#149355  by Skiwi
 Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:25 am

I'm going to get a gas guy in to check and upgrade some of our line and while he's at it I'm wanting to add an extra level to our glamping experience, your thoughts on the below would be appreciated.

We use gas for cooking and hot water, currently we shut off the gas (to make us feel safe) at the bottle by the manual "wheel valve" except when actively using the gas. This necessitates jumping in and out of the bus to do so.
What I was thinking of was installing a solenoid that has a default (fail-safe) position of off and could be switched on and off from inside the bus (I don't want my wife to get her slippers wet on rainy days ;) )

So the gas would be manually off when the bus is not being used - and I assume the solenoid would draw minimal or no current while also off.

When using the bus the gas would be manually on and solenoid off while driving or parked up when the gas is not being used.

The manual valve and solenoid would be on while the gas is being used to heat hot water or cook.

I have a sturdy solar system so I'm not too worried about current draw, but while in "storage" would like to have the solenoid draw no current if possible.

We do have a gas detector which has never triggered.

Has anyone got a similar set up and if so do have a recommendation for which vale to go for?

Also your general comments, either for or against, on what I propose would be appreciated

 #149362  by mattn
 Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:17 am
Been a few discussions on this over the years. There are two schools of thought.

#1) If you are not absolutely certain about the safety of your gas installation you should deal with that. Fitting a solenoid addresses a problem that should not occur.

#2) Belts and braces - If something goes wrong, you can isolate the gas in seconds. Even better, you can wire the solenoid though your gas detector and have the gas cut of automatically if a leak is detected.

#1 Camp can legitimately argue a solenoid means more things to go wrong, and more cost. Solenoid in the gas locker mean electricity in the gas locker, meaning a potential failure mode that is dangerous. Low voltage and wiring problems means you can loose gas at at any time for reasons unrelated to the gas installation.

#2 Camp can argue that Gas takes no prisoners and anything that makes you safer has to be a good thing. A solenoid wired though to you ignition means forgetting to turn the gas off no longer means driving down the road with the bottle turned on.

I am on the fence on this one. I am a strong believer KISS and safety go hand in hand and would love to see the results of a full FMEA (Failure Mode Effect Anaylsis) study. I do not believe a well maintained motor home, especially with an LPG alarm installed, is any risk to the people using it and am far from certain the complexity required to add a solenoid increases safety.

However, as I do not believe adding a solenoid increases danger in any meaningful way, if at all, I see no reason not to install one if you want.

Be aware that all the work is considered gas fitting and would need to be done by a registered gas fitter. I wonder where the line would be drawn as far as the 12V electrics - is wiring the LPG alarm to the solenoid considered gas fitting? How far back from the solenoid does the legislation require you to be using the services of a gas fitter?
 #149379  by Skiwi
 Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:08 pm
Is it as simple as asking the gas fitter to include this?

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-sh ... 18bbe119a4

Long shot I know.... ;)
 #149380  by mattn
 Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:41 pm
Technically you would become the importer of gas fittings. What this means in terms of regulations is something others know about and beyond my desire to find out. Wild guess you would need all sorts of paperwork declaring the item won't create a black hole that destroys the planet, signed by you. Maybe you can just import it and have it fitted.....

Maybe our resident expert Minnie can chime in here..
 #149400  by vansvilla
 Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:20 am
As has been said, this has been dealt with on the forum before hand.
There was some discussion of fitting some electrical thing, resistor, capacitor, I can't remember what.
This device allowed full current to activate the solenoid then reduced the current as the hold current is less than the retract current saving power.
 #149476  by Grant4747
 Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:41 pm
We bought a gas detector from Burnsco with two seperate detectors on long wires from the main unit so we can have one inside and one in the gas locker.
We also bought the optional solenoid so that it can be turned on and off from inside.
The solenoid should be intrinsically safe.
Bonus is it’s made in NZ
 #149494  by myles
 Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:33 pm
We have a BEP sensor/valve with controller inside. Came with our bus so can't provide detail of install - looks simple enough, but a gas fitter obviously needs to install.

Does draw some current when open (less than 1 amp but close to it - can measure if you need to know).

Takes up to 2 minutes to turn on as it cycles through a test to see if any gas detected before opening the valve (beeps during the test). Draws no power when turned off which fails safe to valve closed. Have never had the sensor trip the valve.

We leave the gas on when the bus is in use, but if it's in storage I will typically turn the gas off at the cylinder.

Quick look indicates that BEP sensor/values are very expensive...
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