Solenoid Air Valves FAQs
How does an air solenoid valve work?
A solenoid valve uses electromagnetic energy to open and close the valve. In an air solenoid valve, the closed valve uses a rod to block air from moving from one part of a system into another. The rod must be made from a ferrous metal, such as iron or an iron alloy like steel. To open the valve, an electrical current passes through the solenoid coil, generating a magnetic field which pulls the rod, allowing air to flow through the valve. Air solenoid valves can be manufactured to be normally open or normally closed, with the current moving the rod.
How to I check the air solenoid valve? How to test an air solenoid valve?
If the air solenoid valve is not opening or closing, leaking, or overheating, these are signs that it is damaged or that there is a wiring issue. Any Solenoid valve can be tested with a multimeter by following these steps:
- Set the multimeter to ‘ohms’ (Ω) to test for continuity.
- Touch the multimeter’s red lead to the positive (+) terminal of the solenoid valve, and the black lead to the negative (-) terminal. These will be metal pins or spade connectors used for wiring. If there are 3, the smallest will be used to ground the circuit.
- Connect the solenoid to a power source and apply the current. Once the current is flowing through the circuit, you should hear a click of the solenoid valve moving. If you don’t hear this, the solenoid coil isn’t working properly and needs replacing.
- If you did hear the click, then check the continuity reading on the multimeter display. You should have a low ohm reading between 0 and
- 1. Any other reading indicates that the solenoid needs replacing.
Can you clean the air intake on a solenoid valve?
Yes, you can clean the air intake on a solenoid valve by following these steps:
- Unscrew the fittings from the solenoid valve, ensuring you keep track of how all parts fit together.
- Use a cotton swab and clean water to clear any debris, rust or dirt from the air intake, around the o-ring gasket and from the magnetic plunger.
- You can take this opportunity to inspec the rubber pad at the end of the plunger. If this is dented or damaged, it may not form a good seal, causing your valve to leak. This part is tricky to replace, and you may need a whole new solenoid valve
Does air-operated solenoid valve work?
Also known as an externally-piloted pneumatic solenoid valve, the mechanism works similarly to other solenoid valves but uses air pressure to help keep the valve closed. These are often used where the system has low pressure, vacuum or if there is low, negative or absent pressure in the valve itself.