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Friday, October 23, 2009

Size Does Matter

I have an older RV I am trying to fix up. I would like to know if it is advisable to use 3/8-inch copper tubing for my stove/oven instead of 1/2-inch. It would only be about 3-feet long coming from the elbow that has a 1/2-inch line going to the LP container about ten feet away. Lastly, should I use all flared fittings instead of compression fittings on propane lines regardless of size? Any help is appreciated.
Carl, (Ft. Worth, TX)


Carl, many motorhomes today come equipped with 1/2-inch copper tubing for the branch runs of the LP distribution system though you’ll still see some units outfitted with the smaller 3/8-inch copper lines. LP gas piping systems are sized by the BTU demand load of that particular RV. Of course, you’ll also find black iron piping used for the main manifold with the copper branches going to each appliance. Unless your range is a “high demand” appliance, you should be okay with a short run of 3/8-inch tubing. But only use SAE pipe fittings and flare fittings; and use no sealant of any type on flare fittings. Compression fittings are not allowed in the LP delivery system even though you may find some utilized inside LP appliances.

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