Vlog 21: The Gas Man Cometh

A nasty discovery one day when I went to turn the gas bottle off as I left the boat, finding it leaking ever so slightly which it must have been doing since I installed it three months earlier.

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  1. I’ve recently discovered your Vlogs I’m going through them in order, and am up to number 21. I enjoy them very much. I’m from Oregon City, Oregon, USA. Some day we might visit the UK and rent a narrow boat, and I’m learning a lot from your experiences.

    When dealing with a gas leak and trying to determine what is actually leaking, mix up a bit of dish soap and brush it on the suspect connection. If you have a leak, you’ll see bubbling. And Martin’s comment above is correct. Sealing tape does not make this kind of connection leak less. Proper tightening is all that works. That and making sure the connection is free of grit.

  2. When connecting a hose to a Calor gas cylinder remember that the ‘seal’ is made by the bullnose making contact against the similar shape inside the cylinder valve. The threads do NOT seal and adding thread tape will not stop a leak as the gas will just go between the nut and the tube.
    People who advise the use of thread tape do not understand this. If you get a leak you should check that the threads on nut and cylinder are clean and not damaged. If damaged, they need to be replaced. Calor will exchange the cylinder but you will have to buy a new hose. If this is not clear, please email me and I will draw a diagram.

    • It’s quite clear, thanks. I’m curious though – the escaped gas (if there were any) due to non-mating end surfaces could only then get out by going up through the screw thread so surely the tape will help make that escape path more sealed?

  3. Would one of these be useful?


  4. One thing I forgot to mention, when using the P.T.F.E tape, wind it on the way the thread goes. If it’s a left hand thread, as on the gas bottles, wind it on anticlockwise, for a normal thread wind it on clockwise. If you put it on the wrong way, it will tend to unwind the tape.

  5. Excellent. Good advice. I never use that spanner – i use a paĆ­r of grips and make sure it’s jolly tight. Then it’s a pain getting it loose again when the gas runs out! There are devices you can fit to your cylinders that detect leaks, see Towpath Talk.

    • Yes, I intend to get multiple has alarms now.

    • Right tools for the job. The trouble with using grips is, over time you will round off the nut, it’s only brass.
      If you use P.T.F.E. tape, it’s a belt and braces, don’t need to screw the nuts off the adapter to have a leak free joint

      • It turns out I do have the correct spanner for the gas bottles but didn’t realise it at the time. It now has pride of place in my toolkit :-)

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