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Old 07-12-2007, 08:37 PM   #1
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EMERGENCY HELP NEEDED: Clippard Solenoid is extremely hot...

Hey everyone,

I finally got around to getting a 5lb tank and hooked everything up as per the directions. The setup was from Rex Grigg (directions from his site) and it all came pre-installed. All I had to do was attach it to the tank and it was ready to go. I set the low pressure regulator to the proper 1-2bps and hooked it up to my line which was already setup with the DIY (into the PH that disperses the bubbles).

I thought everything was fine but decided to check my fittings. When I was going over the connections I bumped into the Clippard electric solenoid valve. It was as hot as an oven. I almost burned my hand it was so bad. I'm now freaked out as I can't imagine this thing is supposed to be 150F. It is not making any noises however (someone had this same problem but it was buzzing from a google search).

Please someone quickly give me some advice. I have unplugged it for the time being (it seems to be cooling).

EDIT: I wanted to add my initial regulator is set to 11psi as per Rex Grigg's guide. I also have visible bubbles coming out of the PH so there is flow (one thing I read on a google search was the regulators can get very hot if there is no flow).
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #2
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That is all normal. Mine has always run at 175.

If you go to clippards website, it tells you the operating temp there as well.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:17 PM   #3
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Mine is piping hot as well. Nothing to worry about.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:23 PM   #4
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Ooooo... one more reason I'm glad I didn't get a selonoid valve. I wouldn't want to risk having something that hot within reach of my son. Great information guys.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:38 PM   #5
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This makes no sense to me. How the heck can this 1. be safe and 2. only use 5 volts? I have a kill-a-watt meter and connected the solenoid valve to it, and to my utter disbelief its running at 5volts!

I've been quickly reading a lot online and many people with the clippard say it runs extremely hot while others say just warm, and other people say their other brands are cool to the touch. I wonder if there is some setting that is causing the pressure to heat up the valve? I have since dropped the pressure to 8-9psi (from 12) but there is no noticeable difference (ie I would still burn my fingers if I didn't let go). How do you guys set the LPR? I wasn't too sure so my needle valve is doing much of the work (ie I got the bubbles to start with the LPR and then used the needle valve to control the flow).

I wish I had an infrared thermometer because I wouldn't doubt this is over 150F. That's like near fire-hazard range.

EDIT: Found this on Rex's site (Clippard's site had operating temp but I couldn't fine the AFFECT of the valve itself):

"Solenoid. 1/8" NPT ports. 110 volt AC. Has a LED to show power state. Note that these solenoids are rated for a 60įC rise in temperature when operating. So they can and do get quite warm."

This will be great in the winter, but man its like having a candle burning in the room! My AC will need to be on to keep this cool!

I'm just glad this is normal (sorry guys I trust you, but I can't take chances with my daughter and wife). I can now go back to relaxing and watching the fish and plants flourish...
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:45 PM   #6
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I have always found this to be odd. I have two of the Milwaukee MA957 setups and they both run ice cold (room temp). There just does not seem to be any reason for those to run so hot. Perhaps a different brand will operate in a different way, but what a drastic difference.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:15 AM   #7
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All solenoids run hot because of the coils. The only difference on temperature should be your housing for the solenoids.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:36 AM   #8
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All solenoids produce heat, but the heat produced is a function of how they are made. A cheaper solenoid with fewer coils will draw more current to do the same work that a coil with more windings can do with less current. The housing can limit or help heat dissipate, but the difference between one that shows no temperature increase and nearly 100 degrees is probably more than the housing IMO.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:00 PM   #9
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If it's really hot enough that you were worrying about fires...just be careful about your daughter. Make sure it's somewhere she won't be able to touch it and get burnt. (It only takes seconds at 150F, if it's really that hot). Last thing you need is an ED visit.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:43 PM   #10
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I have plans to fix it to the wall or at least house it in a way it cannot be easily moved. It's above her reach for burning right now, but no for tipping it over!

So its been up and running now since Thursday and I have no problems to report. I checked for leaks and have none (noticeable at least).

You have no idea how happy I am not to have to make up another batch of yeast. Tomorrow would have been the day!

I'm going to start a new thread in the next day or two with pics of the setup. I had a recent fish death (the one guy I was treating for parasites and fin nipping in the breeder cage, I had just returned him to gen pop and I found him the next day), so have been busy monitoring tank levels and behavior.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:59 PM   #11
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There's a really easy why to secure the tank if you have a wooden stand. Get a couple of eye screws, a couple of those ovals with the spring latch, and a length of chain that will loop around the cylindar. Attach the eye screws to your stand level with where the curve on the cylindar starts or a touch lower and spaced the width of the cylindar apart. Then attach on of the clips to one end of the chain and attach to the screw eye that is harder to reach. On the other side of the chain find the link that will allow you to clip to the other screw eye just barely. This works great and is very secure.

And I sooooo understand about the delight in realizing you don't have to mix up another batch of yeast.
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Old 07-18-2007, 04:22 PM   #12
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Is there a way to attach say a computer heatsink to it with some thermal paste?
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalfish
Is there a way to attach say a computer heatsink to it with some thermal paste?
That would dissipate heat, but the heatsink would be just as hot.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalfish
Is there a way to attach say a computer heatsink to it with some thermal paste?
Since the solenoid is apparently meant to operate at +60C I don't think it would make a difference. It might actually make it worse since it would need to use additional power to create more heat!

Purrbox,

I have a metal stand that is on 4 legs. It's not sturdy and I wouldn't want to chance tying anything else to it!

If I could start all over again I would purchase a 20 long or 29 instead of my 20 high with no crappy hood and light, right from the start get my 65w Corallife CF and glass top, decide I liked plants and shelled out the bucks for the pressurized system, and stayed the @##$ away from tiger barbs! But live and learn....that's half the fun I suppose (or at least I keep telling myself that).

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