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Old 04-05-2018, 10:04 AM   #1
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Thumbs down 1990 T-1700 Propane smell, can't find water leak

I looked to see if there was a thread already on this and I apologize if I didn't see it. I bought a new to me 1990 T-1700 sunline and have had to do a lot of reno and learning, I'm a newbie to all of this!
1.) Water issue:
When I hooked up the line to the screw in water line, I used a regulator and water came gushing down the left side under the hot water tank area. I disconnected the hot and cold and bypassed the heater and the leaking lessened but still happened. I'm not sure where to go from there. I had to replace the whole bathroom and know that all of that plumbing is solid. When I got to my camp host spot yesterday I decided to try out my freshwater tank and pump. The back of my toilet won't stop leaking (where the water line meets the back of the toilet) even though I feel like we got it tightened down quite well. Just got a gasket and will try that tonight. The rest of the water seems to work except a leak on the kitchen faucet. The toilet flushes and doesn't leak around the bottom (thank goodness).
2.) When I turn on the propane tank that still has propane in it ( haven't gotten them both filled up yet, getting a new tank from my folks today) it smells heavily of leaking propane. Last night it was so cold I had to turn on the furnace for a few minutes to not freeze and the furnace works great, except that the smell of propane was becoming fairly prevalent after only 5 min and I had to turn it off. I have no idea where to start and to be honest I am a bit nervous about propane lol. My fridge also doesn't seem to work, its propane and electric, the replacements are too pricey for me, looking to just put in a dorm type fridge for the time being, unless someone has some trouble shooting tips.

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-05-2018, 12:31 PM   #2
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Hi Sallyforth,

To some of your questions I will try and help. I will not be back on line for a few days but others can help too and more info will help them to help you better.

The water leak, Your note seemed to indicate you have 3 problems areas right now. Please let us know we have that right.

1. With the hot water heater connected you have a major rush of water coming out of something under the heater? If this is correct you may have a split tank (cracked tank) on the water heater or cracked pipe fittings. You have to sort that one out which it is.

2. You bypassed the hot water heater and then the leak slowed down but you still have water leaking from somewhere in that general area. Is this is correct? You may have cracked piping or other fittings. If there was a water heater tank crack from the prior owner not winterizing the camper correctly, then there may be many other places of cracked piping.

3. The leak at the toilet from the back area. In this case, see if you can find out what the make and model is of the toilet so others can help. Sunline changed types and brands over the years and many of us do not know which you have.

What it sounds like you "might" have going on is the vacuum breaker valve setup, if yours has one, it is cracked again possibly from a prior owner not winterizing correctly and water in the system froze and cracked it.

With the amount of leaks you have, using water to troubleshoot can be somewhat painful if the leaks are large. It will for sure work, just we do not know if the leaks are large or drips. If they are large and someone has a small air compressor it can help. They only need to use 10 to 15 psi of air with a pressure gage installed in the camper water supply line, then you can charge the camper with low pressure. See the gage rise up, then stop adding air and see if the pressure bleeds off. If it bleeds off back close to 0 quickly you have a leak somewhere.

Then you can leave the low pressure on and go listen and feel for the air leaks. You do not need to use any pressure over 30psi for this test. Going a lot higher can cause other leaks and also dangerous issues until you know the system is pressure tight.

On the LP gas smell. This is very concerning. If you smell the gas that large, "stop" and shut the tanks back off. There can be a leak in the gas system and that can be very dangerous. You are very wise to be concerned about this.

You did not say where you smelt the heavy LP gas smell. But you said when you turned on the gas it smelled heavy.

Going out on a limb here thinking it was at the LP tank, here is something simple to try. I do not know if your older camper has been converted to the new style plastic nuts on the LP tank connection. The older ones are all brass and left hand thread. The newer ones are plastic, black or green in color and are right hand threads.

Sometimes that tank fitting connection is not good and a leak will come as soon as the tank is opened and can be a lot of leak as that is high pressure gas. You can use LP gas leak solution to look for bubbles around the tank connection. Soapy water solution also works too. Coat all the fittings with the leak solution. You can see the leak bubbles.

Beyond that this gets more complex. If you bought the camper and this is the first time you are trying to get the LP gas to work and your smelling this, I would recommend you find a LP gas service person who can do a LP gas pressure drop test. And they can help hunt down the leak.

This post can help show the 3 tests they need to do. Annual Propane System Checks

The LP gas tech can be someone who services home gas systems or someone from a RV repair shop. You may have a leaking pressure regulator by the tanks or a hose leak or other gas appliance valves leaking. Unless you have had prior experience in troubling gas and the safety behind it, this is hard to learn from a one time post.

To the fridge not working, we need more info on this on what does or does not work. What make and model is it? And tell us how you know it does not work? A RV fridge does not have a compressor like a home fridge, and you will not hear the same kind of home noises. An RV fridge when it is working right can take 8 plus hours to cool down.

I would not try the fridge on gas until you sort out the LP gas smell issue. There is a live flame on the fridge when using gas. When using it on electric there is no flame.

Hope this helps.

John
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Old 04-05-2018, 01:32 PM   #3
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Thanks so much!I will add all of that info when I get back home later this evening. Luckily I have all of the original paperwork and manuals that they got when they bought it! I will try to scan them all in here later on.
1. With the water yes. It seemed to slow when the tank was bypassed. We are getting super cold weather and snow this weekend, I will do what I can outside to try to pinpoint the area better. Luckily, I think, there isn't a big section of pipes left to check at this point, bad news if I need a new heater. Will cross that bridge if need be.

2. The propane mostly smells on the outside, it seems like it may be a leak right where you were saying near the valve, I will replace the valves tonight and see if that helps with the new tank. I think I faintly smelled it inside, it was about 2am and I was half asleep. I will do the bubble water test also.

3.) the fridge when connected to the trailer power when I would turn the electric mode on, it would blow the breaker. I then unplugged that and plugged it in the the shore power and it didn't seem like anything happened. Should I leave it plugged in for a bit and see if it cools? If it does work that way, why would it trip my trailer CFI?

Thanks so much for the warm welcome and help already! I will post loads of photos this weekend, been in a mad rush to get her "liveable" in less than a month!
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:53 PM   #4
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First it sounds like you have a problem from freezing over the winter the toilet valves are very susceptible to freezing. I recently replaced the entire propane system on my T1700 from the tanks to the camper feed, tank lines and regulator. One tank line had enough of a leak to smell of propane so now the fittings are modern and the regulator is new as are the flex lines not a real expensive fix for the piece of mind. I'm really confused about your power was it plugged into the house when the breaker tripped? Then you plugged it into the extension and it didn't? Any way they take hours to cool not minutes try it again in about 3 hours by then the freezer should be cold to the touch.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallyforth View Post

3.) the fridge when connected to the trailer power when I would turn the electric mode on, it would blow the breaker. I then unplugged that and plugged it in the the shore power and it didn't seem like anything happened. Should I leave it plugged in for a bit and see if it cools? If it does work that way, why would it trip my trailer CFI?
We need some more info on your fridge.

"IF" it was the actual fridge that tripped your GFI when you turned the fridge on electric mode, then there is one possible answer to why. The 120 VAC electric element can sometimes go bad and the element inside starts touching the metal sleeve it is in and then it creates a ground path on the AC neutral wire. That combo will cause a GFI trip fault.

And if you pulled the black normal looking plug in the outside fridge compartment and then the GFI no longer trips, that sort of helps confirm your 120 VAC element may be going bad. If when you plugged back into shore power again a 2nd time and now it does not trip, well it still may be going bad or is now really broke as the metal shifted and the grounding issue is no longer occurring. Or the element just plain burnt out and is doing nothing.

Does the fridge work on gas mode?

As was stated, these RV absorption fridges create heat in the pipes located outside to make the cooling inside the fridge. If you look outside and see any yellow residue by the boiler tube area that is a heads up. This article about fridge fire investigations shows the yellow reside on page 3 I'm talking about http://aegiforensics.com/library/pdf...ires-Part1.pdf

If you see any yellow residue near your boiler tube area, "do not" try to use the fridge on gas or electric. The yellow residue is the result of a cooling tube failure leaking out all the gas in the tubes and then the fridge will not work. And can create a fire hazard if trying to be used.

When the fridge is working correctly on either gas or electric, the pipes on the back of the fridge will get warm but it takes about 1 hour for the pipes to start warming much. It takes at least 8 hours to cool the fridge down inside.

Tell us what you know if the pipes are getting warm and or if the freezer plates in the back are getting cold. Careful to not burn yourself on the hot pipes, feel for heat before touching.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-10-2018, 06:08 PM   #6
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GFI are finicky sometimes plugging something in will trip them for no real reason campers have no real earth ground that kind of confuses them three strikes and you are out though so try again and see what happens.
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
We need some more info on your fridge.

"IF" it was the actual fridge that tripped your GFI when you turned the fridge on electric mode, then there is one possible answer to why. The 120 VAC electric element can sometimes go bad and the element inside starts touching the metal sleeve it is in and then it creates a ground path on the AC neutral wire. That combo will cause a GFI trip fault.

And if you pulled the black normal looking plug in the outside fridge compartment and then the GFI no longer trips, that sort of helps confirm your 120 VAC element may be going bad. If when you plugged back into shore power again a 2nd time and now it does not trip, well it still may be going bad or is now really broke as the metal shifted and the grounding issue is no longer occurring. Or the element just plain burnt out and is doing nothing.

Does the fridge work on gas mode?

As was stated, these RV absorption fridges create heat in the pipes located outside to make the cooling inside the fridge. If you look outside and see any yellow residue by the boiler tube area that is a heads up. This article about fridge fire investigations shows the yellow reside on page 3 I'm talking about http://aegiforensics.com/library/pdf...ires-Part1.pdf

If you see any yellow residue near your boiler tube area, "do not" try to use the fridge on gas or electric. The yellow residue is the result of a cooling tube failure leaking out all the gas in the tubes and then the fridge will not work. And can create a fire hazard if trying to be used.

When the fridge is working correctly on either gas or electric, the pipes on the back of the fridge will get warm but it takes about 1 hour for the pipes to start warming much. It takes at least 8 hours to cool the fridge down inside.

Tell us what you know if the pipes are getting warm and or if the freezer plates in the back are getting cold. Careful to not burn yourself on the hot pipes, feel for heat before touching.

Hope this helps

John
I didn't see any yellow. ITs a Dometic RM2301. The GFI tripped when it was plugged into the outlet near the fridge. When it was connected to the shore power it just never got cold. I left it plugged in for 6 hrs while I was away and nothing. MY propane lines have a leak and I think I will do what
mainah suggested after I replace my hot water heater. One thing at a time. Nothing got warm or cold on the fridge. I took it completely out and put it in my storage unit just so I could use my old dorm fridge while I figured it out
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
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GFI are finicky sometimes plugging something in will trip them for no real reason campers have no real earth ground that kind of confuses them three strikes and you are out though so try again and see what happens.
I did no dice. Thanks for the propane line tips, while I was researching I did notice that thankfully to replace those will probably be the cheapest repair I will make lol
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Old 04-19-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
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I had a recent gas line failure. Was running the fridge on propane for a couple days before a camping trip. Came home from work the second day and smelled gas around the tanks and the regulator was making a funny sound. Luckily found a new regulator at an RV place on the way to the campsite. I installed that the next morning only to hear the same hissing noise. Discovered a squirrel had chewed through the flexible line and after further research itís not that uncommon. Iím going to do what someone suggested in an old thread I found on here which is wrapping the flexible line with foil tape and covering that with split loom/conduit.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sallyforth View Post
I didn't see any yellow. ITs a Dometic RM2301. The GFI tripped when it was plugged into the outlet near the fridge. When it was connected to the shore power it just never got cold. I left it plugged in for 6 hrs while I was away and nothing. MY propane lines have a leak and I think I will do what
mainah suggested after I replace my hot water heater. One thing at a time. Nothing got warm or cold on the fridge. I took it completely out and put it in my storage unit just so I could use my old dorm fridge while I figured it out
The good news, no yellow residue.

The not good news, 6 hours and not cold. Did you feel the pipes in the back of the fridge outside, where they warm at all or cold?

It may be that your electric element is toast. And since you cannot run it on gas yet, it is i the out of order place for now. When you have the gas line unhooked, did you plug it with a gas line plug? or tape it off to keep dirt out of the piping? For sure do not use the gas in the camper unless there is a correct fitting to seal off the gas.

Most of these used 3/8 copper tubing to plumb the gas line to the fridge. I am not totally sure yours is. Assuming it is, this is the correct plug to go in the fitting to seal the gas off


Would look like this


When plugged off like that and leak tested, then you can try and use gas in the rest of the camper without the fear of leaking out of the unhooked fridge piping.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:15 AM   #11
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Thanks for the tips! I put it in storage until I get the funds to tackle this project and the propane issue, I will be back when I get ready to try it again!
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