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Old 10-25-2015, 05:30 AM   #1
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Small Propane Leak at Tank Gauge Threads

I have been chasing a small propane leak for a very long time and finally found it yesterday. It is the threads where the propane level sending unit screws into the side of the tank. Since I couldn't find anyone local who would fill the tank, I am doubting I can find someone to service it.

1. Is the plastic gauge easily removed from the sender such that a socket can be used?

2. Can I try to tighten with propane in the tank or does the tank need to be emptied (not sure who will do this service locally)?

3. I assume there is an orientation requirement to the sending unit since it uses a float, will turning it screw this up such that the entire sending unit must be removed to correctly fix this?

4. Is there anything I can apply externally to seal this up?
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:16 AM   #2
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vettenuts-

I had a small leak near the regulator on my motorhome's tank. I called my local propane supplier, and he came out to find the leak and fix it, as at the time I could not move the coach to his property. That would have been less expensive than the field service, I expect.

It's my understanding that any commercial propane outfit (the ones that install and service propane systems, rather than just sell propane) can service your unit.

Mark
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:41 AM   #3
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The tank will have to be empty and you should have a pro replace it.
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Old 10-26-2015, 05:45 PM   #4
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Have you tried calling Suburban Propane, they have a couple of places in RI.

Suburban Propane - Location Finder
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:46 PM   #5
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I've done a few of these. I would really recommend you leave the job to somebody very familiar with what needs to be done. Not just due to the mechanical difficulty (not THAT bad), but to make things even more "special", one spark anywhere during the majority of the work on this job would be catastrophic. Step one will be to disconnect all coach batteries with the coach positioned in an open area (on a windy day!).

The tank does not need to be empty, but you will loose the propane in the tank that's above the level of the hole left in the tank with the gauge removed. If it's usable as is, suggest you wait until there is 1/4 tank or less.

The gauge has a float attached to it inside the tank, so it must be installed in a manner that allows that float to move up and down freely as the propane level changes (otherwise it won't work worth a darn). This means that to tighten only, you would need to get an entire turn on that gauge - not very likely.

The gauges are reasonably inexpensive. It's usually the tech's judgement call on whether he will replace or just reinstall, depending on the gauge's condition once removed.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Have you tried calling Suburban Propane, they have a couple of places in RI.



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They refused to touch it.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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They refused to touch it.
That's puzzling, tank is no different then their tanks with the gauge on top. Probably as soon as they hear RV it scares them. This doesn't help you, in Williams, AZ there is an independent dealer, Superior Propane that claims to work on RV's. I would be tempted to repair it myself, as ahicks suggested. However, I would burn the liquid off as low as you can until stove won't light. Then go to a place with no one around and open the vent to bleed the remaining pressure. As mentioned by ahicks try to have a breeze blowing away from MH. Clean the tank threads with a brass brush. Install gauge using some good pipe SEALANT, not Teflon tape. Either reuse or buy a new gauge. When filling the tank the first time only put a small amount in it to test for leaks.
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:51 AM   #8
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Well, I think I lucked out. I called several propane facilities and RV dealers. Unbelievable some of the outright stupid responses I got. I then called a garage in Cantebury, CT who I had work on my exhaust last year and did a great job. They also do work on the house portion of the coach. I spoke to the dad (father and son team) and he knew exactly the problem, how to fix it and provided me with a lot of other information that led me to believe he can easily take care of this issue for me.

Dropped the coach off today. He has a large propane heater (looks like a jet engine) that he will use to burn off the propane. Then he will fix the leak, pressure test, purge and fill my propane tank. One interesting thing he told me was that it isn't always the seal between the threads that leaks, he told me that sometimes the fitting itself will develop pin holes due to dis-similar metals and the fitting will leak. If that's the case, it will take an extra day to get the part.

Will report back how things come out but right now, assuming all goes well, this is a major load off my shoulders
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Old 11-11-2015, 01:29 PM   #9
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Propane tank is fixed and filled. Total cost $307 for the parts, labor of the repair and a full tank of propane.
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:18 PM   #10
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Good deal! I don't know why most propane places are scared to even go near an RV it makes no sense to me.

As soon as I mention that I live in a motorhome full time they basically write me off as a customer. I had to beg and threaten one here to promise to order and deliver me a 120 gallon ASME tank (which still hasn't arrived yet...) for a total cost to me of about $580 dollars making $200 a month payments. This is after I paid over $1000 to prebuy propane for the farm and lease a 120 gallon propane tank and 100 gallons of propane.

I later found out that they have in theory 120 gallon tanks but they are for sale outright only and that my lease was entirely imaginary and that I would get a tank if someone decided out of the goodness of their heart to give up an old one. I only got to make payments on a tank because the farm has done business with them for 10 years and even then just to get several angry people out of the office so he could have lunch...

Tried with another propane company in town and got the same treatment.
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:59 PM   #11
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I still cannot believe some of the responses I got when initially calling around. The place that did the work told me nobody will touch the propane system anymore, even the RV dealers.

This is the second great repair experience I have had there so I now have a go to repair facility. In the spring I am going to have them install the Banks system.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:36 PM   #12
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He should have given you a discount for heating his garage if it was cold out ..

I was going to give you some advice, but since you have taken it already, All I can say is Good Job.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:44 AM   #13
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Tell us where you had the work done. Name, address, and telephone number.
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Old 11-16-2015, 11:38 AM   #14
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Tell us where you had the work done. Name, address, and telephone number.
Here is the place that did the work:

R & R General Repair, Inc.
16 Old Plainfield Rd.
Canterbury, CT 06331

It is a father/son team, both named Roger.
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