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Old 02-05-2020, 18:12   #1
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Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

I need to build a new propane locker, and I am considering Schedule 80 PVC pipe with welded end fittings. Schedule 80 is rated to 220psi.

I would keep this sealed cylinder (with an integrated vent for overboard discharge) in the lazarette, however the boat is a deep keel boat, so I want to be certain that the cylinder is safe stored in a PVC enclosure.

Thoughts?
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Old 02-05-2020, 18:31   #2
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

If you have an issue, it won’t be with strength, it will be with possible leaking propane. I know you said you will have an overboard drain, but bringing up what is the concern.
Schedule 80 PVC is probably much stronger than the majority of propane lockers, but they are not made to hold propane’s pressure, just strong enough to hold the tanks, with a largish drain, they can’t build up pressure and mine for instance the lid isn’t sealed anyway, so it couldn’t build pressure.
Have you considered maybe storing the tanks on the rail or similar?

What size tanks?
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Old 02-05-2020, 18:46   #3
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

Interesting idea. I was thinking of something similar to store the little green disposable 2lb tanks on the rail. Up untill now we stored them in an inside pocket of the lifeline-mounted cockpit dodger, but they are exposed to moisture and salt spray, rusting out therefore something fierce. A PVC enclosure would protect them from most of the salt spray and rain.

We only use them as a backup for the 20lb tank mounted on the stern rail. We have a "steak-saver" attachment that allows us to hook the little disposable cylinders directly up to the hose that normally goes to the 20lb tank once it is empty.
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Old 02-05-2020, 18:48   #4
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

Buy another aluminum tank and get rid of the rust Bombs.
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:07   #5
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Buy another aluminum tank and get rid of the rust Bombs.
While I don't agree that the small propane bottles are necessarily "bombs," I do agree that there are much better alternatives. In the last few years, the RV industry has developed quick disconnect fittings for propane appliances made of brass that provide a lot of flexibility for connecting to your house gas system. These are essentially same as air hose fittings, but typically with a small valve fitted at the connection to prevent the user from disconnecting when pressurized. No small bottles needed.

Example here.
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Propane.../dp/B007HG7TFO
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:08   #6
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
If you have an issue, it won’t be with strength, it will be with possible leaking propane. I know you said you will have an overboard drain, but bringing up what is the concern.
Schedule 80 PVC is probably much stronger than the majority of propane lockers, but they are not made to hold propane’s pressure, just strong enough to hold the tanks, with a largish drain, they can’t build up pressure and mine for instance the lid isn’t sealed anyway, so it couldn’t build pressure.
Have you considered maybe storing the tanks on the rail or similar?

What size tanks?
The enclosure will be welded and pressure tested.

It will hold a 22 lb composite cylinder.

The boat is a 40's vintage classic, with enough sheets and other lines on a split rig to make rail mounting impractical. Downwind we fly up to 5 sails.
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:09   #7
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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These do not meet ABYC certification.
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:12   #8
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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Buy another aluminum tank and get rid of the rust Bombs.
BTW - the issue I have with exotic material propane tanks is that the valve is supposed to be replaced ever 12 years. Easy for vertical steel tanks - just swap a new one for $40. Fiberglass tanks are the worst - they pretty much have to be returned to Triton for service. Aluminum are are somewhere in between.

Personally, I find it easier to just use steel tanks and replace them when they start to rust in about 8 years or so (Florida).

Peter
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:12   #9
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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These do not meet ABYC certification.
Citation please
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:17   #10
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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These do not meet ABYC certification.
BTW. Assume this is to connect a BBQ. No reason to have a quick disconnect on an interior stove. If the disconnect is outside, leak is not a problem.

Would still like to see the ABYC citation. Would be amazed if using N adapter hose is legit but a purpose-made quick disconnect fitting is not.

Thanks in advance

Peter
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:24   #11
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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Originally Posted by navman View Post
The enclosure will be welded and pressure tested.

It will hold a 22 lb composite cylinder.

The boat is a 40's vintage classic, with enough sheets and other lines on a split rig to make rail mounting impractical. Downwind we fly up to 5 sails.
My guess is that unless there is an overboard drain, this will definitely not be ABYC approved.

Frankly, tough to visualize. When I read your first post, I supposed a length of 4-inch pvc pipe to house 1lb propane bottles for a BBQ. Sounds like you're looking at a larger diameter pipe given the 22lb bottle you're installing. Still needs to drain overboard so if you're installing below decks, you'd probably want to make sure it's kosher on both angles of heel.. The quick disconnect I mentioned is not relevant here. Apologies , I didn't understand

Good luck

Peter
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:28   #12
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Citation please
If certified, it would generally state it meets ABYC.

That said, for ABYC you need fittings rates to 250PSI on all hoses, these are low pressure fittings.
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Old 02-05-2020, 19:50   #13
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
My guess is that unless there is an overboard drain, this will definitely not be ABYC approved.

Frankly, tough to visualize. When I read your first post, I supposed a length of 4-inch pvc pipe to house 1lb propane bottles for a BBQ. Sounds like you're looking at a larger diameter pipe given the 22lb bottle you're installing. Still needs to drain overboard so if you're installing below decks, you'd probably want to make sure it's kosher on both angles of heel.. The quick disconnect I mentioned is not relevant here. Apologies , I didn't understand

Good luck

Peter
It will have an overboard vent to meet ABYC, and discharge above the waterline, but well below the top of the locker.

14" Schedule 80 welded PVC, pressure tested, top loading, with a three clamp closure at the top, with butyl rubber gasket. Integrated solenoid, top exiting hoses attached to fittings integrated into the lid.
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Old 02-05-2020, 21:02   #14
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

As a cruiser in the US, not living at a marina with a car parked at it to make propane runs, finding places that actually FILL your fancy marine cylinder within walking distance is much harde than a ubiquitous propane exhange locker found at just about every convenience store, gas station, Home Depot, Walmart, and even many grocery stores in every small or large town in the country.

We cook a lot so a 20lb tank rarely lasts more than 3 months. Rust is certainly not an issue in that short time span. If your boat sits unused for years at a time in a marina slip then rust might be expected eventually. Even then, just exchange it before but so bad the gas station refuses it.

As for any rigging getting fouled by a stern rail mounted bottle, that hasn't been an issue for us, since the only rigging beyond the backstay are the lines from the monitor wind vane.
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Old 02-05-2020, 21:10   #15
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Re: Sched 80 PVC as propane locker

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As for any rigging getting fouled by a stern rail mounted bottle, that hasn't been an issue for us, since the only rigging beyond the backstay are the lines from the monitor wind vane.
Sail a yawl, with staysails, and low freeboard. Having owned many sloops, I can assure you the it's a whole new level of spaghetti factory. A mizzen makes attaching things to the aft rail (which we do not have) a pain.

We've never had an issue refilling our composite canister. The gas dock near our mooring refills it for us whenever we need to refill it.
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