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Old 30-04-2015, 14:25   #76
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Best price I've found for an AFC-151 is about $15 here: AFC-151 High Pressure 12 Volt Solenoid Lockoff Valve
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Old 05-10-2015, 18:29   #77
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Re-opening this thread...

Besides a great solenoid - who makes the best of the rest?

Hoses...
Regulator...
gas detector...

Besides the solenoid and the detector... what are other best practices for installation? If I use hose instead of copper pipe should I use a hose sheathing such as this one?

McMaster-Carr

How best to seal the hole leading out of the tank well?
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Old 07-10-2015, 14:31   #78
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

I have had a propane system on my boat for 32
years, airtight box vented overboard, the valve can be closed through a gland sealed linkage from the galley, no problem without a solenoid. But, recently I installed a similar system on friend's boat, but with a solenoid valve (low pressure side) that is operated via wind up timer switch bought at a hardware store. So you set the timer to the expected duration of your cooking and the gas is shut off after that. Useful feature, if you occasionally burn food or the boat.
And yeah, I think it's time I replaced the regulator. So what is a good regulator? My search came up with prices from $14 to $140. What's up with that?
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Old 07-10-2015, 14:52   #79
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

I have a Fisher Propane regulator on board , and I bought a back up as well. Not sure I will ever need to replace it , they do have rubber parts inside and Im sure they wear .

Just make sure to mount any regulator you get with the screen down. This drains any condensation that may build up inside of it. If it falls below freezing as it does often up here , it will jam the thing open , not good .

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Old 07-10-2015, 15:00   #80
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Re-opening this thread...

Besides a great solenoid - who makes the best of the rest?

Hoses...
Regulator...
gas detector...

Besides the solenoid and the detector... what are other best practices for installation? If I use hose instead of copper pipe should I use a hose sheathing such as this one?

McMaster-Carr

How best to seal the hole leading out of the tank well?
I know the hose you install inside the boat has to be rated for interior use. Any propane guy will have the stuff , sort of hard to source other wise . Any thing you put around it to stop chafe would be good , also there should not be any TEES inside the boat . Had a surveyor tell me that , it all has to be in the locker and a straight line to the appliance NO TEES !! , separate line joined in the locker for each item that needs propane. For most of us thats easy , but if you have a water heater that uses propane you will have to have a separate line from the locker .

Regards
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Old 07-10-2015, 15:05   #81
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Did I miss it, or did no one in that tangent about danger of 120 vs 220 V noted that US 120V is 120V on one conductor, zero, ground potential (hopefully) on the other. Where as 220 in Europe, two conductors with 110V each, oposite phase, adding up to 220V. So, yes if you touch both the hot wires in Europe, you are exposing yourself to 220~, but if you just touch one, which is probably the most common accident, you only get 110V.
And yes, I got my electrical education as well as bunch of electric shocks in Europe and I too routinely tested the presence of juice on a wire by touch with my knuckles. Not exactly painful.
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Old 07-10-2015, 15:31   #82
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Being that 220 volts is twice 110 volts, it is more dangerous. 440 volts (industrial and commercial) is even more dangerous. The higher the voltage, the more likely it is to arc to your body. And the less likely that you will be able to let go or move away from it.

I installed and worked on sound systems in school buildings for many years. The speaker wires to the rooms were either 25 volt (that's the peak voltage at maximum power) or 70.7 volt. The 70.7 volt wiring was required to be in conduit, just like electrical wiring. The 25 volt wiring could be run exposed.
Hmmm.

42V and 1A is the statistically valid minimum to stop a heart. The original experiments dates to the 1960s and was conducted on pig hearts. (I don't have the reference but was introduced to this rule of thumb at tradeschool in the 1980s) There might be some more recent data but I'm not aware of it.

So the 110, 220, 380, 415 graduated danger makes no sense. The difference in arcability between 100 and 415 AC is miniscule. Even 20,000 DC usually wont jump more than 1/2" in air. A tesla coil will be more impressive.

In my motorsport days it was not uncommon to get zapped by 70,000 volt multi spark discharge systems. One compatriot could even stall any msd system by grabbing the distributor cap. Each of us has different skin conductivity and chemistry.

Not sure where the AC discussion fits in with propane shutoff valves on a boat.

I would only install a DC, 12V in our case, propane valve. Ours is located in a dedicated and vented gas locker. The vent is at the bottom of the locker to overboard. Not routed inside.

Sent from my SM-N900T using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 07-10-2015, 15:35   #83
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Presently in Darwin and you cannot buy a propane solenoid valve here and from what I understand they are not required in Australia. Strange for a country with so many rules.

When I went into the marine shop they quoted me a price of $339.00Au for a BEP solenoid that of course was BSP thread and did not match my plumbing. They couldn't even order the right one with NPT thread.

This same solenoid with NPT thread was 90.00US from Defender and you could get a cheaper model for $50.00US. Delivery from the US in four days. Why would anyone buy parts from Australia?

The original installation was a seaward controller with a seaward redhat solenoid but apparently once Whale took over they discontinued the line. Seems to be the way of the world today that the large corporations are buying out the smaller ones and immediately prices of everything go up. You can buy cheaper versions made in Asia but I have had nothing but bad luck with no name chinese parts.

Also tried to find fibreglass propane tanks here as I cannot get my US Aluminum tanks filled here but the cost was again prohibitive at a price of $370.00 for a 10kg tank. Now i am going to siphon the gas myself from refillable tanks just because I refuse to pay the insane prices here. Anyone have a procedure for that?

Beautiful country and great people but I do not know how they afford to live here.
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Old 07-10-2015, 21:25   #84
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by undercutter View Post
Now i am going to siphon the gas myself from refillable tanks just because I refuse to pay the insane prices here. Anyone have a procedure for that?
My experience is draining a US OPD tank into another US OPD tank. So with that in mind, I offer these instructions as a starting point based only on my limited experience. Use them as a starting point, and devise your own procedure. I take no responsibility...

You will need a hose with fittings on each end to attach to the full tank and to the empty tank. The hose should be in good condition, UL listed for LPG service, and rated for more than the expected gas pressure - like maybe 350 psi (no low pressure hose). It needs to be able to carry a reasonable liquid flow. For US OPD tanks a hose with full bore (1/4" hole) POL fittings at each end will work nicely. You should be able to easily blow through it.

You need to be outside, on land, away from everything, with plenty of room to run in case anything goes wrong.

The objective is to take liquid from the full tank and move it to the empty tank. So, the full tank needs to be inverted so that the liquid will come out of its valve. The empty tank should be right side up to catch the liquid. The full tank should be above the empty tank so the liquid can run downhill. The full tank should be warmer than the empty tank so that the pressure in the full tank is higher than the pressure in the empty tank.

No matches, no flames, no smoking. Keep curious people far far away.

1. Using the hose, connect the tanks together with both tank valves closed and both tanks upright.
2. Open the full tank valve, then crack the hose fitting at the empty tank to blow any air out of the hose. Re-tighten the hose fitting to the empty tank. Check for leaks with soap suds. Re-close the full tank valve.
3. Invert the full tank, and place it higher than the empty tank.
4. Warm the full tank and/or cool the empty tank. You might warm the full tank by pouring hot water over it or by covering it with a black bag while sitting in the sun. A handfull of ice cubes on top the empty tank will cool it.
5. Open both cylinder valves, and listen for the liquid flow.
6. You do not want to overfill the empty tank. You might weigh it as it fills, or you might periodically open the dip tube level screw to check the level, or you might do the math and be sure there is not enough liquid in the full tank to overfill the empty tank, or you might just trust the OPD on the empty tank to close off the liquid flow when the empty tank is full. Acceptable practice is to rely on at least two methods to determine the level. By the way, 80% is full; no more.
7. Do not expect to completely empty the full tank. When inverted, the OPD valve on the inverted full cylinder will close before the full tank is empty. (The float will drop down toward the top of the cylinder closing the valve just as it will do when an upright tank is overfilled.)
8. When the liquid has been transferred, close both cylinder valves, disconnect the hose, and blow any propane gas still in the hose out of the hose.

Aside from the ever present risk of leaks, fire, explosion, physical damage, asphyxiation, burns, and death; there are at least three other risks in pouring LPG from one cylinder to another. First, the upper inverted cylinder has its relief valve below the surface of the liquid LPG. If the relief valve were to open (like from over pressure due to a fire), large amounts of liquid would escape without cooling the cylinder. This is different from an upright cylinder where smaller amounts of escaping gas will cool the cylinder lowering the pressure as the liquid LPG in the cylinder boils to replace the escaped gas thus allowing the relief valve to re-close. Second, if the lower cylinder does not have an overfill protection device or if the OPD fails, the lower cylinder might be overfilled not leaving the vapor filled head space needed for the expansion of the liquid LPG as it warms. Third, a failure of the hose or the fittings on the hose will let all the liquid and gas in the system escape. So, be sure of your equipment, check for leaks, make sure things don't get too warm, do your sums, don't take shortcuts, and (as always) do this sort of thing in a place where if something went wrong...

You are on your own. I'm not there. I may have made mistakes writing this or left something out. If you are not sure of yourself, don't do it. If you are not comfortable with it, don't do it. I take no responsibility...
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Old 10-10-2015, 02:31   #85
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Quote:
Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
My experience is draining a US OPD tank into another US OPD tank. So with that in mind, I offer these instructions as a starting point based only on my limited experience. Use them as a starting point, and devise your own procedure. I take no responsibility...

You will need a hose with fittings on each end to attach to the full tank and to the empty tank. The hose should be in good condition, UL listed for LPG service, and rated for more than the expected gas pressure - like maybe 350 psi (no low pressure hose). It needs to be able to carry a reasonable liquid flow. For US OPD tanks a hose with full bore (1/4" hole) POL fittings at each end will work nicely. You should be able to easily blow through it.

You need to be outside, on land, away from everything, with plenty of room to run in case anything goes wrong.

The objective is to take liquid from the full tank and move it to the empty tank. So, the full tank needs to be inverted so that the liquid will come out of its valve. The empty tank should be right side up to catch the liquid. The full tank should be above the empty tank so the liquid can run downhill. The full tank should be warmer than the empty tank so that the pressure in the full tank is higher than the pressure in the empty tank.

No matches, no flames, no smoking. Keep curious people far far away.

1. Using the hose, connect the tanks together with both tank valves closed and both tanks upright.
2. Open the full tank valve, then crack the hose fitting at the empty tank to blow any air out of the hose. Re-tighten the hose fitting to the empty tank. Check for leaks with soap suds. Re-close the full tank valve.
3. Invert the full tank, and place it higher than the empty tank.
4. Warm the full tank and/or cool the empty tank. You might warm the full tank by pouring hot water over it or by covering it with a black bag while sitting in the sun. A handfull of ice cubes on top the empty tank will cool it.
5. Open both cylinder valves, and listen for the liquid flow.
6. You do not want to overfill the empty tank. You might weigh it as it fills, or you might periodically open the dip tube level screw to check the level, or you might do the math and be sure there is not enough liquid in the full tank to overfill the empty tank, or you might just trust the OPD on the empty tank to close off the liquid flow when the empty tank is full. Acceptable practice is to rely on at least two methods to determine the level. By the way, 80% is full; no more.
7. Do not expect to completely empty the full tank. When inverted, the OPD valve on the inverted full cylinder will close before the full tank is empty. (The float will drop down toward the top of the cylinder closing the valve just as it will do when an upright tank is overfilled.)
8. When the liquid has been transferred, close both cylinder valves, disconnect the hose, and blow any propane gas still in the hose out of the hose.

Aside from the ever present risk of leaks, fire, explosion, physical damage, asphyxiation, burns, and death; there are at least three other risks in pouring LPG from one cylinder to another. First, the upper inverted cylinder has its relief valve below the surface of the liquid LPG. If the relief valve were to open (like from over pressure due to a fire), large amounts of liquid would escape without cooling the cylinder. This is different from an upright cylinder where smaller amounts of escaping gas will cool the cylinder lowering the pressure as the liquid LPG in the cylinder boils to replace the escaped gas thus allowing the relief valve to re-close. Second, if the lower cylinder does not have an overfill protection device or if the OPD fails, the lower cylinder might be overfilled not leaving the vapor filled head space needed for the expansion of the liquid LPG as it warms. Third, a failure of the hose or the fittings on the hose will let all the liquid and gas in the system escape. So, be sure of your equipment, check for leaks, make sure things don't get too warm, do your sums, don't take shortcuts, and (as always) do this sort of thing in a place where if something went wrong...

You are on your own. I'm not there. I may have made mistakes writing this or left something out. If you are not sure of yourself, don't do it. If you are not comfortable with it, don't do it. I take no responsibility...
Thanks much, worked perfectly. Now we can cook on the boat again and we didn't have to replace our 3 aluminum cylinders which of course are impossible to obtain here in the NT.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:32   #86
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

Some of my favorite propane pictures:
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Old 11-10-2015, 14:04   #87
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
Some of my favorite propane pictures:
Some dramatic ones here too:

riodulcechisme.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1155&Ite mid=1

Demolished the boat, but unfortunately for the owner he was not killed instantly...took him several days to die.
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Old 15-10-2015, 08:08   #88
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Re: Propane Solenoid experiences , good/bad/best

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Originally Posted by undercutter View Post
Thanks much, worked perfectly. Now we can cook on the boat again and we didn't have to replace our 3 aluminum cylinders which of course are impossible to obtain here in the NT.
I'm glad it worked for you. We have drained one LPG tank into another several times. Once we found a full 20lb tank floating in the Bahamas and used it to refill one of our aluminum tanks. Another time we gave propane to another cruiser who had run out of gas when none was available in George Town in the Bahamas. His 10lb tank was empty, and we had plenty of gas in our to 20lb tanks. It is a handy skill to have.

We carry a transfer hose already made up.

The hose has also served as a spare parts depot. When the plastic Acme fitting that attaches to the propane tank on the boat cracked, I replaced it with one of the POL fittings from the transfer hose. We had the griddle hot again in minutes and pancakes with bacon for breakfast.

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