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Old 11-26-2023, 10:22 PM   #1
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Default Should I be worried about this propane noise when turning on the tank?

I wanted to check the furnace so I went to turn on the propane on my RT 170. When I turned it to on it immediately made a shushing noise and started dripping on my hand. I immediately turned it off.

Does this mean there's a problem with the valve? There has not been any alarms sounding. The tank reads as half full.
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Old 11-26-2023, 10:32 PM   #2
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I wanted to check the furnace so I went to turn on the propane on my RT 170. When I turned it to on it immediately made a shushing noise and started dripping on my hand. I immediately turned it off.

Does this mean there's a problem with the valve? There has not been any alarms sounding. The tank reads as half full.
In my experience, a propane leak is kind of a hissing sound, and it is accompanied by a characteristic odor. But it usually involves propane gas escaping not liquid dripping. Can you provide more details, including year and make of the rv, size and location of the tank, and how your turned it on.
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Old 11-27-2023, 01:37 AM   #3
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In my experience, a propane leak is kind of a hissing sound, and it is accompanied by a characteristic odor. But it usually involves propane gas escaping not liquid dripping. Can you provide more details, including year and make of the rv, size and location of the tank, and how your turned it on.
There was a propane odor. I suppose the shushing could also be described as a hissing but it was loud and forceful. And there was definitely dripping on my hand at the same time.

It's a 2012 RoadTrek 170 on a Chevy express 2500 van chassis. The propane tank is in the back. You get to it from a cut out over the bumper. That's where it's filled too from a separate receptable that also shows how full it is. There is a twist knob to turn it on. I turned it to the left to open the valve so the furnace and stove work. I don't use the stove though only the furnace.
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Old 11-27-2023, 01:52 AM   #4
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There was a propane odor. I suppose the shushing could also be described as a hissing but it was loud and forceful. And there was definitely dripping on my hand at the same time.

It's a 2012 RoadTrek 170 on a Chevy express 2500 van chassis. The propane tank is in the back. You get to it from a cut out over the bumper. That's where it's filled too from a separate receptable that also shows how full it is. There is a twist knob to turn it on. I turned it to the left to open the valve so the furnace and stove work. I don't use the stove though only the furnace.

If liquid propane dripped on your had and you didn't have gloves on you should have gotten a nasty freeze burn. It doesn't take much to do that.
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Old 11-27-2023, 02:36 AM   #5
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If liquid propane dripped on your had and you didn't have gloves on you should have gotten a nasty freeze burn. It doesn't take much to do that.
no gloves, no freeze burn. So not liquid propane dripping on my hand. I've never heard a noise like that when I turned on the propane in cold weather before.
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Old 11-27-2023, 11:47 AM   #6
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There was a propane odor. I suppose the shushing could also be described as a hissing but it was loud and forceful. And there was definitely dripping on my hand at the same time... no gloves, no freeze burn. So not liquid propane dripping on my hand. I've never heard a noise like that when I turned on the propane in cold weather before.
It doesn't sound like the dripping was liquid propane, but, either way, you say that you heard a noise and smelled propane odor so you probably do have a leak. It could be at the valve or, more likely at the hose fitting, which is common enough in a ten-year old rv. Both can be fixed, and you can locate the leak using soapy water (search on youtube for how to do this). Of course, propane can be dangerous so if you are not comfortable checking it out and fixing it, just bring it to an RV place. It shouldn't be too expensive to fix.
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Old 11-27-2023, 02:16 PM   #7
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It doesn't sound like the dripping was liquid propane, but, either way, you say that you heard a noise and smelled propane odor so you probably do have a leak. It could be at the valve or, more likely at the hose fitting, which is common enough in a ten-year old rv. Both can be fixed, and you can locate the leak using soapy water (search on youtube for how to do this). Of course, propane can be dangerous so if you are not comfortable checking it out and fixing it, just bring it to an RV place. It shouldn't be too expensive to fix.
I'm leaving for AZ today so don't have time before I leave. I won't use the propane. I have a compressor fridge and I never use the stove. I'll take a portable heater instead. I have a place in AZ I've been going to so I'll take it there.
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Old 11-27-2023, 02:48 PM   #8
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My guess would be that the gurgling sound could come from the oily liquid that can build up propane lines over time. It settles into low points of the lines and eventually plugs them. When the propane is turned on and the lines fill the flow could cause the sound, I think.


But, as was mentioned by others, you smelled a leak so it does need to be looked at anyway. Perhaps you dodge a bullet if it is the oily liquid if it didn't get into the device valves and regulators.


We have had this issue several times in our outdoor grille at home in Minnesota and it is messy and slippery stuff that can affect the operation of devices. At the advice of and old timer in the grille and propane business, we no make sure to release the pressure in the line to grille when not in use as this was his recommendation. It fixed the issue for us for years now.


Releasing the pressure in our van however is not as easy to do as you have to light the stove to let the gas out and burn it at the same time. We store inside and heated shop so our van doesn't see big temp swings like the grille bottle did and we haven't had any issue with the van so temp swings probably contribute to the problem.
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Old 11-27-2023, 04:33 PM   #9
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The propane tank valve, seals when closed completely,AND opening all the way to the stop.It should never be partially open.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:08 PM   #10
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The valve on my propane tank is original to 1997. At times, it will spew some liquid propane when I open it, especially early in the season. Once the valve is fully open, it stops leaking.
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Old 11-28-2023, 02:28 PM   #11
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The valve on my propane tank is original to 1997. At times, it will spew some liquid propane when I open it, especially early in the season. Once the valve is fully open, it stops leaking.
When you initially opened it did you do it slowly and that is when you heard the noise and smelled the gas? Or did you open it full bore from the get go? The reason I ask is that similar thing happened to me after not using the gas for a while when i opened it slowly. Then I shut it off and opened it all the way and no more issues.
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Old 11-29-2023, 08:23 PM   #12
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When you initially opened it did you do it slowly and that is when you heard the noise and smelled the gas? Or did you open it full bore from the get go? The reason I ask is that similar thing happened to me after not using the gas for a while when i opened it slowly. Then I shut it off and opened it all the way and no more issues.
The first time it happened (years ago), I had been opening the valve slowly, and it started leaking, so I shut it quickly. Eventually, I just opened it quickly, and a little liquid propane would spew out. Normally, I only turned the valve off during a fill up, and the valve typically didn't leak after a few times.
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Old 12-03-2023, 08:28 PM   #13
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if your system is not pressurized and you open up the valve from the tank, the noise is likely the normal sound of the expanding propane filling the system. the liquid could be moisture that was on the handle that dripped off when you turned the valve or some condensate in the valve packing being released as you turn the valve. and as mentioned by others, the valve is intended to seat and seal when fully open and fully closed; some leaking when moving the valve in between these limits is not necessarily a cause for concern. i am not alarmed by what you have described. i would check for leaks with soap solution. and having it checked by others that you trust and that know what they are doing is a fine plan.
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Old 12-06-2023, 08:02 PM   #14
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you stated you smelled propane. Something is leaking.
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