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Solenoid valve troubleshooting tips

1) Installation –

Gould Solenoid Valves must be installed in a horizontal line with the coil assembly vertical and on top. We can spring load the pilot assemblies for certain valve models and pipe sizes but the standard configuration will not work if installed incorrectly without the proper modifications.

The valves must be installed in the correct “Flow Direction” as indicated by the arrow on the side of the valve body or where stamped IN-OUT. Gould Solenoid Valves are designed to flow in one direction only. Please consult our valve experts with any questions regarding proper installation.

2) Ensure valve is free from debris or particulates –

Foreign matter such as debris, particulates, Teflon® tape, pipe dope, etc. can jam moving parts or clog small orifices. The result can be a failure to open or close correctly. We recommend a minimum of a 40 mesh strainer in line before the valve to keep out all debris and keep the valve functioning as intended. Also make sure all piping is blown clear prior to installation.

3) Power Supply –

Verify that the power supplied to the valve matches the specification on the valve’s nameplate then connect the coil lead wires to line voltage in accordance with applicable electrical codes. Gould Solenoid Valves lead wires are not polar, and either may be connected to pos (+) or neg (-). The green wire (when supplied) is always connected to ground. Some valves cannot be converted from AC to DC or DC to AC just by simply switching the valve’s coil. Voltage must be within + 10% to – 15% of the nominal voltage indicated on the nameplate.

Check the coil leads for continuity. If there is no continuity or no resistance at all, you will need to replace the valve’s coil. NOTE: A jammed or worn pilot assembly can result in the coil burning out and replacing the coil may only cure the symptom but not the actual cause.

4) Minimum Differential Required –

Verify that your operating pressure and flow rate can maintain the minimum differential pressure required as stated on the valve’s nameplate. TYPES B, D, K, M, & Q are internal PISTON, PILOT OPERATED solenoid valves and require a 5,10, or 20 PSI MINIMUM OPERATING PRESSURE DIFFERENTIAL. When the coil is energized on NORMALLY CLOSED valves, it lifts the pilot valve off the seat screw, opening the pilot orifice through the center of the piston to the outlet side of the valve. This relieves the pressure from the top of the piston ring and the pressure under the piston ring forces the piston up to open the main valve orifice. When the coil is de-energized, the pilot valve returns to close the pilot orifice and pressure across the piston ring is equalized through a timing orifice in the side of the piston or in the valve body. The piston spring returns the piston to close the main valve orifice.

5) Follow Factory Recommendation-

The factory recommends that a maintenance schedule be established for all Solenoid Valves. A typical maintenance interval is 3 months or 10,000 cycles, but actual intervals may vary with media, cycle rate, and velocity of the fluid flowing through the valve. Since occasional inspection and cleaning is desirable, be sure to add the valves to your own scheduled maintenance program.

When in doubt, contact the experts!

Gould Solenoid Valves is a 4th generation family owned company that has been manufacturing American Made Solenoid Valves since 1951. Most of our employees have been with us for 30-40+ years and are 2nd and 3rd generation with their fathers or grandfathers working here previously. We have quite a bit of experience with numerous applications and can help with most troubleshooting situations. Please contact us via phone or email with any questions you may have, and we are happy to help.

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Comment (1)

  • Jonathan Stokes Reply

    Excellent article! Solenoid valves, which have a wide range of uses in various industries, have a life expectancy of around 2 years. Other valve failure causes include incorrect voltage applied to the coil, electrical surges or spikes, and contact with water or other liquids. You can troubleshoot such problems by, for example, by checking the voltage supply, cleaning the valve, or repairing the installation.

    12/20/2021 at 11:23 am

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