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Old 05-28-2015, 09:50 AM   #1
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How to check LP gauge?

The gauge on the LP tank of my Class A motorhome may not be working but I'm not sure if it's the gauge or if it's the filler valve. I went to fill the tank because it was reading empty but my tank took less than two gallons before it stopped filling. The person filling the tank is convinced that there is something wrong with my filler valve, but I'm not so sure. I have read a few things that imply that I may be able to remove the gauge without emptying my tank which would be nice because if it really is the gauge and the 30 gallon tank is full, that would not be fun to have to deal with.

Does anybody know how I can test the gauge (not the sender) as it reads completely empty. I have read some information that makes it seem that the gauge itself might be magnetic and that the needle isn't moving because of something wrong with the gauge itself and not the internal float, or maybe it is the float? How do I test these things?

If there is a propane expert out there who can help, I sure would appreciate it. Thank you for any help you can give me.

-Andrew
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:10 AM   #2
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The sender is a variable resistance to ground, and the gauge reacts to that resistance with a reading.
There should be a red needle visible on the sender and a scale to indicate the level in the tank, independent of the gauge read out.
The sender is replaceable , by removing the two smaller screws; and can be tested by removing the sender, with the wire attached and a good ground connection , moving the needle with a small magnet, and seeing if the gauge reacts accordingly.
The float and rotating magnet internal in the tank , seldom give any problems.
When the tank was being filled , did liquid spit out the bleed valve, that's the true indicator of a full tank
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:33 AM   #3
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I didn't notice any liquid but the pump shut off very quickly. So either the tank was full and we barely got a top off or their is something wrong with the filler. Either way, I have a problem.

Thanks for letting me know about the gauge. I will try unscrewing those two screws (now that I know that wont blow me up) and see what I come up with. Hopefully it's just stuck on "E" and will be okay after taking it out (and cleaning?). So many things seem to work fine after they've been removed and put back in. Ahh, it's the little joys.

Again, thank you, I will post an update.
-Andrew
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Old 05-28-2015, 11:42 AM   #4
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As an RV Tech, this is the best tool for determining the level of liquid in any LP tank. http://www.levelcheck.com/us/

Once you determine if it really is full, then you can decide which part is bad, sender or filler valve. However, my guess is your sender or readout.


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Old 05-28-2015, 12:23 PM   #5
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Skip, thank you so much! It was just a stuck gauge. I removed it and held it to a screw driver, it instantly moved around. Then I placed it back in place and voila, it read full. Just to be sure, I removed it from the tank and with the screwdriver, moved the needle back down to around half. I put it back in place and it jumped right back up to full!

Thanks for all of the help, it's nice to have a resource like this!
-Andrew
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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Shiggs, that's a pretty cool little tool! I'm wondering if my ultrasound stud finder would be able to read the top edge of the propane? I might have to give it a try.
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Old 05-29-2015, 08:03 AM   #7
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Yes, I have one and it really works. Never tried a stud finder.

This company started out several years ago in England and recently started marketing here in the U.S. They have been growing dealer wise since.

I use mine on my vertical 5th wheel tanks and have been looking for an opportunity to try it on the Motorhome ASME type tanks.

There is also a company making fiberglass tanks for RVs that is new to the market and I'm curious if it will also work well not looking thru the steel sides.


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