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Old 16-09-2004, 23:15   #1
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Propane system, Help!

I need to build a new propane system. The original lasted maybe two-three years and dissolved.

The original consisted of a regulator and an electric valve. I looked at the stuff offered by West Marine and was shocked at the prices. What do people like to use when building a propane system?

Many thanks in advance!

-jim lee
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Old 17-09-2004, 07:21   #2
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What went on it

Jim,

What went on your system.? Mine is 16 years old, used a lot and it still works fine. The parts aren't cheap but are available at many large hardware stores at better prices than WM.
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Old 17-09-2004, 18:11   #3
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Hmmmm, are you talking copper tubing or what when you say "system"???
Some more details of what is your boat and what you want to supply and how do you want to control.
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Old 18-09-2004, 00:09   #4
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Oh, guess I wasn't all that clear. All I need to rebuld is what was in the propane locker. Regulator & valve. I think the rest of the system is fine.

The boat tends to have a pretty wet ride. I typically wear a one piece dingy suit when sailing. SF Bay windy and bouncy. Hence, water gets into the propane locker and it just dissolved everything in there. The original rubber hose that goes to the oven looks fine.

I was just wondering what people liked to use for regulators and solinoid valves and what material was ok to use for the piping. Is copper OK? Or will it crack, should it be stainless? Etc. Etc.

Thanks!

-jim lee (Just got in from sailing and still feel like I'm bouncing about.)
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Old 18-09-2004, 07:54   #5
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My propane bottles (2 house and one for a force 10 barbie) are in a locker on the foredeck. The bottles are all aluminum. The regulators, solenoid and distribution valves are standard brass type valves. The piping is all copper. The locker is between the two hulls of my cat at has drain holes on the bottom. It is pretty dry although some salt water gets in when I store wet lines or my anchor bridle in there.

The system is in excellent shape for being ten years old. However, in spite of it's years, the boat has very few sea miles on her.

If you have a very wet location You might upgrade to swagelock stainless tubing and valves. A truly stainless regulator will be more of an industrial item...

http://www.rodenator.com/inc/pdetail?v=1&pid=224

Woody
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Old 18-09-2004, 20:31   #6
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I have never seen a stainless solenoid valve. I suppose it is possible to get, but I would imagine it being very expensive.
What you fit the system out in depends on what you want to spend and if you have any form of survey reg on the boat to maintain. Usually survey specs will mean you have to have copper lines for fire ratings. Copper is easier to use than stainless, being more flexible to use and easier to apply fittings. But it has the one drawback of pin hole corrosion over time. Stainless is a pig to work with and can be very brittle. Not mention the difficulty in applying fittings. But it has the advantage of higher melting points in fire and much less suseptable to corrosion.
Tanks can be got in alloy, stainless and steel. Alloy and stainless are expensive, but withstand corrsion. Here in NZ, we have to have them pressure tested every 10yrs. It costs as much as a new steel tank costs. So I buy a new tank anyway. I spray it in a Zinc rich primer and coat the base in truck bed liner. The liner is available in a spray can from Plasti-kote.
The box you keep everything in needs good drainage and ventilation. I suggest that when you give the boat a quick wash down at the end of the day, that you jet some fresh water in the box as well.
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Old 18-09-2004, 20:55   #7
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Stainless tubing is not that hard to work with. You should use small tubing benders. The fittings run around $50 US each for a typical coupling! Ouch, you can replace a lot if copper for that amount.
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Old 19-09-2004, 05:49   #8
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As has already been stated, stainless fittings are expensive. Where I have had to replace copper piping due to exposure deterioration, I replace with copper that is inside plastic hose. This provides protection from abrasion as well as from the elements, (particularly important where the pipe is secured to the vessel) You have to put the plastic pipe on while the copper is straight, and it is a tad difficult to solder the copper pipe with the plastic pipe in place, especiallly if it is a very snug fit! (but not impossible)
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Old 19-09-2004, 11:16   #9
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Stainless, copper?

I'm lost here. My old boat (1988) has flexible propane lines similar to your everyday propane barbeque. My new boat (2004) has the same propane lines. I was not aware that there were copper or stainless lines. As for the regulator, its similar to the barbeque tank regulator. Now both boats have a solenoid swaged to the line. Both boat are built in North America and as far as I know meet the CG and ABYC requirements. Never had a problem in 16 years other than the steel tanks rusting out (gone through 3 sets)and having to change to OPD tanks. The new boat has aluminum tanks which should outlast me. I have run into corrosion on the wires to solenoids in other boats but that's about all in the way of propane problems. Most of the problems I've seen have more to do with the stoves. Are non-flexible propane lines common?
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Old 19-09-2004, 12:18   #10
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UK requirements are spelt out in the excellent Calor Marine Installation web pages here

sounds like your system would not meet the specs in UK.
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Old 19-09-2004, 13:32   #11
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Keep it coming everyone. I'm going over all of it. I wonder if there's some materials that don't go togather with propane? So far I've not seen any reference to anything like that.

I'm going to try McMaster Carr and see what they have.

Thanks millions!

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Old 19-09-2004, 22:42   #12
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Don't go together with propane??? are you meaning corrosion?? No, you shouldn't have anything react like that. You will have more corrosion problems with dissimilar metals. Like Alloy, brass, copper and SST.
Some regulators are made from el cheapo Alloy's and can corrode away real quick.

Vasco, you can also use flexable gas hoses. There are different ratings of those as well. Its just to meet certain regulations,e.g charter vessel, metal type lines are required for fire purposes. It just gives a little more time before a gas line is ruptured in a fire, thus causing the fire to esculate or break out in another area. Even engine fuel lines will come under those regs. My vessel uses 1/2" Galv pipe fuel lines.
Going back to the gas system, For the safety reg I have to meet, I have twin Gas tanks with a solenoid valve on each tank, that is connected to a Gas detector system. It shuts down the gas if the alarm "smells" anything and I can also shut the gas off with the push of a button, should I have a fire in the galley.
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Old 20-09-2004, 08:51   #13
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specs

Talbot,

Checked out your UK specs. It seems they do allow flexible LPG hoses. Myself, I would think flexible lines in a boat would be preferrable to rigid ones if sufficiently protected from chafe. Do all UK built boats have solid lines?
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Old 20-09-2004, 08:57   #14
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Cheaper than WM

Jim Lee,

Try this link
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/te...ainCatcat20075
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Old 20-09-2004, 10:03   #15
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Rubber line from regulator to connection in gas locker. Solid line from gas locker to appliance.
Armoured flexible line for cooker on a gimble for last yard of line.
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