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Old 27-01-2016, 22:40   #1
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LPG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

I have had a gas fitter come out and have a look at my boat. I had wanted him to install a shut off valve on my cooker, but he's unable to do that as he's then responsible for the whole installation which does not comply.

Apparently, the following is needed.

Properly certified boat/caravan copper tubing with lagging.
A gas alarm with solenoid shut off to the bilge.
Adequate ventilation throughout the vessel. He's not sure if my three are adequate or not.
And appropriate bottle storage. Mine is external on the pushpit.

It seems this will be a project for next year now as it's too much work to do this year. It makes me wonder how many boats in Australia are appropriately certified for gas?
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Old 28-01-2016, 02:05   #2
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

RC,

Get a second opinion. With your LPG outboard on the stern, where it cannot possible flow into the boat if something goes wrong at that end, maybe a different chap--or sheila--will give you a different idea about how to address the issues. You keep quiet, and let them tell you the plan, before you start asking questions.

Cheers, mate,

Ann
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Old 28-01-2016, 02:28   #3
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
RC,

Get a second opinion. With your LPG outboard on the stern, where it cannot possible flow into the boat if something goes wrong at that end, maybe a different chap--or sheila--will give you a different idea about how to address the issues. You keep quiet, and let them tell you the plan, before you start asking questions.

Cheers, mate,

Ann
thats a good idea. I might do that.
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Old 28-01-2016, 04:14   #4
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

As Ann said, someone else may have different ideas.

As long as your gas bottle is securely mounted I would expect it should be OK. My BBQ bottle is mounted on the stern rail with brackets, and is secured with a wing nut. It passed an LPG inspection about 4 years ago (although a lot can change in 4 years of safety legislation). The main gas locker is under a cockpit seat and vented to under the bridgedeack.

New piping makes sense if you have old rubber fittings and shouldn't be too expensive to replace.
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Old 28-01-2016, 04:45   #5
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I have had a gas fitter come out and have a look at my boat. I had wanted him to install a shut off valve on my cooker, but he's unable to do that as he's then responsible for the whole installation which does not comply.

Apparently, the following is needed.

Properly certified boat/caravan copper tubing with lagging.
A gas alarm with solenoid shut off to the bilge.
Adequate ventilation throughout the vessel. He's not sure if my three are adequate or not.
And appropriate bottle storage. Mine is external on the pushpit.

It seems this will be a project for next year now as it's too much work to do this year. It makes me wonder how many boats in Australia are appropriately certified for gas?
A solenoid valve at the cooker or at the propane tank?

Hard to believe that there is an Australian standard as it seems that this would be a state regulation.

When we were in Darwin I tried to source a new 12v solenoid from the local chandleries and no one stocked them or even knew what I was talking about. Looked in Queensland just out of curiosity and no one had them there either. Asked a few boaties that we have met and no one has or has even heard of these devices?????

As the solenoid is installed just after the regulator at the tank I would suggest that you just do the work yourself. The sensor is installed low in the bilge and all that is required is to run some simple 12v electrical circuits. There is no need to do anything with the existing lpg plumbing at all except install the solenoid at the tank. There are 2 types, high pressure and low pressure. Recommend the low pressure type that goes after the regulator as I have heard of problems with the high pressure type.

My only other suggestion would be to order this device from the US or Canada as when I tried to order one here it was 10 times the price even though they are made in New Zealand. $349.00 in Australia, $39,00 in Canada, same manufacturer, same model # but this was just for the solenoid not the whole system. Defender would probably be your best bet. Comes with all the instructions required.

Many people recommend that you still shut off the gas manually at the tank even though there is an automatic shut off as well as a manual switch to close the solenoid after you install this system.
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Old 28-01-2016, 04:46   #6
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

I concur with getting a second opinion.
As an example, a couple of years back , I had a gas fitter come to the house to install a new stove. The first said the bottles HAD to go in position x rather than position y and proceeded to quote all the rules as to why this was the case. The second one turned up and said the bottles HAD to go in postion y and that position x was not suitable. Of course he could quote all the rules to support his position.

In the end I chose the guy who was certain the bottles must go in the position I most favoured!
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Old 28-01-2016, 06:11   #7
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

AS/NZS 5601.2:2013
Joint Australian and New Zealand standards for LP Gas Installations In Caravans And Boats For Non Propulsive Purposes.
Latest gas installation standards published AS/NZS 5601.1 & 2:2013

And ➥ https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/__data/a...vans-boats.pdf

See also Government of Western Australia ➥ https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publi...y-marine-craft
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Old 28-01-2016, 06:44   #8
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I have had a gas fitter come out and have a look at my boat. I had wanted him to install a shut off valve on my cooker, but he's unable to do that as he's then responsible for the whole installation which does not comply.

Apparently, the following is needed.

Properly certified boat/caravan copper tubing with lagging.
A gas alarm with solenoid shut off to the bilge.
Adequate ventilation throughout the vessel. He's not sure if my three are adequate or not.
And appropriate bottle storage. Mine is external on the pushpit.

It seems this will be a project for next year now as it's too much work to do this year. It makes me wonder how many boats in Australia are appropriately certified for gas?
I'm not sure I'd want the shutoff valve at the cooker -- why do you want that? Adds two joints and one device which could leak. I would just shut the gas off at the bottle and burn all the gas out of the line through the cooker, if I were you, when you need to connect the cooker.

There are different opinions about copper vs flex hose. Some think that a continuous length of flex hose is better, because copper can crack.

Nothwithstanding that, I think a certified and code compliant system is desirable, so you might think about hiring a gas fitter who seems to know his business to go through the entire system for you. Flexible hoses should be replaced on a regular basis and every thing should be tested.

The gas sniffer in the bilge is highly desirable and I would do that whether or not it's required.

A solenoid cutoff is also highly desirable because it means you can turn the gas on and off at the bottle, from inside the cabin, making it 10000x more likely that you will actually do it. The automatic cutoff function is a bonus.

I'm not sure why bottle storage on the rail is so bad. Look ugly I guess, but I would think it's safer than any kind of gas locker would be.


As you might know from another thread, I hate gas, but you can improve safety by about a million times if you take some care with it, and invest some time and effort into your installation.
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Old 28-01-2016, 07:04   #9
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

Our gas install was certified when we purchased our current boat in 2013. The BBQ has its own cylinder hanging off the Pushpit rail and didn't require certification. The stove cylinder sits in a dedicated gas locker, has braided line to the regulator (within the locker) then copper pipe with a manual valve located in the galley. There is a placard reading "Remember to turn gas off at bottle" above the stove which I see on a lot of different boats, so it may also be a requirement. We also have the gas sniffer gadget as well. This is in Queensland and I can only assume it's a legit install.

I should add the stove's a proper marine stove fitted with safety cutout burners.

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Old 28-01-2016, 07:20   #10
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

Quote:
Originally Posted by undercutter View Post

When we were in Darwin I tried to source a new 12v solenoid from the local chandleries and no one stocked them or even knew what I was talking about. Looked in Queensland just out of curiosity and no one had them there either. Asked a few boaties that we have met and no one has or has even heard of these devices?????
12 VDC solenoids are used in dual fuel LPG powered vehicles so an installer of these should be able to put you on to one. Goyen Controls in Sydney used to be a major supplier of electric valves.

Personally, I'm not keen on the idea of an electric solenoid sitting inside the gas locker in a somewhat corrosive environment that is electrically operated unless the wiring and coil were intrinsically safe for that application, which could account for the $$$ price tags of those marketed for this purpose.



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Old 28-01-2016, 07:32   #11
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
12 VDC solenoids are used in dual fuel LPG powered vehicles so an installer of these should be able to put you on to one. Goyen Controls in Sydney used to be a major supplier of electric valves.

Personally, I'm not keen on the idea of an electric solenoid sitting inside the gas locker in a somewhat corrosive environment that is electrically operated unless the wiring and coil were intrinsically safe for that application, which could account for the $$$ price tags of those marketed for this purpose.



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I had one such solenoid fail by sticking and burning up. Rather terrifying. They also fail frequently which is a real PITA.

But the advantages of having them are so great, that I think we have to take that risk.

I would go only with top quality ones rated for marine use. They are not cheap.

Normally closed, of course. Applying power opens them.

The one I'm using now is this one:

Nereus PowerSaver 24v Remote Gas Valve from SOCAL

It's made by Nereus. It's lasted two years so far.
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Old 28-01-2016, 07:46   #12
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

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I had one such solenoid fail by sticking and burning up. Rather terrifying. They also fail frequently which is a real PITA.

But the advantages of having them are so great, that I think we have to take that risk.

I would go only with top quality ones rated for marine use. They are not cheap.

Normally closed, of course. Applying power opens them.

The one I'm using now is this one:

Nereus PowerSaver 24v Remote Gas Valve from SOCAL

It's made by Nereus. It's lasted two years so far.
My concerns would be the potential to arc across the coil terminals or damaged wiring. The problem with DC coils is that they can generate up to 10 times the supply voltage when they are powered OFF through what is called "back EMF". Quite often a simple addition of a diode is added backwards across the terminals to clamp this voltage, but that then opens up the possibility of yet another potential ignition point if failure occurs.

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Old 28-01-2016, 08:00   #13
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

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My concerns would be the potential to arc across the coil terminals or damaged wiring. The problem with DC coils is that they can generate up to 10 times the supply voltage when they are powered OFF through what is called "back EMF". Quite often a simple addition of a diode is added backwards across the terminals to clamp this voltage, but that then opens up the possibility of yet another potential ignition point if failure occurs.

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Yep. I get that.

Still, what do you do? God never created the man who would crawl out to his gas locker without fail to turn off the gas at the bottle after every single operation of the cooker. It seems to me really key to gas safety to get the gas off after every single use without fail, and that just won't happen without a solenoid.

If the gas is off at the bottle whenever the cooker is off, it can't have a major leak without your noticing it. And you easily pressure test the system by switching the gas off and leaving it overnight, then lighting the stove in the morning.

Seems worth the risk to me.
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Old 28-01-2016, 09:05   #14
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

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Yep. I get that.

Still, what do you do? God never created the man who would crawl out to his gas locker without fail to turn off the gas at the bottle after every single operation of the cooker. It seems to me really key to gas safety to get the gas off after every single use without fail, and that just won't happen without a solenoid.

If the gas is off at the bottle whenever the cooker is off, it can't have a major leak without your noticing it. And you easily pressure test the system by switching the gas off and leaving it overnight, then lighting the stove in the morning.

Seems worth the risk to me.
What do you do? Well nothing if it's what you feel comfortable with or local regulations require. Just ensure that any electrical components installed inside a gas locker are absolutely ignition protected because, imo, if gas is gonna leak, it's gonna leak inside the gas locker. And it wouldn't take much gas to fall within the 2 to 10% explosive range in there either.

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Old 28-01-2016, 09:16   #15
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Re: LG Gas Fitting and Compliance in Australia

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
What do you do? Well nothing if it's what you feel comfortable with or local regulations require. Just ensure that any electrical components installed inside a gas locker are absolutely ignition protected because, imo, if gas is gonna leak, it's gonna leak inside the gas locker. And it wouldn't take much gas to fall within the 2 to 10% explosive range in there either.

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I don't think "absolute ignition protected" exists on earth, but a good marine gas solenoid is supposed to be designed to at least reduce the risk. The Nereus ones are rated ISO 8846 and EN 28846 for ignition protection. Probably why they cost and arm and a leg. I don't think that means they're fail-safe, however.
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