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Old 01-29-2020, 07:20 PM   #1
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propane problem - sputtering and smoking

We bought a Camp Chef Everest propane stove for our skoolie, that was working fine for about 2 months. (Not to worry, we have plenty of ventilation, a CO detector, and the propane tank itself is outside the bus, connected to the inside of the bus with an adapter hose.)

But one day it just started to smoke - there is no smell of propane whatsoever. Just a burning smell and smoke coming from the burner itself.

We did a few tests with different propane tanks, etc, but no change.

We assumed the stove must be defective, so we just bought a Coleman Classic camping stove to replace it. It worked fine as well, for a week, and tonight it started to give off the exact same burning smell, smoke and everything.

So now we think the issue might be with the propane tank and the adapter hose, because what are the odds that two stoves would have the same problem?

Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be causing this?? We have not been able to find anyone else online that seems to describe this same problem...

Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:55 PM   #2
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Possibly contaminated hose? I use a line filter on my Mr Heater for just that reason. Might explain reoccurring issue.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:57 PM   #3
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Spiders just love propane for some reason. Light the stove outside and give it a good hot burn then clean the burner out as best you can.



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Old 01-29-2020, 08:58 PM   #4
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Yes, some hoses are teflon lined and don't break down.

Others do and a filter helps.

Or just replace hoses every few years.

Fuel can be dirty, tanks need cleaning as well.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:24 PM   #5
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I would bet that something is clogging the burner tubes. If you're seeing red flames instead of blue something is limiting the air getting into the burner tubes.



I had the same problem with our propane furnace. It turned out to be spider webs in the burner tube.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:45 PM   #6
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Interesting... good tip, thank you I'll check it out.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackJohn View Post
Spiders just love propane for some reason. Light the stove outside and give it a good hot burn then clean the burner out as best you can.



John
We tried that and the smell just seemed to get worse...?
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Yes, some hoses are teflon lined and don't break down.

Others do and a filter helps.

Or just replace hoses every few years.

Fuel can be dirty, tanks need cleaning as well.
Ok thanks for the heads up. This is a brand new hose though, about 2 months old, and a brand new tank too...
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by roach711 View Post
I would bet that something is clogging the burner tubes. If you're seeing red flames instead of blue something is limiting the air getting into the burner tubes.



I had the same problem with our propane furnace. It turned out to be spider webs in the burner tube.
Yeah, the flames did seem to get a bit yellowish before the smell... but it's weird that it's two stoves back to back that's the only thing that makes me think it's the tank set up itself.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:59 PM   #10
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:47 PM   #11
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new system or old system?
what type of piping,tubing,hose and to honest connections
my typing aint the best so forgive me?
a 3/8:" rubber hose like a BBQ grill is not going to support multiple systems.
i do a load of gas for a living but am still at work so more spec data sheets to come tomorrow for pipe/tubing sizing depending on length of run.
if the flame is lifting off off the burner then it is to much gas and will b low the flame out and if it is not enough gas then it will spit and sputter and could blow the flame out.
most propane tanks are a higher pressure than what is needed so a regulator is required between the tank and whatever is being fed.
most require at a minimum on a low psi system to have a regulator that takes it from tank pressure to 7-11 inch water column for most equipment or if the gas system is designed for a higher pressure system then you would need bigger pipe and a regulater at each piece of equipment.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:54 PM   #12
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if the base of the flame is liifting off of the burner then it is to much pressure and if the base of the flame looks like its hugging the burner and or strating to wrap around the burner tube then its not enough gas.
depends on what you to troubleshoot?
i say line size to small from your post.
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:10 PM   #13
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There has to be something organic causing the smoking, as propane doesn't give off visible smoke when burning.

As other have said, spiders, or some other critter has either brought nesting materials into the burner(s) or are trapped and are being slow roasted inside.

Re-check tightness on all of your hose fittings from tank to unit. The hoses, regulator and anything else installed between the tank and stove are not likely causing the issue, unless there's a loose connection allowing air in or some propane out.

Then relight and set burner(s) on high for 5 minutes. That'll burn out about anything caught in there other than a mouse or rat, that might take longer to burn than bugs!

Let us know how you fare...
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:50 PM   #14
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I've had a couple of propane and butane camp stoves behave like that (not the smell however) and the problem turned out to be the cooling of the fuel tank as fuel was used. The tank would cool to the point that the pressure drop no longer support the burner. In one case while winter camping the propane tank had ice on it.

This won't help but I couldn't resist. A guy was on his first parachute jump somewhere over a National park. He stepped out of the airplane and pulled the primary cord on his shoot and nothing happened. Undaunted he pulled the cord on the secondary shoot and once again nothing happened. He's going about 600 mph now and as he reaches about 200' he spots a guy going up. He hollers at the guy as they pass "Do you know anything about a parachute?" To which the other guy says " No, do you know anything about a Coleman stove? That's thanks to Hoyt Axton who'es tour bus "Honeysuckle Rose" is the namesake of my little bus.
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While I'm being bad I might as well include this one--LMAO over and over.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:56 PM   #15
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'Twas me, I'd do a little troubleshooting. You want to eliminate the possibilities, easiest stuff first. You've got a propane tank, a hose/regulator (the regulator may be built into the stove but it sounds like yours is probably at the tank), and a burner which is basically a pipe with an air inlet on one end and the burner head on the other. A pretty simple system. First, is the stove defective? Your second brand of stove also failed so that's extremely unlikely. Is the regulator doing its thing? Since both stoves worked normally for a time I'd think the regulator is good. Is the propane supply dirty? You swapped out tanks but was the original tank ever used with both stoves?

That leaves me to think dirty propane is the problem so take apart one of the stoves and look for junk in the burner area.

There are add-on filters for propane systems to prevent just this type of problem:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Mr-Heate...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:35 PM   #16
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The original tank WAS used with both stoves. And we had no problems with either stove until we switched to that tank. But when we switched to that tank, we also switched to an adapter hose (we were using throw-away 1lb cylinders until switching to a 20lb tank with an adapter hose).

We've tried long burns, but nothing changed. I took everything apart and cleaned everything I could, but nothing changed. I used two different regulators, but nothing changed. When I stopped using the 20lb tank and adapter hose, the problem continued... but I don't know if my stove is just contaminated now.

We're going to return the Coleman to the store (because it's still within return timeframe) and then do some tests with a new uncontaminated stove. I'm thinking I'll check out that filter and maybe try finding a new adapter hose too...
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:02 PM   #17
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Get a higher-priced teflon-lined hose from a professional propane supplier source.

As well as a cheap one from consumer channels, no lining.

Put a filter on both.

Swap out every ten hours or so of use, try for roughly equal.

Report back here please.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:03 PM   #18
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Using the same (maybe dirty) gas suppliers
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:09 AM   #19
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whole page of nothing.


Issue is regulated pressure. Chances are the regulator vent is plugged at minimum. regulator bad at max.
It's not your damn hoses or stove.
If your regulator vent is plugged flames will lift off the burner to start then back burn into the burner as pressure decreases.


This is why i stay off the forums more often than not. Takes 36 pages to get a straight answer and then your so over loaded it seems like gibberish.
Must be old school. I don't answer unless I have a clue.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:32 AM   #20
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I for one am pleased to finally have a "straight answer". Personally, I'd have been pleased to have had that answer before I (and others) had wasted our time trying to be helpful. Perhaps you could chime in on a more regular basis with other valuable clues. I'm certain the OP will dutifully hop to and replace his regulator. Hmm, now that I think about it, one or several responers pointed out various conditions that could reduce pressure thereby causing the symptoms described. Perhaps you missed those nugets while rapidly skimming over the posts.
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