, gland.
    I hosed down the LP line running back to the distribution block and all ports off that. Checked lines at fridge & water heater. Sniffed around space heater. checked the propane grill line.
    No bubbles anywhere. There's only one more thing I can check. I checked the changeover lever, but didn't check it in both directions.
     
  9. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    why can't test for a leak with a manometer with the service valve shut and the pressure dropped to 8"?
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    That would tell you that there is a leak somewhere. It won't help you find it.
     
  11. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    not only will it confirm a leak, it can be used to determine how big a leak.
     
  12. Yak

    Yak Active Member

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    Not trying to be a wiseazz, does size really matter when it comes to a propane leak??
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I have a leak. I put a propane gauge between the tank and propane line. Turned everything on, then shut the valves. It leaked down over night.
     
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I'm using caps and plugs to isolate the leak. Testing one of the hoses now. Preliminary test immersing the hose in water showed no bubbles. I'm going to do the same thing with the other hose and the regulator.
     
  15. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    How old are the hoses and regulator? The hoses on our '15 TT started to check after 3 years, we replaced them with metal braided ones a couple of weeks ago. (If nothing else, less susceptible to animal gnawing, though we have not had issues with that.)
    If the issue began when you changed to the 30# tanks, maybe the problem is in those. It's probably not cheap, but you could take them to one of the places that re-certify tanks to have them checked out. (We have yet to have our tanks re-certified, we bought a new tank when the one aged out for the gas grill, then got rid of the gas grill. So far, none of the ones on our pups and TT have gotten too old, at least before selling the pups.)
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    How timely your post about hoses and regulator. I found 1 hose that came with the camper (it's a 2015) that had a tiny pinhole leak. I've resorted to immersing stuff under pressure into a bucket. I had a spare, checked it, no leaks.
    So I reassembled everything with yellow tape and sank the whole thing in water. Hoses and regulator.
    Looks like the HP and LP vents are leaking. Very slow, but leaking nonetheless. This is a 5 year old Marshall MEGR-253

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/efe8YV2lyJwwj8tf2
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    I just checked again and bubbling has slowed dramatically. I'm going to let it sit over night and watch the pressure gauge
     
  18. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    The tanks are not leaking. And IIRC we went through more propane than I thought we should have on our trip last year with the 20# tanks. I bubble checked the 30# tanks and valves. They're good.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Well-Known Member

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    The bubbling at the regulator has stopped completely. It must have been water filling interior spaces and displacing air.
    I did notice that the hose that I thought was good. has a tiny tiny little hole.
    There was a little bubble clinging to the hose. I touched it to dislodge it and a few seconds later another bubble was starting to form. It grew over the course of a minute and a dislodged it again.
    So I'm going to order new hoses.
     
  20. JPBar

    JPBar Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear, sounds like you got this issue solved.
     

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