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Old 15-03-2019, 16:01   #16
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Re: Propane stove safe?

@Allied39, yes, always bubble check connections when returning the tank (s) to service.

About the time to boil a kettle. It takes us, about 5 min to boil a kettle with 5 1/2 cups of water in it in Tasmania, water here is cool, but not icy. For us, this makes a small pot of coffee, for Jim, and about 2 c. tea for me. I'm sure one gets used to what one has.

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Old 15-03-2019, 17:09   #17
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Re: Propane stove safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
The best way to check for leaks is to smell close up to the bottles and any appliances you have, Below the appliances as the gas is heavier than air and drops down,
If you can smell propane, Shut every thing down immediately and get it checked out fully,
The smell test should be done regularly,


No, the best way to check for leaks is soapy water.

Propane is very safe, however some folks manage to stick screwdrivers in their eye's ......so there's no telling what some "people" are capable of.

Treat it with respect and you should'nt have a problem.
Soapy water is to find exactly where the leak is, You can smell Propane long before you know you have a leak,

My BIL did just that, Screwdriver slipped off the valve springs he was putting in, Straight into his eyeball, Then slapped his hand over his eye that was full off grease,
We had blood and grease every where coming from his eyeball,

So Yes, It has been done, Hahahaha
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Old 15-03-2019, 18:41   #18
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Re: Propane stove safe?

I'll be setting up my gas stove with a separate gas bottle locker (draining overboard) and I will have a gas detector/alarm. The gas bottles will be able to be switched off at the locker and at the stove (day-to-day use)

But I will also have a bilge blower which will be switched on for at least four minutes before starting the motor (or anything else)
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Old 17-03-2019, 10:21   #19
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Re: Propane stove safe?

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BoatUS insurance disagrees.

Stoves. The incidence of fires due to stoves has decreased with the gradual replacement of alcohol stoves with propane stoves and electric ranges. Two percent of fires were caused by stoves, more than half resulting from problems with lighting alcohol stoves. Given how few alcohol stoves there are on boats these days, they are significantly more dangerous than those that use other fuel sources. If you still have an alcohol stove on board, you may want to consider upgrading. Most people agree that they don't heat very well, anyway.

Full article here. https://www.boatus.com/seaworthy/mag...boat-fires.asp

I've read that article. They refer to the pressurized alcohol stoves that have been out of production for years. I agree that those were dangerous. Good riddance.


The Origo stoves are not pressurized and are much safer.
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Old 17-03-2019, 10:32   #20
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Re: Propane stove safe?

i have used propane for cooking an dheating since 1990. aint dead yet no boom no issues.
best tool you can own is kiddos bubble stuff. is always on sale in dollar stores and works well for leak discovery. yes i have enjoyed finding and fixing propane leaks.
before my purchase and acquisition, this formosa was involved in 6 galley fires due to alcohol stove and failure to discover the nearly invisible flames resulting from alcohol ignition. propane has not that issue and cooks hotter for your abalone dinners so they not tennis shoe rubber ....

ps i can cook and refuel my stove in a rough seaway. unlike origo. try pouring liquid fuel inside a boat under way in rough seas. coffee is always necessary and so is food. and yes i have changed tanks under way in rough seaway. is easy.
propane only blows up and makes boom when one is slacker and lazy forgetting or failing to turn OFF tank while replacing or when a leak is not investigated. leaks are fairly rare. leaks are why gods invented bubble stuff. or liquid soap.
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Old 17-03-2019, 10:41   #21
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Re: Propane stove safe?

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Hey Jammer, the USCG has an online database of all reportable incidents in the USA. A reportable incident is one that causes injury or death, OR one that causes damages over $2,000. It’s a fascinating tool. Hours of fun to play with.

Anyway, from 2005 to 2017 (the range available in the database) there were 59,391 total events. Of these there were 119 incidents of "Ignition of fuel or vapor” and 565 "Ignition of Spilled Fuel or Vapor” events. Obviously this doesn’t only include propane events. More than likely most of these will be gasoline problems with small boats.

Doing the math you can see the rate of propane accident is small — very small.

I have read through a great number of accident reports and have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of fatalities while boating fall into one of two categories:


1) People who capsize while paddling canoes, kayaks, and similar craft.
2) Fatalities incidental to alcohol consumption, mostly people falling overboard.


Quote:

Propane is definitely a danger on board. But so are a lot of things. It should never be treated lightly, but nor should its danger be overblown.

ADD: We usually shut off at the tank after every use. Our tank is easy to get to, so why not.

In general, I agree.


The problem with propane is that the chances of serious injury are great with systems that are sloppily installed or maintained. Propane system components deteriorate with age and eventually fail. Usually that means that they leak. The leaks are not always obvious.
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Old 17-03-2019, 11:23   #22
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Re: Propane stove safe?

The only problem I had with a propane stove was on a charter boat many years ago. The stove had rather intrusive safety features; if the flame blew out in the oven or cooktop, which it did a lot, then it was a bugger to get the thing relit.
As a consequence, I somehow filled the floor with propane which then went, "Whoof!" and scared the willies out of me. No actual harm done.
That said, we lived with a Hill range stove on a boat for several years. It was great.
My latest boat has an Origo alcohol cooktop. I like that too. Simple installation. I would say that the Origo can be turned down really low and doesn't blow out, because the flame is protected.
If your boat has relatively recent propane hoses, detector, bottle etc. I would just live with it. Most bigger boats and many smaller ones use it.
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Old 17-03-2019, 12:55   #23
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Re: Propane stove safe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
I have read through a great number of accident reports and have come to the conclusion that the vast majority of fatalities while boating fall into one of two categories:

1) People who capsize while paddling canoes, kayaks, and similar craft.
2) Fatalities incidental to alcohol consumption, mostly people falling overboard.
Actually, “Open motorboat” is the vessel with by far the highest deaths. But you’re right that canoe and then kayak come in second and third.

Of course, this doesn’t speak to the rate of incidents, just the total number. There are probably many more small motorboats in use compared to canoes/kayaks. So I bet you’re right.

Alcohol is indeed the number one cause associated with deaths in boating in the USA. Although interestingly, it comes in number six when looking at the cause of all accidents (some of which lead to death). “Owner Inattention,” “Owner Inattention,” "Improper Lookout” and "Excessive Speed” top the list of causes.

Quote:
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I've read that article. They refer to the pressurized alcohol stoves that have been out of production for years. I agree that those were dangerous. Good riddance.

The Origo stoves are not pressurized and are much safer.
I wondered about this as well. The date range the article quotes is 2009-2013, which is fairly recent. I doubt if there have been any pressure alcohol stoves built for boats in many decades, so I was surprised to see this stat about them in this article. I suppose the old pressure alcohol stoves could still be the cause, but there aren’t many of them left out there.

I’ve always assumed the new non-pressure alcohol appliances are safer, but do we have data to show this?

In any case, it’s pretty clear propane is not a particularly dangerous item for a cruising boat. Certainly way safer than electricity, for example.
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Old 17-03-2019, 15:43   #24
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Re: Propane stove safe?

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I've read that article. They refer to the pressurized alcohol stoves that have been out of production for years. I agree that those were dangerous. Good riddance.


The Origo stoves are not pressurized and are much safer.
The word distinction between pressurized and non-prssurized is not mentioned at all in that article.
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Old Today, 05:02   #25
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Re: Propane stove safe?

Today's propane explosion


Fish house explosion critically injures Detroit Lakes man - StarTribune.com
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Old Today, 05:42   #26
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Re: Propane stove safe?

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The word distinction between pressurized and non-prssurized is not mentioned at all in that article.

It is clear because they write of "problems lighting alcohol stoves."


I have used both the pressurized and Origo types.


The Origo stoves do not have "problems" while lighting. There's wicking material, and you light it, and it burns. The only problem you are going to encounter is that it won't light if there isn't enough fuel in it.


In contrast the older style pressurized alcohol stoves are essentially the same design as gasoline and kerosene camp stoves made by Svea or MSR. Here's a marine example that happens to use Svea burners internally:


https://classiccampstoves.com/thread...burners.36849/


These use a vaporizer or "gas generator" which is essentially a fuel line that runs over the burner itself or that is attached to a heat-conducting component that is heated by the burner. During operation, the alcohol boils in the line and the hot gas goes through an orifice where it mixes with air and comes out the burner head.


When the stove is cold the "gas generator" doesn't work, and liquid fuel sprays out the orifice instead. There are little cups below the burner that capture the liquid fuel. To light the stove. you're supposed to crack the valve and close it, so that there's some fuel in the cup, then light the fuel in the cup. It burns off and heats the generator enough that the stove will operate. Then you open the valve and make coffee.



The main problem is that if the stove is insufficiently preheated when you open the valve, you get hot liquid fuel spraying out instead of gas. If you're used to these things then you can feather the valve and get them to start with minimal drama. But if you're either unfamiliar with these stoves or not paying attention and you just leave the valve open, the stove will overfire and the hot burning liquid fuel will run out of the cup and into the base of the stove, where it will burn, and you'll get flames shooting 3-4 feet high above the burner. I've seen it. Outdoors, you can just wait it out and eventually the excess fuel will burn off and the stove will settle down. Aboard, there's too much else to burn to do that.


And that's "problems lighting alcohol stoves."



The other problem is that after you close the fuel valve the stoves take about 30 seconds to shut off because the residual fuel in the lines all has to boil off and burn. Occasionally someone thinks that the valve doesn't work and won't close, and panics, and decides to open the fuel cap to let the pressure out of the fuel tank. Usually the vapor plume exiting the tank ignites and can give you a flame tongue 10 feet long. I've seen it, too, 35 years ago, burned up a tent. Thankfully the guy who did it wasn't badly hurt.


Now, the Origo style with the wick burners don't have any of these problems. They are extremely safe with the only safety-related problem being that the flame is hard to see, nearly impossible in direct sunlight, so it is possible to think the stove is extinguished when it's not. There are various non-safety drawbacks, particularly lower heat output and problems with suitable fuel being available in some areas such as England -- where local regulations require sufficiently toxic and odoriferous denaturants in the alcohol as to make the stoves impractical.


Why the lengthy post. Well I think that for the cruiser on a budget faced with a galley propane installation that was never safe to begin with or that has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer safe, the Origo alcohol stoves are a practical, safe, and cost effective alternative to propane.
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Old Today, 06:40   #27
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Re: Propane stove safe?

I don't have a problem with propane but CNG is safer and might be better for older boats without a dedicated propane locker. If you cruise in the US, CNG is nice, cheap, and available but the energy density of the tanks is not very good. It takes about five 7 1/4" diameter by 36" 2200 psi CNG tanks to equal a 20 lb propane tank. You can use 3000 psi scuba tanks but it requires non-standard gas valves and adapters. Filling 3000 psi tanks is MUCH safer than filling 2200 psi tanks since CNG refill stations dispense to 3000 psi or 3600 psi. To fill 2200 psi tanks you need an adapter with a pressure gauge and needle valve to regulate fill pressure. Three 80 cf 3000 psi scuba tanks equals about a 20 lb propane tank.
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Old Today, 14:11   #28
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Re: Propane stove safe?

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Im not too sure if the solenoid would shut of the gas if you have a very minor leak,
But that minor leak will accumulate in the bilge over time and become a major problem,
Gas detectors work on a % lower explosive limit basis. If gas accumulates near the sensor it will be detected. The idea is to position the sensors in suitable places.

They're pretty sensitive. Ours shut off once due to the cat farting.
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Old Today, 14:29   #29
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Re: Propane stove safe?

Love my propane stove...... I bought my boat and immediately replaced the tank, regulator and gas control system. Hose goes through a conduit from tank to stove. Gas only flows to stove when breaker is flipped and I would smell a leak when cooking (also removed and reattached gas supply to oven). My tank is stored in a vented compartment so I feel extremely safe with the system. Like was said before, there are more electrical fires on boats than issues with propane. Be smart and take care of your equipment and enjoy nice hot gas for cooking..... my opinion of course.

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Old Today, 14:44   #30
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Re: Propane stove safe?

It's as safe as the user. Follow rules and you're fine.
Do not use one with an attached cannister below though. Are you piped in to the galley?
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