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-   -   Propane stove safe? (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f55/propane-stove-safe-215464.html)

fgraham 15-03-2019 10:13

Propane stove safe?
 
I have a 2 burner propane stove maybe I should convert it to a safer fuel? I worry about propane settling in the cabin. What is your experience?

Mike OReilly 15-03-2019 10:28

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
So far, no boom :biggrin:.

Despite all the horror stories, the actual rate of propane-induced accidents on boats is exceedingly small. It certainly can and does happen. Propane should be used very carefully, like many other aspects of boating life.

rbk 15-03-2019 10:46

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Keep the apparent respect you have for it and you should be just fine. Itís when people donít respect it and misuse/abuse it, then it becomes an issue.

boatpoker 15-03-2019 10:52

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fgraham (Post 2848431)
I have a 2 burner propane stove maybe I should convert it to a safer fuel? I worry about propane settling in the cabin. What is your experience?

What fuel do you consider safer ?

Jammer 15-03-2019 11:58

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Google "boat propane explosion" and you'll find various anecdotal reports. Propane explosions on boats do happen. I haven't been able to find statistics but it's probably several boats per year worldwide. Locally, over the last couple of years a couple of food trucks, a food booth at a fair, and a house have exploded due to propane leaks.


I took a propane installation out of my boat because I considered it unsafe, and replaced it with an Origo alcohol stove, which I believe is safer. That was far less expensive than fixing the safety problems with the propane system.


Propane stoves can be safe if properly installed and maintained. There's an article here: https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...-Installations that covers most of it, although I think most people now recommend that the solenoid valve be connected to the gas detector so that the flow of propane will be shut off automatically in the event of a leak.

Pavel24 15-03-2019 12:28

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
i am refiting my boat atm, i will keep my propane stove that came with it but i will install 12v propane detector under the stove.

Should be safe with detector and new hoses :smile:

sguerrero1971 15-03-2019 12:53

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
I think that as far as cooking fuels go if like mentioned you keep a healthy respect for it and have it either in a vented locker or on deck you should be fine.

Here is a video showing an attempt and final ignition of a propane explosion.

https://youtu.be/Yxm3uMy6MPI

Mr B 15-03-2019 13:01

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
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,

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,
Fittings can leak over time, Vibration and movement cause this,

12 volt Propane detectors under every appliance and in the bottom of your gas compartment is the best way to protect your self from gas leaks,

Mr B 15-03-2019 13:12

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sguerrero1971 (Post 2848532)
I think that as far as cooking fuels go if like mentioned you keep a healthy respect for it and have it either in a vented locker or on deck you should be fine.

Here is a video showing an attempt and final ignition of a propane explosion.

https://youtu.be/Yxm3uMy6MPI

That final attempt, They had the gas flowing fully, Like a fully open gas line,
You would see that much gas flowing out,
That would be a scary moment,
Turn off the gas bottles and leave the boat for a good while, Hahahahaha

JPA Cate 15-03-2019 13:14

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Countless propane stoves are used, and have been, for over 70 yrs. We don't worry about ours, and we've gone from CNG (in Jim's Yankee30) to propane. Yes, it must be in a locker that vents to out of doors. Yes, sometimes a valve goes bad and one loses fuel. But, imo, here on CF some people exaggerate the dangers of it, the way that many dangers are expanded upon, to make interesting reading. I do believe it is actually true that more boat fires are caused by faulty wiring than any other cause.

As to dangerous fuels, the gasoline that many of us use for dinghy fuel is also a dangerous fuel, and also needs to be handled with care.

What I don't like about alcohol stoves is that it is very hard to see the flame, and at least the old ones, you had to prime, and an invisible, burning spill could happen in a seaway. I experienced an accidental alcohol fire as an 11 yr. old, and I couldn't face the idea of it on a boat. There are a number of people here on CF who like the alcohol stoves.

Propane has more BTUs available than alcohol, and I personally think it is better, in that it boils the water in the morning kettle faster, and you have a hotter oven for baking. However, this is an opinion, as I have no personal experience trying to bake in an alcohol fired oven.

Mr. B's suggestion to turn off the gas bottles when you leave the boat for a period is simply good sense,

Ann

Mike OReilly 15-03-2019 13:25

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 2848510)
Google "boat propane explosion" and you'll find various anecdotal reports. Propane explosions on boats do happen. I haven't been able to find statistics but it's probably several boats per year worldwide. Locally, over the last couple of years a couple of food trucks, a food booth at a fair, and a house have exploded due to propane leaks.

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.

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.

boatpoker 15-03-2019 13:45

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 2848510)

I took a propane installation out of my boat because I considered it unsafe, and replaced it with an Origo alcohol stove, which I believe is safer.

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

Mike OReilly 15-03-2019 15:42

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatpoker (Post 2848566)
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

BP, do you have any sense whether this applies more to the old pressure alcohol stoves? My understanding is the non-pressure versions are considered much safer.

Iíve used both. I never found my old pressure alcohol stove to be hard or dangerous to use, but it did require special care, especially during the priming phase.

Allied39 15-03-2019 15:53

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
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.

boatpoker 15-03-2019 15:58

Re: Propane stove safe?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike OReilly (Post 2848635)
BP, do you have any sense whether this applies more to the old pressure alcohol stoves? My understanding is the non-pressure versions are considered much safer.

I’ve used both. I never found my old pressure alcohol stove to be hard or dangerous to use, but it did require special care, especially during the priming phase.

I have no opinion (hard to believe I know :) ). I just get a little tired of the anti-propane scare mongering. I've never investigated an LPG fire (they do happen) but I've investigated several alcohol fires and quite a few gasoline and many electrical fires.

Electrical fires are far more common than alcohol or propane or gasoline fires so lets get all electricity off our boats.


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