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Old 04-27-2012, 06:12 PM   #1
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Propane smell?

I have a 1989 Southwind Fleetwood that we got last September. We have had it out about 8 times and love it. On the last trip my wife and I noted what we thought was the smell of propane around the stove/fridge area. We had a tech come and pressure test the system and he said it was tight as a drum and that there was no way it was propane... and the smell was most likely our grey water. So we treated both the grey and black water tanks thoroughly and flushed them each 3 times. The smell still is there ONLY if you turn the propane on so it must be a propane leak somewhere either at the fridge or stove? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,
Dan
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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My guess is you bumped one of the stove knobs and cracked it open slightly. We did that AGAIN last week.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:47 PM   #3
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Had a neighbor with propane problems (Smelled it) inspected her stove and found OFF OFF LOW OFF... Can you see the problem?

There is another issue,, Did you smell it only when you are using a burner? (Or did I misread that)

Propane is colorless and odorless, the odor is an additive, Sometimes, epicially if you are "Running on fumes" (Almost out of gas, genuine gas in this case) the odorant, which is normally destroied by burning, is strong (concentrated) enough to survive the flame and be noticed.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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COuld also indicate the burner in the fridge is not completely burning the propane and you are smelling the unburnt excess.

Might be time to service the unit, clean the burner, etc...
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:58 PM   #5
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Do you have an oven or stove top? Is there a pilot light that might not be lit?
Some of our older RV's had a stove top that used a pilot light that had to be hand lit.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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We had the same issue when we bought our Winnie. The culprit was the regulator under the stove top. The diaphragm gasket dries out and leaks. Not enough to cause an explosion but you will notice it.
Since the regulator is located before the burner valves, anytime you open the master tank valve it will leak.
The regulator costs about $50 and is easy to replace. I got a replacement from our Winnie dealer under the warranty.
Consider buying an inexpensive handheld gas leak detector. I got one off Amazon for about $30:
http://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-...ref=pd_cp_hi_0
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Old 04-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #7
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I also had the same problem when we purchased our Winnebago.

The shop pressure tested the system and found nothing. The problem is when they pressure test they do it at the range top (burners). They thought that something was dead in the walls.. nope. This is what I found.

The packing around the valves (knobs) that control the burners were leaking slightly.

Here is how to check. Turn the propane system on and use foaming hand soap like this. Foaming hand soap bubbles like crazy even with the smallest leak.

Best of luck.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:46 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for the input. Here are the answers to the questions posed by everyone

1) All burners are in the off position
2) No the smell isn't ONLY present while the burners are on
3) The smell becomes present after I turn the propane on at the tank.
4) Yes we have an older stove top with an oven that has to be hand lit. We only light the pilot for the stove when we are going to use it. It doesn't need to be lit all the time does it?
5) I was told about the regulators under the stove top by someone else and I am planning on trying that. I just want to make sure I start in the most likely place.
6) Having the fridge serviced is a good idea. Do I call any RV shop to do that or where can I get that done and how much can I expect to pay?

Thanks for all the help. I certainly appreciate it!

Dan
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:49 PM   #9
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Dan, did you look for leaks with the foaming hand soap?

Lift the top off the burners and pull the knobs off the valves. This will give you access to where the stem of the valve goes into the body.
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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No I am planning on doing that today. Is it actually called foaming hand soap? Can I just pick it up at the store and how much do you put in the bottle with water?

So I lift the stove top and pull the knobs off. Do I spray where the knobs were as well or just at the burners etc. under the top?
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:05 PM   #11
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You can buy it at Target, it will be where the hand soap is. It's consistency is water like. The pump mechanism makes it foamy. No need to mix it with anything.

The stove top should lift off or hinge up. You then need to check all the fittings (with the tank open, stovetop valves closed) with the foam.

I wish I had a picture of how I did mine.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #12
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Ok, I will give it a shot today after work and let you know what turns our tomorrow.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:25 PM   #13
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We had the same issue in our Winnie and it turned out to be our batteries. No water and our LP gas alarm kept going off because of the odor detection.
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Pareja View Post
2) No the smell isn't ONLY present while the burners are on

****3) The smell becomes present after I turn the propane on at the tank.****

5) I was told about the regulators under the stove top by someone else and I am planning on trying that. I just want to make sure I start in the most likely place.



Dan
My money is on the stove regulator gasket being bad, based on the three statements above.
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