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Old 09-13-2009
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Propane (Gas) Sensors


I have recently had sensors fitted to our yacht to detect propane gas in the bilge. I havent been able to use hte stove since because every time we try the sensors activate and cut off the supply at the gas bottle. The lines have been pressure tested, all the connections replaced.... and we even bought a new stove! Still no good. I thought the sensors may have been activated by low voltage rather than any gas detected but that theory went out with the 4 new batteries I installed during the week. I'm stumped! and the gas fitter has been no help either...

Any suggestions gratefully received.

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Old 09-13-2009
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propane sensors

I mounted a Xintex S2A dual sensor unit and placed one sensor under the stove where the gas would settle if a leak at the stove and another sensor back in the lasorette at the bottom where the line comes in through a grommet. My thinking was place the sensors where there could be leakage from abrasion to the hose or fitting fatigue. Also the only point of open flame for iginition would be the stove, second reason for a sensor there. No smoking on my boat, not even the deisel is allowed to smoke....
The mounting instructions were clear on not modifying the cable length for the sensors, they are calibrated at the length as manufactured.
I installed a small 3" bilge fan with flex hose that ran down next to the diesel engine to get the hot air and diesel fumes out of the engine compartment. The 2GM20 had a small leak at the fuel filter bleed screw that needed a new compression washer. The smell is long gone, the fan just helps ventilate the engine compartment.
You may need to add a ventilation fan to the bilge and run it all the time. Small muffin fans commonly used to cool computer cases are low power consumers and can be adapted.
Check the sensors by raising them out of the bilge into the salon and see if they also alarm, if they do try placing the sensors in a plastic bag filled with outside air, no possibility of fumes....
There is the possibility that the sensors were modified in cable length, are bad, or the controller is bad.
Attachment is of my electrical panel, the stove breaker goes to the Xintex controler only.
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Propane (Gas) Sensors-ep.jpg  
Cal 9.2 #19 SilverSwan

Last edited by roline; 09-13-2009 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 09-13-2009
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Like Roline above, I've had the Xintex SA-2 installed for almost ten years -- it's worked well. We've had a couple of sensors go bad, but I'd estimate it's 99% reliable. I test it every now and then and it's never failed to register an alarm when faced with the output put of a butane lighter.

You may have a bad control unit???? or a unnaturally gaseous boat. Eat a lot of beans?
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Old 09-14-2009
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Thanks very much for your advice. The unit I have is a dual sensor with one sensor under the stove and one in the bilge. I'll give the plastic bag test a try. That will help isolate the problem. Last time we tried it we had the gas on at the bottle, but off at the stove. When I turned on the power to the gas the initial test was fine but after 15 minutes, still with the gasline in the cabin closed, the sensors went off again. This does give some support to billyruffn's "beans" theory but I prefer the "faulty control panel" theory.

Still working on it! Thanks again

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