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TomO

Propane Smell At Tank

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I have a 1996 Beaver Patriot with a 40 gallon propane tank mounted just behind the front tires. It provides propane to the Onan generator and to the coach refrigerator, stove, furnace and hot water heater all of which work well and have been well maintained.

I have noticed a very faint smell of propane when I first open the service door to the tank where the valves, regulator and gauge are located. The smell dissipates rapidly once the door is open and often I am the only one who can detect the odor. I have checked connections and used leak detector (bubble fluid) and can find no leak. A visible inspection of the tank reveals no problems though because of the undercarriage mount I can not clearly see every square inch. I have never detected any odor in the coach, basement or at any of the appliance outside connections.

Since the generator is seldom used I keep the liquid valve which supplies it turned off.

Is this normal or do I have a problem?

Thanks for any insight.

Tom

Newbie in an older coach.

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Tom,

Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

Quite likely the vapor regulator is original and may have a small leak.  They are only about $25.  If you can not find a leak elsewhere doing the "bubble test", I would replace the regulator.

Be aware that there are to very different styles of regulators:

If installed horizontal, the vent (quarter size screened area) will be perpendicular to the long axis of the regulator.

If installed vertically, the vent will be on the long axis of the regulator.

Usually the same price, but the vent MUST face DOWN.

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Thank you wolfe10 for the info. After posting I spent time doing more research both online and speaking to service reps and found one answer consistent: one should not detect any odor anywhere in the propane system. Though I might be able to make a fix on my own being inexperienced in working on gas systems I decided to look over the shoulder of a qualified and well vetted technician. Service will arrive tomorrow.

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Tom, good luck, maybe you will learn something looking over his shoulder. I do not blame you one bit, if you do not feel comfortable working on it call someone in.

Better off safe than sorry.

 

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While I agree that an experienced tech is a good idea, you will spend more  on that than just starting by replacing the regulator.  And, regulator replacement is not a bad idea on that age coach even if it is not currently leaking.

Another option is to have the tech have/you provide a regulator available when he starts.

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