How to check for a propane leak

gary-736Dear Gary,
We think we have a propane leak, so we shut off the tank. How should we check it out, or should we take it somewhere? Should it be a propane place or an RV repair shop? We live in our motorhome full time. My husband thinks it is safe because it is shut off, but I’m worried something could still happen. Please inform us. Thank you! –Susan N.

Dear Susan,
As long as the container valve is fully shut off, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about, unless, of course, the leak is at and through that very shut-off valve! A leaky shut-off valve may not emit propane out of the system, but it may leak propane through the valve and into the system. Neither situation is positive.

Professional and certified RV service technicians perform a standard series of tests to determine where propane leaks might be, so I would contact a local shop that employs certified or master certified techs.

You could search for the leaks yourself by using a leak detection fluid or a bottle of children’s blowing bubbles or soapy water (1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap to 2 cups of tap water, gently mixed). Simply spray each fitting and connection throughout the complete propane system. All fittings must be accessible in order to be in compliance with the code. If a leak exists, bubbles will form around that fitting. You just have to seek them out.

But 100% certainty is required in order to guaranty safety. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, by all means, contact a pro shop. Do not turn on the propane container until you can be 100% certain all leaks have been located and rectified.

Editor: Here’s a link to an article about checking for a propane leak – and an example of how not to!

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

##RVT846

 

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One Thought to “How to check for a propane leak”

  1. Jack

    Good morning.
    I have 2014 319 light open range 5th wheel. One of the cargo doors on the left with a hing on the bottom of the door is not closing right. When you try to close it the hing pushes the door up and is hard to close. I called open range and they just say go to a dealer. I ask for who makes the door hing. They have not gotten back. Is there some one I could call to just talk so I can find out more about the hing and how it works

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