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Old 06-09-2014, 05:26 PM   #1
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Smelling propane

Hi all,
We just bought a lightly used 06 Montana last week. We know it's barely been used and not much more about it's history. We are full timers and moved into it over the weekend. We are smelling propane only when the hot water tank is turned on. Not just a lingering smell but more like its running rich or has a leak. We inspected all the lines and connections and a friend did it a second time. No seen leaks. So now we think it is the hot water heater itself. Any suggestions or ideas? How should we proceed?
Thanks, Kim
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:30 PM   #2
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Are you at 3500 feet or more elevation???
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:50 PM   #3
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Just 800 feet. Any ideas?
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:16 PM   #4
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There are several posibilities.. One is good news, the rest not so much.

Good news first: Propane is odorless. so they add a chemical to the tank so you can smell it,, NOW,, Normally this chemical is destroyed by the flame in a properly operating burner HOWEVER... If the burner is in need of ROUTINE MAINTENANCE or if the tank is near empty of if over time the concentration of the chemical has increased .. You might smell it.

Now the bad news:

And if the lines are leaking you should smell it.

Suggestion: If you are not comfortable working on propane systems have a professional check it out.

BUT FIRST: I have fixed ONE "I smell propane" problem for a fellow RVer,,, And by the way, when it comes to propane systems this is the only FIX I am willing to do on YOUR system.. I am very comfortable working on mine.. But on yours this is the limit.

I took a look at her stove... The knobs said OFF OFF LOW OFF.

I'll bet you can guess how I fixed it.

Check that one first.
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Old 06-09-2014, 06:26 PM   #5
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You can check the burner tube for obstructions like mud dobber nests. Beyond the obvious take it to a pro. By the way please turn it off at night until you are absolutely sure it is working correctly.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:28 PM   #6
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Thank you for the insights. You affirmed what I had already been thinking. Great minds think alike! Kim
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Old 06-10-2014, 10:58 PM   #7
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I had the same and it was the propane tank regulator that is mounted about 3 ft from my hot water heater, new regulator and smell went away.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #8
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Thank you! We ordered a new regulator this morning. Appreciate the help.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:03 PM   #9
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Be very careful, we witnessed a motorhome burn to the ground in 20 minutes. The owner said " we smelled gas and then it was on fire" call a pro, be safe.
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Old 06-17-2014, 03:06 PM   #10
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Also a mixture of dish soap and water and spray everything and look for bubbles.
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