Originally Posted by fthurlow
Hello, I have another question for the group - my boat was built to European specs and the previous owner swapped out the propane
tank & fitting for US specs. The US tank is a bit taller than the original and doesn’t fit in the locker so they “modified” the tank with a hammer to make it a bit shorter. Is there another option? Also, there is not an on/off gas solenoid switch. Is this a DIY project
or should an expert handle this? Thanks
Gas systems can be DIY if you are really committed to thoroughly learning
the principles and are confident you can do the work
with perfect quality. The cost of even a small mistake can be life and limb. LPG is especially dangerous on boats because it is almost twice as heavy as air, and any leaked gas sinks into the bilge
, where it can't run out, unlike the case in a building. LPG has greater explosive power per unit of weight than TNT.
Boat gas systems are pretty simple so it's not a ridiculously involved job to figure it all out, but you have to be fantatically thorough if you're going to do it yourself.
Some basic principles (not a complete list):
1. Make sure gas locker is absolutely sealed from the main hull
2. Make sure gas locker drain is unobstructed and without any rises in the piping which can allow water
to collect and block gas flow.
3. Solenoid valve of appropriate type (ignition protected, waterproof). Nerus Gas Alarms sells good ones. Switch with pilot light so you can see if someone forgot and left it open.
4. Quality wiring
to the solenoid using tinned cable of adequate size, and waterproof connectors (I use Molex Perma Seal).
5. Only one appliance per piping run; no t joints. Anyway you don't want more than one gas stove/oven and no other gas appliances
6. Use a quality gas alarm
, preferably with two sensors, one under the stove
and the other in the bilge
. Protect the sensors from moisture.
7. Make piping and hose joints carefully and with appropriate fittings and materials. Test for leaks
with soapy water
. Don't use non-gas rated PTFE tape. Be damned sure you don't mismatch threads or fitting types
8. If you just bought a used boat
, it's a good idea to replace all of the hoses and carefully inspect the piping. You might replace the regulator
as well if it looks old. They are relatively cheap
and don't last all that long.
9. Install a bubble tester and use it frequently (daily, or not less than weekly) to verify absence of leaks
in the system.
10. Be very careful that hoses are not subject to chafe.
11. When you finish using a gas stove
, it's a good idea to leave a burner burning, shut off the solenoid, and let the burner burn out, depressurizing the system.
12. Regularly inspect the whole system.
If you have any doubts about your own abilities, hire a reputable pro! Good luck!