1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

My Plow Wires Caught Fire! Help!

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by jarbiz, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. jarbiz

    jarbiz Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Hi All. Thank you in advance for your replies.

    I was plowing on Saturday, and the plow wouldn't raise. I heard the solenoid clicking, and tapped it while my son hit the Meyer switch in the cab. The plow went up fine.

    I went to Advanced Auto and got a new Solenoid. Everything seemed to work just fine. I plowed 6 more driveways, and came home. I did notice the plow was going up and turning a little slow though.

    When I got home, I straightened the plow, and was getting ready to lower it, when it turned to the left on its own. I hit the right button on the control, and it turned right, then back to the left. I turned off the truck, and noticed the motor was still trying to push the plow to the left, even though it was already all the way left.

    I went to open the hood to disconnect the battery, when I saw the main power wire running from the solenoid to the pump smoking. Before I knew what was going on, it was on fire. The wire shroud was burning. I was able to cut the power wire going to the plow. And I haven't done anything with it since.

    What is your take? The Solenoid or the Controls? The wire going to the solenoid was burnt also. I have to change both wires going to and from the solenoid now, but don't want to hook them up until I figure out what caused the problem.

    None of the other electrical components on the truck seem to be affected. Thanks again for your responses.
     
  2. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    Bad controller or shorted control wires activating the left angle. Bad solenoid (I know its new, But)
    the pump staying on may over heat the wires, what gage wire do you have going to the pump?

    NOT going to be a bad pump moter (the solenoid would shut of the motor)
     
  3. jarbiz

    jarbiz Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the reply. The wire going to the pump is 6 gauge, the same size as the battery cable.

    What is the easiest way to check the controller, aside from getting a new one and plugging it in?

    I guess it would make sense that the solenoid would be bad, since I hadn't had the problem until I put that in.

    Also, before anyone asks, I did make sure the solenoid was not shorted out against anything when I installed it.
     
  4. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    This is going to be difficult there are all kinds of ways to wire the control system and to explane...... get new wire, replace the solenoid, hook everything up BUT use a light bulb (12V) instead of the pump motor.
    So the light is now the motor, using the controller Up, left and right should all cause the light to go on. the light should go off when you center the controller. If the light stays on unconnected the controller, if the goes out, its probably the controller. Find someone with a controller to try. If the light stays on you have a short in the harness between the controller and the connector to the plow

    I would need to have the electrical schematic in order to help more.
     
  5. jarbiz

    jarbiz Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks. Your advice makes perfect sense. I will try it tomorrow. I think I will start with the solenoid and new wires. The solenoid has a 30 day replacement, so it won't cost me anything but time to try that first. I guess I need new wires now anyway. Thank you for your time. Very kind of you to help out!
     
  6. snowandgo

    snowandgo Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    Don't think its the solenoid. The plow will angle left if the pump is running and no control is being pushed. Even if the constant running melted the 6 guage cables, it shouldn't have affected the control/solenoid wiring because no current should have been going through it to heat it up. So unless your solenoid wire runs right next to the 6 guage and melted into it, I think the problem is on the controller side. In that case, it could have been the harness or the controller.

    If your pump motor is going bad and drawing a big load (slow lifting/angling), then maybe it caused the 6 guage wire to melt into the others.
     
  7. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,557

    That is a very good way of diagnosing the problem with a much lesser possibility of messing something up! I'll have to keep that in mind!!
     
  8. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    I like that answer It ties up a lot of loose ends, if the motor is bad and draws too much current it can cause the solenoid to go bad and melt the power wire and IF the controller wires are are near the melting wire it can short and keep the solenoid on witch keeps the motor running drawing to much current melting the power wire.
     
  9. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Just a tip, there's your problem right there. You get what you pay for. ;)
     
  10. jarbiz

    jarbiz Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Believe me, Advanced was not my first choice. There aren't very many options early on Sunday morning when the plow decides to quit working though. It was actually a Meyer's part though.
     
  11. lake_effect

    lake_effect Junior Member
    Messages: 19

    +100:salute: Change your motor solenoid and replace any burned up wires. Should be good to go.
     
  12. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    You still have the problem that caused the power wire to heat up and melt. Despite what I said earlier there is a reason it melted and a bad solenoid cant cause it.

    A bad pump motor can.

    You may have had 2 problems or 1 after the other.
    Before you blame Advance, what did you get for a solenoid? the proper one for the job or a starter solenoid.
     
  13. jarbiz

    jarbiz Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    The solenoid was actually a plow part (or so it said on the box). It appears that the solenoid stuck closed, sending power to the pump, long after I let off the switch. I put a new solenoid on today from NAPA, new wires to and from the solenoid, and everything seems to work fine. I actually tested the voltage coming out of the solenoid before I hooked it back up to the pump to make sure I didn't melt another set of wires. Thanks to everyone for their help.
     
  14. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    A stuck solenoid absolutely WILL cause it to burn the power wires off. You can only pull 250 amps through a 6 gage wire continuously for so long before it gets hot enough to burn the insulation off. 6 gage is enough for intermittent operation, but not continius...like for example when the solenoid sticks on.

    Nothing I haven't seen before....
     
  15. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,552

    OK.... but that wont explain the pump running slower before the wires burnt. A bad motor will explain that and causing the solenoid to stick on.
     
  16. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    But a weak/failing solenoid will....among many other things. ;)
     
  17. no lead

    no lead PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,308

    double check your ground from the pump to the batt. low voltage will cause slow operation and the solenoid to stick.
     
  18. Sealer People

    Sealer People Senior Member
    Messages: 207

    Y'all lost me.
    But I know where to come if that ever happens to me

    I guess I should have a fire extinguisher in the truck?
     
  19. jarbiz

    jarbiz Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Ha ha! I unfortunately did not have one. I was lucky that there was enough snow on the ground to use it to smother the fire. I will make sure to keep some type of wire cutter in the cab of the truck also. It was pretty difficult ripping that cable away from the pump. There was no way to get under the hood to disconnect the battery quick enough. Something I would have never thought about if it hadn't happened to me.