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Make your own RV U Tube Manometer! 

Okay, what the heck is a u tube manometer, anyway?

     A manometer is a device used to check the pressure in your propane system. The correct pressure is required to allow the various appliances to operate at their best level of performance. The manometer measures pressure in units of water column inches and a simple, yet very accurate one can be constructed for a dollar or two. These simple devices are so accurate that they are used to calibrate our more elaborate test instruments!

     The propane appliances in your RV are designed to operate at 10.5 to 11 " of water column. This is about .5 PSI (pounds per square inch) and is a very low pressure, indeed. The job of the regulator is to reduce the tank pressure (250 + or - PSI) down to this operating pressure, regardless of the outside temperature.

What do I do with it?

     The u tube manometer can be used to check and adjust the propane regulator to the proper operating pressure. Also, it is an essential instrument for preforming a propane gas leak test. Both of these tests are simple to do and are described further below.

All right, how do I build one?

     You will need these materials:

U tube manometer

How do I do a leak test with the u tube manometer?

Note: this leak test checks the system up to the individual shut off or electrically operated valve at each appliance. A leak on the other side of these valves will not show up with this test. See below for leak testing the appliances.

If the manometer shows a leak, then what do I do?

How do I check the regulator with my u tube manometer?

regulator     First of all, if you have a single stage regulator, replace it before you proceed with these tests. Single stage regulators are OLD and not considered as safe. New regulator design has a first stage that reduces the tank pressure to a few PSI, and the second stage reduces that to the working pressure.