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Old 01-04-2016, 17:28   #1
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Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

I need to disconnect (and later reconnect) a propane appliance. Seems like it would be simple enough since the propane line screws on. Use two adjustable wrenches (one on the appliance and one on the line) and I'm done, right? Not so fast. There is some type of pipe sealant used that seals so well the connection won't budge. Is there some type of trick to this? Or just (carefully) use more force?

Second...assuming I get the line off I'll need to reconnect it later. What pipe sealant should I use? (Of course I'll check the connection for leaks and test the entire system too after I'm done.)

Thanks for any advice.
J
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Old 01-04-2016, 17:42   #2
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

What type of line are we talking about?

If copper, just cut it.
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Old 01-04-2016, 17:59   #3
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

Going the right direction? Many gas fittings are reverse-thread. Seen too many installations on boats that use anything but standard gas fittings, so impossible to tell without looking, but I'd try (gently) going the opposite direction.
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:09   #4
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

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Originally Posted by cruisersfarm View Post
What type of line are we talking about?

If copper, just cut it.
That will make it a bit difficult to reconnect it later. Maybe not the best idea.

First, are you sure you're turning the lock nuts the right way? If so, then make sure ALL the propane is out of the system. Use the appliance, while in operation turn off the propane at the tank and wait until all the propane in the lines is burned. I would even disconnect the tank. Then heat the connection gently and see if that frees it up.

I don't remember what you call it, but there is a special goop made for just this application. You can get it at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, any plumbing or even RV supply.
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:34   #5
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

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That will make it a bit difficult to reconnect it later. Maybe not the best idea.

First, are you sure you're turning the lock nuts the right way? If so, then make sure ALL the propane is out of the system. Use the appliance, while in operation turn off the propane at the tank and wait until all the propane in the lines is burned. I would even disconnect the tank. Then heat the connection gently and see if that frees it up.

I don't remember what you call it, but there is a special goop made for just this application. You can get it at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, any plumbing or even RV supply.
No it doesn't.

You cut the copper, do whatever you need to do, re flare and re nut and screw it back on using pipe thread sealant.

Simple.

Obviously you aren't cutting it 2 ft back. you're cutting it half an inch or less from the currently flare/nut.
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:38   #6
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

Propane supply line is not copper. It's a pre-made standard propane rubber type hose with attached screw connectors at each end (one end at the manifold by the propane tank, the other at the appliance). Sort of like a garden hose (it's not a garden hose, I'm just trying to think of something similar).

Looking at the exposed threads on the appliance connection, I don't think it's threaded opposite from normal, but I'll check again.

Any other ideas? I'm all ears!
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:42   #7
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

To the best of my knowledge gas fittings always have a left hand(?) thread and you need to turn clockwise to unscrew...I've never seen sealant of any kind used.
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:50   #8
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
To the best of my knowledge gas fittings always have a left hand(?) thread and you need to turn clockwise to unscrew...I've never seen sealant of any kind used.
I dunno, Ping... the threads on the tank valve are left hand always, but in our system, all the hose connections are RH. Some fittings are tapered pipe, some are various flare or other patent connectors, but all are RH. The pipe threads are sealed with goop rated for gas use, or gas rated teflon tape (done by the PO).

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Old 01-04-2016, 18:53   #9
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

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Originally Posted by cruisersfarm View Post
No it doesn't.

You cut the copper, do whatever you need to do, re flare and re nut and screw it back on using pipe thread sealant.

Simple.

Obviously you aren't cutting it 2 ft back. you're cutting it half an inch or less from the currently flare/nut.
If it's copper. If there's enough copper to still reach the connector after cutting. If the fitting on the appliance will take a flare fitting. Then the OP has to get a flaring tool and practice a bit if he's not used one before.

Cutting the end off is one solution but in this situation it would not be my first choice. Even if the end is cut off OP is still faced with removing the old fitting from the connection on the appliance.
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Old 01-04-2016, 18:55   #10
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

There are two general kinds of sealant for these; tape and a paste sealant. I prefer the tape as the "goo" has a tendency to get on everything.
There are two kinds of tape sealant; water and gas. The gas tape is yellow. Use that one.
It's always a good idea to use pipe thread sealant the 2nd time you open and close a threaded connection. Dirt, hair, grit and gremlins can keep it fron seating properly. On your BBQue it's not a big deal. On your boat or any enclosed space it can be life changing.
30+ years in construction.......i've seen a few things and i still have all my fingers and toes and both eyes.
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Old 01-04-2016, 19:17   #11
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I dunno, Ping... the threads on the tank valve are left hand always, but in our system, all the hose connections are RH. Some fittings are tapered pipe, some are various flare or other patent connectors, but all are RH. The pipe threads are sealed with goop rated for gas use, or gas rated teflon tape (done by the PO).

Jim
My system also all the fittings are right hand.
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Old 01-04-2016, 19:35   #12
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

Make very sure you are trying to turn the correct way. Right hand threads have a normal nut. Left hand threaded nuts should have a line machined around the nut.
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Old 01-04-2016, 19:46   #13
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I dunno, Ping... the threads on the tank valve are left hand always, but in our system, all the hose connections are RH. Some fittings are tapered pipe, some are various flare or other patent connectors, but all are RH. The pipe threads are sealed with goop rated for gas use, or gas rated teflon tape (done by the PO).

Jim
OK...connections to the propane tank itself are always left handed which I think is what we are talking about here... as stated above... all the ones I have seen have that line cut in on the edges of the nut...
a photo would be nice
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:49   #14
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

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Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
There are two general kinds of sealant for these; tape and a paste sealant. I prefer the tape as the "goo" has a tendency to get on everything.
There are two kinds of tape sealant; water and gas. The gas tape is yellow. Use that one.
Like the Sgt says, tape or goop. If you use tape it [U]must[U] be the yellow stuff. I always used tape but the owner of the local propane shop where I took my boat tanks for new valves highly recomended using the paste (goop in my book). The correct, gas compatible paste is readily available at any place you buy plumbing or propane supplies.



Quote:
Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
It's always a good idea to use pipe thread sealant the 2nd time you open and close a threaded connection. Dirt, hair, grit and gremlins can keep it fron seating properly.
Had not heard this before but it makes sense.



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Dirt, hair, grit and gremlins can keep it fron seating properly. On your BBQue it's not a big deal. On your boat or any enclosed space it can be life changing.
Very sound advise. Take it to heart. Propane leaks in a boat can result in an explosion as powerful as a stick of dynamite and that is no exaggeration.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:22   #15
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Re: Disconnecting & connecting propane appliance

From a certified high pressure gas tech:

The only LH thread is at the tank itself. All flammable gases use a LH thread on a pressurized cylinder valve.
Thread sealant must be gas rated or SS/gas rated (yellow) depending on the fittings. Sealant is not used on a LH fitting. They generally have an o-ring on its contact area.

If you are attaching and detaching a RH thread, then you need to replumb your system. Only the fitting at the tank (LH thread) should be remove on a recharge.

There are quick disconnects for gas that one can get at weld shops, which I use on my BBQ. But would not recommended for below decks applications.

FYI- propane is rated at 125 psi generally but can get up to 140 psi in hot conditions. LPG is self regulating, which makes it one of the safest gases out there. Its just a heavy gas, settling in low spaces. But it takes the proper ratio (oxy:LPG) to set it off. In my "confined spaces" class we put a lit match out in a non pressureized bottle of LPG.
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