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Old 16-01-2008, 04:54   #1
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Propane Management

I have been thinking about reworking Tara's gas regulator and control system. The routing from the locker is fine but the manifold, guage, regulator, and solenoid valve are poorly plumbed and mounted. I want to enclose the new system in a molded box to protect it from the elements and include a 3 way selector valve to make switching tanks easier for Sandy to do in poor weather. I know that the box cannot be sealed, any leak would fill it and there is a electrical connection on the soleniod that would pose a hazard, but a hole in the bottom of the box should work in the same manner as the vent in the bottom of the locker. I have a survey due in the fall and I don't want to plumb in a system that I'll have to remove or change if it is not acceptable. The fittings are all brass and I would like to replace them with stainless. I intend to put the guage and the tank selector valve in the hinged front of the enclosure. The manifold will mount on the panel in the back of the box and the hoses from the tanks will be secured with plastic gland fittings in the bottom of the box. Any suggestions are always apreciated.

Tom and Sandy
S/V Tara

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Old 16-01-2008, 05:50   #2
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See TRIDENT MARINE L.P.- (Liquefied Petroleum) GAS SYSTEMS:
Trident Marine: LP Gas

Excerpted from ABYC Section A-1

A- Fuel Lines shall be corrosion resistant metallic tubing such as annealed copper tubing, standard type, Grade K or L, conforming to ASTM B88-75a, Specifications for Seamless Copper Water Tube, with a wall thickness of notless than 0.032 inches (0.815 mm).

A-1.8.1 Lockers used to contain LPG cylinders, cylinder valves, regulating equipment and safety devices shall be designed to minimize the likelihood of use as a gear storage locker and shall be,
A- vapor tight to the hull interior, and
A- located above the waterline, and
A- constructed of, or lined with, corrosion resistant materials, and
A- shall open only from the top with
A- a gasketed cover that shall latch tightly, and
A- shall be capable of being quickly and conveniently without tools.

A-1.7.4 In addition to the valve required at the cylinder, a multiple cylinder system shall be provided with a shut-off valve, or automatic check valve, at the cylinder manifold so that each cylinder can be isolated from pressure feedback from other cylinders.
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Old 16-01-2008, 08:05   #3
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Propane Management

Thank you Gord,
The current system is installed as the diagram shows with the exception of a hose from the tank instead of copper tubing. I am concerned that the addition of a plastic box with a hinged lid, mounted on the bulkhead in the same location as the manifold might not pass the survey.
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Old 16-01-2008, 08:47   #4

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I would suspect brass is used because it is immediately recognizable as a non-sparking metal. (Dunno, can stainless spark?) If a little tarnish or verdigris forms from time to time, a little wax or oil twice a year would probably prevent it.
I think they'll also want to see your box vented overboard--so a drain hole wouldn't do, but a tube actually going over/through the side of the boat probably would.

Perhaps you could contact the surveyors (or the insurers?) and tell them you plan on having a new gas system fitted, could they tell you in advance what they will require for it? At least that way you have nothing to guess about.
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:35   #5
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I use two seperate tanks in the same locker. I manually switch them over. The reason is, I am forgetful. I'd run both bottles dry because there is such a long time between fills. I KNOW it would be somewhere that I could not refill a bottle for days!!!

So, Every 2 or three months, one of bottles empties. I switch the hose from one bottle to the spare. I then pull the empty bottle out and set it in the cockpit. Usually, in a day or 5, I fill up the empty bottle, place it back into the locker and wait for the other tank to empty. Take maybe two minutes to switch the hose. maybe another minute to pull out the empty bottle.

Not what you want to hear, but sure is Keith proof!
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