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Propane leak!

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Two years ago I installed the "Gas Stop" devices on both my propane tanks.  Given that my Oliver was 7 years old at the time I thought that it would also be prudent to install new "pig tail" propane hoses at the same time.  

At the end of the camping season last year I suspected that I had a small propane leak but since I was placing the Ollie into storage for the winter I didn't investigate the possible leak any further.  However, I did purchase a propane leak detector - exactly like the one that Rivernerd mention in THIS THREAD.

While attending the Annual Owner's Rally this year, my suspicion of the leak returned.  So, today was the day to get serious about finding it.

After getting the propane tanks in place and attaching the pig tails I opened the valve on what I thought was the offending tank.  Sure enough, I not only smelled it but I even heard it!  Obviously, the main brass fitting at the end of the pig tail was the problem (i.e. the fitting that screws directly into the regulator).  So, I took that apart, cleaned it up, wrapped yellow Teflon gas specific tape on it and reinstalled.

That solved the main smell and certainly the "hissing" issues, but, I still thought that I could smell a leak.  Out comes the "bubble test" (i.e.  a little dish soap in water sprayed onto the offending area and look for bubbles).  Well, sure enough, there was a small leak in the brass reducer between the end of the pig tail and the main brass fitting that I had just repaired.

OK, take it apart again, new tape all around, reinstall and using the "bubble test" I thought I had this issue nailed.  Sure enough - no bubbles!

Great, but maybe my nose was just getting to used to that wonderful propane smell.  Maybe I was just imagining it - surely I had fixed everything that there was to be fixed AND there were no bubbles.  

Just to be sure I used the "test" feature on the Gas Stop devices.  Yep - the needle in the little gauge was slowly dropping.  I bubble tested again but had the same test result - no bubbles.  Being a bit slow witted it was only at this point that I remember my purchase of the propane leak detector (thanks again Rivernerd).

I got it out, read the directions and proceeded to "sniff".  My repaired connections didn't set off any alarms.  But, the connection from the pig tail to the large knob that screws onto the propane tank gave off a "faint" reading (actually a beeping noise on the detector).  Sure enough - even though this was a "factory" installed item and I've never had one of these leak in over 25 years of dealing with propane tanks and pig tails, this was the final source of the leaking.  I'm still surprised that the "bubble test" didn't show this leak but the "Smart Sensor" picked it up right away.

There are a number of these types of sensors available currently on Amazon - both models that are priced higher and lower than the Smart Sensor (HERE).  But, as Rivernerd said, "Not only is it worth the peace of mind, but even if only used once, it is less expensive than a motel stay!".


Edited by topgun2
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2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Near Asheville, NC

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We purchased a portable when our built in died on a trip and it was faster to the get than the built in replacement. One of the best insurance items I have in the truck,

Current: 2023 Oliver Elite II - Hull #1364 "Reset 2.0" (Second Owner)
Tow Vehicle: 2023 Ford F-150 XLT 3.5L EcoBoost /w 3.55 axle and Max Tow Package "SIlver"
Original: 2022 Oliver Elite I - Hull #1030 "Reset" (For Sale)
Original Tow Vehicle: 2022 Subaru Ascent "Blue Moose"
Home Base: Duncanville, TX


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I bought the same propane detector base on Rivernerd’s experience but haven’t used it yet.  I had a leak a couple of years ago, I could smell it.  I took the cover off of the tanks and did the bubble test and found it right away.  I ended up ordering and replacing the original 2016 hoses and regulator.  I cleaned up and kept the good hose and regulator for back up.  Glad to hear the propane detector worked so well!  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L


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13 hours ago, topgun2 said:

I got it out, read the directions and proceeded to "sniff".  My repaired connections didn't set off any alarms.  But, the connection from the pig tail to the large knob that screws onto the propane tank gave off a "faint" reading (actually a beeping noise on the detector).

Ditto for me just prior to the OTTO rally this year.

Thanks again Rivernerd and topgun2!


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”



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