CHECK YOUR GAS FITTINGS after extreme winter

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by magicsurfbus, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    A word of caution - a major leak in my gas system has pretty much drained a semi-full 13Kg Propane tank in a few hours after I was heating my van following winter storage.

    The source of the leak was a split in the METAL body of a gas level indicator connected to the cylinder. I am talking about the main casing of the indicator splitting, not a pipe, flexible washer or a seal.

    The fault developed over this winter, and may well be a direct result of the extreme cold.

    I would strongly advise a very careful check of any gas fittings as you prepare your vehicle for the new year. Fortunately for us the fault was picked up during an annual service by a qualified fitter.

    I have already contacted the Indicator's manufacturer.
     
  2. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    We use a gaslow manual changeover valve that doubles as a leak meter. I test the pressure after every bottle change. All I have to do is turn both bottles off and turn all appliances off and the needle will drop over time if there is a leak.
     
  3. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    One has to wonder how you didn't notice the leak for so long. Assuming a quarter of the 13KG cylinder's contents leaked away would mean about 6.5 litres of liquified gas escaping which will expand by approximately 250 times to 1625 litres of vapour. This is a huge leak! you are really lucky to still have a motorhome.

    D.
     
  4. david price

    david price

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    You can get leak detection fluid from a plumbers merchants,good to carry in van.
    Dave
     
  5. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I put the blown air heater on full for a few hours to air the inside of the van while I was emptying it for the service guy's damp check. The gas compartment is completely isolated from the rest of the van and is well ventilated with grilles in the floor. When I started, the gas level indicator was still in the green. When I finished it was well into the red. It struck me that it was quite a lot of gas to get through in the space of an afternoon, and there was more of a gassy smell than usual when I opened the compartment to shut off the cylinder valve. I assumed maybe one of the washers or seals had failed in the cold. I didn't think for one minute that the metal body of the level indicator would (or could) split.
     
  6. jezport

    jezport Funster

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    I would speak to the manufacturer about the failed part to see if there is a safety issue with the design or if it had been over tightened as losing that amount of gas could wipe out anyone near by if it got lit!
     
  7. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    Here's a picture of the fault (arrowed):

    [​IMG]

    I can't see how I could have over-tightened that part of the component. I usually suffice with hand tight anyway.

    If you have a similar item that's been exposed to this winter's cold spells, I'd suggest checking it carefully.
     
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  8. streetdaddy

    streetdaddy

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    can anyone suggest somewhere near SW12 London that I can get my gas fittings tested for leaks?
     
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