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Old 09-09-2009, 13:27   #1
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Trident Propane Solenoid Problem

The Trident solenoid on my propane system failed after 3 years and 1 x 10lb gas tank. It works when cold but after 20 mins it gets very hot and the gas flow slows down to a trickle. I spoke to Bill Shields at Trident and he explained that the coil was losing its magnetic grip on the plunger.
The heat was not the problem as the coil aparently can get up to 180 degs. It is a random problem that sometimes happens to these units.
He is selling me a replacement at cost as mine is out of warrenty.
I did manage to make a good omlete on the magma grill.
Regards to all
Mark
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Old 09-09-2009, 13:38   #2
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I always carry an extra solenoid as they frequently die. They seem to stop working after the staeaks are defrosted.
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Old 09-09-2009, 13:52   #3
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I've often wondered if the Solenoid is really necessary...? After all, it's the light on the panel that reminds you it's on.... it doesnt shut down automatically when you stop the flow at the appliance. How many times have you looked over while eating dinner or after and noticed the light is still on? How many times have you noticed that you turned the solenoid switch off only to find the burner knob is still on? This may be more dangerous than not having a solenoid, as next time you turn the solenoid on you might still be cutting vegetables...and the un noticed burner is on. With no solenoid the flame will still be going...and you will remember to turn it off.... want to make a million bucks? invent a solenoid that turns off when the flow ceases and get ABYC to recommend it!
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Old 09-09-2009, 18:09   #4
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How about a diaphagm type device which actuates a micro-switch to a shut-off relay feeding the solenoid, when the static pressure increases in the line. There you go
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:06   #5
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hmm... yea I think you're on the right track, the problem is how do you start flow again when the burner is turned on? I guess you have to assume the line stays pressurized to the stove, then have a low pressure activated switch also that turns the solenoid open when the burner is turned on....?
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:04   #6
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Haven't put pencil to paper yet, but I'd bet you could do this with a latching relay.
Basically all you're looking at is a switch that opens on high (static) pressure to de-power the solenoid,and then re-powers the solenoid when the static pressure is reduced. Of course, you can't have both of these functions happening simultaneously, because the solenoid would remain in a powered-up condition . I am visuallising the circuitry that controlled the master/slave set-up on the older Glendenning engine synchronizers, where once the master was pulled back to neutral, you had to re-latch the relay to get the slave to follow the master on throttle-up. Hmmm..next rainy day in the workshop
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:18   #7
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I guess really all we need is a pressure switch like on a home water pump. Too low pressure? turns on, too high pressure? turns off. the trouble with it is if you develop a leak... it turns on! Maybe it just has to be an add-on the the existing Propane panel/solenoid...
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:34   #8
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Trident has had many solenoids that failed. They had a large bad batch of them. I would demand a replacement not just one at cost. In the last four years their solenoids have been very unreliable. Mine failed after two years, my buddies after three. Trident replaced them as we had Beneteau behind us.

The solenoid in my CS36 is 21 years old and still works perfectly. And I took this boat south eight times so it had a lot of use.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:44   #9
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Gosh, I bought a replacement switch a few years ago and did not replace the solenoid because it was working fine and was wondering what to do with it. Now that I read this thread I will keep it as spare.
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Old 10-09-2009, 18:50   #10
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I have taken the plunger out of the solenoid as a tempory measure to get the stove working. I just have to remember to turn off the tank after use.
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Old 10-09-2009, 19:05   #11
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why bother with a solenoid?

My solenoid failed 3 days out of Costa Rica last week. I thought my tanks were emtpy and today took them for refill here in Puntarenas. One was completely full and the other 1/2 full. How to feel like an idiot. The solenoid was likely 20 years old. I can't find a replacement here so I made the connections without a solenoid and wonder. My stove is a Force 10 and if I accidentally turn on a burner knob no gas will escape because the thermocouple isn't hot. So why do I need a solenoid?
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Old 10-09-2009, 19:12   #12
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I think the idea is your tanks are sealed in a locker and are hard to turn off after every meal and pot of joe. So the solenoid is easy. If a propane line or fitting fails the lines are isolated from 20lbs of gas, also easier to shut down quickly if you smell gas. I shut the manual valves when I leave the boat when on board I use the solenoid to toggle in between the times of use and not. Its a pretty cheap fitting for the convienance I have a bypass fitting if the solenoid fails. Hasn't yet but now it probably will.
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Old 12-09-2009, 05:26   #13
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I purchased a new solenoid and control with sniffer by trident last year... installed it and it did not work. Had to send it back for a new one.

Installing it was a real learning experience as I found that the wiring to it was bad, corrosion, non tinned 28 year old wire.... then realized that the propane line was non grommeted and poorly installed. When I bought the boat I noticed that there were some work to be done for sure in the propane locker, but it opened my eyes a bit to propane on board.
My feeling is the solenoid switches are to delicate for that wet of a application. A propane locker on deck, or below deck as mine is, is not really a good place for wires and electrical appliances. Probably just safer to go on deck and open the tank by hand, and shut if off when your done.
For me, I think my propane use will only be for grilling now, and then its a matter of just reaching down, opening the locker, and twisting.
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