Your Toilet Macerator Manufacturers Discuss the Importance of Good Shorepower Cord Upkeep
Raritan Engineering yourtoilet maceratorprofessionals would like to share with you this week some great information regarding AC shorepower cord maintenance tips.
One of the often overlooked maintenance items in the pre-season rush to the water is the AC shorepower system. Accredited surveyor and PS ContributorCapt. Frank Laniersent a few scary photos from past surveys showing the common examples of neglect he has encountered.
Barring improper use or some owner fabricated MacGyverism gone bad (jury-rigged adapters, botched plug installations, etc.) overheating and corrosion are the primary causes of AC shore power cord problems. Charred plugs and receptacles are the most common and are a result of resistance build up due to loose or corroded connections, which in turn generate heat and the potential for fire. The problem is especially prevalent among boats that continually run high energy loads such as water heaters and air conditioning units.
Basic inspections of your AC shore power system are easily accomplished and are well within the ability of any boater. The first step is securing all AC power to avoid accidental shock hazards. Turn off your boat’s main AC breaker, then the shore pedestal breaker. Next unplug the shore power cord and verify that all other sources of power (such as power on-demand generators and DC to AC inverters) are turned off and their respective breakers secured in the off position.
Start your inspection with the shore power cord itself, ensuring it’s constructed of proper marine grade components, uses appropriately sized wiring, and is the shortest cord that will get the job done. Always replace cords that show signs of chafe, cracks, split insulation, or those having electrical tape repairs.
Your Toilet Macerator Experts Share Great Maintenance Tips With You
Yourtoilet maceratorprofessionals continue discussing industry standards call for shore cords to have molded-on plugs with sealing flanges or appropriate weatherproof boots. The plugs themselves should be checked each time you disconnect shore power (prior to getting underway for example) or monthly at a minimum, particularly for discoloration or corrosion on or around pins and plug inlets.
By the time discoloration is visible at the front of a plug or inlet, you’ll typically find that the damage is greater upon opening up the back for inspection. If left uncorrected, the damage will snowball (due to increasing resistance and heat buildup) until it burns a hole through the face of the plug, possibly leading to a fire.
When inspecting your shore power cord it’s also crucial to check the dock pedestal outlet and your boat’s inlet receptacle, ensuring both are corrosion free and undamaged. Upon finding a charred power cord plug, many owners simply replace it or the cord itself, only to find the new one also damaged a short time later due to a burned dock receptacle or inlet.
Another good practice is checking the feel of the connection when plugging in. Those that feel loose or don’t seem to be making firm mechanical contact likely won’t provide good electrical contact either. Avoid using worn or damaged pedestal plugs and report them to marina personal as soon as possible.
Practical Sailor has looked at a variety of “smart plugs” that warn owners of impending problems. These include theSmartPlug, which watches for shorts, and Raritan’sreverse polarity alarm.
Boat Maintenance Tips
1. Manage Your Gelcoat with the Right Materials
The gelcoat on your boat needs proper maintenance to continue to protect it yes, gelcoats are strong, but the wrong cleaners can dissolve them or stain them, so pick the right boat cleaners and use them regularly.
2. Wipe Off Moisture Any Moisture
Always keep a couple towels around, and wipe off your watercraft when it is wet. We don’t mean just when you pull out of the water, either although drying after use is an important part of preventing waterline stains. But all types of moisture are bad for your boat if they linger.
3. Know Your Oil Schedule
Be aware of the specific oil requirements for your boat, which vary based on the model and type of engine. Change your oil whenever required. The easiest way is to take your boat to a certified dealer and have them change your oil.
4. Always Check the Engine Before an Outing
A boat engine requires careful maintenance, especially before you take your boat out for an excursion. Every time you use your boat, run through a checklist so that your engine is ready for the journey. Check the bilge and hoses for any sign of leaks, check the fuel level and never go out without plenty of fuel, and check the water coolant level if necessary.
5. Dewax Before Applying a New Wax Coat
A new wax coat is a common pre-season step to getting your boat ready for the waves. However, you can improve the efficiency of the wax coat by dewaxing beforehand. Dewaxing solvents are readily available and easy to use, and your new wax coat will go on more smoothly afterward.
So don’t forget these helpful tips regarding AC shorepower cord maintenance. 1) Botched plug installations, overheating and corrosion are the primary causes of AC shore power cord problems; 2)Charred plugs and receptacles are the most common and are a result of resistance build up due to loose or corroded connections; and 3) another good practice is checking the feel of the connection when plugging in.
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Your Marine Heads Manufacturers Give Pointers on Preventing Engine Overheating
Raritan Engineering yourmarine headsprofessionals would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this week regarding how good maintenanceprevents boat engines from overheating.
Your marine heads specialists share how one of the problems with boats is they live in water that is shared by things like seaweed, algae, mollusks, scum, and sometimes floating trash – all of which can easily find a way into the raw-water intake port.
Kelp and other types of seaweed can easily clog your intakes and cause engine overheating.
I decided to let the engine cool for several minutes while we drifted. That gave me time to assess the possibilities – perhaps the water-pump impeller had failed, or a bit of plastic sheet (maybe a discarded floating sandwich baggie) had been sucked up against the cooling-water inlet, or it might be the raw-water strainer was clogged, or one of the cooling-system hoses had come loose.
Impeller pumps are prone to failure and a good thing to check first. Carry a spare.
Knowing that water-pump impellers are prone to eventual failure, I started there. It took only a few minutes to open the pump, and to my dismay, the impeller looked perfect. As long as I had the pump open, I went ahead and swapped in a fresh impeller, closed things up and started the engine.
Aha! A telltale bit of kelp was poking out of the inlet. I pulled what I could of the slippery seaweed out of the hole but knew there was still more inside. I needed another strategy to fix the problem.
In the Clear
Back topside, I zeroed in on the raw-water strainer once again. Simply looking at it, without opening it, had deceived me into thinking it was OK. It was not. I shut the one of theseacocksto prevent the ocean from rushing in when I opened the strainer housing, then unscrewed the canister. It was full of slime, algae and bits of sea grass.
Now I was puzzled. I clearly had a free-flowing route for raw water to get to the pump and the impeller was turning properly, but no water was being pushed through the system. That’s when I got on the phone and called for some tech advice. The answer I got was so simple, it was almost absurd. Did you lubricate the impeller? the tech adviser asked. With what? I responded. Try dish soap, hereplied.
Use dish soap as an impeller lubricant if you need to replace it in the field. The soap eases impeller installation.
Your Marine Heads Experts Continue Talking About the Importance of Proper Maintenance
One of the problems with boats is they live in water that is shared by things like seaweed, algae, mollusks, scum, and sometimes floating trash – all of which can easily find a way into the raw-water intake port. So how do you keep that from happening? The solution is twofold – routine maintenance and constant situational awareness. Fail here and engine death is not far behind.
Despite the difficulties, or more correctly, perhaps because of them, this boat trip was one of the most valuable we have ever taken. The fact is we rarely learn anything of value when everything is going well. Unfortunately, most of our learning seems to require that we’re tested by challenges, like mechanical breakdowns, to be overcome.
How I Cleaned My Screen: Before
1.When I started to pull the screen out of the raw-water filter housing, I could immediately see the problem. The screen was clogged with slimy yuck that had accumulated over time.
2.Not only was the screen clogged, but also there was something ominous floating around in the bottom of the housing.
3.I poured out the contents and found bits of sea grass that had been sucked in through the raw-water through-hull. It doesn’t take long for a clog like this to overheat an engine.
4.A toothbrush from the toolbox is the perfect instrument to use for cleaning the stainless-steel screen, and also for scrubbing out the housing. No, I didn’t use Becky’s toothbrush. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
Standing Effective Watch
When it comes to the situational awareness part of this story, it all boils down to standing watch effectively. Standing watch isn’t only about looking out for other vessels and being careful not to run aground, although those are important.
Female Cops Inches from Engine after Boat Capsizes. That’s When Stranger Grabs Her Arm
The wakeof Hurricane Harvey was crippling for Texas. Police officers, firefighters, and rescue divers restlessly searched flooded roadways helping anyone and everyone stranded by the storm.
Additionally, civilians played an importantpart in several rescue efforts. Josh Hohenstein, an Army veteran living in Houston, gathered on a boat withlocals Tuesday, Aug. 29 to film the aftermath of Harvey.
During his recording, Hohenstein captured apontoon boat as it flipped over into 15 mile-per-hour rushing water. The vessel, carrying six police officers, suddenly became tangled with a tree before capsizing.
A Facebook post written by Hohenstein said his team rushed over to pull the first responders to safety. The current from nearby Lake Houston was so strong that it was a challenge rescuing one female officer.
The vet credited the successful rescue to driver, Jonathon Crawford. If it wasn’t for his boating skills, the cop would have been inches away from going under the boat’s engines.
Hohenstein said he used all his might to save the cop. I barely caught her by one arm and used everything I had to get her on board, he wrote.
He continued: The world doesn’t judge a man on what he does for himself, but rather what he does for others. Facebook friends agreed with his message, one even calling his team Hurricane Harvey Heroes!”
Wondering where the comments are? We encourage you to use the share buttons below and start the conversation on your own!
So don’t forget these great tips regarding how to avoid engine overheating. 1)Impeller pumps are prone to failure and a good thing to check first. Carry a spare; 2)Use dish soap as an impeller lubricant if you need to replace it in the field; and 3) always have good tools with you.
Buy a marine headhere at Raritan Engineering. We are your #1 expert in marine sanitation supplies.
Your Thru Hull Fittings Suppliers Discuss How to Prepare Your Marina Bound Boat for the Next Tropical Storm
Raritan Engineeringyour thru hull fittings experts would like to share with you this week some great information regarding how to avoid the frustrations of damaging storms to your marine bound boat.
With Hurricane Irma poised to rake Florida and other states with storm surge and 100-plus knot winds, the storm poses a serious threat to boats all along the East Coast.
Practical Sailorhas covered storm preparation on several occasions. The two most extensive articles appeared in July 2008 Gear for Battening Down Ahead of Storms, and Tropical Storms Dos and Don’ts, from November 2011.
Our first choice in a storm is a haul outfacility, preferable well-inland and out of the path of the storm.The facility shouldn’t be vulnerable to storm surge, and it should be equipped with fixed anchors to tie your boat down. Second choice would be a hurricane hole with good holding, again well inland and out of the storm’s path.
Dock line size varies both with boat size and expected wind speed. Boats docked in hurricane or other severe weather areas should consider going up a size from common recommendations.
Loads on the cleat of a 35- to 40-foot boat during an actual hurricane can exceed one ton. While boat buildingstandards (the American Boat and Yacht Council in the U.S.) specify load-carrying ability, some older dock cleats are not up to snuff.
If your boat is 30-feet or longer and you do not yet have mid-ships cleats for attaching spring lines, consider adding them at the next opportunity. These should be sized and backed in the same manner as bow cleats, since loads are the same or greater. t is best aligned to withstand the loads (see above point).
Remember the chafing gear. Preferably something water can permeate for cooling and lubrication. For a round-up of effective chafe gear see Round 2: Chafe Gear for Mooring and Dock Lines, October 2012.
Removing canvas and sails reduces windage. Specifically, remove the furling jib, one of the most common storm casualties. Dodgers and other canvas will also suffer if left up during the storm.
Your Thru Hull Fittings Manufacturers Continue Talking About Protecting Your Valuable Boat During Stormy Times
Use plenty of fenders. Yourthru hull fittingsprofessionals talk about how fenders need to protect you from the dock and neighboring boats. A fender board can be particularly useful in some scenarios.
Check your neighbors’ lines. If the boat appears to pose a threat to your own, try to contact the owner, and notify the marina staff. Failing these, deciding whether to take action yourself is a personal decision. What would you want someone to do if the boat was yours?
Floating versus fixed docks. Properly designed floating docks are generally considered a safer option than fixed docks, with some important caveats. The support pilings must be high enough for the predicted storm surge.
Using anchors. If you side-tie and you don’t have a tie-off point opposite to your dock, well-set anchors with plenty of scope can help relieve the pressure on your fenders. Unfortunately, many marinas offer very poor holding.
Lastly, any marina facing significant storm surge is simply not safe, but those protected from a long fetch by a low wave barrier are particularly vulnerable. Boat owners on the Chesapeake got an expensive lesson in this during Hurricane Isabel.
How To Protect Your Boat During A Hurricane
Boats stored on land tend to fare better than boats kept in the water. If you’re able to arrange haul-out and storage, choose a location on high ground, since low-lying areas are prone to flooding during a hurricane.
Raritan’sMacerating Toilet Distributors Talk About Night Sailing Safety
Raritan Engineering yourmacerating toiletsuppliers would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding the best ways to enjoy night sailing.
Your macerating toilets experts talk about how achluophobia, the fear of the dark, is the third most common phobia in the world, with nearly 75 percent of adults reporting some level of fear when the lights go out. According to researchers at the University of Toronto, the fear of darkness is directly tied to the fear of the unexpected.
Weather and Course
All good sailors know that planning is essential to a successful trip, but when sailing at night it is paramount. Check multiple weather sources frequently and especially in the hours leading up to sunset. Make sure you have studied your charts and know your nighttime route thoroughly.
While you are examining your charts, identify a few key locations (if applicable) you can divert to in the event that you face unexpected inclement weather. The lee of an island, a protected bay, or an alternative harbor facility are all options.
Plan the arrival at your destination during daylight hours, especially if you are unfamiliar with the passage or harbor. Arriving during the day gives you better visibility for unlit markers, natural hazards, and the advantage of knowledgeable harbormasters and dockhands to assist you.
Unless you are sailing solo, it is a good idea to put in place a structured schedule to dictate watch keepingduties while sailing at night. A clear schedule gives all crew members accountability during the passage and prevents individuals from getting overly fatigued and making potentially critical mistakes.
Standard watch keepingis set in four-hour rotations which is the amount of time needed for a full cycle of REM sleep. If there are two people aboard and you are traveling only for one night, the recommendation is to establish a four-hour solo shift, followed by a one-hour shift with both people on watch, followed by a four-hour solo shift.
If there are more than two people on the boat, set up a rotation with a primary, secondary, and off-shift person. The secondary person is on call for assistance that the primary watch keeper may need while the off-shift person gets uninterrupted sleep.
PERSONAL SAFETY & COMFORT
Safety is always the most important factor to consider when sailing, and there are several safety rules that should always be observed when sailing at night.
The first and most important rule is to always wear a lifejacket…and wear it correctly. It’s a hotly debated topic whether you should choose an automatically inflating vest or a manual one (read about The Great Inflatable PFD Debate and get the lowdown on the different styles from an expert).
Stay Fueled + Warm
Food, hydration, and proper attire are important considerations for nighttime crew that are easily overlooked. Having snacks, water, warm beverages, and plenty of layers within reach can make your night shift more enjoyable.
Lastly, think of all the other things you may need to have on deck with you during your shift and have them ready when the time comes. A good kit might include a headlamp, spotlight, smart phone, headphones, Chapstick, Kindle, logbook, and writing utensil.
Be Ready for Changes
If your vessel is not equipped with roller furlings, make sure that you have prepared before dark for potential sail changes, reefing, and wind shifts. If you think the wind is going to lighten up halfway through the night, have a larger geneoa rigged and ready at the bow for a quick and easy change between shifts.
Reporters rescued after boat crash, harrowing night in hurricane-battered bayou
In a harrowing survival story emerging from Hurricane Harvey’s assault on southeast Texas, a pair of journalists documenting a seemingly routine civilian boat rescue survived near-electrocution and blunt force trauma, and clung to tree branches for 18 hours through hallucinations and relentless rainstorms before being rescued by chance late Tuesday morning.
Within minutes, the powerful currents were dragging the tiny vessel toward downed power lines 20 feet away in a swampy offshoot of Houston’s overflowing Buffalo Bayou.
“The boat hit the powerlines, shocked everyone, rebounded back toward me and [then] I remember seeing the black smoke billowing out of the boat.”
Like a bug zapper amplified 10 million times
The two reporters said they had just gotten settled into the bow of the boat and were in high spirits, joking around with each other and anxious to capture some compelling video of a rescue when the accident occurred.
“This went on for probably a couple hours and I kept on saying, ‘Hold on to more branches, hold on to more branches, hold on to more,’ and he finally said, ‘it’s breaking’ and ‘it’s broke’ — and I remember seeing his head bobble away and I remember thinking, ‘Oh no! Oh no!’
Soon there was nothing to do but wait. The rain was pouring down in sheets, darkness was moving in, and the men took turns calling out for help.
Before the afternoon rescue mission, Butterfield and Connellan had given little thought to alerting editors or local officials about their locations for safety’s sake. No one else knew where they were.
“I had some real hope that we were going to be rescued, but sadly no,” Butterfield said. “And then darkness fell.”
So don’t forget these helpful tips for enjoying night sailing. 1) Be sure to plan well in advance; 2) make a good schedule for watchmen; and 3) be safety conscious.
RaritanMacerator Toilet Experts Talk About How Caution Is Needed When Salvaging Storm Damaged Boats
Raritan Engineeringyour macerator pump manufacturers would like to share with you this week some information regarding how to properly rescue a storm damaged boat.
When people are hurt and homes and precious possessions are destroyed or lost forever, a wrecked recreational sailboat seems wholly unimportant. But for many people, the boatistheir home or is connected to their livelihood.
In the coming days and weeks, more people will be returning to their vessels in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and doing what they can to keep them safe. I’ve been through two Category 5 hurricanes (one ashore, one afloat) and several smaller ones.
Here, according to the Boat Owners Association of the United States, are some of the steps you can take to prevent further damage.
If your boat has washed ashore, remove as much equipment as possible to a safe place to protect it from looters or vandals.
Protect the boat from further water damage resulting from exposure to the weather. This could include covering it with a tarp or boarding-up broken windows or hatches.
Your Macerator Toilet Professionals Continue Discussion on the Best Way to Save Storm Damaged Boats
Yourmacerator toiletspecialists talk about how any engines and other machinery that has been submerged or has gotten wet should be “pickled” by flushing with fresh water and then filling with diesel fuel or kerosene.
If your boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, it is not recommended that you sign any salvage or wreck removal contract without first getting approval from your insurance company.
To that advice, I’d add the following: BE CAREFUL!
Some things to watch for:
Do not attempt to use any AC-powered electrical equipment or power hookups that have been submerged until they have been tested and verified as safe.
Avoid entering the water in areas where a threat of electrocution still remains. This is more relevant to freshwater areas, where the risk of electric shock is greater.
Be particularly careful with unfamiliar powered cutting tools, portable generators, or power equipment in general.
In yards or on land, be especially cautious working around boats that are not properly stabilized by jackstands or something similar.
If you will be making an insurance claim or seeking assistance from federal agencies (available to those who work or live on their boat), take pictures of boat damage or damaged equipment, and keep a log of any efforts you take to prevent further damage.
At least 4 loaded Bristol Bay fishing boats swamped in bad weather
At least four commercial fishing vessels partially sankin Bristol Bay after boats heavy with salmon had difficulty navigating poor weather in the region.
Colclough said good Samaritan vessels assisted in recovering everyone on board and no one was injured. He did not know Monday how many people were rescued.
But the sinkings come as the salmon season in Bristol Bay ramps up. Alaska Department of Fish and Game area biologist Tim Sands said fishing in the area had been getting progressively slower since the end of last week, but that Mondaymorning the sockeye run surged.
Official tallies for the day won’t be available until Tuesday, but Sand received reports of vessels delivering up to 17,000 pounds of fish to processors Monday. The average delivery is closer to 3,000 pounds.
Jean Barrett, port director for the city of Dillingham, said he received reports of winds up to 40 miles per hour on the bay Monday. A boat sinking in Bristol Bay is rare, Barrett said, and multiple boats in a single day even rarer.
No fisheries have closed as a result of this incident, but a nearby cannery suspended purchase of fish from the area of the grounding as a precaution.
In an emergency order Monday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game warned fishermen to be alert to any fuel sheens in the areas surrounding the sunken vessels.
Have you ever wondered how a macerator pump works?
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Your Macerator Pump Specialists Give the Instructions Needed to Bleed Your Hydraulic Steering Properly
Raritan Engineering yourmacerator pumpdistributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this month regarding performance enhancing tips for your outboard engine.
Your macerator pump suppliers talk about how steering is arguably the most important system with respect to safe boating. When your hydraulic steering gets spongy, sloppy or otherwise unresponsive, it’s time to check everything for leaks, correct the problem, and then purge the system of air.
For a single-station, one-cylinder rig, start by screwing the filler kit onto a bottle of SeaStar hydraulic-steering fluid. Next, unscrew the vent plug at the helm and insert the hose from the filler kit. Invert and suspend the steering-fluid bottle in whatever way you can.
Allow the hose to fill entirely with fluid while you put clear plastic tubes onto the bleeder valves and run them into a container to collect the excess hydraulicfluid.
The fluid will get low in the supply bottle as you purge, so you need to fill it again with either new fluid or the collected fluid from the bleed valves. Do not let the fluid get below the filler tube, or you will have to start over because air will be reintroduced to thesystem.
Have an assistant turn the wheel clockwise until the cylinder is fully extended. Open the right-side bleeder. Hold the cylinder in place with your hand while your assistant turns the wheel counterclockwise.
Stop turning the wheel counterclockwise. Open the left-side bleeder. Turn the wheel clockwise while you hold the cylinder in place with your hand.
How to Add Fluid to Hydraulic Steering
You turn the wheel, and it feels sloppy or requires extra effort. It’s time to purge and add hydraulic fluid.
In this situation, you’ll need to get some hydraulic-steering fluid that meets Mil-Spec H-5606C standards, such asSea Star/Bay Star No. HA 5430; an adapter hose, likeSea Star No. HA 5438; and a pushpin from the bulletin board in your office.
Thread filler tube into helm pump
Thread bottle of fluid onto filler tube
Poke a hole into the bottom of the bottle (or, cut the bottom off and create a funnel)
Turn bottle upside down (like an IV)
NOTE: AT ALL TIMES BE SURE THERE IS FLUID IN THE FILLER TUBE, IF IT DRAINS OUT YOU ARE PUMPING AIR IN THE SYSTEM AND YOU WILL NEED TO START OVER
Turn steering wheel hard to starboard
OPEN starboard bleeder nipple located on the steering cylinder
Turn steering wheel to the port side pumping air/fluid out of bleeder fitting
When an air free stream is seen, CLOSE bleeder nipple
Continue turning to the PORT side until engine comes hard over
TIP–puncture the bottle on the bottom side, not the very bottom, with the pushpin. Doing so enables you to place the pushpin back in and store a partially-full bottle on a shelf without leaks.
Diesel Outboard Engine
The Coast Guard currently uses both diesel and gasoline to fuel its surface fleet; while diesel is the dominant fuel for cutters and many boats, the service operates hundreds of gasoline-powered outboard engine boats.
The RDC, based in New London, Connecticut, is in the third phase of the project actual testing of diesel outboard engine technology. Testing covers performance assessments as well as long-term reliability, availability and maintenance data collection.
Since this technology is so new, industry partners are just as eager as the Coast Guard to put real operational hours on these engines to better understand their capabilities and limitations, said Lt. Keely Higbie, a member of the RDC’s Diesel Outboard Engine team.
Training Center Yorktown has provided exceptional technical and operational expertise and support to date, working with both the RDC and industry to effectively integrate these engines onto their boat platforms, said Lt. Carl Brietzke, the RDC’s Diesel Outboard Engine project manager.
In addition to hosting a wide variety of Coast Guard personnel and other government agency stakeholders, Training Center Yorktown offers other benefits as well.
To initiate the project, the RDC conducted a market survey to determine the characteristics and development status of diesel outboard engines in the 150 to 300HP range currently available on the market.
Ultimately, the analysis concluded that the Coast Guard can experience significant operation, maintenance, infrastructure and logistics cost savings through integrating diesel outboard engine technology into future boat fleet designs.
Other benefits of a single-fuel fleet: Improved interoperability with Coast Guard cutters, Department of Defense assets, and foreign nations due to increased fuel availability Reduced concerns about fuel availability during natural disasters or other major events Elimination of half of the Coast Guard’s fueling infrastructure
The results of the cost-benefit analysis were briefed to other government agencies and industry at the Multi-Agency Craft Conference in June 2016.
This project is a great example of government agencies working together to eliminate duplication of efforts, said Lt. Steven Hager, Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (CG-926) domain lead for the project.
Your Marine Toilet Distributors at Raritan Discuss Some of the Best Way to Maintain Safety While Using Propane
Raritan Engineeringyour marine toilet systems manufacturers would like to share with you this week some great information regarding great tips for preventing propane leaks.
Simply stated: We are not fans of portable LPG systems on boats.Even fixed propane heating (and cooking) systems that employ all the safety precautions recommended by the American Boat and Yacht Council or comparable advisory bodies can be dangerous, if they are neglected.
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.
Your Marine Toilet Systems Suppliers Continue Discussion About Maintaining Propane Safety At All Times
Yourmarine toilet systemsexperts talk about how 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. Use leak-detection fluid or a detergent solution to locate leaks.
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.
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. If you have one installed, ensure the gas sensor is mounted as low as possible and near the range (where leaking gas is likely to accumulate), and test sensor operation on a regular basis.
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.
Propane Safety for Boats
Relatively speaking, propane is a fairly new fuel aboard boats. As recently as the 1970s, the majority of recreational boats relied on denatured alcohol, kerosene, or diesel for cooking and heating tasks. The downsides to those fuels included fussy pressure tanks and cantankerous burners that often wouldn’t work.
Propane is a great fuel for cooking and heating aboard, but it also deserves a healthy amount of respect.
Also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), clean-burning propane changed all of that – no more hand-pumped pressure tanks or fiddling with clog-prone burners. But propane does have a couple of downsides.
Shut it Off
The best way to prevent trouble between the tank locker and the stove is simply to close the propane tank valve when you’re not cooking or heating.If you tend to forget such things, you caninstall an electric solenoid valve after the regulator in the tank locker to give you a wayto shut off gas flow remotely.
Sniff it Out
Any boat equipped with a propane system should have a propane fume detector installed. Often referred to as sniffers, these devices use a sensor installed in the lowest possible part of the boat near possible leak sources, such as a stove or heater, to sniff out LPG fumes.
Line it Up
The supply lines (generally made of rubber hose) that carry pressurized propane gas from the tank to the appliances in your boat obviously need to be in tip-top shape, so make sure they are not cracked or worn, and are secured with cushioned stainless-steel hose clamps at regular intervals.
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