Exploding solenoid valves (Magnetic switch block)

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by Acrantophis, 28 Feb 2009.

  1. Acrantophis

    Acrantophis Member

    Messages:
    32
    The pitfalls of buying 2nd hand became a reality for me today, having travelled 120ish miles to pick up a CO2 FE, reg, solenoid valve, and tubing from a seller on here. Got home and checked to make sure that the solenoid was suitable for UK 230VAC supplies and proceeded to plug her in. Switched the unit on and BANG, the side of the magnetic switch explodes in my face. I'm now out of pocket and sore.
    I've contacted the seller but guess I am chasing my tail here as I suspect that they won't accept liabilty despite selling faulty goods, it's difficult to test things out when the seller isn't actually available. Maybe I should of had his father power the thing up before I parted with my cash.

    Following on, can anyone sugest where I can obtain a replacement Jin Ben Sun Co.ltd Solenoid Valve replacement magnetic coil? Given that I am now out of pocket.

    Knew I should have purchased new.
     
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Whilst you're not mentioning names, it might be good to take this up with the seller?

    It is a problem when buying second hand and generally you learn from mistakes, when I bought a recent tank, I didn't hand over any money before checking everything was in working order.

    I have this brand in a kit from this seller.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CO2-magnetic-valv ... 240%3A1318
     
  3. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,289
    Location:
    London
    I have been using the same one too for many months, so far no problems and its not noisy as some people complain some are.

    Think I know who the seller was and as I mentioned to him he was not handling the goods very well after taking them from the tank. We can only warn...

    Hope you can get at least a small refund to contribute to buying a new selonoid. Good luck.

    Also one of the reasons I purchased a new kit for my CO2, I buy a lot of second hand stuff but when it comes to things like this I prefer to play it safe.
     
  4. Acrantophis

    Acrantophis Member

    Messages:
    32
    Fortunately the seller has been understanding and has agreed to send me a cheque to cover the costs of a new solenoid and in doing so has gained my respect. I think the real reason for posting this was not to have a moan, but rather to highlight the potential dangers associated with buying second hand. A couple inches in the other direction could have resulted in an eye being lost, fortunately I only suffered a minor cut and a temporary ringing in the ears from the load BANG. Trust me to have my head within close proximatey, so as to hear the solenoid valve click over.
     
  5. Nelson

    Nelson Member

    Messages:
    2,583
    Location:
    Norfolk
  6. Simon D

    Simon D Member

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    You're not the first (or the last) to want to hear the solenoid click in and out, unfortunately as you've discovered, not a good idea to get too close.

    I remember sparking up my FE the first time and the amount of fear that went through me, but you wouldn't expect a solenoid to explode in front of you.

    Glad to hear you managed to get a contribution for a replacement and you're not too badly injured.
     
  7. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,289
    Location:
    London
    I remember first time I turned on my pressurised CO2 I was about 3 meters away in case it exploded :lol: :lol: :rolleyes:
    Glad you got the issues resolved.
     
  8. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    Messages:
    2,706
    Location:
    Lincoln UK
    I have the aquarianversand/Lunapet solenoid and needle valve on my setup. I can't say that I hear any noise from the solenoid!!!

    I only got the needle valve after the second hand one I had off ebay failed and gassed my fish right at the beginning :) Probably someone had closed it fully and damaged the needle!!!

    Second hand gear problems are a bane of ebay. lol

    AC
     
  9. Tony Swinney

    Tony Swinney Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Cobham, Surrey
    Sorry to hear of your troubles with the solenoid, but pleased you're getting some money back. I've never heard of exploding solenoids - does this happen much ?

    It got me thinking that having my FE set up alongside my tank might not be a good plan - could the force of the exploding 'bit' damage an 8mm tank :wideyed: ?
     
  10. Simon D

    Simon D Member

    Messages:
    460
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Very unlikely that it would damage 8mm float glass. It would have to be quite a big explosion, but if it was to hit something softer (like your face) then this would couse damage.

    It must be stressed, that although Acrantophis sustained an injury this is very much the exception to the rule. (I was going to say one in a million chance but maybe not).

    As these solonoids get older the plastic housing gets more brittle (as they do generate some minor heat) and a short out could be enough to crack them but to make them explode is unusual. Having said that, I have experienced a cheap Chinese bought mini transformer explode in my house (was running a reciever for a CCTV cam, used as a baby monitor) but this had been on for about 18 months non stop.
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Interesting, glad the person sorted it out, I would like to think most people on here are here for the love of the hobby than to con people out of money.

    I must admit all my CO2 kits are a simple cylinder > reg > tubing > diffuser configuration. Less parts means less to go wrong. I don't even use check values as they don't work in my experience. I've had water in most of my regs and they've never rusted.

    Sam
     
  12. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Member

    Messages:
    224
    Location:
    Dalkeith, Scotland
    I have two full kits from that seller.

    One of these soenoids did blow on me but it wasn't the solenoid that was at fault - the non-return valve that comes with the kit is rubbish, it failed and water sucked back into the solenoid when the gas bottle ran out .... BANG!!!!

    Only thing I can say is lucky it took out the solenoid and not the regulator as well.
     

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