Why is my propane alarm going off in my RV?
Your RV propane system has a leak, or is not sealed properly. First turn off the gas at the tank and go outside to investigate that your connections are tight and nothing is leaking onto the ground. Make sure you have no gas inside of your coach.
You should NEVER ignore a propane alarm going off! If it doesn’t stop after about 45 seconds, get out of your RV immediately and don’t look back until someone tells you everything is safe again.
Some common problems:
A crack in a pipe joint seal such as where a pipe enters into an expansion valve may cause the alarm activation. The crack will likely be gas filled. If the leak is in the vapor line, a slight amount of water or propane can cause a large release which multiplies the effect of the leak and creates a greater than normal volume of hydrocarbon gas seeping into your coach. The repair will require replacing part(s) that have cracks and/or resealing joints where cracking was found.
How does my RV’s Propane system work?
When you turn on your propane range, oven or cooktop burner – “propane” (technically it is actually mostly propene) entering through an intake regulator gets mixed with air before being ignited by an electric solenoid valve to create heat for cooking.
This same gas then travels out of your RV through the open pipe in the stove (that you stick a match into when lighting) and eventually vents out of a vent pipe on the roof somewhere. The gas that is vented off from inside your RV is not really propane or propene anymore – it’s mostly water vapor at this point.
This venting process is how your range, oven, cooktop or microwave get their power for ignition because there are no batteries involved with these cooking appliances. This same flow of gas also goes to an outside tank that feeds all of the other appliances in your RV such as: refrigerator, furnace blower motor, furnace blower fan (forced air heat), hot water heater, etc.
As needed by these appliances, they all have separate gas valves to direct the flow of gas into their respective systems. There are also two type of propane appliances in your RV: storage and demand devices.
Storage devices will hold a considerable amount of gas and use it up over time while demand burners, such as your furnace blower motor or your hot water heater, only need a bit of gas at a time so normally these have an open flame switch that turns on the flow for the exact amount needed at any given time (this is how you can tell if your hot water heater has been releasing small amounts of gas intermittently).
These appliances would NOT require any vented pipe connection because they use very minimal amounts of propane quickly whenever they need it. The propane tank(s) in your RV are usually located under the rear most portion of your coach and may have one or more tanks if you have a large enough rig.
Some people opt to install two tanks – one inside of the coach and another outside, just in case there is a leak in the line between the two.
The gas from your propane tank(s) is delivered through a pressure regulator (the same kind used for natural gas) that reduces the system pressure to less than 10 psi. The gas then goes into an expansion valve that blows off any excess water vapor that has accumulated at this lower pressure setting.
How do you reset the Safe T Alert RV propane gas detector?
Step 1: If the Safe T Alert RV propane gas detector is in an area without any propane gas, set the detector to “HIGH STANDARD (5x)” by depressing the top button for a few seconds and then setting it to “HIGH STANDARD” with a downward press.
Step 2: If the Safe T Alert RV propane gas detector is in an area with propane gas, set the detector to “LOW STANDARD (1x)” by depressing the top button for a few seconds and then setting it to “LOW STANDARD” with a downward press.
Step 3: Press the down arrow until “RESET” is selected and then press the top button. The default reset time is set to 30 seconds, but it can be adjusted between 5 and 60 seconds by pressing the left or right arrows respectively. If using a lower number (5) there will be less of a response time, while higher values (60) allow for longer alarm times. When the desired value is displayed, press the top button again to confirm your selection.
Step 4: A series of dots will appear on the display to indicate that a new alarm has been entered and you may choose another reset duration by following steps 2-3 above. To accept these changes activate step 1 again after making changes if necessary.
Step 5: The Safe T Alert RV propane gas detector will now enter alarm mode immediately and will reset itself after the selected time passes.
How do I stop my RV propane alarm from beeping?
This can be accomplished by turning off the propane gas valve on the RV. The alarm should stop beeping when this is done.
To turn off the propane gas valve, follow these steps:
1. Find the propane supply tank on your RV and open it up (usually there is a hose that can be detached from the top of the tank). You should see either an off/on switch or a large knob with an “OFF” label on it. The switch usually has two settings, one marked “ON” and another one marked “AUTO”. In order to shut off the alarm, you have to turn this knob or push this button into the “OFF” position. Make sure that you turn OFF only THE PROPANE GAS TANK and not one of your stove burners for example!
2. Close up the propane supply tank.
3. The propane gas alarm should stop beeping now and you can go to bed. Remember to turn on the supply tank again in the morning before you make that coffee!
Note: If your orange RV propane gas alarm won’t stop beeping after turning off the propane gas valve, then it is probably an electrical noise issue related to a ground loop or something similar. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do about such things besides moving your RV around so that this annoying electronic noise stops following you around everywhere!
What can set off a propane detectors?
1. Acetylene torches
3. Alcohols, such as ethanol and methanol
4. Ammonia, bleach, biological detergents (soaps), cleaning fluids and solutions containing ammonia or chlorine
5. Antifreeze products – Ethylene glycol antifreezes can damage a gas detector unit because of their high alcohol content
6. Hair Spray
7. Cleaning chemicals
When should you clean your propane detector?
It is recommended to clean your propane detector once a week when full time camping and monthly when you are a weekend camper.