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-   -   Propane leak (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/37542-propane-leak.html)

brak 10-09-2007 09:42 PM

Propane leak
 
So, I finally installed my brand new propane system, with alarms, solenoids and all. And the first pressure test reveals a slow leak.
I took the entire system apart, testing shorter pieces until I am left with just a tank, a pigtail hose and a regulator (plugged on the other end). The leak is still there. So, I bought a new pigtail and a new regulator - and changed over and resealed all the connections - same result.

Anyone dealt with that before? Could it be the tank itself? How the hell do i find it? Soap and water failed miserably, perhaps because the leak is very slow (I get down from 175psi to 120psi or so in 24 hours). Ideas would be very welcome.

sailingdog 10-09-2007 09:49 PM

Try a different tank. If you still have the leak, chances are that it isn't the tank. :D BTW, what kind of connections are you using. IMHO, you should be using propane hose with swaged fittings.

brak 10-09-2007 10:01 PM

at this point I am using Xintex (spelling?) regulator and their pigtail hose. That is it, everything else was disconnected and removed, so it just does not matter.

Trying a different tank may be the thing to do except that properly sized tank is a long mail order away (only one kind of tank fits my propane locker). Oh well, guess there is no way out of that.

Sailormann 10-09-2007 10:03 PM

Quote:

Could it be the tank itself?
Yes.

Also - make sure that you are using real propane fittings with the flared ends and "O" rings. The "Expert" I purchased some things from this year thought he would save me some money and sold me some journeyman stuff which did not work properly. Irritating. I don't skimp on my boat. Don't recommend others do either.

pegasus1457 10-09-2007 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brak (Post 204763)

Anyone dealt with that before? Could it be the tank itself? How the hell do i find it? Soap and water failed miserably, perhaps because the leak is very slow (I get down from 175psi to 120psi or so in 24 hours). Ideas would be very welcome.

This is NOT a small leak. With a pressure drop like that there have to be bubbles in a soapy water test. Try submersing the entire tank in a bucket of water. If it is the tank you will see bubbles.

RickLaPaz 10-09-2007 10:11 PM

The soap test should always work--it takes zilch to puff up a bubble. Grab some Dove, water a bristle brush and some beers and sit a spell. One fitting at a time.

Caution: This may entail a six pack or so---your drinking may vary........

brak 10-09-2007 10:11 PM

most fittings are flare type, but some have to be pipe thread by necessity. those regulators they sell have a threaded 3/8" hole in the bottom without any specific sealing method recommended, and the only way it can be closed is by using pipe thread fitting (and special gas pipe compound, I suppose, at least thats what I got). Same goes for a solenoid - it has a flared fitting on one end but a regular NPT female on the other. This is the stuff those boating gas companies sell, in fact none of their own parts fit together without lots of connectors. Irritating.

brak 10-09-2007 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pegasus1457 (Post 204779)
This is NOT a small leak. With a pressure drop like that there have to be bubbles in a soapy water test. Try submersing the entire tank in a bucket of water. If it is the tank you will see bubbles.


I thought about that, but it is a steel tank (and also it is pretty darn big - I don't have a bucket big enough for it). May be a tub would work?

RickLaPaz 10-09-2007 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brak (Post 204784)
I thought about that, but it is a steel tank (and also it is pretty darn big - I don't have a bucket big enough for it). May be a tub would work?

Bath tub, maybe. But do you guys have the larger residential trash cans on wheels? That's what I use for my outboard testing........

Sailormann 10-09-2007 10:25 PM

Quote:

That's what I use for my outboard testing........
You submerge your outboard in a big garbage can ??? Uhmm - not sure how to say this - but if you didn't "test" it so often you might find it runs with fewer problems. :)

You're welcome - always happy to help :) :) :)


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