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Old 05-01-2016, 11:04 AM   #1
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Repeated propane alarms?

I have a 2014 Tiffin 36 LA that repeatedly has a propane leak alarm while in storage but never when being used. I have personally checked everything I can think of for leaks in the gas system, residential refridgerator, and carried it to the dealer with no leaks detected. I have turned the propane off at the tank and still occasionally have an alarm. It is stored in a 15000 square ft warehouse that is in use and usually has the dock doors open during good weather so ventilation isn't the issue. I have tried closing all the MH Windows and doors and tried leaving the windows open with no difference. There is no pattern to the alarms, it may alarm two days in a row and then not alarm again for a month. I finally changed the CO and propane sensor and this seemed to solve the problem for a few months but the alarms started again. I haven't added anything inside the coach that would be giving off fumes.
The common denominator is the warehouse but there is nothing in it to give off gas or fumes. There is no kind of manufacturing in the building. Items are brought in and repackaged for shipment. There is one propane forklift but it is rarely used, most things are moved via pallet jacks and hand carts. I'm at a loss, any suggestions? I plan to carry it back to the dealer to have them check for leaks and I guess it's possible that the sensor is defective, the manufacture date is current though.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger G View Post
I have a 2014 Tiffin 36 LA that repeatedly has a propane leak alarm while in storage but never when being used. I have personally checked everything I can think of for leaks in the gas system, residential refridgerator, and carried it to the dealer with no leaks detected. I have turned the propane off at the tank and still occasionally have an alarm. It is stored in a 15000 square ft warehouse that is in use and usually has the dock doors open during good weather so ventilation isn't the issue. I have tried closing all the MH Windows and doors and tried leaving the windows open with no difference. There is no pattern to the alarms, it may alarm two days in a row and then not alarm again for a month. I finally changed the CO and propane sensor and this seemed to solve the problem for a few months but the alarms started again. I haven't added anything inside the coach that would be giving off fumes.
The common denominator is the warehouse but there is nothing in it to give off gas or fumes. There is no kind of manufacturing in the building. Items are brought in and repackaged for shipment. There is one propane forklift but it is rarely used, most things are moved via pallet jacks and hand carts. I'm at a loss, any suggestions? I plan to carry it back to the dealer to have them check for leaks and I guess it's possible that the sensor is defective, the manufacture date is current though.
Roger G
Is your coach plugged in while in storage?
Fumes from batteries being charged can set off propane detectors.
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:35 AM   #3
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On the other hand....if it's not plugged in, the propane detector will beep at low voltage, meaning your batteries are low. Ever notice that beeping when you're viewing RV's at a dealership that aren't plugged in? That's the reason.

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Old 05-01-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
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Allow me to demonstrate my mastery of the obvious: Has the forklift been leak checked?
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:39 AM   #5
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There is a possibility that any fumes that would trigger the alarm are coming from the coach it's self, and those fumes are temperature related. I doubt you would see the same pattern of alarms from two detectors. If the tank is turned off then I'd ask; Do you bleed the propane lines before you put the coach inside?
JMHO: Having done propane system inspections and had to search for leaks , a problem like yours wont show up with a usual system test that only lasts 20>30 mins. If in fact it's propane that sets the alarm off.
I've seen propane alarms triggered by spray can propellant, and other items.
I'll add that my coach is equipped with a separate switch for the detector's power, beside the salesman switch, and labeled , for use only when the coach is being stored. Maybe installing a similar switch in your coach will be the only solution.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:16 PM   #6
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The coach is plugged in and yes I have had aerosol sprays set the alarm of before. Wife hairspray sets it off regularly. I have not purged the lines prior to storage, the forklift is stored over 100 ft from the MH and the tank is turned off after use. The only propane appliance we use is the HW heater, the stove has never been lit and we ordered it without a stove but that doesn't mean there is not a very slow leak somewhere.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:23 PM   #7
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Our dealership normally had from 60 to 100 motorhomes in stock at any given time. We regularly had to disconnect the detectors. The main culprits were low voltage and heat. When a camper gets hot, it causes the formaldehyde in the paneling to gas. Of course the detectors to sense the gas and they start screaming.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:48 PM   #8
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Our old unit has a propane detector and its mounted right under the stove in the galley. The only time it beeps now is when I test it or when the battery charge gets low. I test it regularly (not recommending this to anyone) by using my propane solderer and letting it run (unlit) for a few seconds by the sensor, to see if it still trips. Like Skip I did install an on/off switch to activate it when needed. On our recent snowbird run the only time it beeped was when I forgot to run the charger while boondocking.
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #9
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Ok, I checked on the MH today and it was the CO sensor and not the propane sensor this time. The only source of CO in the warehouse is the forklift and it's only operated occasionally. Is the sensor so sensitive that a few minutes of a forklift running in a 15000 sq ft building with 20 ft ceilings will set it off?
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Old 05-02-2016, 08:52 PM   #10
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Since you have power, set up a small fan near the batteries to ventilate the battery compartment.

With that set up, monitor the alarms.

I have had both alarms go off, in my boat, during high charge rate and calm days.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:40 AM   #11
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I know little of what you're talking about. But I have been around propane powered forklift. a lot more often than I wanted to. that being said I would imagine and probably would be right when I say that the forklift is your culprit. even if it does not have any leaks in it it is probably an inefficient Runner. They often and do smell bad when you're using them. I would think that would be it...
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:52 AM   #12
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While Denise and I were at Cluxewe RV park up Island last week we kept smelling propane and it was driving us crazy trying to find the leak. The alarm was sounding constantly and I had to use the self installed "off" switch. I finally found it when I was following the lines back to the tank. The person who last filled my tanks had not properly shut the 'bleed' valve that is opened when filling. Shut that off and turned the switch on the detector back to 'on' and no more problems.

The funny thing is propane is supposed to be heavier than air and the leak was outside under the fridge location and yet we could smell it inside. Is that stull the add to propane lighter than air?
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:31 PM   #13
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Ok, I checked on the MH today and it was the CO sensor and not the propane sensor this time. The only source of CO in the warehouse is the forklift and it's only operated occasionally. Is the sensor so sensitive that a few minutes of a forklift running in a 15000 sq ft building with 20 ft ceilings will set it off?

My co detector also has a 9 volt battery back up and will beep when the battery is low.
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