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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Don't Forget To Turn Off Your RV Propane Main Valve AND Empty Your Lines!!!

    OK, I admit it....I forgot to turn off the main valve and bleed the remaining gas out of my propane system. To be fair, I was working inside up until very recently and the heat was nice to have (Especially now since the thermostat is working!) Makes me wonder if my memory is beginning to go. I have that item on my Winterizing Checklist. It's a CHECKLIST! With actual check boxes next to each item. How did I forget/miss it? No idea. I DO know that it's very bad to have propane in your lines over the winter and leaving your main valve on can cause problems next season.

Typical Propane(LP) Main Gas Shutoff Valve
What problems? Well, if you had a small leak, you'd be filling your interior with flammable gas....what happens if there is an electrical malfunction? All it takes is one spark. Or at the very least you will begin the season with an empty propane tank(s). That stuff is not so cheap anymore! The main valve could become stuck in the open position. So...what do you do in an emergency to shut off the main flow? Imagine standing (a good distance away!) with a propane main valve knob in your hand as your RV burns to the ground. All you have to do is turn off the main valve at your tank(s) and then purge what's left. I do that by lighting a single burner on my stove top and waiting until it goes out. That uses up most of the propane left in the lines. Simple and quick.

Will any of this happen? Probably not. But it's possible. Why take the chance when it's so easy to shut off? 20 years ago, when you could fully fill a propane tank, keeping it full over the winter stopped any moisture from condensing inside, preventing rust and extending the life of the tanks. Today's systems really only fill to around it's not as important as it once was. Still, I fill them up at the end of the season so they are ready to go in the spring. Not to mention emergencies like power outages and hurricanes during the "off season." Nice to have heat/hot water and electricity when its out everywhere else!

For something that will take about 5 minutes to do, it's not much of a chore. It may never become a problem. But it could. That's it. Simple peace of mind is worth a lot on its own. Of course, you should ALWAYS have an Propane(LP) gas detector and a Smoke Alarm (with fresh batteries!) just in case. Better safe than dead. You know?

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"