Noise? Unusual?

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BikerFlex&HappyJen

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When we turn off the propane tanks on our travel trailer and proceed to plug in the electric, hubby noticed a noise coming from the propane tank area....and it goes click....click! Pause. Pause. Click, click! Repeat.

Does anyone know what this is and why it does it? If we unplug the electric it stops.
 
S

sightseers

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probably the pilot light on the water heater trying to light up but there is no propane. Turn the electrical power off to the water heater.
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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Water heater is turned off. So, it must be something else. Thank you for the suggestion. Also, the noise is coming from the propane tank area up front. Water heater is in the very back.

The noise stops when we unplug the electric.
 
S

sightseers

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maybe pilot light igniter clicking on the space heater or the refrigerator ?
 

blw2

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Saint Johns, FL
is there such a thing on RV's as an actuated changeover valve for LP?

On a travel trailer tongue, I can't think of much else that would be up there.
battery.... maybe there's a relay for something at the battery
LP tank(s) and regulators (and sometimes an auto changeover valve)


are you sure the water heater isn't in the front of the rig?  or perhaps the fridge which would be the same sorta thing with the pilot)


otherwise I've got nothin'
 

grashley

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There is absolutely nothing electrical about the LP tanks and regulators.  There may be other electrical relays in that area or under the tanks in an electrical box.  Check under the front of the camper, too.
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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Propane is off, water heater is off, refrigerator is off, stove is off.

Once electric is turned on, the click click starts again.

Front of the trailer on the hitch is two propane tanks (both turned off) and the battery. Noise is defiantly coming from that area. Water heater is defiantly in the very back in the rear corner.

When everything in the trailer is completely off, the click click is present when the main electric is turned on.

Still not sure what the noise is....  :-\
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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Gordon, what is an electric relay? What does it do and what is it for?

I may call the company tomorrow and ask them about this click click. I?m baffled.
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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Brad, I do believe we have one of those auto changeovers on our unit, where if one tank runs out it automatically goes to the other. But both tanks are turned off when we hear the click click....
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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sightseers said:
probably the pilot light on the water heater trying to light up but there is no propane. Turn the electrical power off to the water heater.

How would we do this? As far as we know, the switch inside the cabin up by the tank sensors is turned off. Is there another switch we may be missing?
 

Alfa38User

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BikerFlex&HappyJen said:
How would we do this? As far as we know, the switch inside the cabin up by the tank sensors is turned off. Is there another switch we may be missing?

Depending on the model of the water heater, it may have 2 switches, one for electric heating and one for gas (propane). The propane one likely has a small red light with it. The electric one could be a common household switch but is likely mounted nearby the gas one. The only clicking associated with the water heater will be right at the heater itself and it will come from the igniter trying to light the gas. This is a series of 3 small clicks and then it locks out until it is reset.  The electric side has no noise at all but be aware, turning it on with no water in the tank will blow the element very quickly!!! This does not sound to me like your problem at all.

It looks to me as though you will have to crawl around, perhaps underneath if necessary, and identify exactly where the clicking is coming from. It is very likely to be a relay operating and releasing but.... only you will be able to find it. It may be enclosed in a box and you may be able to feel the vibration if you are right at it's hiding place.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Agree that the sound must be coming from a electrically-operated relay of some kind (also called a solenoid).  They are used to switch power by remote control, but the question is "power for what?".  There would not typically be anything like that related to the propane tanks on a ravel trailer, but there could be something else up front. The trailer battery is probably also up there, for example.

I'm afraid you are going to have to investigate further to pin down where the clicking is coming from.
 

Howard Kelly

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Have you tried removing the propane tanks from your trailer,  Might help locate the problem
 

grashley

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Follow the wires from the battery.  One (NEG) should go straight to the chassis and is the ground wire.  The other Hot wire goes to all things electrical.  Often, that wire will go into a box below the front edge of the camper or under the propane tanks, and that box may contain a relay or auto reset breaker, not visible without opening the box.  Just remove a couple screws and remove the cover.  Just remember one out of 100 have a toy spring loaded snake ready to jump out at you!  ;D  :eek:
 

John From Detroit

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An electric relay is a switch. They come in a whole bunch of configurations but then so do switches.

One configuration is ON/OFF.. (Another is On/ON but a different on)

The relay consists of a magnet (coil of wire around an iron core) and a movable ferromagnatic (metal) plate with an arm with switch contacts.

They are used for multiple reasons. ONE
use of a low power electronic circuit to control a HIGH power device.. Your Isolator on a Motor home is such a device. or many electronic thermostats use a relay to control the device (Furnace or A/C).

Another is to use a light weight switch and wiring to control a Major Power Sucker.  The Starter on your car (No way can you pass starter current through the ignition switch)  Some even use two relays

My motor home the Key switch controls a pilot relay (A small relay in the fuse block in my case....that failed last April)  then that in turns fires up the big starter solenoid.

Thankfully I was able to figure out it was "Most Likely" the pilot relay from the driver's seat and I know where it hides so I quickly pulled it. cleaned it. replace it and VAROOM.

Why you would have a relay on a trailer I do not know but if you do I'd check the area of your Converter. that's where it most likely lives.
 

BikerFlex&HappyJen

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Just a simple follow up.

We took a quick 3 night trip to our local state campground last weekend. After setting up, I proceeded to use the stove and realized it was not lighting. I went outside and switched the switch to the other tank since I believe the original one ran out, stove then lit.

The clicking sound has not been heard since we left for that trip, even though both tanks are again turned off and the electric is plugged in.

We still aren?t sure what caused the original clicking sound, but it?s gone now.

It appears it had something to do with an empty tank, but they were both turned off at the time. Also, nothing in the trailer was turned on for propane...

Nothing has been changed other than the fact that the switch is now over to the other tank.

The odd part....both during the clicking and now, the non-clicking, in both scenarios the tanks were completely turned off. For some reason, the sound may have been because the original tank was empty.

If we have any updates going forward I will try to remember to post here.

Thanks for everyone?s input. Much appreciated!


 

Rene T

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I have to ask, why don't you leave both tanks open all the time? The valve which you had to go out and switch should be a automatic change over valve. So if you are sleeping and the furnace is running and one tank goes empty, the valve will change over to the other tank automatically saving you from having to go outside to switch tanks manually.
 

lynnmor

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Rene T said:
I have to ask, why don't you leave both tanks open all the time? The valve which you had to go out and switch should be a automatic change over valve. So if you are sleeping and the furnace is running and one tank goes empty, the valve will change over to the other tank automatically saving you from having to go outside to switch tanks manually.

I learned the hard way to use one tank at a time.  If and when that auto changeover fails, or you fail to see the flag inside the cover and then have two empty tanks, you will have a much worse day that simply going outside and opening a valve.
 

Alfa38User

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Heh, heh, me too!! I do check from time to time and fill one when necessary but... there have been occasions when I was obliged to fill both at once during the Jan-Feb cold spells. The KOA near us fills the tanks by weight so it doesn't hurt so much to top up a partially full tank .
 
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