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256bit

Previous owner said he "capped the line"

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Posted (edited)

I have an '83 sunrader. Any ideas about what he meant? I would have thought he was just been full of crap, but it was days *after* I bought it that he left me a voicemail saying that I had to "uncap the line". He swore up and down that the stove/oven works.

I replaced the propane tank, screwed it in, unscrewed the propane valve, and instantly the entire RV smelled like propane. Turned it off.

I have checked the line as far as I could, and it doesn't appear to be obstructed in any way. The only part of the line that I can't see is where it goes up behind the stove, but it's inaccessible without removing the entire oven.

I tried uploading a picture but the file was too large. The line runs through what looks like some kind of funky regulator with two valves, one that has an arrow.

 

Edited by 256bit

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So is the new propane tank one intended for horizontal use. If so then your going to have to start your search for the leak. Get help. Someone to turn that tank on and off quickly so it doesn't build up. Get spray bottle with soapy water in it. I like kids bubbles from the dollar store. They really bubble up when they hit a leak. Then start at the tank work around regulator and all hoses in propane compartment. Then check water heater. See if propane is turned off there first but still could have a leak. Then fridge. Access from outside and you will see the propane lines. If you still didn't find the leak I'm afraid the stove might have to come out. Take top off first. I think you can see where lines connect but not exactly sure. Good luck.

Regulator is my first thought. I have had to change mine and when they go they can leak a ton. Cheap to buy and not hard to change. Hope it's that

Linda S

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Posted (edited)

41 minutes ago, linda s said:

So is the new propane tank one intended for horizontal use. If so then your going to have to start your search for the leak. Get help. Someone to turn that tank on and off quickly so it doesn't build up. Get spray bottle with soapy water in it. I like kids bubbles from the dollar store. They really bubble up when they hit a leak. Then start at the tank work around regulator and all hoses in propane compartment. Then check water heater. See if propane is turned off there first but still could have a leak. Then fridge. Access from outside and you will see the propane lines. If you still didn't find the leak I'm afraid the stove might have to come out. Take top off first. I think you can see where lines connect but not exactly sure. Good luck.

Regulator is my first thought. I have had to change mine and when they go they can leak a ton. Cheap to buy and not hard to change. Hope it's that

Linda S

Re: horizontal, nope. Just a bbq tank from the gas station...

Good advice on how to find the leak though. The regulator is ancient and covered in decades of dirt and grime, so it's suspect. No fridge or water heater thankfully, just the stove.

I'm still just confused about what the hell he was talking about when he said that he 'capped the line' because I don't see a cap on anything. It runs from the tank to the regulator then back through the wall where it should.

Would it be alright to just stand the tank upright on the ground while testing before I bother getting a horizontal tank in case it turns out that the stove doesn't work at all? Now that I think about it, it would be easier to just rip the stove out and test it outside to see if it even works before I bother replacing the regulator and all of the lines.

Edited by 256bit

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18 minutes ago, 256bit said:

Re: horizontal, nope. Just a bbq tank from the gas station...

Good advice on how to find the leak though. The regulator is ancient and covered in decades of dirt and grime, so it's suspect. No fridge or water heater thankfully, just the stove.

I'm still just confused about what the hell he was talking about when he said that he 'capped the line' because I don't see a cap on anything. It runs from the tank to the regulator then back through the wall where it should.

Would it be alright to just stand the tank upright on the ground while testing before I bother getting a horizontal tank in case it turns out that the stove doesn't work at all? Now that I think about it, it would be easier to just rip the stove out and test it outside to see if it even works before I bother replacing the regulator and all of the lines.

DO NOT use a regular propane tank on its side!  Yes you can stand it upright on the ground for testing!

 

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Using a BBQ tank on its side will pass liquid propane into the regulator, this is seriously BAD

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ditto to what the other guys said if your tank is currently in the horizontal position. Disconnected it. Install a new regulator. reinstall tank in upright position and see if it still stinks. That will tell you if you have a leak somewhere else. If no stink get the right kind of tank. You could have blown out the regulator with just the liquid coming from the improperly used tank. I know your compartment doesn't have room to leave it upright

Linda S

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cylinders are vertical (think BBQ)  tanks are horizontal - permanently mounted.

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17 minutes ago, DanAatTheCape said:

cylinders are vertical (think BBQ)  tanks are horizontal - permanently mounted.

Not necessarily true. Manchester tank calls their horizontal removable DOT propane tanks cylinders.

Linda S

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4 hours ago, linda s said:

Not necessarily true. Manchester tank calls their horizontal removable DOT propane tanks cylinders.

Linda S

Yes they do make horizontal tanks that are removable but they are special tanks it's all  about having the discharge above the liquid level. Liquid propane is a bad thing.

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Posted (edited)

On 4/11/2017 at 1:26 AM, linda s said:

ditto to what the other guys said if your tank is currently in the horizontal position. Disconnected it. Install a new regulator. reinstall tank in upright position and see if it still stinks. That will tell you if you have a leak somewhere else. If no stink get the right kind of tank. You could have blown out the regulator with just the liquid coming from the improperly used tank. I know your compartment doesn't have room to leave it upright

Linda S

Alright so I got a short vertical tank that fits in the bay, a little short Manchester 10#er. I got a vertical regulator and some new propane lines. The vertical regulator says, on it, that it must be mounted "OR" out valve must be downward. Does that I mean I can mount it horizontally like the horizontal regulator that's in there?

Bad news: refrigerator and possibly water heater lines are straight venting. First thing I tried to do was get it apart at the 3 way junction, but none of those bolts want to budge, AT ALL. I liquid wrenched the shit out of them, and even putting maybe 50ftlbs of torque on them, it just wants to bend the lines instead. Instead, the lines can be capped. But the water heater (or what used to be) is encapsulated in some kind of ultra-thick stapled cardboard box in the corner. It has a propane line and a water line going into it. Do you know if this is safe to cut through? I just don't know what's in there and it seems stock. I need to get in there no matter what though because there's water leaking out of it.

There was an opening on the shell that went into this compartment, but someone blocked it off with a metal plate and caulked it.

Good news: after putting a garden hose valve on the city water hookup (the internal spring valve failed) the water is holding pressure fine. As long as I don't try to turn the hot water knob.. then water EXPLODES out of it with enough force to send it all over the RV, lol.

Mechanical problems have taken me for a good long ride. I have replaced the oil pump seal, harmonic balancer, I had to tap the crank snout, replaced water pump, I converted the intake to a Weber 32/36 carburetor, I've been hunting down exhaust leaks for a week and now I'm pretty sure a valve got burned or a rocker arm is loose, I need to pull the cover tomorrow. The last person to work on it torqued the valve cover up to >50ftlbs, it's supposed to be 9 inch pounds. There's very little clearance between the cover and rocker rails so I'm expecting it to be kinda messed up. Lots of valve train noise and the valves were in spec when I checked them a couple of weeks ago.

I've learned a lot :)

Do you know what size caps I need on the stock lines? Looks like maybe a 1/2"  or 1/3" pipe plug?

You are a beautiful human being and I appreciate that you are so so helpful and giving with your knowledge. This forum and everyone on it benefits tremendously from your presence. I have read years-old posts you'd made that helped me solve problems this week.

On 4/14/2017 at 3:30 PM, fred heath said:

I've had really good experience with this company. Avoid any camco products as there seems to be a QC issue with their regulators.http://propanewarehouse.com/product-category/propane-regulators/

I wish I had seen this before I went and bought a camco regulator. Hopefully it doesn't get me blown up.

Edited by 256bit

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I purchased model 59333 two stage regulator. Went through 4 of them (all defective) before going to propane warehouse.

Camco is very responsive and continued to replace them. But a bad batch is still a bad batch.

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Water pressure, when you hook up to city water you need a pressure reducer on the connection. Your lucky you didn't blow your lines out. Yes you can cut the cardboard on the water heater. If it's fixable just tape it up later but use real duct tape. The kind HVAC guys use for furnace ducts. Cardboard and foam are just insulation.

Linda S

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Plumbing/Aqua-Pro/20849.html?feed=npn&gclid=COv1jLKvq9MCFUhqfgod_-YHkQ

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16 hours ago, linda s said:

Water pressure, when you hook up to city water you need a pressure reducer on the connection. Your lucky you didn't blow your lines out. Yes you can cut the cardboard on the water heater. If it's fixable just tape it up later but use real duct tape. The kind HVAC guys use for furnace ducts. Cardboard and foam are just insulation.

Linda S

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Plumbing/Aqua-Pro/20849.html?feed=npn&gclid=COv1jLKvq9MCFUhqfgod_-YHkQ

No city water hookup. I needed the valve to stop the pump from pumping water out of the hookup.

That's good to know though!

Thanks for the info. Will cut the water heater open tomorrow.

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10 hours ago, linda s said:

Is there a benefit to that over the garden hose valve I put on it? I'm never going to use it.

I'm cutting open the water heater now. :)

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Good news: after putting a garden hose valve on the city water hookup (the internal spring valve failed) the water is holding pressure fine. As long as I don't try to turn the hot water knob.. then water EXPLODES out of it with enough force to send it all over the RV, lol.

You have a water tank with 6 gallons of air in it! You can go outside and open the relief valve until nothing but water comes out or just open the hot water tap slightly until all the air escapes either way it will take 6 gallons of water. There are two one way valves in your water system one at the hose tap that keeps the water from falling out when the pump is on the other is in the pump to keep the city water from filling your fresh water tank to the point of over flowing.

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On 4/18/2017 at 5:11 PM, Maineah said:

Good news: after putting a garden hose valve on the city water hookup (the internal spring valve failed) the water is holding pressure fine. As long as I don't try to turn the hot water knob.. then water EXPLODES out of it with enough force to send it all over the RV, lol.

You have a water tank with 6 gallons of air in it! You can go outside and open the relief valve until nothing but water comes out or just open the hot water tap slightly until all the air escapes either way it will take 6 gallons of water. There are two one way valves in your water system one at the hose tap that keeps the water from falling out when the pump is on the other is in the pump to keep the city water from filling your fresh water tank to the point of over flowing.

I'm sorry to say this but I'm a bit confused. How would the water pump be pulling air, and why would the proper spring valve city hookup relieve excess pressure? My understanding of it was that the city water valve would close when under positive pressure and open when under negative pressure, and that it doesn't bleed excess pressure or anything.

If you mean the hot water tank, well that's even more confusing. The previous owner was under the impression that somebody had removed it. I cut out some of the cardboard just to get a look and it's still in there, slowly leaking water and nonfunctional. It's getting filled by the pump I think. I can't make heads or tails of the rats nest of hosing, despite my best efforts.

Please excuse my ignorance. I'm just not following what you're saying.

Edit: Oh... I think I get what you're saying now. Because of the air in the hot water tank, the pump can't fill it until it's bled off? If that's what you're saying, I'm just going to rip that piece of crap out of there and test it on the regulator outside. If it works I'll put it on eBay or give it to someone here because I don't want it.

On 4/17/2017 at 7:23 AM, fred heath said:

I purchased model 59333 two stage regulator. Went through 4 of them (all defective) before going to propane warehouse.

Camco is very responsive and continued to replace them. But a bad batch is still a bad batch.

On the upside, I ripped all of the old copper propane lines out today and replaced them with new ones. The oven and range work fine. Like you said, the camco regulator is bunk, I got the same one. Hooked it up to a 20#er (vertical this time :P) The pressure isn't too high but it fluctuates rapidly. I spent the extra $15 to get one that's made in the USA, and will return the camco one when it gets here. Lesson learned. Where explosive gas is concerned, don't put your life in the hands of some poor subjugated wage slave deep in a chinese sweatshop.

Edited by 256bit

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from the back of the water heater you can see where the water line goes in and out. Just bypass it. Connect the in pipe directly to the out pipe. I never use my water heater.

Linda S

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20 hours ago, linda s said:

from the back of the water heater you can see where the water line goes in and out. Just bypass it. Connect the in pipe directly to the out pipe. I never use my water heater.

Linda S

My inner idiot came out today. I unscrewed the bottom fitting on the water heater, and thought oh, there's not that much water in there. It's just airtight. I unscrewed the top fitting, and it started spraying everywhere. I sat there with my thumb over the inlet for about an hour trying to figure out what I could do with what was within arms reach, determined to finish the job. Instead I ended up screwing the damn thing back in and opening the hot water tap until it filled with water. It should be fine if it's kept full, I think.

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So to conclude the thread... here was the issue.

It was venting at the fridge and possibly the water heater.

Since 3 days of liquid wrench wasn't budging the flare nuts at the junctions, I tried removing the oven. Unfortunately, some of the mounting screws are so rust rotten that the heads were just slicing off like butter. The shafts were intact, so it wouldn't have been possible to remove it without powertools.

What I ended up doing was using a pair of bigass wire snips to cut the line at the first T joint, then shoving an entire tube of jb weld down the pipe, clamping it down and letting it cure, clamping it down fully, then placing several layers of epoxy over the clamped off end. This will work as a temporary measure but is by no means safe and I'm fully aware of that - I am placing a (tested & working) battery operated propane gas alarm next to my epoxy hackjob before using it. It's not leaking now but I'm not counting on it holding, so I am venting the system every time I'm done using it. It will only be a couple of weeks before I have a chance to rip the stove out and replace the line.

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There is only one way to fix it re flare and flare plug there is nothing else that is safe.

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you can cap that outside port (city connection)  quite easily - available at hardware stores for very little.

And yes, when you apply water pressure to a system that has been bled or otherwise mess with, the air in the line has to be purged. 

 

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