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Old 06-03-2014, 06:31 PM   #1
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Question Mystery Propane Leak

We have a 2012 Wildcat Sterling Edition 5th Wheel and could use some assitance.

At the end of last season, we filled our propane tanks and winterized the rig. Our first trip out we discovered that most of our propane was gone. Thinking I errored at the end of the season I just refilled and continued on.


We needed to have our "tankless water heater" serviced because it became a tankless water dispenser. When I delivered the 5th wheel for service I exlained the issue with the propane tanks to the service manager.


The service tech checked the obvious connections and couldn't discover any leaks. The day I picked up fiver there were no gas smells inside the coach but I could smell gas in the drivers side compartment, (note open to the ground). The service tech said I just had a sensitive nose.


Low and behold when we got the rig back home all the propane (two large tanks) was again empty. The service manager said they could again check for leaks but couldn't explain where the gas was going.


I'm about to take it back to the dealer and would like to have a suggestion for the service tech that would be helpful resolving my issue.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Tom
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:45 PM   #2
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Remove the tanks and take them to a place and have them refilled and checked for leaks there. I suspect one of the tank valves is leaking. Did you turn both tanks on while they were in the 5er? If so, one valve leaking would drain both tanks.
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:37 PM   #3
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Actually I was unfamiliar with exactly how the auto regulator worked so I only opened a single tank at a time and manually switched the regulator. All worked fine our first season. Last year I switched to using the regulator with both tanks turned on and have have a problem since.

I will try to purge the lines and "Slowly" reopen both tanks and see if the regulator will show a full condition for each tank. I removed my tanks when it's time to refill, and will check the valves at that time. Thanks
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Old 06-03-2014, 07:54 PM   #4
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I only turn one tank on at a time so I always have a full tank. When one goes dry, I switch the valve over and go fill the empty tank. Much easier to do than having both go empty in the middle of a cold night or on a weekend with no refills available.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:12 PM   #5
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In my 5th wheel there is a crossover hose that connects the driver side tank to the automatic regulator on the passenger side. If a squirrel or mouse got in there he could have chewed a hole in the hose.
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:04 PM   #6
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What I discovered after I shut off all gas, disconnected and reconnected both tanks, slowly opened both valves. Then went into the kitchen purged the lines by lighting the cook top. I then went back and sprayed soapy water on all the fittings and hoses around both tanks. I discovered that the cap on the very top of the automatic regulator created the prettiest large bubbles. It is slow enough that it will take some time to drain both tanks but still be enough that I can smell the gas when I open that door.

Propane being heavy would normally fall to the ground and wouldn't build up enough to be smelled in the small amount that was leaking, but since the leak is at the top of the tank it was right at nose level when I stuck my head in the compartment.

Note this also where the technician claimed to have checked three different times and not only didn't detect any leaks but couldn't smell any gas.

Thanks to the very informative suggestions here in many posts. With their help I was able to discover the problem and will have a new regulator in a week from the dealer.

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Old 09-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
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Proplem with Propane tanks.

Here a little follow-up on my earlier reported issue.

It turns out that our automatic regulator was defective. It was an intermittent failure that made identifying the problem such a challenge.

The short answer is this part is not serviceable. They are not overly expensive and had I just replaced it out I could have repaired the problem quicker. However, I hate chasing a solution by blindly buying parts.

Although it was a frustrating experience, I will have a better idea of an answer sooner in the future. All is well in the RV again.

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