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Old 20-11-2008, 03:18   #1
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Plugged Propane Lines

Twice now in the last 7 yrs I have had to clean or blow out my propane line to galley. They get a oily liquid that reduces fuel flow. Does this happen to anyone else? My local gas company just looks at me, like I have 2 bald heads.
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Old 20-11-2008, 03:43   #2
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Quote:
My local gas company just looks at me, like I have 2 bald heads.
I'm going to agree with the propane company on this one (not the two bald heads part though). There really has to be more to this story and what to look for is the key. Liquid in the lines makes me think the line has a leak and when the solenoid is off the lines are being infiltrated by water. It would take a fair amount to displace the propane. We have a couple propane guys around here maybe they will pop in for more ideas. How old are the lines. How many fittings between the solenoid and the galley stove?
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Old 20-11-2008, 03:45   #3
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Iím not a gas expert:

A foul smell, and oily residue* around fitting connections (point of vaporization), a hissing sound, or signs of frosting or freezing somewhere in the line are all potential indicators of a propane leaks.

* The residues are contaminants left behind when the propane evaporates.
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Old 20-11-2008, 15:32   #4
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Hi Gord
Thanks for the reply. The oily substance is inside the pipe, not much but enough to collect over 5 yrs in a low point. I don't think it is completely blocking tube as systems still work but occasionly flame burns lower as if starving for fuel and everything works better after blowing out with dive tank. I did have a new tank and brand new reg. There was no sign of" hissing sound, or signs of frosting or freezing " or foul smells. It comes out of tank and into reg then through solinoid then through hull and off to stove and heater. solinoid is off most of the time. Just wondering if anyone else has seen this. Cheers
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Old 20-11-2008, 15:46   #5
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I've also had a buildup of waxy oily stuff inside the flexible line which connects to the tank, which blocked it at one point. Probably from third world propane.
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Old 20-11-2008, 16:23   #6
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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Probably from third world propane.
Good chance of that ,the boat has been around the block a few times.
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Old 25-11-2008, 07:31   #7
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The residue in the line could be from a contaminated fuel, also the line could build up moisture from condensation. I would find a compressor and hook it up to the line and blow all the contaminate out and the moisture as well. Hope this helps. Jim
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Old 25-11-2008, 08:03   #8
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After you blow out the hoses another idea might be to run a pressure test on your propane lines. Better to know for sure that you do not have a leak.
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Old 25-11-2008, 09:31   #9
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Speaking of propane pressure tests, anyone know how this could have happened? It was fine (passed leak test during survey) and then... not so fine. Replacing, of course, but I've never seen a gauge do this.

Steve
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Old 25-11-2008, 10:16   #10
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Not an expert on this by any stretch of the imagination but here is what I have found while testing gas lines for houses. 1) You need a guage that allows you to read down to 10lbs accurately. 2) In the trades we need to hold 10 PSI for 15 minutes (or 6" of mercury) and 3) If you are comfortable with your piping there is a good chance that any leak is coming from your gauge.
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Old 23-05-2011, 20:15   #11
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Re: Plugged Propane lines

I too have had propane lines blocked with oily residue. I agree that it is most likely caused by the quality of the gas in 3rd world countries. I am still investigating if anything can be done about it other than blowing the lines out with compressed air. So far I haven't been able to find a gasfitter that knows what I am talking about. Because the liquid contains oil I would like to try flushing the lines with hot water with detergent in it. I'll let you know if I have any sucess.

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Old 23-05-2011, 20:49   #12
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Re: Plugged Propane lines

Whatever is in your lines will not get blown out, just spread thru the line.

I would just pull the hose, take it to the propane shop and have them make up a new one piece line with the correct fittings.
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Old 24-05-2011, 04:41   #13
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Re: Plugged Propane lines

If you can conviently get to it, check the pressure gauge on your regulator. Many pressure gauges are filled with oil and they may leak small amounts of oil over time that could accumulate in your lines. It wouldn't take much.

FWIW....
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Old 24-05-2011, 10:33   #14
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Re: Plugged Propane lines

[QUOTE=Unicorn Dreams;692863]Whatever is in your lines will not get blown out, just spread thru the line.

Not if you hook up your compressed air source so it blows back toward the tank end of the line.

BTW, if you have scuba tanks, you can get a nozzle which plugs into the low pressure hose on your regulator--perfect for jobs like this.
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Old 24-05-2011, 14:52   #15
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Re: Plugged Propane lines

I finally found a gasfitter who specializes with boats and gas installations. He is familiar with the issue and he told me that it was "a common problem in marine installations". He told me that it was not confined to 3rd world countries and also tha the gas industry had not identified the source of the problem or the best way of remedying it. Interesting but not helpful.
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