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Old 18-04-2015, 14:23   #31
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
............ 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.
With a genset - fine except I would hate to fire up a genset just to heat a can of beans or fry an egg.

Inverter - no way you're operating an electric range with an inverter and a bank of batteries. Technically, it can be done but not as a practical matter on a boat. Not only would the battery bank weigh a thousand pounds but you would have to have a way to recharge it.


BTW (and back on track): I haven't had my propane solenoid fail but it's nice to know I could bypass it if necessary. If I thought it was a high failure item or if the failure would seriously disrupt a cruise, I would carry a spare but it's just not possible on a relatively small boat to carry spares for every part that might fail.
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Old 18-04-2015, 15:14   #32
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
. . .
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. . . ..
I can't agree with any of the premises of this.

I find UK sailors generally more safety conscious and generally more skilled than Yanks (and I'm a Yank), although of course there is a wide range of variety both here and there. Most UK boats have gas alarms and solenoids, and I have not seen anyone treating gas without respect.

As to electrical power and GFCIs -- GFCIs are needed because they have whole-house (and whole-boat) RCD's. Despite the much greater lethal potential of 230 volt AC power, the rate of electrocution in the UK is less than half of what it is in the US.

There are, of course, excellent Yank sailors with superb safety standards (all participating in this thread!), but I would not say, based on my experience, that our average level is anything to brag about.
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Old 18-04-2015, 15:28   #33
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
With a genset - fine except I would hate to fire up a genset just to heat a can of beans or fry an egg.

Inverter - no way you're operating an electric range with an inverter and a bank of batteries. Technically, it can be done but not as a practical matter on a boat. Not only would the battery bank weigh a thousand pounds but you would have to have a way to recharge it.


BTW (and back on track): I haven't had my propane solenoid fail but it's nice to know I could bypass it if necessary. If I thought it was a high failure item or if the failure would seriously disrupt a cruise, I would carry a spare but it's just not possible on a relatively small boat to carry spares for every part that might fail.
Concerning spares -- you're right, of course, but the longer I cruise, the bigger my spares inventory becomes. There are few things which are a bigger PITA on a cruise than having some essential system down and spend time in port you're suppose to be enjoying yourself, hunting for parts. One thing I would advise anyone starting out cruising is, among other spares, to have a repair kit or entire spare for every single pump on the boat, including toilets.

Concerning electrical power -- some of us actually do have 1000 pounds of batteries on board. I do, or nearly so. I don't have any problem microwaving a meal or two, making a kettle of hot water for coffee or tea, or running a coffee machine, from my inverter.

The reason why I brought up generators was not to suggest that you fire it up every time you cook something, but that you have an easy way to keep the batts charged.
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Old 18-04-2015, 15:37   #34
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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.
Pass on elec for cooking. There is a reason professional chefs use gas. Better temp regulation and instant heat. We also cook a lot. The energy density of gas is far superior to what a battery can hold. We have 6 months supply from 2 gas bottles and we cook and bake everyday.

We also mandate the galley be manned (or womaned) whenever the gas is on. Gas is also visible. It only takes a glance to see if the burner is on when the light is on.

A gas solenoid and big red idiot light work well. We treat our gas solenoid like batteries. The first sign of trouble we subject them to the float test. (If it floats keep using it)

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Old 18-04-2015, 16:06   #35
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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We Americans understand that there are real safety issues with LPG.
US Ragasco think otherwise.

Composite cylinder net high sales in Europe, remain niche in U.S. : LP Gas
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Old 18-04-2015, 16:37   #36
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Dockhead;

. Despite the much greater lethal potential of 230 volt AC power, the rate of electrocution in the UK is less than half of what it is in the US.
.
Sorry Dockhead, it is the other way round, 110v has a greater lethal potential than 220v.

Watt = Volt x Amps

if you want : 2200 W
@ 110 you need 20 Amps.
@ 220 you need only 10 Amps.

Amps kill you, not Volts.

Proof : in between your ignition coil and your distributor cap and further to the plugs you find 10 Kv.
Should you touch the cord on a running engine, you are likely to experience a rather unpleasant shock @ 10 000 Volts, but it will not kill you...because there are hardly any Amps in this H.T circuit.



Another example : Electrostatic discharge, this painful ESD on a cold dry (rare in the UK) winter day when you touch your car, plenty of volts but no Amps.

No surprise the rate of electrocution is half in the UK.


110V was the norm on the continent 40 years ago, we switched to 220 for safety reasons.
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Old 18-04-2015, 16:53   #37
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Claude_Marie View Post
Sorry Dockhead, it is the other way round, 110v has a greater lethal potential than 220v.

Watt = Volt x Amps

if you want : 2200 W
@ 110 you need 20 Amps.
@ 220 you need only 10 Amps.

Amps kill you, not Volts.

Proof : in between your ignition coil and your distributor cap and further to the plugs you find 10 Kv.
Should you touch the cord on a running engine, you are likely to experience a rather unpleasant shock @ 10 000 Volts, but it will not kill you...because there are hardly any Amps in this H.T circuit.

No surprise the rate of electrocution is half in the UK.


110V was the norm on the continent 40 years ago, we switched to 220 for safety reasons.
Well, this is beyond my expertise, so I won't go into the medico-electrical question. As far as I understand, besides voltage (the higher the more lethal, for a given amperage) there is the question of frequency -- 50 hz being particularly dangerous for the heart.

I do prefer 230v power, though. Less amps, lighter cables, more efficiency, fewer problems.

For the same reason I prefer 24v DC to 12v. Has anyone here ever owned a 6 volt car? Dating myself -- I have. Remember what it was like going to 12v? Well, going to 24v from 12v is exactly the same experience.

I regret that 32v DC equipment is so rare. Imagine how much better our bow thrusters, windlasses, winches, etc., would run on 32 volts.
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Old 18-04-2015, 17:20   #38
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude_Marie View Post
Sorry Dockhead, it is the other way round, 110v has a greater lethal potential than 220v.

Watt = Volt x Amps

if you want : 2200 W
@ 110 you need 20 Amps.
@ 220 you need only 10 Amps.

Amps kill you, not Volts.

Proof : in between your ignition coil and your distributor cap and further to the plugs you find 10 Kv.
Should you touch the cord on a running engine, you are likely to experience a rather unpleasant shock @ 10 000 Volts, but it will not kill you...because there are hardly any Amps in this H.T circuit.



Another example : Electrostatic discharge, this painful ESD on a cold dry (rare in the UK) winter day when you touch your car, plenty of volts but no Amps.

No surprise the rate of electrocution is half in the UK.


110V was the norm on the continent 40 years ago, we switched to 220 for safety reasons.
A couple hundred milliamperes can kill.....a lot more than voltage counts when talking safety.
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Old 18-04-2015, 17:23   #39
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Yes, my first car, a 1961 VW was 6 volt.

I wonder if more boat fires are electrical or from propane?


S/V B'Shert
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Old 18-04-2015, 17:27   #40
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

I've been thinking about putting the solenoid valve in the high pressure propane piping before the regulator rather than in the low pressure piping after the regulator. At first, it seems like a good idea, but after a while I'm not so sure.

The propane locker is designed to safely handle leaky propane. It is sealed from all sources of ignition, vented, and is drained overboard. A leak there should do no harm. The interior of the boat is not. It is full of ignition sources and drains to the bilge. A leak there could destroy the boat.

If I turn off a solenoid valve in the low pressure piping just before it passes out through the propane locker bulkhead, the only gas that can enter the interior of the boat is the 0.5 psig gas in maybe 15 ft of 1/4" rubber hose and in the propane stove piping.

If I turn off a solenoid valve in the high pressure piping upstream of the regulator, I still have the 0.5 psig gas in the 15 ft of 1/4" rubber hose and the propane stove piping. But, I also have the 135 psig gas in the piping both between the solenoid valve and the regulator and also in the high pressure parts of the regulator. Each cubic inch of the 135 psig gas downstream of solenoid (and upstream of the valve in the regulator) will will expand to make 270 cubic inches of 0.5 psig gas if there is a leak inside the boat. [PV=nRT and all that]

If there is a leak in the low pressure LPG system inside the boat or if an appliance valve is left open, does that extra volume of gas that will come from a solenoid valve in the high pressure piping constitute a real increase in the risk of a fire or explosion in the boat?
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Old 18-04-2015, 17:30   #41
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Well, this is beyond my expertise, so I won't go into the medico-electrical question. As far as I understand, besides voltage (the higher the more lethal, for a given amperage) there is the question of frequency -- 50 hz being particularly dangerous for the heart.

I do prefer 230v power, though. Less amps, lighter cables, more efficiency, fewer problems.

For the same reason I prefer 24v DC to 12v. Has anyone here ever owned a 6 volt car? Dating myself -- I have. Remember what it was like going to 12v? Well, going to 24v from 12v is exactly the same experience.

I regret that 32v DC equipment is so rare. Imagine how much better our bow thrusters, windlasses, winches, etc., would run on 32 volts.
I have rebuilt a 6 volt car to its original condition....lasted a week, got quickly p**ed off, and threw inside a state of the art 12v Alternator, matching battery and electric starter motor...but forgot about the light bulbs, blew all of them in one go.

48 volt like on aircraft would be nice.
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Old 18-04-2015, 18:31   #42
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Sorry Dockhead, it is the other way round, 110v has a greater lethal potential than 220v............
That is incorrect. Given the same resistance, twice the current will flow at 220 volts than at 110 volts. Take this down to 12 volts and you receive just a mild shock. You can hold both terminals of a 1.2 volt battery and not even feel it.

It takes very little current to kill a person but dry skin has a pretty high resistance. That's why they use wet sponges on electric chairs.
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Old 18-04-2015, 18:53   #43
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
Each cubic inch of the 135 psig gas downstream of solenoid (and upstream of the valve in the regulator) will will expand to make 270 cubic inches of 0.5 psig gas if there is a leak inside the boat. [PV=nRT and all that]
I'm afraid I had too many G&T this evening (2) and muffed the arithmetic. Let me try it again. 0.5psig = 15psia, and 135psig = 149.5psia, so 1 cu in of high pressure propane makes about 10 cu in of low pressure propane.

Good night.
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Old 19-04-2015, 08:42   #44
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Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Scurvy View Post
I



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.

Sorry , mostly nonsense.

Gas cooking is very common as is natural gas installations and gas installations on domestic systems are highly regulated.

European 220vac safety codes are well in excess of US 110 NEC codes. Whole house rcbs being a case in point.

My kitchen has smoke and Co monitors too.

I would argue European safety codes are ahead of US ones actually


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Old 19-04-2015, 08:48   #45
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude_Marie View Post
Sorry Dockhead, it is the other way round, 110v has a greater lethal potential than 220v.

Watt = Volt x Amps

if you want : 2200 W
@ 110 you need 20 Amps.
@ 220 you need only 10 Amps.

Amps kill you, not Volts.

Proof : in between your ignition coil and your distributor cap and further to the plugs you find 10 Kv.
Should you touch the cord on a running engine, you are likely to experience a rather unpleasant shock @ 10 000 Volts, but it will not kill you...because there are hardly any Amps in this H.T circuit.



Another example : Electrostatic discharge, this painful ESD on a cold dry (rare in the UK) winter day when you touch your car, plenty of volts but no Amps.

No surprise the rate of electrocution is half in the UK.


110V was the norm on the continent 40 years ago, we switched to 220 for safety reasons.

Sorry not true. In both cases 110 and 220 have sufficent reserves of current

And yes you are right current kills not voltage

However , the skin is a given resistance , now apply ohms law and come back and tell us how much current flows as a result of 110 vac and 220 vac, and therefor which is more lethal.

You might also like to research why 110 vac is mandatory on building site tools in the Uk.

Ps; hint the human body is not a constant power sink , hence your maths are wrong

110 was never common in Europe. Even though there were sone installations. European electric manufacturers like Siemens pioneered 220-240 vac systems.

Dave

Dave


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