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Old 17-10-2013, 07:55   #1
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Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

Our solenoid, appeared to be allowing some propane to flow when the switch was in the OFF position. (burner could be lit at a very very low flame.) I removed the solenoid and tested it on a 12v source. Strong position click on click off. Can the seal on a solenoid wear slightly to allow gas to pass? A strong spring forces it closed when the magnet is de-energized, correct?

Any ideas here other than replace it? Any suggestions for a source of a lower cost solenoid. The name brand ones are a little steep. Thanks!
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Old 17-10-2013, 09:08   #2
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

Why worry about a cheaper solenoid? After all, it's just a safety issue. If you are really that hard up for money, just remove the solenoid and depend on the propane tank valve being opened and shut each time you want to boil a pot of water. After a few times, going out in the rain or gloom of night, the more costly, dependable solenoid will seem a bargain. Much more so than the cheapo unit that allowed gas to flow into the bilge and blow the cabin top off. Come on now, you've got a 50 foot boat. You really need to have a better sense of proportion here. Save your money in other ways.
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Old 17-10-2013, 09:20   #3
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

Try blowing through it to test it.
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Old 17-10-2013, 12:13   #4
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

I have always considered propane solenoids an expendable, maintenance item, just like impellers. They don't last very long and need to be replaced periodically. Replace it with a good Trident or Fireboy/Xintex unit.

David
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Old 17-10-2013, 15:02   #5
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

I assume the solenoid valve is installed after the pressure regulator as it should be and not before it. Solenoid valves don't have springs strong enough for tight shutoff if installed upstream of the regulator. The seats in any valve can wire draw and leak over time. Its a $100-$125 valve at defender, so not too bad price wise.
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Old 17-10-2013, 15:19   #6
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

The fireboy-xintex sv-1 valve is about $60 all over the interweb.
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Old 17-10-2013, 15:19   #7
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Try blowing through it to test it.
Yeah, because that will totally tell if the valve has a small leak.
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Old 22-10-2013, 08:00   #8
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

I'm pretty sure this is one of those times it's prudent to just replace a wear item. I'm also pretty sure this is one of those times where the "marine" version of a part is just an industrial part marked up *a lot*. Check here for a solenoid valve that will work for you.
-Tom
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Old 22-10-2013, 08:10   #9
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

Consider propane valves and solenoids to be safety items. If it wasn't designed to be a field-serviceable unit... the most realistic option is simply to replace it.
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Old 22-10-2013, 08:30   #10
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Re: Troubleshooting a propane solenoid?

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Yeah, because that will totally tell if the valve has a small leak.
Actually, sucking on the outlet works better than blowing for small leaks and is quite accurate. You can also blow in the inlet and put a soap solution over the output--any leak big enough to support a burner will make a big bubble quite quickly.
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