Sunday, September 13, 2009

What's That Beeping Noise By The Propane Detector?

Saturday's lesson in what can go wrong. Earlier that morning I thought I smelled a whiff of propane, but it wasn't the first time, and after checking the usual places I didn't find anything suspicious. Just to be sure I got out the spray bottle of soapy water and sprayed all the propane fittings. Nothing. Ok, no big deal. Then, a few hours later, getting on to around 1-2pm, I heard a 'beep,beep'. I glanced at the propane detector and the green light was still steady so I figured it must be the battery wearing out in the smoke detector so I checked it out and it appeared to be functioning normally. As I was putting the smoke detector back on the ceiling I heard the beeping sound behind me and as I turned to look at the propane detector I saw the the green light flashing! But still no propane smell. After checking the user's manual for the detector it said that low batteries could cause a false signal so I went to check the trailer's 2 12v batteries. They both checked out ok so I went back to the detector with my test meter and discovered that there now wasn't any power to the detector. What?!! It was just on a minute ago. Ok, so back to the batteries to do some more checking. Both batteries still showing 13.5 volts. I noticed some more wiring with in-line fuses and started to inspect them. When I was tugging on one of them I heard the propane detector beeping again. I went and looked and the green light was back on. Hmmm? I went back to the wiring and wiggled it some more and heard it beep again. My conclusion is that because the wiring was stretched fairly tightly that due to the outside temperature being higher than usual that after the trailer had gotten really warm and expanded that the spring loaded contact in the in-line fuse separated far enough to lose contact and that's what caused the intermittent beeping. Go figure!


  1. What Kim kindly didn't say was that at the first beep, I was out the door with an excuse why I had to be in the house - safe. I'm a little freaked out about the whole propane thing. I didn't even know what propane was until right after Kim and I were married. Kenny, who owned a local gas station in Grayland, Washington, which was across the street from our house, was killed while filling a propane tank for a customer.

    Just so you won't think I wasn't concerned about Kim's safety, I did send my son-in-law out to check on him from time to time.

  2. I used to do the same thing Betsy, The girls and I would go into the store while we getting our propane tank filled. I had to think about the safety of my children, hell with Bob. LOL