Irrigation Solenoid Valves and Causes of Failure
What is an Irrigation Solenoid Valve?
An irrigation solenoid valve is a valve that controls the flow of water by using electricity. Voltage applied to the coil causes the valve to open, allowing liquid to flow through. Irrigation solenoid valves are also known as solenoid valves, electric or electric valves, and water valves. They consist of an electromagnetic induction coil, shroud ring, spring, plunger, seals and the valve body itself.
The valve can be normally open (NO), which means it is open when at rest, or normally closed (NC), which means it is closed when at rest.
What is the cause of the solenoid valve failure?
Solenoid valve failure is either a failure of the electromagnetic induction coil or a failure of the valve itself. Some common causes of solenoid valve failure include
1.Incorrect voltage :
Too much voltage through the solenoid can easily burn out and short it out. A burnt coil cannot be repaired, you will need to replace the solenoid, so you must ensure that when installing the solenoid valve, the voltage headroom matches the voltage output of the irrigation system.
By installing a surge protector, you can be more secure against voltage spikes caused by factors such as lightning and static electricity.
Since this is an electrical device, direct contact with water or other liquids will completely short out the coil and require immediate replacement with a new coil. This can be mitigated by using suitable DIN connectors to protect vulnerable electrical points. Some solenoid valves come with basic O-rings to help create a watertight seal, however, outdoor or wet environments may require better protection.
Your irrigation contractor or irrigation supply store can advise you on the best way to keep your solenoid valve dry and free from moisture, including a high-quality irrigation valve box.
3.Deposit Damage :
While uncommon, a small amount of deposits can get into your solenoid valve and cause serious problems. In addition to causing damage to the system itself, deposits can prevent movement within the valve, causing the system to overheat, which can damage components within the valve. Installing an irrigation filter upstream will help prevent sediment from entering the valve, as will installing the valve vertically.
4.Excessive water pressure
If the water pressure flowing through the irrigation system exceeds what the solenoid valve can handle, it will cause the solenoid valve to rupture and, in some cases, require replacement of a larger portion of the irrigation system. Always check the pressure tolerances of all irrigation system components prior to installation.
Significant changes in temperature can also be the cause of a damaged solenoid valve. Solenoid valves can only handle set temperatures, extreme heat or cold can wear these valves to the point where they may need to be replaced
How to diagnose a solenoid valve failure?
Three common signs of a malfunctioning sprinkler valve solenoid:
Low water pressure – When brown spots appear on your lawn, you can almost be sure the water pressure is too low. This is because the brown spots mean the water did not get far enough from the sprinklers.
Water Leakage – mainly due to excessive water pressure, exerting too much pressure on the system, causing the entire system to leak.
Never ending water – this means the solenoid valve is either fully or partially open. There are many things that can cause problems with the closing or opening action of a valve solenoid.
Since the solenoid valve has relatively few parts, most people will not find it difficult to identify and diagnose the problem. It is important to note that these problems can also be caused by reasons other than the solenoid valve itself. Therefore, it is very important to first check and determine the condition of the solenoid. You can call an irrigation professional for an initial inspection, or if you’re experienced enough, do it yourself.
The first step in the diagnostic process is usually to test the electrical signal through the solenoid. False signals will require circuit replacement. If no problems are found here, the technician will look for possible mechanical issues with the valves and solenoids.
If they still can’t find the problem here. The last area to be diagnosed will be the inside of the valve. Open and clean the valve to check if it continues to operate or if the solenoid valve needs to be completely replaced.