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Finding propane leak?


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#1 Goat

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:02 AM

I own a 2016 FWC Hawk that I bought used two years ago.  I have struggled since then to find the source of a propane smell which seems to be getting worse.  

 

I have checked the tanks and hoses in the tank storage area by using the typical soapy water approach but cannot find a leak.  I had my AGM batteries checked last year after reading through threads related to propane smell that suggested this could be the cause but both batteries checked out fine.

I have avoided using my three-way fridge for anything but an icebox thinking that perhaps it was the culprit but I was using the camper over the past few days and while sleeping with only the heater going, the smell got bad again and triggered the carbon monoxide detector.  This happened twice over the course of the night so I turned off the heater/propane.

Do you have any pointers on other ways to troubleshoot and find the problem?  I've got a month-long trip coming up in a few months (assuming we can leave our houses by then!) and would love to have this figured out.  Thanks much for any help/advice you can offer!

 


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#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 12:07 AM

can you get at the connectors for the heater and/or fridge?  Those might be leaking.  ANY joint in the propane lines is suspect too.


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 


#3 Stan@FourWheel

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 04:24 AM

Where do you live?
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Stan Kennedy --- Four Wheel Pop-up Campers
109 Pioneer Avenue, Woodland, CA 95776
(800) 242-1442 or (530) 666-1442
www.fourwh.com
e-mail = stan@fourwh.com

#4 Goat

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 04:28 AM

Thanks Stan.  I live in Bend (OR).


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#5 NRVhawk

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 07:32 PM

I haven't used one and don't know how well they work, but you can buy inexpensive (~$25) gas sniffers intended for finding leaks.  They usually have them in stock at building supply stores like Home Depot.  That might help you narrow down the area of the leak.


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Rusty

New River Valley, VA


#6 Goat

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 09:44 PM

Thanks Vic and NRVhawk. I ordered a gas sniffer and will be digging in to see if I can track down the leak.  I'll circle back in a week once I get the probe and let you know how it goes!  


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#7 Jon&Sue_DeArman

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Posted 30 March 2020 - 10:22 PM

I had propane smell outside that ended up coming from my stove connections that had been beat up pretty bad from 13 years of off roading. But instead of smelling up the inside of the camper; since the stove top was down all the time except when the burners were lit. It was blowing back through the stove connection access and causing me to smell it outside. It was cheaper to buy a new stove top than to replace all the o-rings and connectors for 2 burners.


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#8 Goat

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 01:46 AM

Thanks for the past input.  I finally tracked down a sniffer and found the leak.  It’s coming from the lower left hand corner on hot water heater which is accessible from the outside of the camper.  I have attached images including a close up of the connection.  Should this fitting connection have teflon tape?  I would assume not since its a compression fitting.   I will take it apart and see what I can figure out but welcome any thoughts.

 

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#9 Beach

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 01:56 AM

The flare fitting where the copper tubing connects requires no teflon tape, however the pipe threads on the other end of the 90 should have teflon tape or a paste type sealer applied. Use a soap solution after you repair the leak to check it. 


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#10 Vic Harder

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Posted 12 April 2020 - 03:12 AM

The flare fitting where the copper tubing connects requires no teflon tape, however the pipe threads on the other end of the 90 should have teflon tape or a paste type sealer applied. Use a soap solution after you repair the leak to check it. 

And make sure you use the orange teflon tape, which is thicker than the white stuff used for water pipes.


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2006 Silverado 3500 ext cab 8' bed LBZ

2012 ATC Puma Shell build - https://www.wanderth...012-puma-build/

Power considerations thread - https://www.wanderth...e-power-scotty/

 





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