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RV Basics

Bleeding RV Propane Lines and Why

When should you bleed your propane lines?

Bleeding your propane lines should be done whenever you arrive at a campground and will be using your propane system. It also should be done if you disconnect the propane tanks from the RV to refill them and are reconnection the tanks.

Why?

It's important to bleed out the gas lines, or 'purge' them, to ensure that all air pockets are removed. If you do not bleed your gas lines and there are air pockets in the lines your appliances may not start. Not a good thing on a hot day and the appliance is the fridge!

Note from an RV fridge manufacture: "The control system activates the ignition system and makes one attempt to light the burner." When air is in the line the fridge most likely will not start on the one attempt.

How to bleed your propane lines:

  • Turn the valve on your propane tank counterclockwise as far as it will go to release propane into your gas lines.
  • Light a stovetop burner (first!).
  • When the stovetop burner flame burns steadily, your gas lines are properly primed, next turn off your stovetop burner.
  • Light any RV appliance as required.

Warning:

  • Always check your RV propane lines for leaks after you replace the propane tank.
  • Propane has a strong, unpleasant odor like rotten eggs, a skunk's spray, or a dead animal. This smell is deliberately added to help alert customers to propane leaks.
  • Always be sensitive to the slightest gas smell, a chemical odorant (usually ethyl mercaptan) gives propane its distinctive smell.
  • Homemade propane leak detector solution can be placed in a spray bottle or other container. A liquid dishwashing soap (a non-corrosive, non-alkaline soap) will produce the most bubbles when mixed with water.
  • Brass is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking, especially from ammonia or substances containing or releasing ammonia.
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