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Old 05-13-2014, 08:38 PM   #1
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Is there a temporary repair for propane tank leak at a weld

I have a 30 foot 1995 Holiday Rambler Endeavor. My wife in in it away from home and there is a small propane leak at where the shutoff valve is welded to the tank. The tank is full. Is there a SAFE way to do a temporary repair? JB Weld? Epoxy? Anything? The leak can only be smelled in the tank compartment, not inside.

Does anyone know what size tank it would be? My guess would be about 20 gallons but they seem to be rated in pounds, not gallons.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:04 PM   #2
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Just my opinion but I wouldn't try jbweld or that type of fix. The tank can be removed, emptied, filled with non flamable fluid and then welded. I'd think the risk factor is to high with the temporary repairs and that tank is an item that needs a REAL FIX. As I said that is just my opinon - I wouldn't leave my wife in that situation even though she is highly insured.

I did have a propane tank leaking at a seam - the propane tank was removed - they welded the seam but when the tank was filled it leaked again. The solution was a new tank which I think was a 33 gallon tank and Winnebago picked up the tab for that even though it was out of warranty.
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:06 PM   #3
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No there is not.

Most valves can be unscrewed from the tank, I have done so to several in my day, however when you do the propane will all escpae/leak out.

Please don't play around with propane, it is a very deadly gas, that when ignited it expands exponetially. Its not worth loosing your life or your wifes life over $20 worth of propane.

You have two choices, A. go find a hotel for night and hope your rig does not explode while you are away, or B. unbolt your tank, open the valve and drain it, then go buy another tank.

Please take my advice seriously, I would hate for an accident to happen, trust me on this, I have dealt with this first hand, you do not want to know the consequeces of a propane accident. What ever you decide, please, do not go to sleep tonight with a propane leak.

Good Luck!
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Old 05-13-2014, 09:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 1ciderdog View Post
The tank can be removed, emptied, filled with non flamable fluid and then welded.
Tanks can't be welded and reused to hold propane.

That being said, I have drained several propane tanks, filled them with water and welded them into BBQ's, storage tanks, processors, etc, so not saying its impossible to weld on a tank, just that it can never be used to store propane again.

These tanks are pretty inexpensive, certainly not expensive enough to warrant risking your life over.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:29 PM   #5
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Look closely, the shut off valve is screwed in and never welded on and most leaks are at the stem because the packing wears out. A spray bottle with 1/2 water and 1/2 liquid dish soap is the easiest way to pin point the leak. Propane normally has a lot of moisture content so if you have a weld leaking, its probably due to rust and its time for a new tank. Your tank is 20 years old, its probably due.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:35 PM   #6
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Take it to a propane distributor. A friend had a leak in his 500 gal tank at his house. Called the company for a replacement tank. Instead they sent a guy with a hammer and punch. Set the punch point next to the leaking weld, hit it once with the hammer and no more leak. Said they do it frequently.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:43 PM   #7
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Dennis4809 is right. The punch and hammer will fix it. Have done this and the leak never came back.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospector57 View Post
I have a 30 foot 1995 Holiday Rambler Endeavor. My wife in in it away from home and there is a small propane leak at where the shutoff valve is welded to the tank. The tank is full. Is there a SAFE way to do a temporary repair? JB Weld? Epoxy? Anything? The leak can only be smelled in the tank compartment, not inside.

Does anyone know what size tank it would be? My guess would be about 20 gallons but they seem to be rated in pounds, not gallons.

Any help would be appreciated.
CAll the nearest propane dealer and have their technicians come out and take care of either fixing it or draining it. They could have a truck come out and pump the propane out. Propane is not that expensive an empty tank only costs less than 100 dollars to fill. Let the experts drain it safely. You really need to get your wife out of that situation.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prospector57 View Post
I have a 30 foot 1995 Holiday Rambler Endeavor. My wife in in it away from home and there is a small propane leak at where the shutoff valve is welded to the tank. The tank is full. Is there a SAFE way to do a temporary repair? JB Weld? Epoxy? Anything? The leak can only be smelled in the tank compartment, not inside.

Does anyone know what size tank it would be? My guess would be about 20 gallons but they seem to be rated in pounds, not gallons.

Any help would be appreciated.
Have you identified the leak with soapy water and confirmed it is on the seam? The pressure in the tank can be up to 200 psi so most of the solutions probably will not work.

The least I would do is leave the compartment open. Propane concentrations of 2.2 - 9.5 % can be explosive.

Shut the tank off, disconnect it and take it to the nearest propane dealer. They can suck the propane out of the tank and sell you a new filled tank.

Another option is to take the tank off and away from surrounding RV and buildings and empty it. Take the empty tank to WalMart, Home Depot, etc and get a filled exchange tank. The last time I exchanged tanks the cost was under 30.00.

Small price to pay for eliminating a potential risk.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:12 PM   #10
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Replacing the popane tank in my 1991 Holiday Rambler would be $500-$600 for just the tank and a bit complicated to remove. Definitely no exchange program for that tank. I'd definitely pinpoint where the leak is. Maybe it's just a bad valve and that can be replaced. If it's a seam, I'd probably replace the tank. Never heard of the hammer and punch trick, but I'd be leary of it on such an old tank.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:55 PM   #11
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As Gemini stated Phone your wife and have her get a qualified RV or propane company tech out to the RV and see if it just a leak that can be repaired. Have her pour a soapy solution of dish washing soap and water and see where it bubbles up at, valve, fittings hose etc.. a spray bottle or paint brush works great too. Majority of leaks are in the fitting, valve seals, unless this RV has been in a salty environments

If its a tank seam leak, by the time you have it professionally welded and DOT pressure tested, Due to the age its would be in your best interest to replace it. There is no safe tempory repairs for Propane thanks, other then draining all pressure and taking it to be replaced.

Let us know when you find out about it, kinda curious, tahke care and be safe
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Old 05-14-2014, 02:47 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate that safety is of your major concern. As it turns out, apparently the leak was not at the weld. The person doing the leak test saw bubbles but they must have occurred when applying the soapy solution. While they were investigating a solution, they spoke to fire department personnel who willingly went to the RV. Something was amiss under the yellow filler cap. The cap was removed and reinstalled and the smell went away. They assured my wife that it was safe with no leak. Believe me that if there is a leak my wife will smell it. It is uncanny. She is a human leak detector. Thanks again for all the advice. I would have had absolutely no problem shelling out the dough to keep her safe, I just didn't know if there was some safe simple solution.

You guys are awesome!!
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
unbolt your tank, open the valve and drain it, then go buy another tank.

Please take my advice seriously, I would hate for an accident to happen, trust me on this,
Please don't follow this exact advice
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:23 AM   #14
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Glad the solution was so simple. It is always nice to see someone get a fix so easily.

It is also great to see the fire department take an active role is defusing a potentially life threatening situation.

Safe and Happy travels.

Wave as you pass us. We will recognize you by the big grin on your face.
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