Solenoid Valves: Technical Problems You Might Run Into

Posted on: 6 June 2017


Valves are the lifeline of any plumbing and pipeline system. They help to regulate the flow of fluids as they move from one section to another. Notably, valves can be controlled manually by workers who turn them off or on depending on the flow needs. However, this is not possible for a multifaceted system, with hundreds and thousands of valves operating on the pipelines. You need solenoid valves controlled electromechanically by electric current. They can be set to automatically shut off, release, dose, mix and distribute fluids, with manual overrides set to assist in case of emergencies. The following discussion looks at some of the technical problems you might encounter when using solenoid valves:

Valves That Won't Close Wholly

As much as they system is automated, the valves may fail to close well in some cases. Solenoid valves that have trouble shutting off completely could be due to active manual overrides that have been turned on by unsuspecting employees, bad valve seats, residual power in the coils or pressure differences caused by varying fluid levels in the system. Check the valve components to ensure that the wiring connections are in order. If not, call in a professional to repair them accordingly.

Problems with the Coil

Basically, a solenoid valve depends on a magnetic field to function. The magnetic field is created by passing electric current through a conductive coil. As this happens, the coil generates some heat, depending on the amount of current passing through it. Surges and fluctuations in the power supply can melt, burn or cool the coil despite the power being on. Wrong voltage, short circuits and high media mass can also overload and damage the coil. If you realise that the coil is not generating the desired magnetic effects, call in a professional to assess the problem. Don't risk doing it yourself, considering the risk of electrocution and other electricity-related hazards.

Abnormal Sounds from the Valves

Whenever you close or open the valve, you might hear erratic sounds hammering from the point of installation. These sounds result from the differences in pressure of the fluids at the outlet and inlet points. For instance, if a hammering sound occurs whenever the valve opens, then fluid under immense pressure is travelling through a pipe with a small diameter. Consider relaying the pipes and installing pipes that have a larger diameter to reduce the pressure. As another option, you can also alleviate the noise by installing a T-piece pipe close to the valve.