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Old 01-16-2017, 02:21 PM   #1
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Propane Gage questions...

My inside propane gage (LEDs light up to show fuel level) has read 100% for the 11 months I've owned this RV. I've occasionally checked the outside on-the-tank gage to get an actual idea of true fuel level.

Today, I checked it and happened to jossel the wires a bit and one wire just came loose from the gage! It's the raw wire end shown on the right in the picture.



I've tried to pry open the little plastic part where the wire use to attach and can't seem to open it. Can't see up in there either. Just tried to see if I could grab the end of a terminal with my needle nose but can't.

So I'd like to remove the gage to work on it...or to replace it. But I don't know how. Never have read any posting about 'how' to remove one of these on tank gages.

Will gas or liquid flood out? Is the tank suppose to be empty before removing the gage?

Anyone know?

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:41 PM   #2
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Make sure the tank is COMPLETELY empty before you do anything other than use it. Why try to shorten an already short life?
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:43 PM   #3
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Tank REALLY should be empty if you remove the sender!! Best to take it to a propane shop if you are not used to working with propane. Providing the tank was empty, and you change the valve yourself, it will need to be vacuumed down to be sure there is no moist air remaining before it's refilled. Please be careful, and far away from any possible open flame or source of spark. NO trouble lights, power tools, extension cords, etc. Also be aware of static electricity spark- ground everything!

Good Luck, and I suggest take it to a professional.
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Old 01-16-2017, 02:50 PM   #4
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I suspect it's the ground wire that's broken. Try to hook up the remaining wire and touch the broken wire to ground while someone watches the display LED's. Maybe you can just pick up a ground someplace else.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:17 PM   #5
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Jim_HiTek The plastic part of the propane tank sender unit is either a snap on or a screw on. You do not put the float unit to replace the sender. Here is a link to a snap on type. Could not tell which one yours is and Winnebago uses both types.
https://www.amazon.com/Manchester-Ta.../dp/B003D3WPGS
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:29 PM   #6
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As mentioned above, the plastic part is a snap in thing. Behind it, inside the tank, is a magnet that turns as the level goes up or down. The outside needle reacts to that.

Unless you use a BIG socket and long breaker bar, your not going to compromise the tank and create a leak.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/2321660...&ul_noapp=true
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:37 PM   #7
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Why can't you just splice the wires back together again? Seems like a simple fix to me.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:47 PM   #8
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It looks like the wire end goes into the little black box. If the little black box unscrews or snaps off the question is whether or not you can open it to get to where the wire was supposed to be connected too. If you can then I would solder it back on. YMMV. Otherwise it seems to be a simple replacement.

I'd take the sender off and look it over. Worst case buy a new one, best case solder the wire and back in business.
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:51 PM   #9
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Why can't you just splice the wires back together again? Seems like a simple fix to me.
The wire is broken off inside.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:10 PM   #10
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Tank REALLY should be empty if you remove the sender!! Best to take it to a propane shop if you are not used to working with propane. Providing the tank was empty, and you change the valve yourself, it will need to be vacuumed down to be sure there is no moist air remaining before it's refilled. Please be careful, and far away from any possible open flame or source of spark. NO trouble lights, power tools, extension cords, etc. Also be aware of static electricity spark- ground everything!

Good Luck, and I suggest take it to a professional.

those sending units are simply attached with a single screw or the newer ones snap on;; there is no need to be draining the fuel tank at all;;

also even if one replaced the actual mechanical part that drives the electric sending unit you do not have vacuum down at all.
I have changed many many senders and the internal mechanical systems
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:19 PM   #11
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He mentioned he was going to remove the gauge. Not the plastic sensor.
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:26 PM   #12
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He mentioned he was going to remove the gauge. Not the plastic sensor.
iam pretty sure he was referring to the electric sending unit except he was unsure if lpg would leak if he did so as he has no knowledge of the system hes working on
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Old 01-16-2017, 04:43 PM   #13
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iam pretty sure he was referring to the electric sending unit except he was unsure if lpg would leak if he did so as he has no knowledge of the system hes working on
OK, just didn't want to read about him in the paper! Twinboat has it nailed.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:17 PM   #14
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I don't think you have anything to lose other than time by shaving back the black plastic on the lower right part where the wire came out to see if you can expose the spot where the wire was terminated or the wire broke, then re-connecting it. If you use heat to soften the black plastic be sure to shield the clear plastic.

I would not replace the sender before doing this. Also I suspect a generic replacement sender won't have the cool manual read gauge that they used back in '02 , and you may have trouble finding the exact replacement . Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:31 PM   #15
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If you can see the end of the wire where it's broken, how about just putting a small eyelet on the wire and use a 1/4 inch long #4 or smaller screw to run into the end of the wire on the sender?
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:53 PM   #16
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I'm surprised at all of the shade tree fixes, offered up on a $35.00 part.

Why would someone want to go thru all of this. If the wire corroded off, the other will too.

If I was shopping for a RV and found a chopped up sendor with blobs of solder or a screw sticking out of the wire, I would be suspect of the rest of the RV repairs.

Its not like he's stuck somewhere. He should buy the part and swap it out, when he gets a chance.

To each his own, I guess.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:03 PM   #17
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Agree with twinboat
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Old 01-17-2017, 08:54 AM   #18
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Since it has to come off anyway a quick look at the sensor will show if it's easy to open or not. If it's easy to open then soldering the wire and putting it back together will not show anything was ever done. Worth the 5 minutes it takes to take it off to check for part numbers to also see if it is repairable before dropping $35 that could be enjoyed elsewhere.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grtharris View Post
Jim_HiTek The plastic part of the propane tank sender unit is either a snap on or a screw on. You do not put the float unit to replace the sender. Here is a link to a snap on type. Could not tell which one yours is and Winnebago uses both types.
https://www.amazon.com/Manchester-Ta.../dp/B003D3WPGS
Thanks! That got me to where I tried to pry it off first with a screw driver...that didn't work so I just tugged on it and it eventually came off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
As mentioned above, the plastic part is a snap in thing. Behind it, inside the tank, is a magnet that turns as the level goes up or down. The outside needle reacts to that.

Unless you use a BIG socket and long breaker bar, your not going to compromise the tank and create a leak.
Good to know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 530ktm View Post
Why can't you just splice the wires back together again? Seems like a simple fix to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
The wire is broken off inside.
Twinboat is correct...the wire was broken off nearly flush with some plastic resin it's sealed with...


Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
I'm surprised at all of the shade tree fixes, offered up on a $35.00 part.

Why would someone want to go thru all of this. If the wire corroded off, the other will too.

If I was shopping for a RV and found a chopped up sendor with blobs of solder or a screw sticking out of the wire, I would be suspect of the rest of the RV repairs.

Its not like he's stuck somewhere. He should buy the part and swap it out, when he gets a chance.

To each his own, I guess.
Why would I want to work on this? Easy. I'm in Mexico, and shipments to here mysteriously disappear all the time at customs for unusual reasons. And I'll be here for months yet. And I would like to be able to tell how much propane I have from inside the RV...since the tank is getting a bit low. Next, I do good work...there won't be any blobs of solder visible.

But the main reason, if you've visited my RV travel and repair blog, you'll probably figure out that I LOVE fixing things. Even when they're silly. Like a couple months ago I fixed my battery operated wall clock that stopped working. They cost $9 practically everywhere, but I chose to fix my broken one. I enjoy that kind of thing.

And for everyone concerned about my safety, THANKS! I did know that I didn't know enough about this little device so came and asked the experts here first...before I tried anything. And that worked out great.

With it off, I could just see a bit of the broken wire poking out of the resin seal. Here's how it looks after I scraped the insulation off the broken wire, soldered the old wire back on and added some heat shrink. I doubt it'll last long before falling off again (though the solder joint is sound), but probably long enough that I will be back in the states by then and can order a replacement.

And the inside display is working now...


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Old 01-17-2017, 12:31 PM   #20
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Good on you, sometimes we aren't close to a new replacement part, and have to use our head to make it work with what we have! Not that there is anything wrong with new parts if you can get them. I live 15 miles from any services, and would rather spend time fixing a $10.00 part than drive into town and find out they don't have it. Besides, I'm retired and have the time. Enjoy Mexico!!

ps. maybe if you used a tie strap and secured the wires to the fitting it will last longer (no flexing of the wire)
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