Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Refitting my galley stove from electric to propane

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Refitting my galley stove from electric to propane

    Well, with the CV-19 shelter at home mandate I have decided to pull the trigger on this conversion as a distraction to cabin fever.
    For anyone who has followed some of my other projects I like to share in some detail what I learned and how I approached a project. I am a DIY type and love a good project. I did a fair bit of research on this one and glad I did. I found a lot of important requirements that need to be done to assure the installation is safe. Interestingly, other than the cost of the appliance itself, meeting the requirements of the system does not add a significant cost over what I might have done, but the things specified make a lot of sense for safety.

    First thing is why do this, I have a perfectly functioning princess stove and this is a somewhat high $$$$$ project with some rigorous requirements to do it right.
    so I have two motives.

    a) most of you would quickly identify the benefit of not needing to run the gen when sitting on the hook, and yes we spend more time anchoring out then at any marina. I tend to rise early and always feel that I am a poor neighbor when running the gen to make coffee and breakfast before other boaters are up.

    b) for those of us with the complex power panels and restriction of the 30 amp breakers in the 47s that may be more significant (at least to me it is). Even after 5 seasons I still struggle to manage the power demands and trip that breaker. You simply cannot run everything you might want at any given moment and at most marinas you end up on a 30 amp 120 power pole, breakers end up tripping if you don’t watch what is in use and this refit removes one of the high power draw items.

    I am posting this in segments.to make it easier to follow the different things I learned and did.
    4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

    MMSI: 338013392
    Call sign: Sea Daze

    Exploring the Salish Sea

    #2
    So about the propane delivery system. West marine advisor provides a very good article on what needs to be done, however I also recommend finding the ABYC lpg system standard A-1. I found it in pdf format on the internet and was able to download it for free.

    https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...visor-Articles

    The emphasis on the system is prevention of leaking LPG into the living areas. This is due to propane being heavier than air and it can collect in the low areas of the boat below the water line and cannot dissipate without a forced ventilation.

    The significant requirements are:
    a) no connections of the gas feed line inside the boat, other than right at the appliance This requires a continuos hose from the propane tank to the the appliance. This minimizes possible leaks at connections.
    b) each appliance gets its own feed line from a manifold at the tank. No serial connections, no daisy chaining of appliance. Again this is to reduce inside connections.
    c) you need a shut off valve at the regulator that can be operated near the stove in the galley. This is for emergency shut off if you get a flare up, or detect a leak. The most common approach is an electric, normally closed solenoid valve. A normally closed valve falls shut if you lose power.
    d) location of the tanks is a critical specification. The tanks must either be located outside and away from any opening that would allow leaking LPG into the boat and allow leaking Propane to flow overboard. This requires it to be above the water line.. it is possible to place the propane into a sealed locker, cut into a deck, or side board that has a vent line overboard. This can provide some ability to reduce the obstruction of the tanks, however for simplicity it is common to mount a tank in a bracket on a railing, or in a protective enclosure on deck.
    e) a means for checking for leakage of the system is required. This is done by placing a high pressure gage right at the tank just ahead of the regulator.
    f) a final significant requirement worth note is to place placards at the tank as to how to check for leaks.

    a few other requirements will be mentioned in my description of my installation.
    4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

    MMSI: 338013392
    Call sign: Sea Daze

    Exploring the Salish Sea

    Comment


      #3
      After studying the standard and researching the price of a commercial production locker I decided to build my own tank enclosure. Best price I found for a single tank locker was about $600.00. I used marine grade starboard that I got from interstate plastics. They always have remnants from commercial orders at their store and if you bring cash they sell it for a fraction of the price of an new order. I was able to get more that sufficient materials for less that $50.00. If you have not worked with this material it is great. It cuts a lot like wood and you use wood working tools. The only challenge is it is difficult to glue, most adhesive will not stick so I use stainless steel screws to reenforce 5200 adhesive in the joints.

      I built the enclosure to hold two tanks and it will be located behind the fly ridge settee near the Davit. It will make a nice table top when sitting up deck in the warmer seasons. A requirement of any enclosure is it must be secured to prevent shifting during any adverse sea conditions so I will place screws into and through the back side of the settee

      . The attached photo provide some idea of the construction and I will add additional pictures of the installed enclosure when I am done.


      Click image for larger version  Name:	9490DE34-52D7-480F-B9D8-2C384BD1C965.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	1.82 MB ID:	567463Click image for larger version  Name:	2849A8D5-556B-490A-B039-96C23CA1DA40.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	2.41 MB ID:	567461Click image for larger version  Name:	71418C92-FAED-4C89-BF7B-E3DE25ED5410.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	2.75 MB ID:	567462

      the small area to the left is for the solenoid and manifold connections.

      I did research propane tanks and basically you have 3 choices, standard RV type steel (about
      $50 each) Fiberglass (about $150 each) and aluminum (about $180 each)
      a) steel is the most common and easy to find, very rugged, low cost, however they are a bit heavy and rust is a real issue but it could be managed.
      b) Fiberglass tanks have a lot of appeal, they are relativly new tech, light weight, and you can see through the tank to determine how full it is. The challenge on these is when I checked on reviews some fill stations have never seen them and might not fill them. The tanks also need a recertification test at 5 years vs steel and al at 12 years. The fiberglass tanks need a special testing and often you need to travel.a bit of distance to find a qualified test station. The biggest concern however was a few reports that they can leak at the base of the valve where it is inserted into the tank.
      c) so the premium is aluminum, lighter, rust is not and issue and can be certified at most stations. But cost $$$. As I expect to have the boat for some time I puckered up and went aluminum.
      Attached Files
      4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

      MMSI: 338013392
      Call sign: Sea Daze

      Exploring the Salish Sea

      Comment


      • Mr._Darcy
        Mr._Darcy commented
        Editing a comment
        Try using Boatlife Life Calk. It is a blend of silicone and polyurethane. Very good adhesion to lot of surfaces where other adhesive sealant won't.

        Greg

      • Pacrimrat
        Pacrimrat commented
        Editing a comment
        I also built a duel tank box and mounted it under the bar. I hinged the bar top so I can access the tanks. Only need to do it once a year. I went with standard bottles, cheap and easy to handle. I plumbed in my BBQ and an extra connection for the turkey fryer. (For steaming crabs not turkeys.) It has a 50 foot hose that will reach the swim platform or dock.

      #4
      Getting from the tank into the galley:
      A recommendation From West marine is when running the gas line is to locate it where it can be periodically inspected for chafing or other damage. It also needs to be secured so that it won’t whip, and snag. I will route the line through the settee storage under the seat, into the radio cabinet and down the inside of the side wall on the port side. I have cut a large enough hole behind the FB radio cabinet to get a reasonable look at the line. Since it all gets covered by the radio panel it is completely out of site. This places the hose entry into the galley right into the back side of the galley and stove location. The gas lines are also recommended for replacement at between 10 to 15 years so they need to be accessible and removable for that as well.

      Another item to watch for is running any power wires with the gas line. In the event of any short this could cause heat damage, melting of the hose. I will run it in the same route as the gas line but assure it is secured a few inches away from the gas line.

      To control the solenoid I purchased a defender marine lpg control unit. This has all the on off buttons, status indicator lights, ability to connect up to three leak sensors and has an auto shut if of the solenoid if it detects a leak. The unit I bought was a kit with the control, 1 sensor and a solenoid. About $280. I decided to add a second sensor at $50 additional. I have located one sensor on the toe kick under the galley sink and the second sensor is in the bottom step of the passageway. I figure that gets an early test near the appliance and a second test at the lowest point in the living space. The Defender was the most sensitive of the ones I looked at. It sounds an alarm if the air to gas reaches 10% of the lower explosive limit. The others did not trigger until 20%. The alarm was also the loudest at 90db vs about 70db for others.

      I installed a dedicated always on unswitched circuit with push to reset breaker off the power panel to run the system. I don’t ever want the sensor to be off.


      Overall the installation is not overly complicated but does require a little planning.
      4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

      MMSI: 338013392
      Call sign: Sea Daze

      Exploring the Salish Sea

      Comment


        #5
        Selecting the range/appliance:
        When I started planning this I made a bad assumption that the only difference between a marine grade stove and a typical RV stove was corrosion resistance. I was not real excited that marine stoves started at about $1500 while an RV stove started at about $500. I am far better educated now and very glad I did research on this. ABYC standard A-3 sets requirements for marine stoves. They have a substantial number of safety features included. Again the West marine advisor has a very informative article on galley stoves

        https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...visor-Articles

        Critical features of a marine stove that are not required on an RV stove:
        * all burners and the oven have a flame out shut off to prevent gas flow if the burner is out.
        * there are no open flame pilot lights. All burners light by a spark ignition to assure that no leakage can occur from an out pilot.
        * The oven door has a lock that prevents any items inside from falling out during adverse sea conditions
        * all burners have pot retainers to prevent the pans from sliding around during any movement of the boat.

        The corrosion resistance is the least significant element of the stove, however it is a nice to have feature.

        After doing a little research I determined the Force 10 was the best value. I bought the 3 burner with oven American standard size. A nice feature of the
        Force 10 is the oven door slides back under the range and out of the way. One of the things to consider is the BTU outputs of the burners and oven. I found some lower cost ranges, but they produced lower heat, I found some much higher cost ranges, with more heat but felt the value was not there. I was a bit surprised at the number of different sizes. The Force 10 3 burner with oven has 6 different sizes.
        4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

        MMSI: 338013392
        Call sign: Sea Daze

        Exploring the Salish Sea

        Comment


        • Pacrimrat
          Pacrimrat commented
          Editing a comment
          We went with the Force 10 too. It's been several years and we've never regretted it. The big single burner in front is great for larger pots and pans.
          The broiler is a bit small but works well. We don't cook meat under it, but use it for garlic bread etc. You have to watch it and move things around.

        #6
        The $$$$:
        Force 10,Fisheries Supply, $1450.00
        Force 10 recessed install trim kit $200.00 (Fisheries Supply)
        Defender control kit and extra sensor $350 (online from Defender)
        2 aluminum tanks $400.00 (Sure Marine)
        2 stage dual tank regulator ,high flow, gages for leak testing and misc fittings for manifold $125.00 (Amazon)
        60ft 14 gage marine wire, and terminal blocks, misc connectors, circuit breaker, etc. $50 (Fisheries Supply)
        20ft 3/8 I’d gas hose $105 (online)
        starboard for enclosure $50.00 (Interstate Plastics)

        1 marine grade GFI and electrical box to convert the electric range circuit to an outlet. $40.00 (Amazon)

        $2770.00 total cost.

        While I have spent more on a few of my projects this one is not a low cost one.

        Cabin fever can be costly.
        4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

        MMSI: 338013392
        Call sign: Sea Daze

        Exploring the Salish Sea

        Comment


          #7
          I’m doing armchair cruising. The doctor fairly chewed me out yesterday and limited me to pt exercises only. No working on the boat or in the garage period. I’m probably going to get a straight jacket in the not too distant future.
          P/C Pete
          Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
          1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
          Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
          MMSI 367770440

          Comment


            #8
            KH,
            Nice writeup, thanks for such a detailed post. We're thinking of doing the same on our 38, nice to have a breakdown of the costs and materials. We anchor out a lot as well and it's a pain to run the genny just for cooking.

            James
            1989 Bayliner 3888, 175 Hinos,
            Hurth 630's Onan 8kw MDKD
            Lowrance Electronics!
            Boating on Georgian Bay & the North Channel
            Completed the Great Loop 07/25/19
            AGLCA #8340
            MTOA# 7469

            Comment


              #9
              Good write-up.

              I did a similar thing about 5 yeas ago. My boat had a propane stove already, but my wife wanted an oven. In addition, I was not enamored with the Bayliner OEM propane tank installation on the boat. It was located under the upper helm area and not in a locker. Hypothetically leaking propane would make its way out from under the helm down the fly bridge floor and overboard. In reality there are a lot of areas where leaking propane could pool and it eventually make it's way to the salon or engine room via wire run conduits.

              I bought a Seaward stove at Fisheries. It was right after Seaward was bought and decided to quit making propane stoves, so I got it at a blowout price. I bought a commercially available, dual tank locker and installed on the cockpit hardtop, along with a pait of Aluminum tanks. The OEM propane hose was removed and a new, longer hose was run to the new locker location. An automatic solenoid control with alarm replaced the OEM Bayliner switch.


              Factory Configuration - Stove Top and Microwave:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	3788 Microwave - Stove .jpg Views:	0 Size:	366.0 KB ID:	567615


              New Configuration - Seaward Stove:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	3788 Range.jpg Views:	0 Size:	352.1 KB ID:	567616


              New Propane Locker:

              Click image for larger version  Name:	3788 Propane Locker.JPG Views:	0 Size:	968.0 KB ID:	567617
              1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
              2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
              Anacortes, WA

              Comment


                #10
                Originally posted by Pcpete View Post
                I’m doing armchair cruising. The doctor fairly chewed me out yesterday and limited me to pt exercises only. No working on the boat or in the garage period. I’m probably going to get a straight jacket in the not too distant future.
                I wish I had thought about that, the jacket would have been a huge cost savings
                4788 PH 2001, Cummins 370's

                MMSI: 338013392
                Call sign: Sea Daze

                Exploring the Salish Sea

                Comment


                  #11
                  Knot Happy,
                  That is a really informative write up! Thank you!
                  2000 4788 w Cummins 370's, underhulls, swim step hull extension
                  12' Rendova center console with 40HP Yamaha
                  MV Kia Orana
                  Currently Alameda CA

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Nice work. I also installed a propane Force10 3 burner in our 3870 to replace the stock Princess. We live aboard and consider the upgrade mandatory really, that electric range was so impractical for a boat. The one problem I did run into was the solenoid I used. I installed an AFC-195 solenoid. After a few months of use our stove began to under-perform. It just wasn't getting hot enough and after some troubleshooting it became clear the appliance just wasn't getting enough propane. After much investigation I determined the restriction was coming from the solenoid valve itself. The valve opened and closed properly but for some reason it isn't letting enough gas through. I haven't replaced it yet, I just removed it from the system and everything works great, I suppose I should replace it soon. So anyway, if performance falls off, my failure was not at the regulator, it was the solenoid valve itself, I guess they are somewhat prone to failure. I am absolutely amazed how long our unit lasts on a single 20 pound bottle of propane. We use the burners and oven quite regularly and we get months out of a $12CDN fill at Costco.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      That looks really nice.

                      Our galley has been modified to a propane cook top and a Convection/Microwave oven above. The storage space where the oven would have been is very valuable.
                      I would like to update the black finished Amanda three burner propane slide in cook top to a stainless steel unit. But I have not been able to find a unit that has the front controls as apposed to the top controls.
                      If anyone knows of such an animal, would be very grateful if you could point me in the right direction.
                      Patrick and Patti
                      4588 Pilothouse 1991
                      12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                      M/V "Paloma"
                      MMSI # 338142921

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Great article! Thanks. I thought many times about doing something similar on my 4788 and never got around to it. I have a couple of observations, one is worth knowing, the other probably irrelevant to 99%.

                        1. I have a twin propane system with the same switching valve that you have at my home to feed the Range and a couple of gas fireplaces. I have had this system for 19 years. In that time the switching valve has failed 3 times. The current valve is on its way out. In my failures the first sign is that when I remove one tank from the switching valve, some gas still escapes from the valve through the open connection (obviously the switch is set to the active tank). Its an easy fix. Just ensure both tanks are turned off before removing any tank from the system, just something to look out for. I have 5 or 6 tanks and get through them fairly regularly.

                        2. The second problem, I only discovered when we sailed to the Caribbean. There it is common in many marinas to drop off an empty tank and pick up a full tank the next day. Having carefully labelled my new aluminum propane tanks I was extremely distressed to find someone had taken them and all that was left at the distributor were a couple of old battered tanks. The bottom line is that unless you have transport to get to the actual filling station, you are quite likely to lose your pristine new expensive Alum tanks when you get the Caribbean.
                        Alan Teed
                        MOONDANCE
                        '94 4788
                        Gig Harbor, WA
                        Previously:
                        2006 Hylas 49' blowboat
                        Bayliner 2855
                        1977 Cal 34' blowboat
                        1981 Hunter 33' blowboat
                        Experience: Sail 50 years, Motor 15 years. 2 Transats, 1 Baltimore-Virgin Islands, 6 Months cruising Caribbean, 3.5 years cruising Med.

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Originally posted by Alan_Teed View Post
                          Great article! Thanks. I thought many times about doing something similar on my 4788 and never got around to it. I have a couple of observations, one is worth knowing, the other probably irrelevant to 99%.

                          1. I have a twin propane system with the same switching valve that you have at my home to feed the Range and a couple of gas fireplaces. I have had this system for 19 years. In that time the switching valve has failed 3 times. The current valve is on its way out. In my failures the first sign is that when I remove one tank from the switching valve, some gas still escapes from the valve through the open connection (obviously the switch is set to the active tank). Its an easy fix. Just ensure both tanks are turned off before removing any tank from the system, just something to look out for. I have 5 or 6 tanks and get through them fairly regularly.

                          2. The second problem, I only discovered when we sailed to the Caribbean. There it is common in many marinas to drop off an empty tank and pick up a full tank the next day. Having carefully labelled my new aluminum propane tanks I was extremely distressed to find someone had taken them and all that was left at the distributor were a couple of old battered tanks. The bottom line is that unless you have transport to get to the actual filling station, you are quite likely to lose your pristine new expensive Alum tanks when you get the Caribbean.
                          I have two tanks in m box, same as the OP, but i do not use a three way valve. Instead, I have a hose that I transfer from one bottle to the other. Take only a minute and I keep a cap on the one that is full but not in use so you can easily open the cabinet and see if they are both good or not. Generally, I will fill the one that goes empty right away but have been known to wait for a while. Sometimes until the other one is empty. Not planned just a product of bad memory.
                          Patrick and Patti
                          4588 Pilothouse 1991
                          12ft Endeavor RIB 2013
                          M/V "Paloma"
                          MMSI # 338142921

                          Comment


                          • Norton_Rider
                            Norton_Rider commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I do the same thing. The reliability of auto-changeover regulators in my travel trailer has been poor, so I decided not to use one on the boat.
                        Working...
                        X