Saturday, October 10, 2015

How To Replace An RV Propane Gas Hose (Pigtail)

"I want to find a fixer-upper where I can do my own work and get a great deal" I said, having never owned an RV before. The first pass was fixing the high priority stuff like the fridge and microwave. Now that the stove top works, making the LP gas system perfect has been the top priority.

The right side hose (pigtail) was cracked and completely unusable, so I had to order a replacement RV pigtail from Amazon. Ten bucks and two days with Prime. I also got the yellow teflon tape to get a nice, tight connection to the regulator, which is next on the list to replace. But for now, I just replaced the pigtail.

This fitting made a "ssssshhhhhhh" sound when I turned on the tank ... NEXT


Normally I would use two open-end wrenches, but my big toolbox was at my sister's house, so I just used a small and a medium sized adjustable wrench. It's really helpful to have a simple adjustable wrench set, if you don't already.

Step 1 - Remove Tank Cover

This shouldn't require any special tools. Mine has a wingnut that holds the cover on.

Step 2 - Turn Off The Tanks

In a two tank setup like mine, you don't have to turn off the other tank, because the regulator is supposed to use the tank the lever points to, or the other tank if it has pressure, which it won't because you'll turn it off first.

To be on the safe side, it would probably be best to turn both tanks off.

Step 3 - Take Off The Old Pigtail

Disconnect the gas line from the tank, and then use both adjustable wrenches to take the hose off of the fitting that goes into the regulator.

Step 4 - Tape New Pigtail Fitting

Put a couple turns of LP gas rated Teflon tape on the new gas line fitting. Turn the tape with the threads on the fitting, so that when you tighten the fitting, you're tightening the tape and not loosening it. You may have to think about it for a minute or two.

Step 4 - Connect New Pigtail Fitting To Regulator

Using the small adjustable wrench, attach the fitting on the new pigtail. It should be nice and snug, but not tightened to the point that it damages the tape. It's normal to score the tape where the wrench grabs the fitting, but it should be nice and smooth on the threads. If it's not, take off the tape and try again.

Step 5 - Connect Tank Fitting

Connect the other end of the pigtail to your propane tank using just your hands. It should be nice and tight, but if you are a giant moose, then make sure not to over-tighten it.

Step 5 - Turn On Both Tanks

Make sure both tanks are turned on. If you smell gas and/or hear hissing, then brush some soapy water on the fitting(s) to see where it's leaking from. Be very, very careful if you detect a leak.

Step 6 - Check The LP Gas Regulator

At this point, if you have the type of regulator that shows red or green, it should now show green. Mine turned out to still show red, because the regulator is defective. I also bought another pigtail because the left one looked a little shady in the photos. I will do the new pigtail when I do the new regulator, which I just ordered today.

Step 7 - Check Your Appliances

If you don't detect a leak, and your regulator seems OK, then the next step is to check your gas appliances. My stove top now works with both tanks, but the oven needs a gas safety valve--one more thing to replace!

Other Thoughts

Keep in mind that LP gas is highly flammable (which is the point) and potentially explosive. Ask yourself: "Do I want to be a recipient of the Darwin Awards?" I don't. So, don't do anything stupid.

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