Installing the propane system

Propane is kind of scary stuff, at least once a month someone blows themselves (and their boat) skyhigh, like this story http://threesheetsnw.com/blog/2012/02/40-foot-boat-explodes-injuries-one-in-sequim/

However, when used properly with safeguards, it’s a great fuel to cook with.

Needless to say I was extremely careful.

First thing to do was wire up the control panel. This came with the boat, but I removed all the wiring when I was redoing the DC wiring.

Here is the control panel, in retro 80s styling. The way it works is that there is an electric solenoid that is controlled by this panel. Also attached are two propane sniffers that shut down if they detect any propane. In addition, the burners have a thermocouple that shuts down the flame if it’s below a certain temperature. This means that if the flame goes out, it’ll stop the propane from flowing.

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Wiring up a seemingly endless series of connectors with heatsink tubing.

This linked the battery, 2 propane sniffers, the solenoid and the panel itself.

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Putting the bus bar in place, beside the charger.

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Next, time to test!

First, I tested the stove itself


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Result!

The next stage was to test the sniffers were working. In each case I left a burner going, and then got a light and held down the gas button without lighting. In both cases the sniffers detected the gas and shut down the solenoid.  Yeah!

The last thing left to do was something the insurance surveyor noted – I needed to add a pressure gauge near the regulator. This is for testing purposes – you fill the lines with gas and then shut off the valve, and the pressure shouldn’t change in ten minutes, showing you have no leaks.

This was a bit of a hassle and required several trips to the store, since I got several things that either wouldn’t fit, or it all fit but then I couldn’t get the canister back in!

This is the view of the propane holder, you can see the regulator and the solenoid below

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Finally I got the pressure gauge installed and did a test! Note the yellow propane tape (this is real hard to find)

 

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It passed, showing no leaks and with that – my stove safely was hooked up and I could cook!

Matt

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