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-   -   Propane solenoid questions (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/61276-propane-solenoid-questions.html)

Gene T 01-14-2010 12:16 PM

Propane solenoid questions
 
Propane on a boat is new to me. We have only used the burners on the stove a few times and they work fine. Admiral decided she needed to use the oven for a boat party the other day. Got the oven fired up but it seemed a long time before we could let the handle out and it would stay lit by itself. But that is a secondary issue. After about ten minutes it went out, no gas anywhere. Tried turning the solenoid off and on but didn't have time to play with it at the time. Tried the gas later when I had time and the solenoid seemed to work OK but I noticed it got very hot to the touch (how hot - too hot to keep your finger on so about 60 deg C). So I have two questions.

1. Does the gas failure sound like the solenoid failure?

2. Should the solenoid get hot to the touch?

svHyLyte 01-14-2010 01:05 PM

Bad Solenoid Valve. Fortunately, not too costly to replace. For safety sake, get yours done by a qualified gas appliance tech.

jackdale 01-14-2010 01:20 PM

You might also check the thermocouple in the oven while you are at it.

Can you hear the solenoid "click" when you activate the switch? If it heats up when activates, I agree bad valve.

EDonWalsh 01-14-2010 01:31 PM

I had a similar problem after about 2 years of use. Replaced solenoid in kind and things were OK for about 1 year and problem returned. Replaced solenoid with next size up and have had 4 years wo/ any problems.

Gene T 01-14-2010 01:32 PM

Thanks, I should clarify - the coil on the solenoid gets hot, not the actual valve. I would expect a coil to get warm but wouldn't think it should get that warm. I am tempted to replace it myself but I respect the risk factor.

Agree the thermocouple is suspect, I need to spend some time with it, could just need to be adjusted. Too many things on the boat I don't understand yet.

Gene T 01-14-2010 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by EDonWalsh (Post 559860)
I had a similar problem after about 2 years of use. Replaced solenoid in kind and things were OK for about 1 year and problem returned. Replaced solenoid with next size up and have had 4 years wo/ any problems.

Good tip, I hadn't considered there were different sizes available.

svHyLyte 01-14-2010 07:45 PM

The solenoid valve is nothing but a coil of electic wire wrapped around a cyclinder with a soft iron bar magnet in the center. On one end the iron bar is the needle of a needle valve assembly and on the other a spring that holds the needle valve closed when the coil is not powered. There is very little resistence to create heat save that of the natural resistence of the wire in the coil which, under normal circumstances, may feel warm, but certainly not hot, to the touch. If moisture has penetrated the valve such that the bar rusts and cannot properly move (to open the needle valve) it will create resistence in the coil, hence heat, hence time to replace the valve. The solenoid/needle valve is normally before the pressure regulator hence it is wise to have a qualified tech do the work to ensure you get--in this case--less Bang for the Buck.

FWIW


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