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Old 03-03-2015, 09:09 PM   #1
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Propane Tank Valve Question

Hello. I need a second opinion on a perceived issue with the propane tank shut-off valve on my 1999 Alpine. When the valve is either completely open or completely closed there is no propane leak. However, if I leave the valve halfway open I can smell and see propane leaking from the valve. Especially on a hot summer day.

A month or so ago I had a local RV mechanic do a propane leak test. The propane system passed the test with no leak. So here's my question, should I go ahead and replace the valve myself or just make sure the valve is either completely open or completely closed? I've been running the tank to a little below 1/4 full in anticipation of replacing the valve. Thank you for your response.

-Roger
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:25 PM   #2
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It sounds like the stem packing is leaking. If it is an O ring it is probably deteriorated. If it is packing you can tighten the packing nut and reduce the leak. It probably is an O ring though. I'd run it all open or all shut as long as it does not leak in those conditions. Replacing it has it's hazards as you will end up in a cloud of flammable gas until it all vents. Pressure will be high enough that popping the new one in under pressure will probably not work.
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Old 03-03-2015, 11:24 PM   #3
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All valves for pressurized vessels (propane tanks included) have two valve seats. One for the closed position and one for the open position.

When the valve is open it is very important to open it all the way until it back seats firmly on the valve body (all the way open tight). Never open the valve part way, they are not designed to function this way and may leak.
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:46 AM   #4
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Agreed on stem packing.
Rule,, With one exception ALWAYS have valve fully open or fully closed.

The exception.. IF your tank has an excess flow valve and opening the valve rapidly causes it to "Set" (Close),, then you close, wait 10 mintues (Give or take rather a lot of minutes) then SLOWLY open the valve,, Just till you hear gas hiss. and when you no longer hear, open it a bit more, and a bit more, till it is fully open.
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #5
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I agree with Gary Arnold. Either open it or close it. I had an old Pace Arrow and it leaked for years just as you described - if half open.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:18 PM   #6
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Thank everyone for your responses. I'm going to move it down on my to do list and just keep the valve fully open or fully closed.
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Old 03-06-2015, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuppie_rednk View Post
Thank everyone for your responses. I'm going to move it down on my to do list and just keep the valve fully open or fully closed.
Just take it off your to-do list. AS others have said........either open or closed and seated in whichever position.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Arnold View Post
All valves for pressurized vessels (propane tanks included) have two valve seats. One for the closed position and one for the open position.

When the valve is open it is very important to open it all the way until it back seats firmly on the valve body (all the way open tight). Never open the valve part way, they are not designed to function this way and may leak.
Gary Arnold
I agree .

Note to the OP:

If the valve leaks while opening and/or closing the valve the "packing" needs attention.
BTW, The packing nut can be adjusted, (tightened).... or the packing can be removed and replaced..... without loosing any propane from the tank.... as long as the valve is FULLY OPEN or FULLY CLOSED.

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Old 03-06-2015, 04:29 PM   #9
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Please get the valve model and look up diagram on the web. On my past MH the valve did exactly as the OP states, leaked when partially open. The nut on top that you would think would to replace packing was not for that at all, it was for valve disassembly. Anyway, I had to empty the tank and replace the $25 valve. If yours has replaceable packing, please use all brass tools for no spark. But do find the exploded view for your valve before you start.
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Old 03-06-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Arnold View Post
All valves for pressurized vessels (propane tanks included) have two valve seats. One for the closed position and one for the open position.

When the valve is open it is very important to open it all the way until it back seats firmly on the valve body (all the way open tight). Never open the valve part way, they are not designed to function this way and may leak.

Learned something new, thanks. Need to start doing that when using the gas grill I guess.
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