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Old 08-22-2009, 09:24 PM   #1
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Bizarre HWH Leak @ solenoid

Walking by rig this a.m. I noticed an oil drip under the HWH compartment. Inside there was more than a bit of oil film on the compartment floor.
Leak is out of the back of one slide solenoid. the back outside diameter part of solenoid is coming apart from the cylindrical outside; there appears to be a sort of crimp seal for the body & rear cap. The body is slightly expanded, cap slightly pushed out at the bottom, and it leaks about 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of oil each time I operate a SmartBed or slide.
This solenoid's 2-wire connector isn't plugged into anything, 3rd from PS and facing forward, and the solenoid opposite (3rd from PS facing rearward) isn't plugged into anything either. I'm guessing the manifold was set up for a 3 slide coach?

Anybody know how much these solenoids cost?
Anybody know how long the HWH warranty is (I guess I missed the fact that there was zero HWH docs w/the coach)?
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:41 AM   #2
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Based on my experience with HWH, I'd give them a call Monday morning and see how they respond. I'd expect that they'd cover it under warranty. You've just got to be patient with them, they've got a limited number of people who work the phones, but eventually they do call you back, and they were very responsive and supportive when I had the bedroom hydraulic line burst (same old problem with the 34-36'ers). And, you can probably find your documentation up on their website, or they will give you a link to the documents as they did for me.

Good luck.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
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Perhaps, a dumb question, but if the solenoids are not plugged into anything, then why not simply remove the solenoids and cap the hole off with a plug?
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Old 08-23-2009, 04:52 PM   #4
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Not a dumb question. If I pull the solenoid I need to stick something in its place to keep the fluid from draining out. If somebody knows what type of plug to buy- I'm there.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
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Last year I replaced a leaking jack solenoid. The price for the replacement was around $150. What I appreciated about HWH is they suggested that I open the manual valve on the solenoid and cycle the jack a few times to attempt to dislodge whatever was causing the leak. When this didn't work I replaced the solenoid. It is a simple DIY project.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:58 AM   #6
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Thanks Joe, let me know what you find. I sent email last Friday to HWH which has apparently been placed in the Do Not Reply pile, and called yesterday morning so my phone number is now in their Do Not Call list.
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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Joe, HWH is out of stock, 4 to 6 weeks delivery time. I have a 2001 36mds with straight acting jacks, the solenoids have the T fitting to manually release the pressure, do you have any replacements for that style?
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Old 09-03-2009, 05:42 PM   #8
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I took a solenoid valve to a friend w/a machine shop. He is making me some plugs to match the valve's threaded end & double o-ring seal (takes a round cross section o-ring and a square cross section o-ring back to back to form the seal). HWH sells o-ring sets in packets of 8, so I have a packet on reserve at RV Doctor George's in Sacramento where they are in stock.

Since WRV bought manifolds sized for 4-wide slide or bed setups, and mine only uses 3 of the 4 pairs, the leaking solenoid is one of those two "plug" spares. I can remove it, install the newly machined brass plug, and voila! leak is solved. Then I can have the solenoid valve rebuilt (~$120 vs ~170 for a new one w/shipping, etc.) so I save $50. And, I can replace the opposite unused solenoid and have a second spare for the price of the plug. Howz that for nifty?
I'm thinking that any Alpine owner who has less than 4 slides & 4 smart beds should check their manifolds and see if there are unconnected spare solenoids being underemployed as plugs. A simple brass plug converts them to a ready swappable spare in a few minutes. And @ $150+ for a solenoid, they are a bit spendy to live the life of a plug.

Joe- thanks for the info on the other thread that SmartBeds don't signal thru the HWH motherboard, that they are switched separately & aside from HWH's electronics. That resolves a number of issues I don't have to hunt down.

Now, when I get the HWH operational again, I'm going to see if I have another pair of spares in the SB manifold behind the water tank. My rig only needs 6 pairs, and 3 are used up front w/one of them a Bed extend/retract set. Might have another unused pair of spares and didn't know it.
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:20 AM   #9
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Got the plug prototype today from the machine shop. Pulled the leaking solenoid. The factory cross threaded the end cap so it couldn't possibly stand up over time.

I popped in the prototype plug & Voila!! no leak. Another birth defect cured. I'm having them make some extras in case anyone else might think a leak is in your future, or for those who have "spare" $160 solenoids doing the work of a manifold plug, or for those who want to pop in a plug while your solenoid goes out to HWH for rebuilding. I have to pick up some O-ring kits so they are a complete drop-in. Nice to be roadable again.
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Old 09-10-2009, 12:53 AM   #10
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Mike - We just read your post. When we were at Guaranty in May they replaced the HWH solenoiods for our large galley slide and we asked for the old solenoids. We took them to HWH in Moscow IA on our way to FMCA in OH in July and had them rebuild them for us to have as spares - cost $108 each. We had them fix the leaking hyd pump and they replaced a leaking plug on the jack manifold and reset the sensing unit. No charge.

We picked up the rebuilt solenoids on our way home. Last week we were doing some maintenance on the coach and noticed there was fluid on the floor & all over everything in the HWH compartment. Opened a drawer and saw the fluid shooting up into the electrical wires from the plugs on top of the manifold. HWH had not tightened them up after working on it and after we tightened them - no more leak, But what a MESS to clean up. This is the second time we have had this happen after having HWH work on it - sad to say.

In 3 years we have had to replace solenoids probably 4 or 5 times on the Apex. Usually HWH will do it at FMCA Rallys without charge (good reason to go to these Rallys)! Isn't it fun figuring out all of these neat little things on our rigs????
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:18 PM   #11
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Tris- with a 3 slide coach you may have a spare pair of brand new solenoids either in the front HWH compartment or on ceiling mounted manifold behind water tank. See the post I just made on Smart Bed Issue thread for more info. You can get an expensive solenoid valve for the price of a much cheaper plug, and use the spares WRV gave you. Don't know if the Apex era included WRV's heightened inventory control practice of buying all 4-wide manifolds, but you can check; see that other thread for details.
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