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Old 29-01-2016, 05:58   #1
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Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

We bought our yacht in France and it has a Force 10 Galley Range. Now that we are in the Caribbean and soon in the states and can't find butane which is what our blue 13k gas tank holds, we wonder, are butane and propane interchangeable? Can propane be put in this tank or should we buy another one?
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:08   #2
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

Not sure but I do believe in the USA you will need a propane tank with the opd valve in it before they will fill/refill it. 20 pound cylinders are not to expensive. The other rt of your question yes they are interchangeable as far as the stove is concerned.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:11   #3
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

Not really, you will need a new regulator for sure, might also need new jets.
I converted my home grill from propane to natural gas, has to replace the regulator and the gas jets for that conversion. It did not burn right at all on natural gas until I changed the jets. Tried it after I did the regulator.
If the grill hadn't been less than a year old it would have been cheaper to buy one already set up for N.G. and sell the propane one.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:22   #4
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

The 2 gasses have different specific densities. You will need to change the jets.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:26   #5
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

I went through the same thing. You need a different regulator, but my stove and oven worked fine without modification.

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Old 29-01-2016, 06:29   #6
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

We've had propane put in our European camping gas butane bottles before. No butane available in BVIs , It works fine. One thing to watch is propane is usually filled to a higher pressure so the pressure relieve valve might release and dump the excess gas. Better to open the valve on the dock than on the boat like I did...
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:37   #7
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

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Originally Posted by Blue Stocking View Post
The 2 gasses have different specific densities. You will need to change the jets.
From propane to butane and back no you don't need to change the jets. The stove doesn't care however propane or butane changed to CNG would require a change of regulator and jets. But we are not talking change to CNG from butane we are discussing change from butane to propane the main difference is propane will burn at a much lower ambient temperature than butane will .
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:45   #8
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

Propane and butane are interchangable.

The blue European tank can't be filled in the USA or most of the Caribbean.
So at some stage you will need a U.S. (rest of the world) tank. With it you will need a new regulator which is $35.25 at budget marine.

The new tanks are stupidly expensive but you can get a steel one at a hardware store cheap. Keep it painted to prevent rust.



You may even be able to buy a cheaper regulator at a hardware store
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Old 29-01-2016, 07:02   #9
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

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Not really, you will need a new regulator for sure, might also need new jets.
Possibly not a new regulator and almost certainly not jets.

For some years now regulators complying with the euro standard BS EN 12864 Annex M for marine boats works with either butane or propane with an output pressure of 30mB.

Just to add to the confusion sometimes you'll end up with butane/propane mix.
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Old 29-01-2016, 07:28   #10
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

Changed the tank/regulator, then had to adjust the air mixture on the Eno oven to get a better/hotter burn on propane. Cooktop was fine.
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Old 29-01-2016, 08:41   #11
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

I am reading this thread with interest, however, I am looking at the reverse situation. I have a US boat with propane tanks which I intend to sail to Europe this spring. I have heard of cruisers using the European tanks and keeping their propane tanks as a back-up. Are you saying I would have to then also swap out a converter? Or perhaps my more modern regulator will work fine. Same size fittings? Also, if I think I might need a new regulator, am I better off getting one in the US or waiting until I get to Spain?
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Old 29-01-2016, 08:51   #12
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

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Originally Posted by sailing_gal View Post
I am reading this thread with interest, however, I am looking at the reverse situation. I have a US boat with propane tanks which I intend to sail to Europe this spring. I have heard of cruisers using the European tanks and keeping their propane tanks as a back-up. Are you saying I would have to then also swap out a converter? Or perhaps my more modern regulator will work fine. Same size fittings? Also, if I think I might need a new regulator, am I better off getting one in the US or waiting until I get to Spain?
The issue is a butane regulator doesn't connect to a US propane tank, they have different size threads. You can can certainly hack something together to make it work, but I find it easier to use a propane regulator on a propane tank or use a butane regulator on a butane tank. I also found that the widely available (in the EU) brand - Campingaz - has a connector on it that is different from normal butane tank connectors, hence a third type of connector.

The low pressure side of the regulator is typically a hose barb and clamp.
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Old 29-01-2016, 09:09   #13
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

when you buy a new propane tank you might consider one of the new fiberglass ones no rust and you can see how much propane you have.
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Old 29-01-2016, 09:09   #14
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

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Originally Posted by sailing_gal View Post
I am reading this thread with interest, however, I am looking at the reverse situation. I have a US boat with propane tanks which I intend to sail to Europe this spring. I have heard of cruisers using the European tanks and keeping their propane tanks as a back-up. Are you saying I would have to then also swap out a converter? Or perhaps my more modern regulator will work fine. Same size fittings? Also, if I think I might need a new regulator, am I better off getting one in the US or waiting until I get to Spain?
I have US tanks on my boat which is now in Greece and where, if you ask around, you can get them filled. They probably won't be filled with pure propane but with a butane/propane mix, the majority being butane. I haven't needed to change the regulator, the stove working just fine.

I haven't changed the tanks as the gas locker is shaped to take the US cylinders without rattling and so far I've only found one type of tank from just one country that will fit reasonably well. Then it's a matter of having a hose made up with the right fittings, so it's a "maybe next year" job.

The problem in Europe is that every country has different gas cylinders and they are not normally refillable except by the manufacturer. You swap your empty one for a full one. Regulators also change to suit the tank. What many people do is buy a couple of Camping Gaz cylinders which are available everywhere, having bought a CG to US adapter in the US, but the downside is they are only 3kg and relatively expensive compared with the more usual 12 to 13kg cylinders. There's no easy answer.

Hope this helps

Mike
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Old 29-01-2016, 09:43   #15
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Re: Switching from Butane to Propane Q's

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. Then it's a matter of having a hose made up with the right fittings, so it's a "maybe next year" job.
As I remember, that's "methravio" which usually translates to a few months.
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