Why is my propane tank humming?

gary-736Dear Gary,
When I have an appliance running, I get a “hum” coming from the propane tank (2007 Class A motorhome). This occurs maybe 60% to 70% of the time. I have an “extend-a-stay” valve located between the tank and the regulator which I use for outdoor appliances and it does it when I use that also, which tells me that maybe it is not the RV regulator. Any ideas? —Dave M.

Dear Dave,
A humming noise from an RV propane regulator is not a bad thing in and of itself. It can become enhanced (the humming may get louder) after a recent fill-up if the container is slightly over-filled. But with the redundant safeguards integral to modern RV propane containers, it’s rare to end up with a grossly over-filled container. 

The humming noise is caused by the rubber diaphragm inside the regulator fluctuating (as it should) to keep up with the steady demand of regulating the flow of propane to the appliances. Varying temperatures and the volume of the wet surface inside the container creates varying pressures inside.

It’s the regulator’s job to take that fluctuating pressure and smoothly reduce it to the delivery line pressure required by the appliances. The vibrating movement of the diaphragm inside the regulator body creates this harmonic dissonance of sorts that we hear as a humming noise. In most cases it is entirely normal and should not cause worry or concern. The fact you also use an extend-a-stay attachment would have no bearing on the regulator as propane would still be flowing through it whenever either container valve is opened.   

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

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5 Thoughts to “Why is my propane tank humming?”



    1. Chuck Woodbury

      Patrick, I’ll let someone else answer, but please in the future do not type in all capital letters.

  2. William Bulkley

    The reason that propane tanks hum, they don’t know the words.

  3. Drew

    Hi Chuck,

    You could do a search using terms like “RV surplus parts” and other like terms..You may find a place that has what you need. In these situations, if you see something you should call rather than try to ask questions on line. Most salvage places have too much stuff to answer specific questions about a particular part unless you can spend some research time on the phone. You’ll be enlightened too- some of what you’ll learn can help in the future as well. Ask some questions in the rv forums as well- there’s a wealth of experience waiting for you there. Personally, This type of repair would cause me to seek out a professional- you might just be worlds ahead in the end. Good luck in finding what you need.

  4. Chuck Hasse

    Not sure if this is the right section of your newsletter to look for help, if not can you please forward this to who does. Our 2000 Fleetwood Tioga 29z has a cracked shower wall. The unfortunate part is that Fleetwood discontinued this model shower. I have tried to reach out but no one has been able to help. The shower is a surround, the side walls are 24″ and back wall is 27″. Any suggestions for a replacement or 3 shower walls instead? We dont want it to look ugly or cheezy. Thanks! Very desperate, Chuck

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