Dangerous gas failure?

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Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Spockydog on Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:48 pm

Hi all
Very new to all this. Names Paul and my wife Chrissy and we bought a brand new AS Broadway EL Duo in October. We went to France and into Spain 12 days ago. All was working well. Fridge, cooker, heating, hot water, all on gas as we used aires without hookup. One evening, near Madrid, we had cooked and watched TV the heating was on but not firing as it was warm enough. The hot water was off. The cooker was off. The fridge running on gas.
Just as we were about to get into bed there was a roaring noise followed by a strong acrid burning smell. It took a while to realise it was our van and I jumped outside and realised the noise/smell was coming from the back of our fridge. I immediately turned it off. I noticed that there was now an exclamation mark on the truma panel for the heating. I turned the fridge back on and nothing happened then spanner 3 came up: Will not work on gas.
My wife tested the hob by turning on the small ring and the gas literally roared out uncontrollably. At this point I isolated everything, gas.
4 days later we are back in UK.
Has anyone encountered this before?
We are going back to the dealer but can't help feeling how much more serious this could have been if we had been out for the evening or worse asleep.
Any ideas would be welcome as I want to be on solid ground when I face the dealership.
Thanks
Paul & Chrissy
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Cymro on Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:55 pm

How alarming. I'll follow this thread with interest and concern. I don't know enough to be able to comment constructively, but it sounds like a failure in the regulator which reduces and controls the pressure of the gas between its liquid state in the tank and its low-pressure state at the burners. Qhite why a regulator fails (if that's what happened) I'e no idea. Like you, I look forward to the help of an expert.
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by burlingtonboaby on Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:55 pm

Hi Paul & Chrissy
Welcome to the forum from Bridlington, hope you rectify your gas defect soon, not what you would expect from a new van.
Boaby
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Jaytee on Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:54 pm

Hi Paul and Chrissy and a big welcome to the forum. What a scary failure, not good and as Cymro said the result when known will be interesting.

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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Gromit on Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:16 pm

Cymro's suggestion almost has to be correct if the ring on the hob was burning like a flame thrower. It sounds as if the gas was being delivered at tank pressure!

Please let us know the result of the investigation. It does sound potentially rather serious.

Dave

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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Cymro on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:13 pm

I spent a few minutes with the mighty Google. I discovered several articles reporting problems with fixed regulators (as opposed to cylinder mounted ones). Manufacturers' tests are inconclusive but suspcion rests with the effect of the LPG upon the tubing, leaching out solvents and causing stickiness in the regulator. But that probably doesn't apply to your case because the pipework from the underslung tank to its regulator is all metal, I believe. And apparently it's more likely to cause starvation rather than volcano.

Another report refers to mud etc clogging the breather orifice - but that would cause starvation of gas at appliances.

Another article explains about "chips" - minute debris which stops the diaphragm in the regulator from closing adequately. Now that does sound a possibility, especially in a new van.

No doubt your gas-qualified dealer will investigate and resolve, but do, please, keep us all posted.
Cymro
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Peter Brown on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:15 pm

The obvious answer is the Cymro suggests that the regulator has failed but although I'm aware of many that have failed and reduce the pressure I've not heard of one fail this way before.

I presume when you were cooking you were using gas in the van and all was ok so it must have been some catastrophic failure rather than say filling up with a contaminated batch of gas.

Whatever the cause proves to be you will need all of the gas appliances in the van to be thoroughly checked for consequential damage.

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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by PennyandDerek on Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:47 pm

As you say Peter - if a regulator fails, then we all anticipate that it will fail safe.

Do these underslung tanks use the same type of bulkhead regulator as those of us with separate bottles?

Derek
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by postman on Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:12 pm

Probably not the cause in this case, but we had a regulator failure causing gas at full pressure to be delivered to all appliances on our Warwick Duo.
What I believe happened was.......
Unbeknownst to us,the float in the fixed lpg tank fell off.....
Next lpg top up was difficult (float must have been flopping around inside the tank)...
We therefore overfilled the tank...
Liquid lpg got into the regulator...
Next time a gas appliance was switched on the liquid gas inside the regulator expanded rapidly and ruptured the diaphragm...
...leading to full pressure gas to appliances.
The first we knew was in the middle of the night when, with the heating on, there was a large explosion of unburnt excess gas in the heater flue.
Purely by chance, all this happened in the Willersey area as we were up there for first habitation service.
No problem, Autosleeper immediately replaced the regulator, but did have to order a complete new lpg tank assembly under warranty, which took a week or two to arrive.
It's worth mentioning, just in case anyone else has similar symptoms, that we had unsuccessfully searched under the van for the cause of the rattling noise made by the float scraping around in the tank. Also the filling procedure was hit and miss as we were able to keep squeezing a bit more lpg in, leading to the potentially disastrous overfill.
Tim
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Gromit on Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:52 pm

Interesting Tim.

I nearly suggested overfill, but dismissed it as too unlikely to contemplate with a fixed underslung tank. Also Paul said, "One evening, near Madrid, we had cooked and watched TV the heating was on but not firing as it was warm enough. The hot water was off. The cooker was off. The fridge running on gas." If they had cooked earlier in the evening, an overfill would surely have caused a problem then - rather than at a somewhat later time.

I'm rather surprised that it's possible for the 80% limiter float to fall off - unless your tank suffered an extremely unlikely fault during its manufacture and assembly.

Hmmmmmmm??

Dave
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by postman on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:08 pm

Dave, 
Yes, sure enough the float had fallen off (or fallen apart if you like) Autosleeper confirmed that but we weren't given any opinions as to why or how that had happened. We too had cooked and being daft/naive we did note that the gas rings seemed to be roaring somewhat, but never dreamed of a regulator failure. We also had trouble with the fridge regularly 'going out' when on gas and having to be relit. We just thought we would mention it when booking in for the service.
In other words, everything still worked in a fashion even on full bore unregulated gas pressure.
Take my word for it- I am now totally paranoid when filling the tank.
Tim
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Paulmold on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:11 pm

Has this Warwick got one of the 'Drive Safe Regulators' being fitted to all AS models now?

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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Cymro on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:14 pm

postman wrote:
Take my word for it- I am now totally paranoid when filling the tank.
Tim

And this thread merely adds to my paranoia about it!  I've not yet attempted my first fill, and I'm not too keen, although I've watched the videos a few times. It's not quite like filling up with petrol or diesel - for them I don't have to worry about a possibly defective but non-visible float, or about high pressure etc. No doubt in due course it will become second nature, but I'm in trepidation of my first time!
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by postman on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:15 pm

Don't think so Paul (that's actually a new one on me).
It's a 2012 model (but now with a 2014 underslung tank)
Whatever it is, I like the sound of it.
Tim
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:28 pm

The more I hear about these fixed tank installations, the more I am grateful for my traditional gas locker installation.

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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Paulmold on Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:08 pm

postman wrote:Don't think so Paul (that's actually a new one on me).
It's a 2012 model (but now with a 2014 underslung tank)
Whatever it is, I like the sound of it.
Tim
I was referring to Spockydogs regulator. I note his is a 2015 but wondered if it was one of the first to be fitted with the new regulator, all 2016 models are now fitted with one. It is supposed to allow the gas heater to be used whilst driving. I'm rather sceptical of that.
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Spockydog on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:24 pm

Hi
Don't know what type of regulator is fitted. There is a metal braided pipe and a metal pipe from the tank to what I presume is the regulator underneath the vehicle. How do I tell what type it is. We filled up with gas the day before this happened. We didn't fill it up fully. We had used the cooker on four occasions the fridge all the time we were not driving and the heating on both nights, all night after the fill and before this event.
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Paulmold on Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:33 pm

This is what the drive safe regulator looks like


https://www.leisureshopdirect.com/product_images/52300-01_lge.jpg
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by gemdeco on Tue Feb 09, 2016 2:04 pm

Hi Everyone
   I picked up from trading standards that there is a recall on a range of gas regulators,perhaps you would like to check
    regards
        Alan
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Cymro on Tue Feb 09, 2016 10:23 pm

Does anyone having the fixed tank know whether AS fitted Novacomet regulators? I haven't had a chance to crawl under the AS yet.

Many thanks to Gemdeco for finding out about the recall.
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Gromit on Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:13 am

Hi Cymro

I'm fairly sure yours and mine won't have the Novacomet. Mine is grey, and I think the Novas are usually red. I'll be under the van later so I'll have a good look.

Reading this I'm quite pleased I had the additional external cut-off valve fitted where it is immediately and easily accessible. I'm not paranoid about the dangers of gas, but clearly there are times when the supply needs to be turned off very quickly - and from the outside of the van.

Dave
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Cymro on Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:33 am

Yes, Dave. It's persuasive.
Relieved to hear that it's likely that ours are not Novacomet, Dave. Thanks for that info, tbc. But I'll be even happier when Spockydog reports as to what was the cause of their catastrophic and potentially lethal problem.

Off to try out the Nuevo today, after its latest sojourn at the Peugeot dealers (limp mode caused by failed vapourizer, so I was told.) Mega stressful to drive at 20mph on hard shoulder!
Cymro
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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Gromit on Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:17 pm

Hi again Cymro

Just crawled under the van (brass monkey weather here! censored! ) and ours is a Truma regulator.

I don't know if that's good because they were rather prone to the dreaded gunge. (Don't know if they still are?) Mine clogged up on the previous van and I replaced it with a Cavagna - which was cheaper and reputedly unaffected by the problem.

Dave smile!

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Re: Dangerous gas failure?

Post by Cymro on Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:06 pm

Tanks Dave - one step forward, but perhaps one back to come!

Relieved that ours behaved itself today. Glorious walk on coast from Llanelli to Burry Port and back. Found an identical Nuevo ES (Welsh reg on a '63 plate) with towbar and satnav ariel on top of luton parked nearby. No ASOF badge, however.
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