Your Marine Holding Tanks Analysts Understand That You May Not Be a Fan of LPG Systems on Boats
Raritan Engineering Company would love to share with you this week this amazing information on marine holding tanks and on how double-checking your propane tanks for leaks is very important.
After my recent post on portable marine heaters and insulation, a few people asked our opinion of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) heaters. Simply stated: We are not fans of portable LPG systems on boats. A boat fire in New England last month offered a pretty good example of the risks inherent with this type of equipment.
In the first part of our upcoming series of tests of propane system equipment, marine surveyor Capt. Frank Lanier outlines the basics of marine propane systems.
Because propane is heavier than air, it can slip into the bilge undetected, where a spark can set the boat ablaze. Propane locker explosions have also occurred.
Here are some of his observations on propane safety:
Every LPG system in the United States is required to have a pressure regulator designed for use with LPG. These pressure regulators have relief valves that can vent gas, so it is critical that this gas cannot make its way onboard.
LPG systems are also required to have a pressure gauge installed on the cylinder side of the pressure regulator. This gauge allows you to quickly and easily check the system for leaks via a “leak-down test.”
Your Marine Holding Tanks Experts Have Seen That Double-Checking Never Hurts Anyone
Your marine holding tanks specialists know that leaks typically occur at fittings and connections, although they can occur anywhere in the system due to chafe or physical damage to supply lines or other system components.
A word on leak prevention at fittings. Typical marine LPG system connectors include 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch NPT (National Pipe Thread) and/or 45-degree SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) flare connections.
Using Teflon tape or thread sealant (also called pipe dope) boils down to personal choice, as both will work fine. Just use one or the other; using both is not recommended. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Check your LPG system regularly for leaks or anytime you fire up that stove or grill. Installation of a marine-grade, LPG “sniffer” or fume detector is also highly recommended.
After cooking, leave one burner ignited and turn off the solenoid or tank valve. When the burner goes out, close the burner valve – this empties the line of gas and prevents leaking should a burner valve fail to seal.
So don’t forget these helpful reminders when double-checking your propane tanks. 1) Every LPG system in the United States is required to have a pressure regulator designed for use with LPG; 2) using Teflon tape or thread sealant (also called pipe dope) boils down to personal choice, as both will work fine; and 3) after cooking, leave one burner ignited and turn off the solenoid or tank valve.
Visit us at http://www.raritaneng.com/ and see how Raritan Engineering always has more information on marine holding tanks and on why double-checking your propane tanks is never a waste of time.