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Old 09-02-2015, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default Propane shut-off solenoid

I was crawling around under my RV just 'cuz when I reached up and put my hand on the solenoid that is the propane shut-off valve on the output of the propane tank. That thing is HOT. That tells me it's drawing quite a bit of juice.

Why can't they use some sort of valve that latches on or off and requires no electricity to hold open? I can't measure the draw, but I would imagine it's a bit considering how hot that thing gets.

I went ahead and shut it off since it's just parked in the driveway. Cooled off in a matter of minutes.

Eric
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:50 PM   #2
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You are certainly correct that this is a major power suck. I measure .8amp on mine. When I was spec'ing our semi-custom van, I looked at this carefully. I was unable to locate a bi-stable solenoid value for propane. I did find some modular systems that appeared to make it possible to assemble one from components. In the end, I gave up and simply added an indoor switch in series with the outdoor one. We only turn it on when we need propane (which is rarely, since we only use it for the genset and stovetop). The key is a convenient switch with an LED to remind you it is on.

Another thing to consider is safety. In the case of an accident there is a good chance that an active solenoid will lose power and close as fuses blow, etc. A bi-stable valve will stay open.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:54 PM   #3
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They use a solenoid so you can conveniently shut your propane off with a the flip of a switch at an easy location. My Great West Van Legend did not have a solenoid shutoff switch. I had to get down on one knee, reach under and turn a valve. That was very a positive action. Some ferry boarders like to see you actually do it or show them it is shut off. My previous Pleasure-way Plateau had a solenoid switch. Solenoid switches seem like magic. I had no idea where the solenoid was located on the Pleasure-way. Now I have no propane. That's better yet. I wonder if the ferry boarder is going to believe me.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:05 PM   #4
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So do you figure the high temp is normal for this unit?
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:18 PM   #5
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So do you figure the high temp is normal for this unit?
Probably, as solenoids get hot by their nature. If you could put you hand on it, it would be well within normal for most solenoids. We have a manual shutoff that works fine for us, so I don't have personal experience with the propane types.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:35 PM   #6
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Well, it turns out all the solenoid does is change temperature. Gas flows no matter what position the on/off switch is in. Swell.

Eric
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:45 AM   #7
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I was crawling around under my RV just 'cuz when I reached up and put my hand on the solenoid that is the propane shut-off valve on the output of the propane tank. That thing is HOT. That tells me it's drawing quite a bit of juice.

Why can't they use some sort of valve that latches on or off and requires no electricity to hold open? I can't measure the draw, but I would imagine it's a bit considering how hot that thing gets.

I went ahead and shut it off since it's just parked in the driveway. Cooled off in a matter of minutes.

Eric
For safety, LP solenoid valves close in the event of a power failure.

If it is getting hot the valve is probably the type that draw a lot of current, more than the 0.8 Amps quoted by avanti. This is a good article on the subject.
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Old 09-19-2015, 01:52 AM   #8
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Well, it turns out all the solenoid does is change temperature. Gas flows no matter what position the on/off switch is in. Swell.

Eric
on my model dometic ( and many others), there is a manual shut off at the burner...use a screwdriver, to turn 90ļ ( this is just to the left of the pressure test port)

I'd guess that your solenoid is energizing but not moving the pintle

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Old 09-29-2015, 10:00 PM   #9
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I was out playing with the propane trying to trouble shoot this solenoid. Good thing too, because I found a leaky hose that was replaced under warranty. When I asked about the solenoid they said it was normal.

So, when I shut off the propane using the switch inside the coach it takes 2 minutes for the flame on my stovetop to extinguish. Does this sound right? I can understand there is residual propane in the lines after the valve but I don't trust this particular dealership.

TIA,
Eric
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:14 AM   #10
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Two minutes would be exceptionally long based on my experience with my current Interstate and former trailer. The flame on my stove goes out within seconds of turning off the solenoid
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:37 AM   #11
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That's kinda what I thought. They do label it as an emergency shut-off, after all.
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:43 AM   #12
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Propane in the Travato continues to run well after the switch is turned off. Once I forgot the switch was off and was able to light the fridge. Thought something was wrong with the switch or maybe the solenoid was stuck in the open position, something like that.

Took it to the dealer. They had to call Winnebago to figure it out. Turns out there's a large amount of residual propane in the system. If you turn on only the stovetop with the switch off, the burners will run for quite a while. Turning on the furnace depletes the propane much more quickly.
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:47 AM   #13
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Interesting. Might have something to do with that 6" length of 2" pipe that's under there, whatever that's for.

Thanks,
Eric
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:53 AM   #14
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Yeah, Winnebago told the dealer the lengthy pipe holds a lot of propane.
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Old 10-01-2015, 10:33 AM   #15
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My travato K is doing the same thing Eric's is.. no matter what position the 2 switches are in the propane still flows. Had valve replaced early summer when I couldn't get any flow. Heading back to dealer. ...
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Old 10-01-2015, 01:44 PM   #16
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My travato K is doing the same thing Eric's is.. no matter what position the 2 switches are in the propane still flows. Had valve replaced early summer when I couldn't get any flow. Heading back to dealer. ...
Wayne,

I asked a similar question on another forum and the consensus here and there is that the valve is working correctly. There is a lot of propane left in the lines after the valve is closed. Have you tried to run a stove or furnace to see if it the valve actually never closes?

Eric
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:02 PM   #17
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I went out and lit the stove in my van and had the burner set to high. It took 22 seconds for the flame to go out when I closed the manual shut off valve on the tank. Our rigs would be very different but it does take some time to use up the propane remaining in the plumbing.
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Old 10-01-2015, 08:29 PM   #18
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I guess that's what happens. Went out today in cooler upper 50's and could hear valves shut. Heater coded out in about 1-2 minutes and stove ran out just after that...all's well I guess
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