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Old 10-18-2015, 10:47 AM   #1
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Electric Brake Question

I know that the electric brake solenoids pull quite a bit of 12 volt power. I don't know how warm the solenoids will get when power is left on them.

Does anyone have an idea of how warm the solenoids do get?

The reason I ask.

I'm wondering whether there would be any value in pulling the breakaway switch to try to help drive moisture out of the brake assemblies when in storage. We used small resistance heaters or just a light bulb in some switchgear electrical cabinets to keep things dry. It doesn't take much heat to keep the moisture level down.

My thinking is that once the ambient temperatures warm up in the Spring cycling the brake solenoids may help reduce rust and corrosion. Then again, the moisture may just return so a short interval of heating may have no real benefit.

If the electric brake solenoids don't get very warm then it isn't worth any further thought.


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Old 10-18-2015, 11:17 AM   #2
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Each BRAKE MAGNET will pull 3AMPS if 12VDC is applied. I don't think it would be a good idea to leave 12VDC on the brake magnets for any long length of time. It will probably overheat the brake magnets...

i.e. it would be a BAD IDEA to use the emergency disconnect pull switch just for trailer brakes when leaving your trailer parked...

I know of one first hand incident where the emergency brake plug was pulled an it indeed burned up the brake magnet coil over night...

What I do when first leaving the area pulling my trailer is to use the MANUAL LEVER CONTROL to stop fully stop my truck and trailer at the first stop sign I come to without pushing in on the truck brake pedal. This insures my brakes are working and I assume would be drying out any moisture in the brakes...

Just my thoughts here...

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Old 10-18-2015, 12:38 PM   #3
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I agree with Roy. Not a good idea.
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Old 10-18-2015, 12:44 PM   #4
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X3 - not a good idea.
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Old 10-18-2015, 04:41 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input.

3 to 4 amps is around 40 watts of power at 12 volts. That probably is not enough heat to really do much in a short cycle no matter how hot the solenoid magnets feel.

As to energizing the brake solenoids...

I'm not suggesting that the brake solenoids be left on continuously. My thinking was more along the lines of energizing them for a period of time to help to drive moisture out.

I don't know the duty cycle of the solenoids. It seems to me that it would be a poor design for them to have such a short duty cycle that they would burn out in the short term. They can see a bunch of heat when being called upon to operate on long downhill grades.

Perhaps it is a hare brained idea, but it is an idea. That is why I posed the questions.

I already purposely use the manual electric brake switch when I first test tow the trailer around our local streets in the Spring. I drag the brakes at slower speed for a time for a couple reasons.

It assures me that the brakes are working.

It helps to wear off some of the rust on the drums.

It heats up the hubs a bit so that I can feel for temperature. That gives a half-***** simple test to see if all brakes are operating. If one hub remains cold after my slow drag procedure it may indicate that the brake on that wheel isn't functioning.

Some further more sophisticated tests are here.

I feel that my short slower speed local test towing also allows the flat spots on the tires from storage to more gently work themselves out. I have no data.
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