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Liquid gas installations on board partially in appalling conditions
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Why should I have a gas check made? In case liquid gas should be escaping on board, I would smell it in time. This still widely spread opinion often prevents skippers from having their liquid gas installation on board checked properly on a regular basis. An extremely dangerous mistake, as confirms Gerhard Robl, the responsible person for the gas checks. Experience has shown: even if only small quantities of liquid gas should leak and gather in the bilge, you either don’t smell anything or, at least, not right away. Should it come to a spark, e.g., by starting an electric engine, this might cause an explosion.

Meanwhile, the gas checks executed by SeaHelp are finding broad recognition in the liquid gas sector. Here, Gerhard Robl is successfully testing a new device for manufacturer GOK which is supposed to simplify the process of checking the gas installation.

“Only recently, during a gas inspection, I was told about my customer’s neighbour who had experienced exactly this. However, the victim had a narrow escape, the consequences of his negligence not to check the installation regularly were “just” a broken leg and some light burnings”, the SeaHelp gas expert reported. The background is physically quite easy to explain: one litre of liquid propane as being found in a gas bottle will evaporate into 260litres of propane gas. Intermingling with the ambient air, this will result in an ignitable atmosphere of 12,400 litres. “In order to correctly assess the problem: only ten litres of this atmosphere are considered potentially dangerous by the trade associations.

Nevertheless, there is no need of being afraid of liquid gas but, in any case, it should be treated with a certain respect. And this includes regular inspections of the gas installation by a proven expert. SeaHelp recognised the need for action at a very early stage and had their staff trained at the famous German Liquefied Petroleum Academy, in order to carry out liquid gas installations on leisure boats in conformity with the law. The corresponding certificates issued by SeaHelp are being accepted by all authorities and institutions in the German-speaking region. And, what is even more important: in the case of a claim, insurance companies require a proof from the boat owner, that he did everything possible to avoid the gas accident. This includes the inspection of the gas installation on board every two years which is compulsory in some states. Should the proof not be available, insurance companies are entitled to refuse settlement in the case of a claim.

It is part of Gerhard Robl’s daily business to experience that the SeaHelp gas check is much more than just as a tiresome duty you would like to spare yourself. “The gas installations of many ships are partially in appalling conditions. Half-worn gas pipes hidden behind paneling, unprofessional electric installations in gas lockers, defective ovens – you won’t believe what I have seen and have been able to repair during last year!” What many owners conveniently forget: Even a small hole, as small as the tip of a pin, might leak so much gas during a certain period of time that this might lead to an explosion.

This is why SeaHelp is insisting to have the liquid gas installation on board checked on a regular basis.

Request a Gas-Check:

Phone: 00385 91 2000 092
Email: gascheck@sea-help.eu

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