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Old 02-16-2016, 10:08 PM   #1
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Possible Propane Leak?

Hi:

I'm thinking I may have a small propane leak. Our trailer is on a seasonal site and when we leave for the weekend, the last thing I do is shut off the propane at the tanks. When I return 5 days later, the first thing I do is light up the w/h but I have to wait for a minute or two before I can finally get the pilot lit (it's a Suburban Model SW6PR). It seems like I have to purge the lines every weekend before the heater pilot will light. When it does, it works fine.

If the last thing I do is turn off the propane tanks, shouldn't the lines stay full and pressurized for those 5 days? I'm thinking it should and I'm suspecting a small leak is draining the lines which is the reason I'm having this issue every weekend when trying to light the pilot. BTW, the propane detector has never gone off and I've never smelled propane around the trailer. Am I missing something or is the w/h pilot just hard to light?
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:22 PM   #2
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Buy a bottle of gas leak detector and spray all the propane line fittings. If there is a leak bubbles will form. A cheap and easy way to put your mind at ease.
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Old 02-16-2016, 10:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontherock View Post
Hi:

I'm thinking I may have a small propane leak. Our trailer is on a seasonal site and when we leave for the weekend, the last thing I do is shut off the propane at the tanks. When I return 5 days later, the first thing I do is light up the w/h but I have to wait for a minute or two before I can finally get the pilot lit (it's a Suburban Model SW6PR). It seems like I have to purge the lines every weekend before the heater pilot will light. When it does, it works fine.

If the last thing I do is turn off the propane tanks, shouldn't the lines stay full and pressurized for those 5 days? I'm thinking it should and I'm suspecting a small leak is draining the lines which is the reason I'm having this issue every weekend when trying to light the pilot. BTW, the propane detector has never gone off and I've never smelled propane around the trailer. Am I missing something or is the w/h pilot just hard to light?

Every RV we have ever owned does the same thing.

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Old 02-16-2016, 10:33 PM   #4
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Buy a bottle of gas leak detector and spray all the propane line fittings. If there is a leak bubbles will form. A cheap and easy way to put your mind at ease.

And why not use soapy water in a spray bottle. Reminds me of the guy who first put water in a bottle, thinking he could sell it, boy I missed that opportunity.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:27 AM   #5
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Your model water heater has a constant pilot light that stays lit during use. If you are only shutting off the gas at the bottle and not at the water heater gas valve, gas is escaping thru the pilot line. When you shut off the gas do you hear an alarm coming from the water heater? Your. model is supposed to have what's called a reignitor and should start and keep the pilot lit during use. It is equipped with an alarm in the event of loss of gas or it the pilot will not relight.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:25 PM   #6
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I also camp seasonal, But I do not turn off my propane tanks as it is the back up for the fridge when the power goes out. I do however turn off the hot water tank and the water supply each time we leave, and crack the faucet on the sink. April 15th can not get here soon enough he says looking at all the snow.....sigh.....
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Old 02-17-2016, 02:15 PM   #7
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I also camp seasonal, But I do not turn off my propane tanks as it is the back up for the fridge when the power goes out. I do however turn off the hot water tank and the water supply each time we leave, and crack the faucet on the sink. April 15th can not get here soon enough he says looking at all the snow.....sigh.....

Same here too

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Old 02-17-2016, 08:33 PM   #8
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Your model water heater has a constant pilot light that stays lit during use. If you are only shutting off the gas at the bottle and not at the water heater gas valve, gas is escaping thru the pilot line. When you shut off the gas do you hear an alarm coming from the water heater? Your. model is supposed to have what's called a reignitor and should start and keep the pilot lit during use. It is equipped with an alarm in the event of loss of gas or it the pilot will not relight.
Rich5117 thanks for the suggestion and you're correct, that is exactly the way the heater works. My mistake - I didn't say that when I shut down for the weekend I would turn off the re-igniter and shut down the gas at the water heater valve prior to closing the valves at the tanks. That's why I'm starting to believe that I have a small leak that's bleeding off the standing pressure each week.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:43 PM   #9
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Ontherock, yep sounds like you might have a small leak. I posted in another thread, when we turn ours off the green inductor on our regulator stays green. I opened a burner on the stove just to make sure it was working, it immediately went to red. Only one time did ours leak down but it was an o-ring in one of the bottle whips.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ontherock View Post
Hi:



I'm thinking I may have a small propane leak. Our trailer is on a seasonal site and when we leave for the weekend, the last thing I do is shut off the propane at the tanks. When I return 5 days later, the first thing I do is light up the w/h but I have to wait for a minute or two before I can finally get the pilot lit (it's a Suburban Model SW6PR). It seems like I have to purge the lines every weekend before the heater pilot will light. When it does, it works fine.



If the last thing I do is turn off the propane tanks, shouldn't the lines stay full and pressurized for those 5 days? I'm thinking it should and I'm suspecting a small leak is draining the lines which is the reason I'm having this issue every weekend when trying to light the pilot. BTW, the propane detector has never gone off and I've never smelled propane around the trailer. Am I missing something or is the w/h pilot just hard to light?

Leaking diaphragms in gas regulators are common and is away from the detector. Try your detector spray at the tiny vent hole opening opposite the supply to the reg. diaphragm.
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