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Old 08-12-2020, 06:57 PM   #1
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Is propane tank valve always on?

Something in this thread https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...-a-210392.html about parasitic draws got me to consider:

Is the valve for the propane tank always energized when the switch is on, even if battery disconnect switch is off?

Guess I have always left the propane tank switch on, unless refilling the tank. Since my previous RVs have had manual propane tank valves, I never even thought about turning the switch off unless storing for a long time. Is there a continuous draw from the valve? I'm not even sure how to tell if that valve is off when my battery is disconnected - maybe try to manually light the stove? Not sure what you can see by crawling under to see the valve near the tank.
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Old 08-12-2020, 08:22 PM   #2
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My understanding is it’s drawing power whenever it’s turned on. Suggest you do the trial you outlined and cut your battery disconnect and see if it cuts the propane. My fear is it may be wired directly to the battery and bypass the master disconnect.

I have the electric valve on my 30FW but since I don’t boondock, it’s not and issue. Many posts about boondockers concerned about the power draw.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:37 PM   #3
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With battery disconnected, could not light the stove. Then I turned the battery disconnect back on, and even before the Precision Plex was finished booting up, I got gas at the stove (well I could hear air immediately, propane that lit 30 - 40 secs later).

My conclusion is that the propane tank shutoff valve is controlled through the battery disconnect, so you would need battery "on" to use any propane devices. With battery disconnected, the "normally closed" valve is closed and does not use power. You do not need to turn off the switch controlling the valve (located at the propane fill on my coach).

Also note that this valve (solenoid actuated) would be a "parasitic draw" if you are concerned with your battery capacity. You could shut it off if you are not using the stove, hot water heater, or furnace and save a few watts.

My manuals supplied by Dynamax include instructions (dated Jun91) for a 3/8"Parker Hannifin Gold Ring Solenoid Valve, Series NM22. I could not find any info on the mfg website for that valve, so can't say what the power draw is for the solenoid. I also did not crawl under the RV to confirm that that is the actual valve installed, as we had a dump of rain this afternoon; standard central FL summer weather.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:07 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback from your test. Our old Isata 3 had a manual valve easily accessed from the side. I wish the design had allowed a manual cutoff as the electric valve is just another point of potential failure.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:23 PM   #5
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Agree, a manual valve is foolproof. But the tank location behind the rear axle on my I4-25FW does not allow that.

On one hand, the tank location is pretty safe. On my previous diesel pusher, the tank was easily accessible w/ a manual valve, but would be vulnerable to a steer tire failure, so always shut the valve when travelling. With this Isata, I feel that the tank is pretty well protected, so have usually left the propane on & thus the fridge can run while on the road. The only downside is that the gas is run through hoses (at least part of the way, I'm not sure about all), rather than hard piped. Guess it all meets Code requirements.
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Old 08-13-2020, 04:29 PM   #6
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Another observation I will make about the propane fill on the Isata 4 is that it seems to be hard to hook up the refill hardware. Every time I have had it filled, the guys seem to fool around for 5 minutes before partially disassembling their hose/nozzle to get it connected to the coach. Seems to be a tight fit inside the little propane fill door and they can't quite get the right angle to start the threads.
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbwood View Post
Another observation I will make about the propane fill on the Isata 4 is that it seems to be hard to hook up the refill hardware. Every time I have had it filled, the guys seem to fool around for 5 minutes before partially disassembling their hose/nozzle to get it connected to the coach. Seems to be a tight fit inside the little propane fill door and they can't quite get the right angle to start the threads.
Here is the fix for this problem. Most places do not have the proper extensions. I bought this and it works great.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/MINI-PROPAN....c100290.m3507
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:32 PM   #8
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Thatís a pricey sucker! When I got to my propane company they always swear about the little door to access the filler but always get it done. You go ahead and attach the extension before they come out to fill?
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Old 08-14-2020, 02:40 PM   #9
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Thatís a pricey sucker! When I got to my propane company they always swear about the little door to access the filler but always get it done. You go ahead and attach the extension before they come out to fill?
Really worth it. I turned the door over so when you open it it hangs down, much easier. A lot of places donít have extensions on the road.
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Old 08-14-2020, 07:16 PM   #10
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Looking at the catalog...

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbwood View Post
With battery disconnected, could not light the stove. Then I turned the battery disconnect back on, and even before the Precision Plex was finished booting up, I got gas at the stove (well I could hear air immediately, propane that lit 30 - 40 secs later).

My conclusion is that the propane tank shutoff valve is controlled through the battery disconnect, so you would need battery "on" to use any propane devices. With battery disconnected, the "normally closed" valve is closed and does not use power. You do not need to turn off the switch controlling the valve (located at the propane fill on my coach).

Also note that this valve (solenoid actuated) would be a "parasitic draw" if you are concerned with your battery capacity. You could shut it off if you are not using the stove, hot water heater, or furnace and save a few watts.

My manuals supplied by Dynamax include instructions (dated Jun91) for a 3/8"Parker Hannifin Gold Ring Solenoid Valve, Series NM22. I could not find any info on the mfg website for that valve, so can't say what the power draw is for the solenoid. I also did not crawl under the RV to confirm that that is the actual valve installed, as we had a dump of rain this afternoon; standard central FL summer weather.
Looking at this catalog for the Gold Ring series coils, all of them consume 6-11 watts except one, and that one is for 1/2" NPT valves. Hence the current draw is somewhere between 1/2 amp and 1 amp.
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Old 08-15-2020, 10:45 AM   #11
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I also saw that catalog, but couldn't find the designated valve either - given the older date on the instruction sheet, it likely has been renamed or replaced. Agree 9.5 - 11.5 watts is the approximate coil power consumption.

Regarding the propane adapter: at that price I'll be glad to let them fool with it for a few minutes. As mentioned, they always manage to get it done.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbwood View Post
I also saw that catalog, but couldn't find the designated valve either - given the older date on the instruction sheet, it likely has been renamed or replaced. Agree 9.5 - 11.5 watts is the approximate coil power consumption.

Regarding the propane adapter: at that price I'll be glad to let them fool with it for a few minutes. As mentioned, they always manage to get it done.

I had run into many places like Flying J, Pilot, Loves etc that could not fill my tank. The $70 is worth not driving around trying to find someone who can fill it, just my take.
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Old 08-16-2020, 01:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldnapapartsguy View Post
I had run into many places like Flying J, Pilot, Loves etc that could not fill my tank. The $70 is worth not driving around trying to find someone who can fill it, just my take.
Same here.....Ordered one. Thanks.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:06 AM   #14
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A little late to the game on this thread, but hereís a picture of the actual valve I removed from our Isata 5. Funny to see 9.5w in one place, but 11w on the coil itself.

It is a Normally Closed (NC) valve, so it must be energized to open.



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Old 09-21-2020, 06:33 PM   #15
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I added a simple switch to turn it off when it's in storage. I just flip the switch when I turn on the tank.
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:34 PM   #16
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Shut off switch.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-21-2020, 08:07 PM   #17
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I'm sure everyone knows that this is wired to the propane and carbon monoxide detector inside the coach. If it detects a propane leak it closes that valve automatically as its designed to do.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:50 PM   #18
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I'm sure everyone knows that this is wired to the propane and carbon monoxide detector inside the coach. If it detects a propane leak it closes that valve automatically as its designed to do.
What he said.

The propane and carbon monoxide detector inside the coach provides 12v to the solenoid to allow propane to flow. Most detectors are hardwired to battery voltage regardless of disconnect switch. If a leak is detected, the detector removes the 12v and propane is shut off. If the battery runs down to where the detector can no longer work (lack of power) the solenoid is deenergized to close off the propane which is a required safety feature.
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