Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Propane Blues

I know the flower has no correlation to propane at all, but I feel I need to share photos.......

The other day I ran out of propane on one tank, so I went outside and turned the empty tank off and turned on the tank that was full. Immediately, I heard hissing. I turned it off, went inside to get a cup of soapy water. I then started checking the connections and got sloppy with the cup of water, spilling it all over the regulator. Interestingly, that was the only thing that was creating bubbles, indicating a leak.

It was a red regulator, all metal, so I had no idea that would be my problem. Sometimes, it’s good to be sloppy! I turned the tank off and then took the regulator out of the system. Sounds easy, but I struggled with those connections for a long time someone strong put them on!

It was Saturday, but I took it to about 4 places in town to see if I could get a direct replacement. I’m in a small town, so there wasn’t much to choose from. No one had a direct replacement and one place wanted to sell me one with a step down connector because the threads weren’t the right size on one side. I declined because I didn’t want an extra connection. Good instinct, although I didn’t know it, and not because of the connections.

Monday, I took it to a propane shop in town. They fill all sorts of tanks and sell parts. They had been closed on the weekend, unfortunately. In doing some research, the manager there found out that I had a 30 psi regulator (hence, the red color) and it sends the propane to the secondary regulator on the other side of the RV, which then sends the propane to the stove.

The part was ordered, since it was not something they carried. It came in the next day and I installed it. Of course, I checked it for leaks - multiple times. I also checked the other side for leaks - I have 2 tanks, one on each side of the RV.

I had a double tank system on my boat, but the tanks were in the same compartment and there was only one hose with a regulator. In order to change tanks, I had to move the hose (with the regulator attached) from one tank to the other. It was a much more simpler system than this one I’m dealing with now.

I am very respectful of my propane system - I’m very careful with it and was worried that I may get the wrong part, which I almost did at that one store. It had been the wrong pressure specifications as well as the wrong connector size. It was a good thing I was so skeptical and felt I had to get the perfect replacement to be safe.

When checking your propane system, it's probably a good idea to be a bit sloppy and dump that soapy water all over everything. It can't hurt, and you just might find a leak where you wouldn't expect one!

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