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Thread: Question about propane smell and propane tank.

  1. #1
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    Question about propane smell and propane tank.

    I have a tankless hot water heater, heated by propane. My house is heated by propane also.

    The tank is located by the furnace right off of the garage in a small room, and that room is vented into the laundry room.

    About a month ago on a very windy day, like today, I noticed a propane smell in the laundry room, coming from the furnace room. Naturally I called my propane company and they sent a technician out to inspect and check everything for leaks. Thankfully everything was just fine.. no leaks at all. I am noticing a propane smell again, like the last time, and of course it's making me nervous.

    Would a windy day cause something like this? My propane tank is low btw.. at 15% and even though I called last week for a delivery, they are behind due to the recent snowstorms. I hope they get here before I run out.
    We use about 5% a week on average, but if we should run out before they can get here, what will happen . besides not having heat? Will that cause anything dangerous to happen?

    I did let the company know that my tank is very low.

    Thanks.

    Jeanne

    "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

    "If we ever forget that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
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    Your propane tank is inside the house!?!?!

    It is vented into the room with a dryer!?!!?


    If you have an automatic ignition, the wind COULD be simply blowing out the flame and it is then being reignited by the igniter but letting enough gas leak to cause the smell...
    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

  3. #3
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    Sounds like the wind to me; but isn't that something of a dangerous setup?

  4. #4
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    Let me clarify. the tank itself is buried outside in the yard, but I still smell the propane when it is windy, in the furnace room, yet there aren't any leaks.

    Jeanne

    "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

    "If we ever forget that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
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    If you can smell it, it is neither in the tank nor is it burning. That kind of narrows down your selections, doesn't it?

    Chances are, it is not a big enough leak to ignite (fuel/air mixture), but the only way you can smell it is for there to be a leak. If it was strong enough to be a serious threat, the air would make you dizzy after a few seconds of breathing it in. Oddly enough, most guys around here check the pipes with a lighter. If a flame pops up, there's a leak!!!
    For what mortal has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? ~ Deuteronomy 5:26

    If you're not prepared to risk your very life for your "enemy" you have no right to speak to him of love. ~ Daughter

    Many say they are called... but I am pretty convinced that with many of them it was the wrong number. ~ Project Peter

  6. #6
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    A propane level of 5 - 10% will cause a propane smell....don't know why but it does.

    My neighbor runs out of propane on a regular basis and just has to re-light the hot water heater and heater. I have a propane hot water tank but I never let the level get below 20%.
    Come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

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    ^My experience also, low level of propane causes it to smell. I'm glad you are cautious and getting it checked anyway.
    2 Corinthians 13:14

  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone.

    UM, the technician came with a device to check for leaks and he checked everything.. was here a good hour and nothing showed up on his gauge.

    I hope they get here soon, because I don't want to run out of propane! The two snowstorms we had back to back, put them behind in their deliveries.

    Jeanne

    "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

    "If we ever forget that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
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    Jeanne D,
    I was once a propane system mechanic, installing the systems on autos, trucks and commercial vehicles. Propane has a habit of pressurizing the tank to about 250 pounds of pressure. as the tanks would get low on the vehicles people would complain about smelling the oder and there were a lot of theories about the cause. The good news about propane is that it is heavier than air and tends to float along the ground. Having formerly been in the business I have witnessed a number of accidents with the fuel and sure enough, as it leaks it sinks to the ground. The odor that is added does not seem to sink and will scare the daylights out of people. The best way for a home-owner to feel at peach is for them to arm themselves with a quart spray bottle with about three tablespoons of liquid dish soap and then top it off with water. Spray the mixture on the pressure release valve at the top of the tank, usually brass, and on the connections of the lines and if there is a leak it will bubble right away.

  10. #10
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    All my life I have wondered what it would be like to 'feel at peach'. Bill, does this work even if you do not have propane?



    Quote Originally Posted by th1bill View Post
    .... The best way for a home-owner to feel at peach is for them to arm themselves....

  11. #11
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    Thanks Bill. Hubby was aware of the dish detergent trick and he used it on the valves.. no bubbles.

    Now Amos.. stop teasing Bill, lol. We know it was a typo , but I think he's a peach anyway!

    Jeanne

    "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

    "If we ever forget that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urban Missionary View Post
    Oddly enough, most guys around here check the pipes with a lighter. If a flame pops up, there's a leak!!!
    My dad did that at our cabin at the deer lease a couple of years ago. I wasn't there at the time, but one of the other guys saw what he was doing, and apparently took off running out of the house at full speed. Two years later, they're still razzing him about that (I pulled him aside later and explained the concept of "casually going outside to check on something" the next time he sees my dad do something like that).
    We long to be known and we fear it like nothing else.
    Most people live with subtle dread that one day,
    they will be discovered for who they really are,
    and the world will be appalled.
    - Curtis, Brent and John Eldredge,
    The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God


    The joy is not in hiding, the joy is in being found.
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    My Testimony

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbeaty1981 View Post
    My dad did that at our cabin at the deer lease a couple of years ago. I wasn't there at the time, but one of the other guys saw what he was doing, and apparently took off running out of the house at full speed. Two years later, they're still razzing him about that (I pulled him aside later and explained the concept of "casually going outside to check on something" the next time he sees my dad do something like that).
    LOL.. oh my..

    "He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it". ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

    "If we ever forget that we are ONE NATION UNDER GOD, then we will be a nation gone under" ~ Ronald Reagan

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