Solenoid valve troubleshooting: the most common failure modes

The infographic below shows the top five failure modes of solenoid valves. Often, the malfunction of a solenoid valve can be attributed to easy to fix issues, such as dirt in the valve (80% of the cases). Another common issue is a too low differential pressure for indirect operated solenoid valves. These failure modes apply to all kinds of valves, such as 2 way valves, but also to 3 way valves


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The top 5 solenoid valve failure modes:

1. Check for dirt particles

The valve leaks as a result of tiny particles of cuttings/rust/sand on the valve seat or in orifices. Even very small particles and cause problems. Carefully clean the valve parts and make sure the pipes are clean. If necessary, use a filter.

2. Flow & Pressure

The valve doesn't open and/or close correctly. Check if flow direction matches with the indicators on the valve body. Check if the pressure is within the limits as specified in the valve manual. Check if the valve requires a differential pressure to operate. Never use an indirect operated valve in a closed circuit or a gravity fed system. Check also if the flow direction is correct. Most solenoid valves work only in one flow direction.

3. Coil might be burnt out

Symptoms are burn marks, cold when powered, infinite resistance. Make sure the power supply is correct and the coil can dissipate heat by ventilation. Install a new coil. Never power the coil when not mounted to the valve. Some manufacturers offer repair kits, to exchange any broken parts.

4. Correct power supply?

The valve doesn't open and/or close correctly. Check the power supply and make sure voltage and frequency are correct. Also check the connections.

5. Damaged or worn seals

The valve doesn't shut off or leaks. Inspect and replace damaged or worn membranes, seals and O-rings. Even a very small leakage can cause the valve to malfunction.

For more information about solenoid valve troubleshooting.