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 Post subject: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 28th, 2016, 5:47 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2015, 7:45 am
Posts: 449
Location: Northern Virginia
Yesterday I put the rig in for the Dometic refrigerator recall (was never done by the previous 2 owners) and got it taken care of. I went next door to Tractor Supply to top off my propane. The manager hooked the hose up and started filling. After 2 gallons he told me I had a leak and couldn't put any more in. He showed me where liquid propane was dripping out the fill port. He didn't charge me and I left. Even with it valved off it was still leaking. I didn't have that problem before and did not have it when I left the RV dealer after getting the refrigerator recall done. So I don't know if he broke something attaching the hose or it was already in the process of breaking and when he hooked up the hose it just broke. So now I have a slow leak while it is parked in my driveway. Fortunately it's been windy but when the wind is still, the propane smell is there and the cap has completely frozen over. I am almost now at a quarter tank left and I'm running the refrigerator to help burn it off.
I made an appointment to have it looked at and repaired but it won't happen until this coming Monday. Has anyone ever had a leak from this fill port? Just wondering how easy to fix will be and if it will cost me an arm and leg.

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 28th, 2016, 11:05 pm 
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Joined: January 12th, 2014, 7:18 pm
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Dang skillet, that doesn't sound good. My only comment really is that the furnace burns propane pretty quick. Perhaps you don't want the risk of that heat or something though..
I've wondered if there was some tank refurbisher around that would put new valves and stuff on, but never found one so far (granted I haven't looked too hard).


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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 29th, 2016, 8:50 am 
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Joined: September 27th, 2015, 10:09 am
Posts: 22
Location: EAST TEXAS
The fill valve have a spring loaded check valve and some sealing "O" rings in it. Most propane dealers/suppliers have people that do these repairs. Not your filling type stations like TSC, but ones that supply tanks and fill household tanks. It would probably be cheaper than an RV dealer if you can find one. They have the ability to empty the tank and reclaim what gas you have.

Larry
1999 Concourse


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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 29th, 2016, 8:54 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I've never had a leak like that. Does seem kind of "coincidental" with having the propane system worked on (tangentially anyway, with the Dometic recall). But who knows. As you say, it might have been ready to go and so that or the fill just happened to be the last straw. I don't know if the tank can be repaired there or not.

One option on the tank emptying is to go someplace like an open field, turn off everything, and then just let the tank drain to the atmosphere. I haven't done it myself (haven't needed to), but I have read about if from enough people who are not danger/doofs to believe it will work. Propane "sinks," which is what can make it especially dangerous in boats, but that property can be used to advantage to empty a tank or cylinder.

Speaking of propane tanks, I have a maybe mystery myself. When I bought the rig, it just so happened the propane tank was nearly full. Registered nearly full on both the inside and outside gauges. So I merrily used propane for over a year and then decided it was time to re-fill. Gauges were both at about 1/4, maybe a bit less. Since the tank is 18.8 gallons, an empty tank should take 15 gallons to fill (80% fill level which is what is done these days). So I was expecting to take at least 10 gallons.

Well, the thing shut off after around 5 gallons. AND the gauges both showed only just a bit over 1/2. Which would make sense since I expected it to take around 10+ gallons to fill. But, I didn't *totally* trust the filler (even though I went to a gas company) because he was telling me that my tank was "expired" and had to be re-certified (even though I reminded him that it was an ASME tank and not a DOT cylinder). Geez, and this was a gas company employee?

So anyway, I went to another fill place, and they got in less than a gallon. Huh. The weird thing is, the liquid level port did (I think) spill liquid, and that is a fixed level, not a "float" type of thing. So I went away with plenty of propane to use, but a slightly unsettled feeling about whether I had a full tank or not. I mean sure, the gauges are notoriously not super accurate, but it HAD registered full when I first had the rig, so it was possible. Now it was still just over 1/2.

A couple of months later I was in a different place, with a campground owner who had filled hundreds of ASME tanks, and had some time to do mine, show me exactly what he was doing, etc. By then I had learned to put the passenger side of the rig up on one level of Lynx blocks to make it easier for them to get the filler nozzle on and off the downward pointing fill port. So we went through it step by step, but still only a few gallons went in. Somewhat inconclusive, as that's about how much I would have used from the last "fill."

So, I decided that my next move was to empty the tank completely (by using it, since there was no rush), then go get it filled. Then if it didn't take ~15 gallons I would know my suspicions were correct (and if it did, well fine, then I have no problem). That finally occurred a couple of days ago, so I closed the system down and will go have it filled (at a place that also does repair work) sometime next week. If it doesn't take close to 15 gallons, then I know something is making it not fill correctly. If it does, then great, nothing is wrong. (My guess if something is wrong is that the fill has the "paint roller" type fill float thingie inside and that it has gone awry.) I've been helping a friend with a solar/re-wire/etc. project and we've been neck deep for a couple of weeks -- but after I come up for air I'll take the Chinook in to fill the tank.

I also just got a See Level gauge system to install, and that includes a new inside propane gauge. I think it might be calibratable, but it's been awhile since I read the directions so I'm not sure. At any rate, it will be nice to have percentages on my tank levels (fresh, grey, black, propane) and not just "thirds." I removed the range hood and didn't want to go back with that same hood or those original monitors. I'll write that up after I get it installed.

Anyway, I'll be interested to hear what happens with your tank/leak/repair.

PS: I see what Larry just added as I was typing. Good point on the propane reclamation. Although if you can't get in for a few days and have a leak in the driveway, evacuating in an open field might still be an option to consider.

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 29th, 2016, 5:41 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2015, 7:45 am
Posts: 449
Location: Northern Virginia
I hear what you guys are saying but I am kind of stuck where I am working through Sunday. I won't be able to take it anywhere else before my scheduled appointment on Monday. I don't want to put it off any longer than I have to. I will unfortunately bite the bullet on repairs as well as a tank refill. If I had more time off I would have explored what was suggested here. There are only two true propane companies near me and neither of them want to deal with Rv's. They would rather do residential or walk-ins with a grill type cylinder.

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 29th, 2016, 5:47 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2015, 7:45 am
Posts: 449
Location: Northern Virginia
jlarry214 wrote:
The fill valve have a spring loaded check valve and some sealing "O" rings in it. Most propane dealers/suppliers have people that do these repairs. Not your filling type stations like TSC, but ones that supply tanks and fill household tanks. It would probably be cheaper than an RV dealer if you can find one. They have the ability to empty the tank and reclaim what gas you have.

Larry
1999 Concourse


Thanks, didn't know how they were built! Maybe I will get lucky and this will be a simple fix of a spring or an o ring. Of course I usually don't luck out that way... I didn't know it but apparently there's supposed to be a cap for that port. Never had it and any damage done to that area could have been from years of road debris.

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 29th, 2016, 7:30 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
Posts: 592
Location: Northern NJ
If it helps, not long ago I ran across this simple explanation of the insides of a tank:

http://roadtreking.com/innards-rv-propane-tank/

Attachment:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg [ 69.07 KiB | Viewed 631 times ]


Picture shows the gauge (with float), pressure relief, fill (with cut-off float), 80% full overflow, and output pipes.

The relief and output pipes are topmost to access the gas. The gauge, fill and overflow pipes are down in the liquid.

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Last edited by kdarling on January 30th, 2016, 12:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: January 29th, 2016, 7:43 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I had saved that link as well, as it's good info for ASME tanks. In my case, if there is a problem, I bet it's with the little "paint roller" thingie on the left. I'll find out when I go to fill early next week.

Skillet: I get what you're saying about being busy with work, etc. Sometimes you just don't have the time to putter around on things.

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: February 1st, 2016, 8:45 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2015, 7:45 am
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Location: Northern Virginia
I called the rv dealer when I didn't hear back from them and they were going to close in an hour. They said they couldn't get to my rig but would do it first thing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. I also let them know that since they did the refrigerator recall, my refrigerator is not working. The power lights on the panel come on, but does not cool. Not on gas nor electric...

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 Post subject: Re: Propane Leak
PostPosted: February 2nd, 2016, 8:19 am 
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Skillet wrote:
I also let them know that since they did the refrigerator recall, my refrigerator is not working. The power lights on the panel come on, but does not cool. Not on gas nor electric...


Well see, it can't catch on fire now, can it? Recall successful :twisted:

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