Replacing Propane detector

piyush123

New member
Hi,

I had an issue with my Propane detector, it was going off and I couldn't turn it off so pulled it out. The electrical connector is behind two hole cutouts and I have only the black wire coming out of the cutout.

Does anyone know a way to access that connector. I am afraid I will have to cut a bigger hole to make the 2 hole cutouts a bigger hole to access the plug. Otherwise I am trying to push the red wire into the plug but no luck so far. It should be a simple replacement but the position of the connector under the bathroom floor seems to make it difficult.

Thanks

Here is the replacement detector I got.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FLLWGA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
If you can't splice existing wires bec. one wire is disconnected and inaccessible and if you can't fish connector out, then couple of possible options (guessing).

1. The wires might be accessible from the rear doors if you remove the black tank plywood/laminate surround (just unscrews). Behind the black tank, there are lots of wires and possibly the propane detector wires. There is a metal or plastic cover for most of the wiring which you may have to remove to see all the wiring.

But, access is extremely difficult without removing the black tank. If you decide to go that route, there are other postings here on how to remove but huge hassle.

2. If you can figure out which wires are for the propane detector, you could run new wires to same or different location. Although propane detectors are hardwired, it might be nice to be able to disconnect.

Places to look for the wires are behind the kitchen cabinet (sink drain has hole in back of cabinet), off the 12v switch, and off the 12v fuse block.

3. Depstech Wireless Endoscope

I bought a Depstech flexible camera from Amazon. About $30. Comes with various attachments including a grabber or hook.

I'd buy one of those first to fish around the propane detector hole to find the wires. If that doesn't work, then still use Depstech to fish behind the black tank.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/s/ref=...i+endoscope&sprefix=depstec&crid=40KQUHCA1YAO

Lots of different ones. Think I got this one (and have no idea how the different ones differ):

https://www.amazon.com/Depstech-End...p_QL65&keywords=depstech+wifi+endoscope&psc=1

Please post whatever you find and do. Thanks.
 
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Camp

Sprinter Westfalia
The original detector in my Westy was the MTI Safe-T-Alert 40-441A.

https://www.campingworld.com/safe-t-alert-propane-natural-gas-alarm-surface-mount-white

My original detector seemed to be working when I took it out, but the manufacturer recommends replacing them every five years. It was impossible to reach where the original was connected in my Westy as well. After trying unsuccessfully to access it, I just cut off the old detector leaving as much wire as possible. You can crimp or solder the wires from the new one to the old one, and it should work fine. The holes for the screws lined up perfectly.
 

piyush123

New member
Thanks for all the tips. I was actually thinking of sawing between the two cutout holes to make a bigger gap and then reach the connector that way. Its really strange the connector seems just slightly too big to get through one of the holes. Makes you wonder how did they install it in the first place. Its still on my to do list but I appreciate all the insight. Given that it should be changed every 5 years - it should be an easier job. I'll let you know when I get it back together. I don't think I'll go the black tank route.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
Hard to visualize exact situation.

So connector is too big to fit through existing holes

But is there sufficient slack of the hidden wires (extra length) on the other side of connector where you could pull the wires through existing holes (and just cut the connector to fall behind and make new splices/connector)?

Or could you smash the connector with needlenose pliers or a dremel to make it small enough to fit through holes?

In any event, it'd be nice to be able to disconnect the propane detector easily (although that may not meet RVIA or other standards).
 
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Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
Thanks for all the tips. I was actually thinking of sawing between the two cutout holes to make a bigger gap and then reach the connector that way. ...
Assuming that the surface mount unit will cover the enlarged hole, I'd do that in a heartbeat. Make the hole big enough. As you say, the replacement will be needed again in the future.

:2cents: vic
 

CaptnALinTiverton

T1N Westfalia
You may be able to fish the existing wires out of the hole with long nose pliers. If you get them through enough you can affix either butt connectors or blade connectors to the wire ends (female on power wire, male on the ground wire) to connect to two new wires from new detector with butt/blade connectors affixed (male on power wire, female on the ground wire). Then slide the those back through the hole and mount the detector in same place with small stainless wood/sheet-metal screws. That's how I did it.

AL
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I often use crimp caps or butt connectors. I actually prefer crimp caps because they allow the wires to more easily be positioned into smaller spaces. I believe that they also have less probability of tight kinks which can stress the conductor.

https://www.amazon.com/Install-Bay-CC2218-Connector-100-Pack/dp/B005HQ4T6I

I generally use a bit of Vaseline with each crimp.

:2cents: vic
 

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