Propane is dangerous. But it’s a great source for cooking, and like lots of other boaters, we use propane for our oven and cooktop. Propane marine installations are done carefully to prevent leaks. Since propane is heavier than air, it can settle below deck and in the bilge where it can be detonated by an engine start-up or electrical spark of any kind. So, it is important to monitor the equipment and to know about any leaks as soon as possible.
Therefore, we include a propane leak detector in our propane system. It is designed to sound an alarm if it senses any leaking propane. We use a Xintex X-2A monitor and leak detector, as it has been recommended as one of the best.
One annoying thing about our sensor is that it wears out every year or two, and as it wears out, the alarm sounds to tell us the monitor is no longer working OR that there is a propane leak. It is a screeching alarm, certain to get our attention. And, when the alarm sounds, it also shuts down the propane flow to the stove. As a result, we can’t use the stove until we reset the monitor or replace the sensor.
We have discussed the frequent failures with technicians at Xintex, and have been told that it’s the nature of the sensor technology that they don’t have a long service life.
The alarms seem to happen in the middle of the night, and we have to jump out of bed to turn off the alarm. Sometimes when we arm the monitor again, the unit will reset and we can continue to use the stove; other times it continues to alarm even after we reset it, and it’s time to replace the sensor. So, we carry spare sensors.
Last weekend the alarm sounded (for the third time this summer), and this time when we reset it, the alarm continued to sound, so we had to replace the sensor in order to silence the alarm and be able to use our stove.
The sensor is mounted under the stove, where the propane plumbing connects to the stove. So Jim has to pull out the stove to get at the sensor. After he replaced the sensor, the propane unit began working properly again, and we were back in business. And, we will continue to carry a spare sensor, and trust the best sensor of all…our noses!