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Old 08-26-2018, 08:48 AM   #1
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Best practice needed...

Not live aboard but staying overnight more. We have an ABYC propane locker properly vented. Every time weíre done with the cooktop, I shut the gas off at the bottle under the cowl of the flybridge. Iím OCD. Everything is tight.

Shutting off after every use necessary?
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:55 AM   #2
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Depends, but my recent insurance self survey asked me if I did it.... So someone thinks it's a best practice.

I view it much like seafcock closure.

Time aboard versus time away.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:57 AM   #3
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I always did.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:03 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. Id. MY opinion only. If you have a reliable gas leakage alarm, I see no reason to close the tank every time it is used. We tend to open a tank upon our arrival and use the alarm solenoid to shut the fuel supply on and off before and after every use. Tank is closed on our departure.


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Old 08-26-2018, 09:06 AM   #5
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My insurance requires that tank is closed when not aboard. However I usually close the tank when I do not need it, just a precautionary action even if not required.

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Old 08-26-2018, 09:16 AM   #6
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If the electric solenoid works or fails to the shtoff position and is in a properly installed locker or stored in the open air safely......

Turning it off after EVERY use sounds a little excessive to me.

Wanna be totally safe?.....because the tank can vent if the relief valve or the shell becomes faulty...so you should take the tank off the boat if not at anchor. Let's make that a best practice too....
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:21 AM   #7
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Wanna be totally safe?.....because the tank can vent if the relief valve it shell becomes faulty...so you should take the tank off the boat if not at anchor. Let's make that a best practice too....
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:34 AM   #8
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Solenoid system works well. Next weekend we may live on the wild side and leave it open overnight.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:45 AM   #9
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I've had too many faulty valves on propane bottles to ever trust one.

BBQ bottles have the hand valve and one that depresses when you attach the hose. I've had both of those valves malfunction. I treat them like cheap, junk containers for bombs or chemical weapons.

If you swap a 20lb tank at a big box store you probably get only 15lbs of propane.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:56 AM   #10
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Never had one.... Wonder what the real stats are for leaky propane tanks.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:04 AM   #11
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Someday we'll all have to mount the propane tank up on the mast.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:13 AM   #12
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Someday we'll all have to mount the propane tank up on the mast.

Or better yet in a dinghy with a gray water tank floating 25' behind the boat..


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Old 08-26-2018, 10:32 AM   #13
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Propane Statistics


Propane Fire Statistics
One of the most common misperceptions about propane is that it causes and is responsible for the bulk of fires in the United States. Statistics presented by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) do not list propane as a leading cause of fires. In fact, propane is not even listed as a source of residential structure fires in the U.S. Some of the factors that are listed as major causes include cooking equipment, heating equipment, intentionally set fires, candles and smoking materials. The cooking and heating equipment listed could be supplied by propane and in some cases it probably was but the point is this; The National Fire Protection Association does not list propane as a leading cause of fires nor as a leading contributor in fires because propane is not as unsafe as it is perceived to be. See for yourself - NFPA Fire Statistics:Major Causes of Fire

It's also important to note that the leading cause of residential propane related fires involve a a grill, hibachi or barbeque. See Home Natural Gas and LP-Gas Structure Fires. If propane were truly as unsafe as the public often believes it to be, it would be listed as a severe hazard by the authority on fire safety, the NFPA.

Realistic Propane Safety Statistics
Accidents do occur with and around propane but what many will have consumers believe is that propane is an unsafe fuel. But in reality, LP Gas usage statistics combined with accident statistics tell a much different story that is more accurate than what skeptic would have you believe. The statistics provided below are based on information collected and provided by the NFPA between 2000 and 2004 listing LP Gas as the first material ignited in home structure fires. In other words, propane (LP Gas) was the fuel that "started" the fire. In 2001, 9.4 million homes used LP Gas. Numbers don't lie and neither do facts. Make your own decision.




2000-2004 LP Gas Home Structure Fires Statistics
Average Annual Home Structure Fires
Average Annual Civilian Fire Deaths
Average Annual Civilian Fire Injuries
1,390
23
193
Based on these numbers provided by the NFPA, let's calculate the real value in statements such as "propane is a very dangerous fuel" or "propane burns houses down all the time".

.000148 residential structures burned every time LP Gas was the first material ignited
.0000025 people died in every incident of LP Gas being the first material ignited
.000021 people were injured in every incident where LP Gas was the first material ignited
The numbers and statements above seem kind of silly because the occurances of propane fires, injuries and deaths were so very rare for the total number of residential structures using propane. Using these same statistics, look at propane safety from another perspective:

1 in 6,762 homes experienced a fire
1 in 48,704 people were injured
1 in 408,695 people were killed
Skeptics will tell you that propane is so terribly unsafe, that it frequently burns or kills people and blows houses up all the time but did you know that:

Around 100 people die annually as a result of being struck by lightning
About 7,000 people die annually resulting from prescription drug filling errors
90 to 100 people die each year from bee or wasp stings
Around 200 people die each year in floods
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Old 08-26-2018, 11:01 AM   #14
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This is from a BoatUS Seaworthy article from last year. The article was talking about the causes of boat fires. I thought this paragraph was germane to this discussion.

ďStoves. 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.Ē

So according to BoatUS, the incidence of fires from propane are very small. Even so, I have always made it a habit of opening the tank valve before cooking and then usually closing the valve afterwards. Certainly that is overkill and I donít always close the tank after cooking when we are out on the boat for a trip and will be using the stove daily. The tank is always closed when leaving the boat.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:35 PM   #15
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With proper shut offs and leak detectors I think itís pretty extreme to shut the bottle off.

We have propane sensors in the vented tank locker and under the stove. We also have a switch in the galley that energizes a shutoff in the locker - switch has to be On for propane to flow. We turn that off when not in use but thatís it.
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Old 08-26-2018, 03:58 PM   #16
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Thanks for feedback. The opening is tight and I am fat. Cooking doesnít make the second problem better either.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:32 PM   #17
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I think the fear is sensationalized. Can't see propane. Can't smell it until they add the smell. Gas chambers are not nice places. Most people think it explodes.

It has partly earned its reputation. If it collects in an enclosed area and ignites, the results can be dramatic.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:39 PM   #18
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I always understood the danger with propane on boats to be that it is heavier than air. So leaking gas inside the boat could accumulate in the bilge and lead to an explosion. Many years ago I remember the debate over alcohol vs propane. The alcohol stoves would flare up when preheating, but there was almost zero risk of explosion. It seems to me that while the incidence of fire is lower with LPG if there is an incident it may be more catastrophic.
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:15 PM   #19
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True about explosions....but how many happen each year and for what reasons?

So low that if you are even careless with it the numbers are statistically insignificant?

Then what are the numbers with properly installed system operated by careful people?
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:28 PM   #20
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If a gas powered boat here blows up,the propane aspect is explored as carefully as the fuel system,as alternative causes.
I was involved in a case regarding a propane leak inside a house. The propane accumulated at floor level, rising until reaching cigarette level,when there was a massive explosion and fireball, and serious burns. (Ah, the dangers of smoking).
Our system has a valve set into the "ceiling" of the main cabin,we turn it off between uses. The valve at the bottles fitted on the FB is turned on to enable use, and off when we leave the boat. Our stove has flame fail cut off.
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