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Old 03-02-2012, 07:24   #1
RDW
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Propane Solenoid Failure

First of all I am not the most handy. That is a given.
I have had a boat for 4 years. I have replaced the selenoid 3 times. The last two times it would not open and was becoming hot enough to where you could not hold your hand on it for several seconds. I am using good products, Xintrex. This one failed after doing the Carib 1500 and setting in the Caribbean 3 months. Is this just salt problems with electronics or is there something else going wrong that I could be over looking. It is hooked up to my 12 volt system. It is also hooked up to a Xintrex Fireboy propane-CO2 detector which is new.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:38   #2
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Re: Propane Selenoid Failure

Have you checked the voltage at the solinoid while it is turned on? It sounds to me like you have a low voltage at the solinoid, causing a higher than normal current draw, thus causing the solinoid to heat up.
Quick way to check would be to run a seperate wire run direct from a battery to the solinoid, and see if it heats up then. If it does not heat up, start checking the existing wiring for bad connections. A bad connection will also be heating up, potentially setting up a fire situation.
Pay close attention to the ground side of the wire run, this is usually wher you will find the problem.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:46   #3
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Re: propane selenoid failure

What captain465 said.
and
The Fireboy-Xintex "C-1" LPG gas solenoid is a normally closed solenoid, and must have power applied to open.
When open/on, the valve should only draw about 0.6 Amps at 12V to 15VDC,, and is (heat sink) rated to 2.0 A.
Accordingly, the valve shouldn’t get hot (& fail) due to continuous operation (left on/open).
Notwithstanding, the control switch should be normally left “off” when not actually using gas.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:56   #4
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Re: propane selenoid failure

Please keep us informed as to what you find......everyone here will benifit from the information!!!!
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:56   #5
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Re: Propane Selenoid Failure

I will let everyone know but not quickly. I will not be back on my boat for a few weeks.
Thanks for all the help!
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:03   #6
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Re: propane selenoid failure

I had the same problem with mine - take it apart and clean it up and it will be fine as long as you have proper wiring/voltage. A little wd40 or equivalent should do the trick.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:23   #7
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Re: propane selenoid failure

What do you clean and how?
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:27   #8
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Re: propane selenoid failure

With a solenoid, lower voltage should not cause excessive current (this can happen with a motor that is fed low voltage). Still, check the voltage at the solenoid. These solenoids do run noticeably warm.

I've had my solenoid fail once, after about five years. The mechanism became sticky, I assume due to salt-air corrosion. I would try to protect your solenoid from moisture.

Does anyone think it's possible that contaminated propane is leaving a waxy deposit that is gumming up the solenoid? I've seen fouled pressure regulators in home-propane systems.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:56   #9
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Re: propane selenoid failure

Loosen the scew on the back of the solenoid and take it apart. Clean it with contact cleaner, wd40, or whatever, steel wool, wire brush, etc.
Salt air gumms it up and causes it to stick and lose contact.
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:18   #10
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Re: propane selenoid failure

Thanks again to everyone. I will get back if I have any good information.
I always greatly appreciate all the good advice and especially the timeliness.
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