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Thread: Survey: E35-3 Propane Control Panel Location

  1. #46
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddster View Post
    Scratches head... But what if you have two different appliances on opposite sides of the boat? Oh well. My boat probably isn't big enough to have non-proximate areas. I could probably reach the breaker on the main panel with one step from the furnace.
    Standards may have changed since I did a full install of a system on our prior boat. I had a remote shut off for the solenoid valve in the compartment with the tank, and a sniffer by the cabin sole in the main cabin near the galley. There was a manifold in the tank compartment with a separate hose exiting to go forward to the countertop cooker and the other hose went to the "Cozy Cabin Heater."
    The sniffer alarm and the electrical control for the solenoid were in a small panel mounted inside the boat adjacent to the entry.

    I did "test" the sniffer module occasionally by holding a portable propane tank just off the bbq on the stern rail. There was always a tiny bit of gas around the top of the canister after being unscrewed from the bbq and that was enough to provoke a squawk from the alarm.

    We enjoyed having LPG for heating and cooking, but were always a bit paranoid about it... We once visited a larger boat the day after the deck was blown off by an explosion. Not a sight you ever really forget.
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  2. #47
    Contributing Partner MarineCityBrian's Avatar
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    ABYC's verbiage:
    "1.8.1 - A readily accessible manual or electrically operated (solenoid) shut-off valve shall be installed in the low or high pressure line at the fuel supply (see A-1.12 for valve location), The valve(s) or its control must be operable from the vicinity of the appliance(s) in the event of a fire at any appliance(s), If the cylinder valve is readily accessible from the vicinity of the appliance, the shut-off valve on the supply line is not required."

    I'm sure the argument could be made that our DC Panels are within the vicinity of the appliance for most locations within the main cabin, but manufacturer precedence puts a shut off right nearby the stove.
    Last edited by MarineCityBrian; 06-06-2019 at 09:08 PM. Reason: Fixed goofy carriage returns from copying/pasting
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Williams View Post
    It looks like a factory installation. I don't know why a separate solenoid switch was required, or why the stock panel "stove" breaker wouldn't suffice. (I have to turn them both on).

    Anybody know?
    Christian, I was just down on the boat and noticed that my sniffer panel was mounted on a wood panel affixed to the bulkhead. I now think I probably the original configuration was just what you have. And when they added the sniffer on mine they had to add a wood panel behind it since the sniffer is smaller than what you are showing - in other words they had to cover the hole from the original install.

    Now that still doesn't explain why you need two panels one step away from each other to turn off a solenoid. That is the sort of question that requires a fair amount of bourbon to properly contemplate, so I'll put it on the back shelf for now.

    Kevin Wright
    E35 Hydro Therapy

  4. #49
    Contributing Partner MarineCityBrian's Avatar
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    My propane drain is pretty curly-cued; perhaps moreso than yours... And much dirtier....
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Brian Ross
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  5. #50
    Principal Partner footrope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineCityBrian View Post
    My propane drain is pretty curly-cued; perhaps moreso than yours... And much dirtier....
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, that's what mine looked like before I replaced the old sticky vinyl with the reinforced water hose. If water still drains out, there's probably no reason to change it. There was a lot of that vinyl hose in my boat. The water tank vent hoses were that same stuff until I changed them. Thanks for the picture.

    I asked the question about water blocking propane from exiting the locker drain hose if there was a leaky joint or valve in the locker. I am still not completely sure, but I think the answer is "Yes, the water will block the propane from exiting the locker." I did some research this evening.

    The key is the density of the two fluids. Water density is 997 kg/m3 (kg per cubic meter) and liquid propane is just 493 kg/m3. (Edit: I should have used the gaseous state density of propane, which is 1.875 kg/m3 at 15 deg C and 1 bar pressure) That should mean that propane gas will float on top of water. If you think about motor oil and water, and the fact that oil floats on water, it makes sense. if you pour a cup of water into a gallon of 5W-30 motor oil (860 kg/m3), the water finds it's way to the bottom since water is denser than oil. Same reason that water goes to the bottom of our boat and auto fuel tanks. Diesel fuel and gasoline are both less dense than water.

    But what happens to that propane that can't escape the locker through the drain? Well, it will eventually fill the locker, unless there is a hole higher up in the locker that dumps it into the lazarette. If the propane does overtop the locker it drains into the cockpit on my boat. And it goes out the cockpit drain above the water line as long as there is no water trapped in the cockpit drain hoses down in the nest behind the water heater.

    Food for thought.
    Last edited by footrope; 06-20-2019 at 11:20 PM. Reason: Added density for gaseous propane, which is the relavant state for a propane leak into ambient air.
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  6. #51
    Moderator Christian Williams's Avatar
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    While closing up the boat the other day I noticed that the propane bottle valve was open (not the solenoid, the physical valve).

    Hmmm. Probably open for a month.

    So: When cooking aboard, the food for thought afterwards should be a hard chew on the last and most important menu item, namely:

    Confirmation that the propane source has been shut off.
    Thelonious II, E381 hull 513 (1984) Universal 5432
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  7. #52
    Contributing Partner MarineCityBrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by footrope View Post
    I asked the question about water blocking propane from exiting the locker drain hose if there was a leaky joint or valve in the locker. I am still not completely sure, but I think the answer is "Yes, the water will block the propane from exiting the locker." I did some research this evening.

    The key is the density of the two fluids. Water density is 997 kg/m3 (kg per cubic meter) and propane is just 493 kg/m3. That should mean that propane gas will float on top of water. If you think about motor oil and water, and the fact that oil floats on water, it makes sense. if you pour a cup of water into a gallon of 5W-30 motor oil (860 kg/m3), the water finds it's way to the bottom since water is denser than oil. Same reason that water goes to the bottom of our boat and auto fuel tanks. Diesel fuel and gasoline are both less dense than water.

    But what happens to that propane that can't escape the locker through the drain? Well, it will eventually fill the locker, unless there is a hole higher up in the locker that dumps it into the lazarette. If the propane does overtop the locker it drains into the cockpit on my boat. And it goes out the cockpit drain above the water line as long as there is no water trapped in the cockpit drain hoses down in the nest behind the water heater.

    Food for thought.
    The propane will leave the locker as soon as the mass of the propane exceeds that of the water left in the 'trap'. It may still leave a little left in the locker but not much (again, roughly the same amount mass-wise as the water keeping it from exiting the hose).

    As for a solution (ridding the system of the "drain trap"), I'd think one could use a 90 degree thru hull drain fitting for the bottom of the locker. That should allow the tubing to flow only down-hill to the straight thru-hull that goes through the overhang. Probably not a project for me this season, but I'd also like to get rid of those nasty sticky old vinyl hoses at some point, and may consider that upgrade at that time.
    Brian Ross
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  8. #53
    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarineCityBrian View Post
    The propane will leave the locker as soon as the mass of the propane exceeds that of the water left in the 'trap'. .
    Yeah, I thought about that too. But the density Craig quoted for propane is for the liquid. At atmospheric pressure (I.e. an unsealed propane locker) only gaseous propane will be leaking out. Propane gas is only 1.5 times denser than air, so it's not going to be displacing water out of an elevated tube.
    Last edited by Kenneth K; 06-20-2019 at 11:22 PM.
    Ken
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  9. #54
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Well yeah... but I think that D figure is for liquid propane. Were talking about vapor here, so were back to good ol PV=nRT. Its not going to be heavy enough to push water out of a P-trap.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  10. #55
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    Ha. You typed faster than I
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

  11. #56
    Principal Partner Kenneth K's Avatar
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    Yeah, but I forgot the PV=nRT part....
    Ken
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  12. #57
    Principal Partner footrope's Avatar
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    Todd, Ken (others?), good catch on the liquid propane vs. gaseous propane density differences. Gaseous propane is more like 1.875 kg/m3 at 15 deg C and 1 bar pressure. Way less. I will edit the original post to identify the error. Thanks.
    Craig Davis & Ellen Le Vita

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  13. #58
    Curator of Broken Parts toddster's Avatar
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    If our box is truly sealed, except for the vent, any gas expelled will eventually build up enough pressure to bubble out through a P trap.

    In my experience, minor leaks from fittings are about equal to minor leaks out through the lid and make no difference. Remember, the output pressure of a propane regulator is only about 0.4 psi. OTOH, Regulator failure, which I have seen three or four times, creates a lot of pressure in a hurry, and will blow any water out of the trap like spit through a trumpet.
    Last edited by toddster; 06-20-2019 at 11:51 PM.
    s/v arcturus E29 #134

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