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Old 09-02-2013, 16:08   #1
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Quick Gas Question.

We have a solenoid and DVK Monitoring system with a on demand switch which turns the solenoid on "open" and when switched off, cuts the power to the solenoid "closed".
Arrived back to the boat after 2 weeks away and found that the gas had all leaked out (very dangerous I know).
It turns out that the wife had turned the gas on instead of turning it off when we left the boat and the solenoid was left on purpose, on.

The worrying thing, and yes there are many. is that the solenoid was warm when I felt it, was also a bit loose which is where I think the leak occurred. Note the leak seems to have contained to the self draining locker.

Should the solenoid get warm?
I will attach a couple of pics of the set up.
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Old 09-02-2013, 16:26   #2
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Re: Quick gas question.

I expect the gas you are using is propane. When not using the gas you should close the mechanical valve on the bottle in addition to turning the solenoid valve off. I expect that it is normal for the solenoid to feel warm. You can probably verify it if you look up the manufacturers manual for it.
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Old 09-02-2013, 16:38   #3
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Re: Quick gas question.

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Old 09-02-2013, 16:47   #4
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Re: Quick gas question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Elsewhere View Post
I expect the gas you are using is propane. When not using the gas you should close the mechanical valve on the bottle in addition to turning the solenoid valve off. I expect that it is normal for the solenoid to feel warm. You can probably verify it if you look up the manufacturers manual for it.
Couldn't agree more with turning the valve off, just have to teach the misses difference between clockwise and anticlockwise.

So you think its OK to get a bit warm if left on, can anyone confirm this?

Thanks.. Jeff
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Old 09-02-2013, 17:09   #5
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Re: Quick gas question.

My solenoid gets warm when it's on. It had better, it pulls a 1/2 an amp!
It takes something like 600 degrees to light propane, it doesn't get that warm.
Fix that leak.
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Old 09-02-2013, 17:34   #6
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Re: Quick gas question.

The manual for my Fireboy S-2A propane sniffer/solenoid specifically says that the solenoid will run warm.

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Old 09-02-2013, 17:47   #7
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Re: Quick gas question.

The electrical wiring to the solenoid should have a gas tight seal. Any spark in the wire connection could be a problem if the locker gets filled with gas.
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Old 09-02-2013, 17:56   #8
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Re: Quick gas question.

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Originally Posted by Hoohaa View Post
Couldn't agree more with turning the valve off, just have to teach the misses difference between clockwise and anticlockwise.

So you think its OK to get a bit warm if left on, can anyone confirm this?

Thanks.. Jeff
Normal to get warm, infact it will get quite warm if left on for awhile accidently! I've just replaced the blown red LED indicator light @ the solenoid switch so I don't tend to leave mine on by accident now!
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Old 09-02-2013, 17:59   #9
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It looks like the solenoid is before the regulator. That puts the control on the high pressure side. According to West Marine, it should be on the low side, after the regulator. Could be why the leak.
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Old 09-02-2013, 18:09   #10
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I shut off house power when away. Only the bilge pumps have fused direct power. Did someone forget to shut off the mains.
Yes the solenoid will be warm when energized. Gas should not leek out even if everyone forgot everything.
Solenoid is after regulator like prior post says
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Old 09-02-2013, 18:35   #11
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Re: Quick Gas Question.

My solenoid is warm when in use.

if you left it on for 2 weeks, and it was warm constantly then you may have cooked the rubber o rings inside the solenoid, hence the gas leaking out.

For safety i use a fan / oven timer switch instead of an on off switch to control the solenoid.

Timer switches are available in many timeframes, 5 mins, 30 mins, 1 2 3 hours etc, as they are spring loaded they have to shut off when the times up so that makes them pretty fool proof in my way of thinking.

Maybe its a good heads up for you to reevaluate your gas system?

Matthew
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Old 09-02-2013, 20:38   #12
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Re: Quick Gas Question.

Great advice fellows, I have just got the bottle filled but it now looks like I need to do some more work and checks before I hook it up, and will also be shifting the location of the solenoid as that seems to make more sense.
The only disappointing thing is that none of you thought to point any blame at the long suffering missus. She thanks you.
Jeff
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Old 09-02-2013, 20:41   #13
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Re: Quick Gas Question.

While I am at it. Does anyone know what the secon regulator is?
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Old 09-02-2013, 20:55   #14
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Re: Quick Gas Question.

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Originally Posted by Hoohaa View Post
Great advice fellows, I have just got the bottle filled but it now looks like I need to do some more work and checks before I hook it up, and will also be shifting the location of the solenoid as that seems to make more sense.
The only disappointing thing is that none of you thought to point any blame at the long suffering missus. She thanks you.
Jeff
Looking at your photos,

your solenoid is before your regulator, that is correct, "you don't need to move it".

my system is just like that and it passed gas compliance with no issues.

if you do move it then you will be needing to get your whole gas system rechecked by a licensed gas installer and re-certified.

seems to me that the system was working prior to you leaving it on?

but after you left it on for two weeks you had a problem, so what changed? thats where your problem is.

soapy water over each and every connection in your gas system will tell you where the problem lies. you will need to pressurise the system to do this though.

The gas sensor control unit that you have shown in your second photos is able (on most of them) to be able to have a second "sniffer" which is available from your local whitworths or bias stores to be connected to it, and you could put that system in your gas locker to let you know if you have a leak.

as for you last question it looks just like a typical 2 stage regulator to me from your picture, so the second regulator is just the second pressure drop.

lastly why blame your wife for a system that seems to have a inbuilt problem ie being able to forget to turn the switch the right way and no timer on the solenoid to cut it out in case you forget to turn the switch off?

regards,

Matthew
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Old 09-02-2013, 21:10   #15
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Re: Quick Gas Question.

Thanks Mathew.
Previously the wire running to the solenoid came up from below, not from the side as shown on the pic. I was able to turn it to that position easily, by hand. I got the impression that it may have been loose?
I will give it all a good going over before I hook it up and then allot of soapy water.
I have a healthy dose of paranoia and after all that, will still put my fingers in my ears when I light it up for the first time.
Thanks again, this advice was exactly what I needed.
Jeff
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