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Old 27-06-2008, 09:27   #1
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Propane Leaking or Not?

Hello:

I would like to know if anyone has observed the same propane system behavior.

My system has a tank with valve, gauge, regulator, 5 foot hose, solenoid, 20 foot hose, stove setup.

I have been shutting off the tank valve when not on the boat. I have noticed that whenever I turn the tank valve back on in the morning, the gauge registers an increase in pressure.

Is this because somewhere the system is leaking or is it because of the temperature differential between the tank and the gauge on the different sides of the tank valve?

Bubble tests indicate no leaks.

Thanks.
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Old 27-06-2008, 09:31   #2
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Those guages are not all that accurate so I would not spend too much time on the system unless you SMELL the propane. In addition temperatures outside will show an increase or decrease in pressure.
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Old 27-06-2008, 10:20   #3
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Originally Posted by The Mons View Post
Hello:

I would like to know if anyone has observed the same propane system behavior.

My system has a tank with valve, gauge, regulator, 5 foot hose, solenoid, 20 foot hose, stove setup.

I have been shutting off the tank valve when not on the boat. I have noticed that whenever I turn the tank valve back on in the morning, the gauge registers an increase in pressure.

Is this because somewhere the system is leaking or is it because of the temperature differential between the tank and the gauge on the different sides of the tank valve?

Bubble tests indicate no leaks.

Thanks.
The ABYC test is to pressurize the system to the stove (open the solenoid), read the pressure, turn off the tank valve, wait three minutes, see if there is any pressure change. Many people recommend waiting 10 or 15 minutes. If there is any pressure change at all you have a leak that must be repaired. When I first got my boat it would pass this test but you could see a change in pressure after a half hour. With the solenoid off and tank valve off my gage would read zero by the next morning. So my system passed the test but I was uncomfortable with the fact that occasionally I could smell propane in my propane locker. I finally traced the leak down to my main tank valve. My gage reads pressure (something above 0) for up to two weeks now. No system is perfect, none will hold pressure forever.

The other test I did was to fill my propane locker with water to test for leaks since it it a homebuilt epoxy coated wood box. I found a couple of open screw holes in it that I filled in.

John
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Old 27-06-2008, 10:48   #4
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Assuming the gauge reads TANK pressure? A leak couldn't cause an increase. Odds are that the flowing propane is cold enough so that some of it expands after sitting overnight (unused) and that's showing a bogus increase in pressure.
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Old 27-06-2008, 11:19   #5
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Assuming the gauge reads TANK pressure? A leak couldn't cause an increase. Odds are that the flowing propane is cold enough so that some of it expands after sitting overnight (unused) and that's showing a bogus increase in pressure.

I assumed that he meant that some pressure had bled out of the system overnight, and that in the morning when he opens the valve he sees the system pressurize as he opens the valve. I guess clarification is needed.

John
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Old 27-06-2008, 15:15   #6
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Yes that is correct.

Overnight, the pressure becomes less downstream of the tank valve according to the gauge. When the tank valve is opened in the morning, the higher pressure from the tank registers an increase in the gauge pressure.
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Old 27-06-2008, 15:20   #7
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Put in a propane leak detector and don't worry about it.
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