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Old 08-09-2015, 06:55 PM   #1
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Gas smell from hot water heater

Just got back from a camping weekend with our 3 yr old 8285 rock wood signature ultra lite While out started getting a gas door inside the 5th wheel around the hot water heater. There is a distinct door bug not enough for the gas sensor alarm to go off. Any thoughts?

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Old 08-09-2015, 10:03 PM   #2
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I had read that it might be due to the propane tanks being low. No such luck. The smell is as strong as ever.

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Old 08-10-2015, 08:39 AM   #3
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You need to mix up a weak dish sap and water solution a "paint" or spray all of the connections from the water heater back to the tanks. this needs to be done with the tanks on. If any of the connections are loose they will bubble. Then you can repair accordingly.
Also take a shop vac and clean out the water heaters combustion chamber, make sure it is turned off and the gas is off.
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Do you have Gas? 2015 F350 6.2L CCLB DRW 4.30 axle. 2012 Yellowstone Ridgeline 34RLT Fifth Wheel
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:48 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I will give these a try before I take it in to get it fixed by the Rv service department.
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Old 08-11-2015, 06:33 AM   #5
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Check to see if the fitting on the cross pipe is cracked.
This is the pipe that goes from one side to the other to combine the two tanks.

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Old 08-11-2015, 01:36 PM   #6
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Also suggest you check the LPG monitor alarm. If you can smell it, the alarm should be going off. I've even heard of then going off due to methane when small dogs farted near them. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:37 PM   #7
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When the propane fired to heat water on our unit we, too, smelled a gas odor. However, it's not the smell that's put in LP.

We soon realized we were smelling combustion exhaust entering the window next to our dinnette, because the outside vent located very near that window and the abscence of wind that day allowed it to drift in.

If we either closed the window, or waited until water was up to temperature before reopening it, the smell was gone. The next time we switched on the HWH to do dishes I stood outside next to the vent and the odor coincided with the burner igniting full was the smell of exhaust gas.

Of course, unless you are certain the smell you perceive is not propane you owe it to yourself to have the unit safety checked.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:27 AM   #8
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I use about an ounce to 5 ounces of water with a cheap foam brush. Start at the HWH and work towards the tanks and check every fitting. Check the stove also. IF YOU SEE ANY BUBBLES IMEADITLY SHUT OFF THE GAS!! Do this on a day when there is no wind blowing and you will probably find you are good to go.

It is a good bet you smelled the exhaust from the heater. Were you using your furnace? Could be the exhaust from it also. How often do you use your heater? It might just need a good cleaning.

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Old 08-14-2015, 05:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the feedback. I am always amazed at all of the great advice that everybody so willing to help.

I ended up taking the FW to the dealership and they were able to solve my problem. In the end there was a small crack in the fitting that joins the furnace to the gas line. It took two technicians a couple of hours to find it and make the repair.

At this time I need to give a shout out to the RV dealership. This is the second time in the last two years that I have taken the FW in for a small repair that took a few hours to fix and they did not charge me for the labor. This is what I call great customer service.

I don't know if it is acceptable or not but it is the RV dealership in Lacombe Alberta that is on highway #2. If/when we buy a new RV I will definitely go back. Further I would recommend them to anybody.
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Old 08-15-2015, 06:22 AM   #10
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So, you were smelling propane......good nose!

Glad you turned it over to the experts.....sounds like it was a hard leak to find.

Good for you for acknowledging them! And good for you for saying they're your huckleberry when it comes time to replace this RV!

And "that's what I'm talkin about" when I say stay with your local dealer when they are shown to be incredibly service oriented. When shopping for that new RV, show them the deep discount price quote you got from the "mega-lot" on the other side of the state/region, and ask them to meet you halfway. You can keep your dollars local and keep a local company in business to continue to provide you superior service (which has a $$ value).

Ours is on M99 just out side Eaton Rapids, Michigan (and yes, you are correct! It is the only Eaton Rapids on Earth....LOL)


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