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Old 02-22-2010, 10:29 AM   #1
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janetpowell
propane smell

Hi Gang from sunny California! We have escaped from winter in Western PA and have been out West since mid January. Last night I kept smelling off and on a slight odor of propane. We checked the connections, pilots, burner knobs, etc, but everything was fine. The next morning when I woke up I smelled propane strongly around the stove area. The LP detector is right there, is working, but had not gone off. I turned on a burner, probably not the smartest idea, and we were out of propane. I switched to the other tank and everything is working fine. I haven't smelled any propane either. We have a T-2553 with a front kitchen.
Any thoughts on this problem, should we get it checked out???

Thanks! Janet and Fred
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:50 AM   #2
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In my experience it's not all that unusal to get a propane smell when you run the tank out. There's a short period where there's not enough of a concentration to keep things burning, but you still can smell the "rotten egg" smell.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:52 AM   #3
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Hi Janet,

This is weird. Since the stove is right next to the refrigerator, did you check the connection on the back of that?

I am surprised that the detector didn't go off. Have you tried to set it off?

I have no idea if this would work, but maybe take a cup of some sort, upside down, and put it by a burner. Turn the gas on to that burner and then turn it off. Remove the cup while covering it with your hand. Put it down by the detector and remove your hand. If it doesn't go off, then even though the lights are showing it works, it may not be. I've heard cases where they do go bad, but usually they go off and won't stop unless the power is shut off to it.

My only other thinking is that maybe one of the burners was just on slightly where the knob looked OK but it was actually on just a little. The gas could have accumulated some over time. When was the last time you used it?

It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get it checked out, but I'd first try to find a way to recreate the problem. Then arm yourself with a little bit of soapy water and some sort of brush if you have it and spread it over all the connections, on the stove, furnace, and refrigerator. If you don't see a leak (bubbles of the soapy water), then I'd get it checked out. In the mean time, it might not be a bad idea to turn the gas off when you aren't using it, assuming you are plugged into electric.

How is the new truck working out?

Jon
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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Jon Said:

Quote:
I am surprised that the detector didn't go off.
Mack Said:

Quote:
There's a short period where there's not enough of a concentration to keep things burning, but you still can smell the "rotten egg" smell.
Jon: The detector wouldn't likely go off because the concentration of propane isn't high enough, but the concentration of the odorant is high enough to still smell it. The "rotten egg" smell is actually added to propane, propane itself is odorless.
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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We do carry a small handheld propane detector that I use when I disconnect an appliance. It is very handy for detecting small leaks.

We have found that when we shut off a burner that if we push it in and release it after turning to the off position this helps eliminate stove leakage. Though I'm not saying this is your problem I will say my wife firmly believes in it.
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Old 02-22-2010, 02:35 PM   #6
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I smelled propane inside the Tweety last year and couldn't figure it out. Turns out a squirrel had chewed through one of the hoses outside but the smell was seeping inside. You couldn't see it at first glance because the part he had knawed was on the underside of the hose.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Turns out a squirrel had chewed through one of the hoses outside but the smell was seeping inside. You couldn't see it at first glance because the part he had knawed was on the underside of the hose.
We had that issue the first winter we had our coach. I wrapped the replacement hose in aluminum duct tape and then covered that with a corrogated plastic wire protector. I have not had any issues since.

Squirrels have a taste for the rubber, but they evidently don't like the metal.

Mack
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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Propane density

Note: Propane is heavier than air, therefore using the cup method over the stove burner will not be an effective way to capture a concentration of the gas. This is also why the detectors are located near the floor of your coach, not on the ceiling.
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:44 PM   #9
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OK, shovel out those bar-B-ques, fire those puppies up to a nice red glow, and you'll be ready to put the "Squirrel Skewers" garnished with pineapple, etc. right on there. What better way to get rid of your "propane pests" is there ??????

Kitty
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Old 02-22-2010, 05:16 PM   #10
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It is quite true that it only takes a few molecules of anything for you to smell it, and it takes a WHOLE LOT more for the propane to reach explosive levels in open air. Lethal to breath I don't know, but able to ignite definitely.

(AFAIK Propane's potential to be lethal if inhaled is due to the displacement of oxygen)
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:48 AM   #11
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janetpowell
propane smell

Thanks Gang! I waited a couple days to be sure our problem was resolved to respond. After we switched over to the new tank, we haven't noticed any smell. But, we checked everything out to be sure and safe. The detector does work, I pushed the check button and jumped about 10 feet when it went off.
Thank-you for all the great advice, I knew this was the place to come again!!! I hope the sun is shining where you are!!!
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