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Old 27-04-2010, 09:08   #16
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... It'd be interested to find out just how much propane is needed to create an explosive atmosphere inside a boat.
-Steve
The LEL of propane is about about 2%.
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Old 27-04-2010, 17:14   #17
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Thanks Gord. Now I have to go back to the boat and pull out my calculator and see how badly I scare myself.

-Steve
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Old 27-04-2010, 18:43   #18
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Hmm, propane sinks to the bilge where it never moves without blowing it out. Without ventilation, it will accumulate. We turn the solenoid off and let the gas burn out of the lines.
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Old 27-04-2010, 19:40   #19
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Originally Posted by syoder View Post
I decided to just skip the solenoid altogether on my installation. I shut the gas off at the tank after using it. ..... I think that we've been programmed to be WAY too paranoid about propane (along with a whole bunch of other stuff).

-Steve
Just last night I was thinking about a propane explosion on a boat in an anchorage I was in. I was below at the time and seriously thought my boat had been clobbered by a panga.

The regulator leaked around a factory crimped point (don't ask me to be more technical than that).

Got me thinking about my own installation. I'm gonna reagange things, and I like the idea of leaving the solenoid out. Maybe some see it as a safety backup, I see it as a convienience I should learn to do without.

Again, the balance between being too casual about things and paranoid.
I don't feel paranoid. I am too casual about things when I shouldn't be.
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Old 27-04-2010, 21:10   #20
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Steve-
The solenoid is there because sometimes, the captain and crew get a little relaxed, a little tired, have a few too many margueritas, or that second bottle of such nice wine...and fall alseep before they remember to shut the tank. Or so I've heard.
You cook, it goes CLICK, and if it is pouring out you can continue to stay below and eat dinner, warm and dry, and it still backs you up if you forget the tank. Or prefer to stay dry and warm.

How much propane...I guess that depends on how much explosion you consider recreational, versus an interruption in your breakfast? I've been on a number of boats that regularly use the Korean single butane burners as the galley stove. $20 including the carry case, a buck or two per can and one of those will do a 3-day weekend...It does't worry me but we do keep the cans isolated and sealed. Still, when there's a proper gas stove in the galley I'd rather see the solenoid and sniffer (and those little bastards are devils, real devils, they taunt you about nothing when there's no even any gas on the boat sometimes!) because I'v seen burn wards and debridement and I really really really never want to do anything that might get me into that situation.

If you're hardwiring gas lines, please. Add a solenoid and sniffer, and if you're really not interested in that, VISIT A BURN WARD. Don't expect to sleep that night. Burn victims are often put into medical comas, because even morphine cannot blunt the pain.
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Old 27-04-2010, 23:21   #21
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Fire at sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by syoder View Post
I decided to just skip the solenoid altogether on my installation. I shut the gas off at the tank after using it. Sometimes I burn off the gas in the line, sometimes I don't. I think that we've been programmed to be WAY too paranoid about propane (along with a whole bunch of other stuff). It'd be interested to find out just how much propane is needed to create an explosive atmosphere inside a boat.

-Steve
Uh...you understand the basis for the old saying, "a fire at sea can ruin your whole day"?
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Old 28-04-2010, 00:07   #22
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Originally Posted by Livia View Post
Good question - it's good to know why we are doing the things we do.

On Estrellita we do it for the same reason - to test the solenoid not to avoid gas from the lines bypassing a potentially failed stove. If we forget and do it via the stove, no worries.
Same here.

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Old 28-04-2010, 05:30   #23
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People are more paranoid about propane at sea than on land because it sinks into the bilge and has no way out on a boat. It can accumulate over time.

You cannot burn the propane out of the line because it has to be replaced by air from somewhere and unless you have a leak in the line this is not possible!

Solenoids are good because even lazy people can manage to switch it off when the switch is right by the stove and the gas is outside in a locker that drains overboard.

Given all this paranoia why are people so against diesel/paraffin stoves?
  • There's more energy per litre
  • It's not pressurized
  • With a change of jet you can use off diesel
  • The fuel is way easier to get hold of in remote parts of the world
  • You don't have to mess about with trying to find an LPG canister with the right sized fitting for the part of the world you're in
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Old 28-04-2010, 06:38   #24
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My selenoid has a spring to keep it closed until the electromagnet pulls the plunger against the action of the spring to open the valve. So a failed selenoid is in the off valve position by the passive action of a spring.
I have handled my selenoid while turned on 15-20 minutes and it was just warm to the touch and stayed about the same temperature all the time I was working on it.
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Old 28-04-2010, 11:50   #25
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"Given all this paranoia why are people so against diesel/paraffin stoves?"
Uh, because diesel physically STINKS and gives some people headaches and seasickness. Same for kerosene/paraffin, no matter how highly refined the fuel is. Some people can smell and taste scents that others are totally oblivious to. It has to do with genetics and what equipment your body has or lacks.

I once met a Mercedes engineer who claimed a properly adjusted and fueled diesel engine produced no odor. I told him to let me know when they found one.

Diesel stinks.
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Old 28-04-2010, 13:07   #26
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"Given all this paranoia why are people so against diesel/paraffin stoves?"
Uh, because diesel physically STINKS and gives some people headaches and seasickness. Same for kerosene/paraffin, no matter how highly refined the fuel is. Some people can smell and taste scents that others are totally oblivious to. It has to do with genetics and what equipment your body has or lacks.

I once met a Mercedes engineer who claimed a properly adjusted and fueled diesel engine produced no odor. I told him to let me know when they found one.

Diesel stinks.
IS this always true?
J claims that if everything is properly installed and vents directly outside - no openings into the inside of the boat anywhere - that there won't be any stink. Except outside if you sniff around the chimney.
As I am one of those headaches and seasickness people you mentioned, I am disinclined to take a big, expensive installation on faith. Is there a way to prevent that smell issue?
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Old 28-04-2010, 13:18   #27
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If everything is properly sealed and vented OUTSIDE and DOWNWIND from you, and your stove has 100% perfect combustion, you won't smell a thing.

Of course, if you try to use it while sailing downwind...that exhaust is still going to climb aboard and cuddle right up your nostrils.
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Old 28-04-2010, 13:21   #28
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Uh, because diesel physically STINKS and gives some people headaches and seasickness. Same for kerosene/paraffin, no matter how highly refined the fuel is.
Propane also stinks.

I presume that by your logic you have an LPG engine on your boat?

Have you ever tried a diesel/kerosene stove? I find that Diesel engines give off a bad smell and give me a sore throat & headache but the boat I spent time on with a diesel/kerosene stove did not.
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Old 28-04-2010, 14:16   #29
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Propane also stinks.
I presume that by your logic you have an LPG engine on your boat?
Have you ever tried a diesel/kerosene stove? I find that Diesel engines give off a bad smell and give me a sore throat & headache but the boat I spent time on with a diesel/kerosene stove did not.
I think that your experience is atypical.
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Old 28-04-2010, 15:23   #30
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Gord, if by that you mean that most people have no experience of kerosene stoves, then I agree with you!
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