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Old 16-05-2016, 10:21   #16
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

I've got some great photos of the stupidity mixed with propane in
Safe propane installations on boats
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Old 16-05-2016, 11:02   #17
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

I would suggest trying to narrow the problem down. Have you tried the test with the solenoid closed?
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Old 16-05-2016, 13:26   #18
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Gas line tests I have done will hold pressure for over a week. Pressure guage with tire valve built in are the way to test. Pressurize the line only with a tire pump. Once the line is good then you can determine if the tank or regulator are the leak source or the appliance. Expect some pressure variation with day/night temperaturevariation
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Old 16-05-2016, 13:48   #19
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Recently I fired up our barbecue on the stern rail where it's fed with a high pressure propane hose.
It hadn't been used in months.
After about twenty minutes of cooking on high, it went out.
I fussed and fussed trying to relight it.
Then, the light went on.
It helps if you open the valve to supply it from the tank.
I had been cooking on the pressurized and ever so slightly expanded 15 foot long supply hose the whole time.



How's THAT for a long term leakage test?
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Old 16-05-2016, 16:08   #20
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The system is unsafe, no propane leak is acceptable ..... period !
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Old 16-05-2016, 16:56   #21
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Propane is a dangerous fuel. I use a diesel stove because I stay in cool areas. I don't know what I'd do if I spent time in hot areas. Probably cook on my barbecue. When I was young and over the years I have seen the results of propane cooking several times. For me it is too dangerous. Just like gas engines. I saw one blow in 1965. It stays in your memory.
When I was commercial fishing, a greenhorn couldn't boil coffee quick enough, so replaced a good diesel stove with a propane camper model. Several of us recommended he keep the tank shutoff when not in use. Eventually he got lazy. One day when tied in a string of boats, the big boom came. He sank his boat, two other boats, blew the windows out of a dockside restaurant, caused many injuries, killed himself and crew, and had no insurance. It only takes one time. One little forgetfulness. One sloppy connection.
In houses in most areas, a new natural gas line has to be pressurized with air several times the normal pressure. Left for a day or more and checked a couple times by the inspector. Any leak at all is a failure. And houses are vented under the floor so no buildup can happen.
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Old 16-05-2016, 17:55   #22
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Yup no leak is acceptable. Whilst checking fittings with a soapy sponge..a might messy, but the most efficient, without electronic sniffers....also check the hose itself. How old is the hose from the regulator to the stove? If no leak found betwixt tank and stove cap off line to stove and check as suggested already.

a lot of people think they don't need engine compartment blowers, because they don't have gas engines. If routed right the pickup hose from said blower is at the lowest point in the boat. Propane will do the same thing Gasoline vapors will do. If you have propane on board you not only need an alarm system, but a blower to. You can put the sensor down at the bottom of the bilge and replace it regularly or put "dryly" higher and evacuate the bilge with the blower regularly. I have a fairly large bilge and putting my sensor with two feet of the bottom the humidity ruins it in a few months. I put at the top of the keel and run the blower almost everyday. the fan is 30 CFM and I have about 40 CFT in the bilbe sump I rum it for three to five minutes. I also have a sensor under the stove. Again, no leak is acceptable evan at the valve stem of the tank. It's not a hard system to maintain. I replace hoses every 3 to 5 years they are really easy to change, you don't need to hire some one to do it for you. It's LP gas...low pressure gas. the tank on the other hand should only be serviced by a shop.

Good luck.
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Old 16-05-2016, 18:43   #23
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

IMO it is essential to divide the propane installation into 3 separate parts. 1, the tank, regulator and solenoid valve. these are in the propane locker and can vent overboard. 2, the gas line that supplies the appliance (stove most often). The appliance itself. The gas lines I have tested are pumped up with a tire pump through a gauge with at tire valve built in. Usually to 15 psi in the US. the line should hold pressure for a week or more fluctuating with day/night temperature variations. Then test the other components. By process of elimination the leak should be findable. Do not connect the low pressure gauge to the high pressure side of the regulator. Get the appropriate specialist to do this testing, No leaks acceptable. Good luck
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Old 16-05-2016, 18:44   #24
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The system is unsafe, no propane leak is acceptable ..... period !
Definately on the money
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Old 16-05-2016, 18:49   #25
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Propane is a dangerous fuel. I use a diesel stove because I stay in cool areas. I don't know what I'd do if I spent time in hot areas. Probably cook on my barbecue. When I was young and over the years I have seen the results of propane cooking several times. For me it is too dangerous. Just like gas engines. I saw one blow in 1965. It stays in your memory.
When I was commercial fishing, a greenhorn couldn't boil coffee quick enough, so replaced a good diesel stove with a propane camper model. Several of us recommended he keep the tank shutoff when not in use. Eventually he got lazy. One day when tied in a string of boats, the big boom came. He sank his boat, two other boats, blew the windows out of a dockside restaurant, caused many injuries, killed himself and crew, and had no insurance. It only takes one time. One little forgetfulness. One sloppy connection.
In houses in most areas, a new natural gas line has to be pressurized with air several times the normal pressure. Left for a day or more and checked a couple times by the inspector. Any leak at all is a failure. And houses are vented under the floor so no buildup can happen.


There are two dangers with Propane. One is the potential to explosion, the other is that it can kill you in your sleep. It's the latter that seems more prevelant in Australia for some reason. Could be around the world? But for some reason it's the explosions that get more attention.

Mine is 'dangerous' in my opinion. So I am religious in turning it off at the bottle when not using it. Next year when the new engine is going in, I'll be having it professionally upgraded to standards with all the whistles to ensure it is safe. Unfortunately because it doesn't meet current standards, no techo will touch it. So I have to live with it for now and just ensure I turn it off when not using it. And have the alarms on too.
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Old 19-05-2016, 10:28   #26
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

I second Foufou. Putting the tank, regulator and solenoid in a sealed compartment venting overboard is key, as well as turning off the solenoid EVERYTIME the burners are off. At the end of a cooking seassion we turn off the solenoid with a burner lit to bleed the propane from the line, and turn off the breaker at the panel. A bit of a pain, but eliminates a knob being bumped and opened. Another case of having respect for something much more powerful than myself.
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Old 20-05-2016, 07:24   #27
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

OP has not given any recent update since, maybe he blew up!!
There is no excuse for saying good enough and not attending to propane leakage on a boat or anywhere for that matter.
If bubbles there's troubles!!
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Old 20-05-2016, 07:58   #28
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

If testing with soap as opposed to proper leak detection fluid; please clean the soapy residue as the ammonia in the soap attacks the brass fittings.
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Old 20-05-2016, 10:33   #29
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Re: Propane leak or normal?

And as we found out once upon a time, do not depend on your nose to smell gas. In many areas of the world, there are no additives to propane nor natural gas so one can not smell them. Gas itself has no smell.
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