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Old 27-01-2014, 12:07   #1
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Propane solenoid won't stay on

I have a solenoid shut-off installed just after the pressure gauge at the propane tank. The switch is located in the cockpit and has been working great since I bought the boat a year ago. However, I just recently had the issue of it popping off after switching it to 'on'.

Sometimes the switch stays on long enough for me to get the stove's pilot light to go and while I'm waiting for the full burner to light I will hear the switch pop off and the gas will stop. And sometimes the switch will just pop off right after I move the switch to 'on'.

So what keeps the switch in the 'on' position? What would cause it to pop off? I'm guessing if the system somehow senses a leak it would automatically activate the shut-off valve which is the whole point of having it, right? But perhaps if I knew how it worked exactly I could troubleshoot it better.

Thanks all!
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:15   #2
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

If you have a Trident solidnoid they do go bad. They had a batch made that had problems. You can remove the plunger for a quick fix but this is not recomended. The solidnoid will get hot when operating but that is normal. You may need a new unit.
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:22   #3
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

Quote:
Originally Posted by beebopbogo View Post
I have a solenoid shut-off installed just after the pressure gauge at the propane tank. The switch is located in the cockpit and has been working great since I bought the boat a year ago. However, I just recently had the issue of it popping off after switching it to 'on'.

Sometimes the switch stays on long enough for me to get the stove's pilot light to go and while I'm waiting for the full burner to light I will hear the switch pop off and the gas will stop. And sometimes the switch will just pop off right after I move the switch to 'on'.

So what keeps the switch in the 'on' position? What would cause it to pop off? I'm guessing if the system somehow senses a leak it would automatically activate the shut-off valve which is the whole point of having it, right? But perhaps if I knew how it worked exactly I could troubleshoot it better.

Thanks all!
By "switch" do you mean circuit breaker?

Two thoughts...

Switch "pops" because it detects a short somewhere - something is pulling too many amps. Check connections for corrosion, tightness. The solenoid itself may have defects due to corrosion.

If you have a propane detector wired into the circuit then, yes, that could be causing the "switch" to shut off due to a propane leak. Some just make noise when a leak is detected, others may be wired into the power circuit. How is yours wired?


Propane. Be very careful...
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:22   #4
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

**edit**

Yeah, what sv said!
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Old 27-01-2014, 12:55   #5
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

It is normally closed. The electric magnet opens it when power is applied. Corrosion bad wiring bad switch bad solenoid not enough power intermittent power. Check power to solenoid if ok probably solenoid. Could be circuit or switch

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Old 27-01-2014, 22:25   #6
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

I confirmed it's an electric CB issue by disconnecting the propane, flipping the solenoid CB on, then waiting about 17 seconds. "Click:" off it goes. Guess I'll trace the wiring for a short somewhere.

Thanks for the input. I didn't realize the switch was a circuit breaker! Learning every day.
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Old 28-01-2014, 00:04   #7
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

Also, if they are used for long periods of time the solenoid coil over heats and goes bad over time. Switch to a better brand name. The expensive one.
And make sure your wiring is clean and sealed from moisture. May even want to goto a larger wire size.
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Old 17-02-2014, 16:23   #8
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

What is the better/best brand name/model number?
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Old 17-02-2014, 17:38   #9
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

Quote:
Originally Posted by beebopbogo View Post
I confirmed it's an electric CB issue by disconnecting the propane, flipping the solenoid CB on, then waiting about 17 seconds. "Click:" off it goes. Guess I'll trace the wiring for a short somewhere.

Thanks for the input. I didn't realize the switch was a circuit breaker! Learning every day.

Still bet it's the solenoid. To ensure you wiring is good disconnect the solenoid, turn the switch on and the breaker/switch shouldn't pop. if it does the wiring is shorted to ground, but I'd bet lunch its the solenoid
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Old 17-02-2014, 17:39   #10
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

I went with Trident. They have a reputation to keep.

Propane Tanks & System Components | Fisheries Supply
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Old 19-02-2014, 11:58   #11
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

We installed a Trident solenoid that we purchased from West Marine two weeks ago. My husband noticed that when it was operating it was almost too hot to touch. Since we were concerned about the heat in a propane locker as well as wasting energy (excess heat = wasted energy), we used our IR temperature reader on the solenoid and got a reading of 170 degrees! I did some web surfing and found out that hot Trident solenoids are common.

We removed the Trident, returned it to West Marine, and ordered an AFC (Advanced Fuel Components) Model 151 for about $22 from a company called Scrubber City Inc. and installed it. The operating temperature that we read is now 103 degrees and it uses 1 amp of power, which we consider acceptable. So, we saved about $100 and it works better and uses less power.
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Old 19-02-2014, 13:09   #12
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

Interesting story, Annie.

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Old 19-02-2014, 13:54   #13
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Re: Propane solenoid won't stay on

I just bought an AFC 151 from Helmarparts.com for US$17.44 w/free shipping! For that price I decided to purchase two.
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