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Old 14-03-2013, 14:13   #16
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Having the solenoid is a safety feature, as it reduces the danger from a leak in the flexible hose that feeds the stove (or elsewhere). Unless you always turn off the valve on the propane tank, I think the solenoid is a good idea.

I had one of the Trident solenoids fail. It was only a couple of years old but it got sticky and usually wouldn't open. I replaced it with another Trident, and that one has been good for the past eight years. In case of solenoid or electrical problems, as a back-up measure I carry a cheap BBQ-style regulator and the appropriate fittings so I can swap that in place of the solenoid.
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Old 17-03-2013, 00:01   #17
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

If the solenoid fails at sea, you could always remove it....the inlet fitting is the same size as the outlet, and my flex hose will reach the extra 1-1/2".

Just need the will to survive!
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Old 17-03-2013, 00:33   #18
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Why have a solenoid at all?

Is it a legal requirement in some countries? Why?

I don't have one nor would I ever install one.

Just think, there you are at sea when the electricity goes off and Zappo... You starve!

I can navigate with my computers on AA size battery power... But not the stove.

It just seems crazy to combine two elements that could increase the chance of failure.


Mark
I believe it isn't a legal requirement in the U.S., but most follow the ABYC standards. I can't believe that after all the cruising you've done you couldn't temporarily remove the solenoid and use the system without until a replacement could be found.

Also ABYC does not require an electric device. As I read it, a shutoff valve in the propane locker that can remotely, cable or rod comes to mind, be operated from the vicinity of the appliance complies.

Safe Boat Propane System Installation
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Old 17-03-2013, 03:01   #19
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

We have a low pressure Trident that started giving us problems (after 10 years). It wouldn't always switch on; sometimes a knock with a hammer would get it to open. I replaced it with a BEP high pressure solenoid valve which was DOA. It would only open with no pressure! I sprayed some Mclube into the old valve, re-installed it and it's been working great since.
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Old 06-01-2014, 18:38   #20
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Maine Sail, I'd love to see an article about a full on propane system on your site. Sorry to make a request for free advice but I don't see one there. Thanks for the solenoid recommendation.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:06   #21
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

This thread seems odd to me, raising doubt about a solenoid requirement. About 100% of new sailboats with lpg systems have a solenoid in the propane locker. About 100% of surveyors will require installation of a solenoid if one is not installed. Technically, if you read the abyc language from 1993, you can have a manual shut off instead of a solenoid but this is not at all standard practice.

The purpose of the solenoid is to have a big red light near your galley that reminds you to turn it off when you are not cooking, thereby preventing propane from leaving the vented propane locker. The solenoid can be installed either just ahead of or after the regulator, and there are different pressure rated solenoids available because of this.

The argument that an electrical failure at sea would prevent cooking is uninformed. As previously stated in another response, you can just unscrew the hose and bypass the solenoid, and manually close the tank valve after each use.

The reason for the solenoid is to prevent propane from leaking into the boat. Propane is heavier than airand will collect in the bilge until a spark gives it the opportunity to go boom.

Propane tanks, regulators and solenoids must be inatalled in a container (the propane locker) with no pathway for propane to find its way into the boat. The locker is vented via hose/pipe toa throughhull above the waterline. The propane hose and the electric wire fpr the solenoid leave the locker through sealed holes so there can be no leaks.
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Old 18-04-2015, 07:51   #22
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Having the solenoid is a safety feature, as it reduces the danger from a leak in the flexible hose that feeds the stove (or elsewhere). Unless you always turn off the valve on the propane tank, I think the solenoid is a good idea.

I had one of the Trident solenoids fail. It was only a couple of years old but it got sticky and usually wouldn't open. I replaced it with another Trident, and that one has been good for the past eight years. In case of solenoid or electrical problems, as a back-up measure I carry a cheap BBQ-style regulator and the appropriate fittings so I can swap that in place of the solenoid.
Eight years is a lot more than I've ever gotten from one.

I get an average of about two years out of them, and they are damned expensive.

But can't disagree that they are essential. Will you always remember to go back to the gas locker and turn it off every time? I certainly can't.
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Old 18-04-2015, 08:18   #23
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Dockhead - what brand(s) of solenoid do you use? Are you in a warm and humid climate?
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Old 18-04-2015, 12:15   #24
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Electric would be so nice. no !!boom!! , no humidity, no looking for places to fill your tanks,.

Time to start a new thread.

Regards
Electricity is hard for some of us to find away from marinas. Besides, many people, including professional chefs, prefer gas for cooking.

Propane works well on my boat. It's all up to code and used with respect and care.
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Old 18-04-2015, 12:18   #25
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
This thread seems odd to me, raising doubt about a solenoid requirement. About 100% of new sailboats with lpg systems have a solenoid in the propane locker. About 100% of surveyors will require installation of a solenoid if one is not installed. Technically, if you read the abyc language from 1993, you can have a manual shut off instead of a solenoid but this is not at all standard practice.

The purpose of the solenoid is to have a big red light near your galley that reminds you to turn it off when you are not cooking, thereby preventing propane from leaving the vented propane locker. The solenoid can be installed either just ahead of or after the regulator, and there are different pressure rated solenoids available because of this.

The argument that an electrical failure at sea would prevent cooking is uninformed. As previously stated in another response, you can just unscrew the hose and bypass the solenoid, and manually close the tank valve after each use.

The reason for the solenoid is to prevent propane from leaking into the boat. Propane is heavier than airand will collect in the bilge until a spark gives it the opportunity to go boom.

Propane tanks, regulators and solenoids must be inatalled in a container (the propane locker) with no pathway for propane to find its way into the boat. The locker is vented via hose/pipe toa throughhull above the waterline. The propane hose and the electric wire fpr the solenoid leave the locker through sealed holes so there can be no leaks.
That pretty well covers it.
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Old 18-04-2015, 12:22   #26
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
Dockhead - what brand(s) of solenoid do you use? Are you in a warm and humid climate?
This one:

Gas Solenoid Valves - VAL-12/24V-PS

It costs $200!
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Old 18-04-2015, 12:39   #27
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Electricity is hard for some of us to find away from marinas. Besides, many people, including professional chefs, prefer gas for cooking.

Propane works well on my boat. It's all up to code and used with respect and care.
Propane works ok on my boat too.

But it has a lot of disadvantages:

1. Risks of explosion and fire. Small, if you have a good installation, well maintained, AND well operated, but even then, there are risks.

2. Trouble and expense of fulfilling the foregoing.

3. Trouble of finding gas when travelling internationally with different standards.

4. Carrying, buying, storing another fuel on board.


A boat blew up just yesterday in Scotland from gas: Yachtsman suffers burns in explosion at Puilladobhrain - BBC News. It happens a few times every year.


Electrical cooking -- although I wouldn't have it on land -- has a lot of advantages on a boat, at least on boats with generators and inverters and decent battery banks and a sufficiency of power. Will be less attractive on boats without generators.
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Old 18-04-2015, 13:09   #28
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

My solenoids have died rather regularly. I use the valve on the tank, and yes, I do remember it, but then I live aboard. When friends use it, they almost always don't remember, so I have to stay alert to that.

Interestingly, I find the emphasis on turning off the gas at the bottle, by whatever means, much stronger in the US than elsewhere, such as Europe. I base this on my experience among paid crew - I am a charter captain and instructor. I always insist on turning off the gas at the end of each meal's cooking activities, but have found very very few European crew - well mostly
Brits, actually - who pay attention to this, at all. Why, I often wonder, is that the case?
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Old 18-04-2015, 13:44   #29
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by contrail View Post

Interestingly, I find the emphasis on turning off the gas at the bottle, by whatever means, much stronger in the US than elsewhere, such as Europe. I base this on my experience among paid crew - I am a charter captain and instructor. I always insist on turning off the gas at the end of each meal's cooking activities, but have found very very few European crew - well mostly
Brits, actually - who pay attention to this, at all. Why, I often wonder, is that the case?

You are absolutely correct, I cannot supply you with an explanation about the UK, on the continent and I can think of a number of countries, it sounds very un-natural to turn the gas off (bottle tap).
And I struggle to find a reason, it is not that I lack the vocabulary to explain, I just do not know.
If you would ask me to do so on your boat, I would have to ask you to stick a little note reading "Turn gas off" or I would draw a tap on the top of my hand for a few days, as a reminder.
Did I mentionned that I lived many years WITHOUT a solenoďd valve, hence my interest for this topic
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Old 18-04-2015, 14:03   #30
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

I almost bought an '81 oyster 46 in Annapolis last year that had an electric 2 burner unit. It also had a propane burner unit so they could switch. The main reason for the electric unit was less heat in the galley when cooking. It was not driven by trying to get rid of propane. The PO installed the electric unit when he lived on a dock in s Africa for 2 plus years and had shore power. It also worked off the genset. I think it's a stretch to run an electric cooking element on an inverter. Those electric burner elements draw several thousand watts. That's why they run on 220 v in your house, along with the electric oven and dryer.

If you ask me (and you didn't) I find the prospect of running a genset every time you want to cook to be beyond undesirable. Maybe you should consider something other than a boat. The guy that owned the old oyster 46 kept the propane rig for just this reason.

As for why euros don't pay attention to propane safety, I have an answer for that too. It is not flattering to euros. Us Americans use our gas grills all the time at home. The number of house fires from propane grills (and turkey fryers) dwarfs the number of boat fires. So we Americans are pretty aware of propane safety. We all know about how the tanks have changed, and how the refill stations have gone almost extinct. We Americans understand that there are real safety issues with LPG.

We also use gfci outlets for the same reason. And smoke detectors, CO monitors and on and on.

Needless to say I bought a boat owned by a European. The safety project list is long. I'm not bitter.
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