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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to buy new hardware from tank to stove for my boat. I was curious if there is a quality difference between Fireboy and Trident in regards to hose, regulator, fittings, etc . I was just going to get the one that looks the nicest as they are both pretty comparable in price on most items.

I was looking at getting the AFC 151 solenoid for the high pressure side as I hear good things about them. So I'm not concerned about shutoff solenoids.

- Ronnie...on the geaux
 

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Getting a sniffer is good advice...but give some thought as to where you mount the remote sensor. Most instructions recommend putting the sensor at the lowest point in the boat because that's where the propane will collect if there is a leak. Which means the bilge.

Unfortunately, the sensors are also sensitive to getting splashed with water. We've had two false alarms. Pretty scary, which is good I guess because a propane leak should get your attention pretty darn quick. But, once we determined the alarm was false, it became a big PITA. We have the Trident. On that, you can temporarily silence the alarm, but if the sensor is still damp it will alarm again 5 or 10 minutes later (and again and again). We had to pull the fuse to the detector to get the alarm to stop, but then we lost the ability to use the propane system. Next time, I think I'll try temporarily disconnecting the remote sensors.

I do not know if the Trident is better or worse in regards to false alarms. I am considering relocating the sensor to a less optimal, but dryer location.
 

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The sniffers are prone to false alarms, but it's probably a matter of the lesser of two evils. If you can find a better location, that's probably a good compromise.

Even the bareboat charter companies, essentially tell you not to call, if you get an alarm. They know how many are false. They want you to shut down all power, open all hatches and ventilate the boat for a period. Then, if it happens again, you can call.
 

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I agree Minne. I'd rather have a few false alarms then no alarm.

Still, too many false alarms can lead to complacency and potentially a tendency to take the alarm less seriously. That's why I think it prudent to try to minimize the false alarms. (Besides the fact they are a royal PITA.)
 

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The PO of my boat did a clever thing. He put the sensor below the gimballed oven and then installed a tall fiddle to fill the lower half of the gap between the hull liner and the bottom of the oven. It acts like a dam for any propane that leaks down from the appliance so the alarm will trip quickly and allows us to store a few flat things in the normally wasted space.
 

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You make no mention of a locker... if our experience was any indication, surveyors and insurance look rather bleakly on installations without locker, however PITA that is. Might think about a locker if you don't have one
Yes I have a dedicated locker.. Has the drain and all. I do have to put a through hull in that is above the water as it was originally t'd into the supper drain which is below the water line.

It's the white lid on the right in the picture. There is another on the other side I may use it for a spare tank locker. The PO used it for storing motor oil and whatever else nasty was in there.

- Ronnie...on the geaux
 

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I forgot to say the alarm, yea I'll get one of those for sure. Well since everyone is happy with both brands, I guess I get what looks best to me.

Yea, I have read about the false alarms being more prominent when the sensor is new. May just be more sensitive out of the box.

- Ronnie...on the geaux
 

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The problem is, you never know where the leak may occur. Connections are most likely, so at the stove or at the tank are high alert. Really good idea not to have any connections hidden anywhere.
I don't believe ABYC allows any connections between the tank and the point of use. If you have intermediate connections, it's a VERY good idea to replace the line with a continuous run.
 

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I have used the Fireboy solenoid alarm systems for about 25 years on two different boats and they have served very well. Never had a false alarm except once when a can of paint leaked in the stern locker. Not really a false trip since the detector actually did detect hydrocarbon, it just wasn't propane.
 

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I don't believe ABYC allows any connections between the tank and the point of use. If you have intermediate connections, it's a VERY good idea to replace the line with a continuous run.
They allow one connection, usually only needed if making the transition from copper line to flex hose for a swinging stove. Flex line all the way from tank to stove is a better choice - that means only the connection to the stove is out of the locker.

I find the better location for the alarm sensor on a sailboat is low under the stove. If the bilge is wet when sailing the sensor could get splashed. That doesn't create a false alarm - it destroys the sensor.

Propane rated hose is available in many locations and custom length hoses are often less expensive than pre-made lengths. Any commercial propane outfit should be able to make one for you to the length required.
 

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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
They allow one connection, usually only needed if making the transition from copper line to flex hose for a swinging stove. Flex line all the way from tank to stove is a better choice - that means only the connection to the stove is out of the locker.

I find the better location for the alarm sensor on a sailboat is low under the stove. If the bilge is wet when sailing the sensor could get splashed. That doesn't create a false alarm - it destroys the sensor.

Propane rated hose is available in many locations and custom length hoses are often less expensive than pre-made lengths. Any commercial propane outfit should be able to make one for you to the length required.
Thanks I'll have to check my local Airgas shop to see if they make hose. I think I'll need longer than the pre-made hoses come in.. At least on Defender.

I should probably take my tank out too and give it a look over as well.

Only another 4 weeks til I get off this ship. /:

- Ronnie...on the geaux
 

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...Yea, I have read about the false alarms being more prominent when the sensor is new. May just be more sensitive out of the box.

- Ronnie...on the geaux
May only work out of the box at all. I believe gas alarm technology has a shelf life. Like CO alarms.
This is kind of scary - or to put it better - could become false sense of security?
How do we know if the alarm is still good, is there a way you can test its sensitivity?
 
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