How To Find RV Propane Leaks

How To Find RV Propane Leaks

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Leaks for any vehicle can instantly become problematic. It’s normal and fine to have this problem, but the same can’t be said if you don’t do anything about it.

The most obvious reason is that they instantly become a fire hazard. All it takes is a really hot day or for the engine to overheat one time, which could set the RV on fire.

You are obligated to find a solution to your RV’s propane leak and should just do it in general as it’s good practice. Also, if you try to ever sell your RV, the buyer is going to haggle and force you to sell your RV for less than its worth.

It generally doesn’t take that much effort to fix the propane leak as long as you’re willing to learn about your RV. All of them are different, however, this article is going to teach you about some of the generalities that come with RVs. Obviously, not all of RVs are the same.

Propane leaks mean that you’re getting less out of the gas that you’re buying.

RV’s have stoves and grills that are powered by propane, which would limit the kinds of food you could eat. This guide can help you learn about parts that you should be familiar with when working on this RV or maybe this help you with the RV that you currently own.

Worst comes to worst, you can just ask a professional mechanic about the problems that you’re facing and get a professional recommendation.

How to find RV propane leaks

Generally, you should be able to smell any propane in your RV with a strong odor if the propane has leaked.

There are a few methods to test whether this is actually true.

One popular method is to get a spray bottle and fill it up with one part dish soap and four parts water to spray on any of the connections.

Then, if you do have a propane leak, there should be some big bubbles that stick out. This should be a dead giveaway, if your problem is real and when you see those problems it’s time to take action.

Generally, you should also use some cleaning solution to get any residue off of those connections. You should be able to get a tube which is made exactly for cleaning propane connections at a convenience or department store. If not, you can always get them online.

If you’re experienced with propane tanks, you may be able to take care of this issue yourself, but it’s much better to call a technician that deals with propane tanks.

In some cases, they might be able to completely repair the propane tank that you have, but in many more cases, they’re just going to tell you to get a new one.

Is it dangerous?

It can be very dangerous if you don’t take care of the problem for a long time.

The most obvious step you can take is stopping the usage of that particular propane tank. It doesn’t mean that you have to throw it away, but every time you decide to use that tank, you’re taking a massive risk for yourself and everyone else in that RV.

In fact, completely disconnecting the propane tank from the RV is the only sure way to completely protect yourself. The connection itself is also likely going to be very dirty. Take time with the cleaning tools that you have so that it’s good for a replacement.

Why your propane has stopped working efficiently

The refrigerator in your RV is powered by the propane tank. This means you need to get this working within a day or some of the food that you use could get spoiled.

There are some ways to check this such as turning on the gas stove in your kitchen.

The flame on the gas stove should be almost completely blue without many signs of yellow or orange.

Orange and yellow flames on the gas stove are a sign that’s there’s oxygen in the connectors with your propane. That’s a warning that a fire explosion could come out of nowhere.

Which propane leak detector to use

The techamor Y201 is a perfectly good option for your first propane leak detector. It is not costly and provides a ton of information about the status of your current tank. It can be purchased online and at your local store but does require batteries.

The Pangea is a great gas detector of any kind for similar price as well. It comes with batteries and has a fiery red design that can stick out from any other tool that you’re going to use.

Testing propane leak detector

Using these tools to detect any potential propane leakage should be very easy.

These gas detectors come with a pointer that’s flexible and it going to make a buzzing sound if there’s any significant amount of propane that’s going to leak. There’s very little setup and it’s completely portable.

Propane leak repair

The easiest way to deal with a propane tank that you’re having problems with is to just throw your current one away. Unlike other products that turn into the trash before you get a new product, you’re going to need how to throw away your old propane tank.

Typically, wherever you live, there should be a place in your town where you can throw away canister.

There should also be exchange facilities where you can give them your useless canisters.

Throwing them away traditionally is very inconvenient to the people picking up your trash and could have serious environmental consequences if too many people do it.

Typically, the easiest part of replacing your propane tank is going to be getting a new propane tank.

There are tons of groceries stores in your area that are guaranteed to carry that around. Though, there may not be one that fits your particular RV. In that case, things could be a bit more complicated. Generally, there should be some sites that deliver to where you live, the exact propane tank model that you’re looking for.

If you’re not sure what model you should get, just read your RV manual and it should tell you.

Next, when replacing your propane tank, you should clean all of the areas that connect the propane to the appliances. When using this kind of energy, it can only carry propane or you run the risk of a fire hazard.

Dust will accumulate over time which is easily combustible. There could also be oxygen in the pigtail or other valves which could be dangerous as well. It’s better to get a new pigtail and make sure that everything is secured tightly.

Also, make sure to clean the areas where the propane tank is going to be connected.

How to minimize the chance of propane leakage

Making sure the areas where you’re going to cook are clean is the most basic method of minimizing leaks. The smell of propane is very strong and recognizable and if you still find yourself smelling propane hours after cooking, you’ve probably done something wrong.

Maybe its that you could have forgotten to close the valves or the propane could be supped to something that you’re currently using. Not only is this a problem due to danger, but it’s a waste of energy over time.

Every couple of months you could look at the parts that your propane tank is connected to and spray them with water and soap. If there’s a significant level of propane that has leaked, there should be bubbles everywhere.

At that point, you know it’s best to stop using that tank of propane or at least shut off the gas. You can also get new pigtails or connectors to the other parts of the RV since it’s not like they age perfectly at all. There should be certain propane checking gauges you could get to have a metric for how much propane is left.

The last option you could take is talking to the technician that deals with RVs and propane tanks.

For the most part, you should be able to contact anyone who works on any RV but telling them the model of RV that you have can also be very helpful.

If you’re not confident with dealing with the dangers that could come from a potential propane leakage, then it best to call them. Not only is this individual going to tell you where the source of the leakage is coming from, but they can also give you professional recommendations as well as great service.

Karuna N

Karuna is a RV enthusiast who loves outdoors and passionate about writing about RV's and camping in general.
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