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Old 22-07-2019, 09:16   #1
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Help troubleshooting propane leak

Hello,

I seem to have a very slow propane leak and I canít quite locate it. I have two steel tanks in my lazarette propane locker, on pigtail hoses going to a solenoid, then a continuous hose from my propane locker to my Force 10 stove.

When I open the valve on either of my two tanks, the pressure valve jumps up to 130ish and stays steady even if I close the tank valve.

But when the solenoid is switched on (and the tank valve is closed), the pressure steadily drops until
It reaches zero in about 5 mins. So there is a leak downstream of (or at) the solenoid.

The sniffer alarm is located under the stove and went off about 10 mins after we finishing cooking yesterday (solenoid was still on), but it hasnít gone off today despite repeatedly troubleshooting the leak. I canít smell any gas in the propane locker, in the galley, or below decks where the hose runs. The hose appears unmolested and in perfect condition for its entire length. Iíve used soapy water at all the fittings and I canít see any sign of gas coming out. It used to maintain pressure in the line for days and the sniffer is very sensitive and a random false alarm after cooking is not unheard of.

The solenoid itself gets pretty hot when open. Not too hot to hold but almost. Iím not sure if this is in the normal range or if itís failing, or if this could cause a leak.

At this point I feel like itís likely to be either the solenoid itself or some internal components of the stove that I canít see easily.

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions on how to find this leak before I end up replacing components?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 22-07-2019, 09:23   #2
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

I think Iíd spring for a leak detector.
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Detec...-1-spons&psc=1
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Old 22-07-2019, 11:32   #3
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

If I were you I would remove the hose from the force 10 and cap it, and then re-run the test.


If there is still a loss of pressure, I would remove the hose from the solenoid, and cap the solenoid, and then see if there is still a leak.


If you conclude it's the stove, my advice would be to start by soaping up the valves. The are the usual culprits, and you should be able to get to them well enough to soap them up with a squirt bottle or something without taking the stove apart.


I don't know what kind of valves Force 10 uses but if they're the common tapered valves you may be able to disassemble the leaking valve and re-grease it to fix the leak.
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Old 22-07-2019, 12:11   #4
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

A kitchen spray bottle full of soap/water could solve this quickly. Spray everything suspect and look for bubbles.
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Old 22-07-2019, 13:51   #5
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

I find soap foam, not soapy water, to be more effective. I make it using a damp sponge, but the spray bottle would probably work too. Foam clings onto the fitting and can be spread around and observed longer.
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Old 23-07-2019, 04:59   #6
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

Good idea, Belize. I guess that when I learned to use soapy water (1950s) soap foam did not exist. I keep a squirt bottle in my shop space largely for mounting motorcycle tires, where it's a lubricant as well as a leak test. I think I'll add a foam dispenser.
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Old 23-07-2019, 05:09   #7
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
Good idea, Belize. I guess that when I learned to use soapy water (1950s) soap foam did not exist. I keep a squirt bottle in my shop space largely for mounting motorcycle tires, where it's a lubricant as well as a leak test. I think I'll add a foam dispenser.
I didnt mean the fancy dispensor type, though that should work too. I just soap up a sponge and squeeze out most of the water...then when you squeeze the sponge you just get foam. Its fine and clingy so will last a long time which helps spot small leaks. It will even cling to the underside of fittings.
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Old 23-07-2019, 06:36   #8
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyho...ctOverview.pdf
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Old 23-07-2019, 09:50   #9
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

From what you have said, I would look at a stove valve allowing the bleed down of pressure.
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Old 23-07-2019, 10:05   #10
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

How old is your hose? I had the same problem but it took 30 minutes to leak down. No detectable leaks at any connection. The detector would sound off every few weeks. I replaced the 33 year old hose and no more problem.
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Old 23-07-2019, 10:11   #11
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

Cadence said it!

"Top o' the line" as the Force 10s were fifty years ago, they were then, and are even more so now, subject to the common failings of gas burners and their control valves/regulators.

If your sniffer popped, you know that the leak is at or near the stove. So be systematic. Pressurize the supply line and, starting at the solenoid, soap-test the entire hose run right to the stove, including the hose-to-stove connection on the stove. You are likely to find nothing. If you do find a leak during this part of the test, renew the ENTIRE hose run.

If you don't find a leak in the hose and the connexions, there remain only the regulators and the copper lines interior to the stove as the possible location of the leak. Test the interior copper lines just the same way you did the supply hose. If no leaks are found there, then only the regulators remain as a location of the leak. Haven't seen a genuine Force10 for years but you should be able to block the regulators, on at a time, and test them. A failing (leaking) regulator must be replaced, but I suspect that money-wise, its as easy just to consider that even Force10s have a finite lifespan, and replace the whole kit'n'kaboodle with a new one straight outta the box.

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Old 23-07-2019, 15:49   #12
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

Nothing terrifies me more than the possibility of propane leaking into my boat.


Best to you in resolving this quickly.
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Old 24-07-2019, 17:21   #13
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

I found it. I noticed that the spring action on one of the burner knobs was not as smooth as the others when I pushed it in. I squeezed a bit of grease in around the shaft and worked it back and forth until it felt like the others. Pressurized the line and the leak is gone. It holds pressure overnight as it used to. Glad I have the gauges, back to my life of constant vigilance. Thanks so much, I really appreciate the help.
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Old 24-07-2019, 18:28   #14
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Re: Help troubleshooting propane leak

buy, more,solar,panels,and,batteries,and,convert,to,ele ctric!!!
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