Flame poofer and solenoid valves

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Flame poofer and solenoid valves

Post by paulthewookie » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:35 am

Hi All,

I'm working on my next flame project which is going to have 4 poofers going off in sequences controlled by an arduino. In my last few projects I've used cheaper solenoid valves but we had one of them crap out on us and others are acting strange at times. I used the valves 4 projects ones you get off ebay cause they aren't that expensive. I'm thinking for this project I might spend some more money so I can get more reliable ones plus maybe they have better response time for quick flame bursts??

Anyways I was wondering what solenoid valves everyone uses and if any of you have recommendations/warnings?


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Re: Flame poofer and solenoid valves

Post by Popeye » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:13 pm

I have a lot of gas experience but not much specifically with propane. Here are couple of general comments that might help:
Solenoid valves made for forklifts that run on propane are fairly available and inexpensive, even on Amazon. Depending on your project they may not be rated for the flow you need.
Most solenoid valves used in refrigeration need the oil circulated with refrigerant to lubricate them. You probably don't want these.
Many valves need to be oriented to work properly.
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Re: Flame poofer and solenoid valves

Post by rocco17 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:31 pm

I have used lots of the inexpensive valves4projects solenoids (and I think that what they re-sell at poofersupply). I have not had any problems with them, and they are capable of opening and closing pretty quickly... but, they are definitely on the cheaper side (and not officially rated). Have you contacted the seller about your problems? (I took a class at The Crucible years ago, and the instructor mentioned that one of his previous students had a problem with one of those valves and the seller provided good support and free replacement springs. YMMV - this was 5+ years ago.)

ASCO is a brand that is very well regarded, and offers gas rated solenoids, but they are quite a bit more expensive than what you're using now.

Whatever you decide on, make sure that they have Viton (FKM) or Buna-N (NBR, aka Nitrile) seals, and are rated for the pressure that they will see in your design!

Happy Poofing!

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Re: Flame poofer and solenoid valves

Post by vachot » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:50 pm

I used the cheap solenoids and had no problems using my rig in Michigan, but after running it full tilt out on the playa, the tank frosted up a little and pressure dropped, poofers sputtered and valves would be erratic. I was using 6 poofers on 1/2" lines and one on a 3/4" line, all fed by a 1" manifold. I think it might have worked fine if I had used some kind of tank heater or something to warm the gas, eh.
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