Can't find small propane Leak

Old 01-12-17, 11:49 AM
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Can't find small propane Leak

Hello everyone. As the title says, I've got a small propane leak somewhere around my water heater. Last night, after complaining to me for the last month that she could smell propane in the closet where our water heater is, my wife said it was worse than usual. I'd checked this before, but I could barely smell it. Due to other problems, I hadn't got back to this. But last night, I went into the closet, and sure enough, I could smell propane very distinctly. As it was late, I simply turned the propane line valve at the water heater OFF. As well as the regulator valve.

By this morning, the smell had dissipated, so I began checking for leaks, using a spray bottle of soap and water. I sprayed the fittings at the main valve, and where the flex line connects to the regulator. Then I checked the three small lines going from the regulator to the combustion chamber. No leaks were detected. I then decided to re-light the water heater, so propane would flow in any of those three lines post lighting. Checked again. No leaks.

It was then that I started to wonder if what we were really smelling was EXHAUST fumes? As we've had quite a bit of snow lately, I'm wondering if the exhaust pipe maybe partially blocked. As I'm 72, I can't afford to go climbing on the roof to check. That is why I'm asking. Although, I thought I read somewhere that when propane burns, it gives off Carbon Monoxide, which if I'm correct, you can't smell. However, a year ago, at this same time of year, both myself and my wife became very dizzy and disoriented one night, and had to go to the emergency room. After checking us both, they said we had elevated Carbon Monoxide levels, and were very concerned. I bought a Carbon Monoxide tester, but it detected nothing. So now, I'm a bit confused.
So, can someone tell me if you can smell the exhaust fumes from burning propane? If not, then I'm at a loss of where these fumes are coming from. Anyone have any suggestions what to look for. I did do some research, and at one forum, a guy had a leaking problem on the INSIDE of his water heater in the pilot light line. But, it appears this is definitely not something to fix your self. Any suggestions would be appreciated. However, the water heater is lit now, and after an hour, I still don't detect any fumes, but that doesn't mean I DON"T have a leak. All I know is it was real bad last night. Hence turning off the valve at the water heater. I'll check the closet every half hour or so today, and get back to you. Thanks for any help.
Old 01-12-17, 01:07 PM
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Exclamation Your problem is most definately not DIY!

You need to leave the valve to the hw tank closed and call a licensed qualified professional before using this appliance.

This could be a life altering problem if you do not get it properly diagnosed.

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