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Why Do Solenoid Valves Fail? A Comprehensive Guide on How to Prevent Solenoid Valve Failure

Why Do Solenoid Valves Fail? A Comprehensive Guide on How to Prevent Solenoid Valve Failure

Solenoid valves are indispensable components in fluid control systems, playing a critical role in regulating the flow of liquids and gases across various industries. Despite their importance, these valves are not immune to failure, and understanding the reasons behind their malfunctions is essential for maintaining operational efficiency. In this blog post, we will explore the common causes of solenoid valve failure and discuss preventive measures you can take to ensure these crucial components continue to function seamlessly.


Reasons For Failure

Contamination and Buildup

One of the primary culprits behind solenoid valve failure is contamination. Over time, dirt, debris, and particles present in the fluid can accumulate within the valve body, impeding its movement and obstructing the flow. This buildup can lead to leakage, erratic valve behavior, and, ultimately, failure. Regular maintenance, including thorough cleaning and filtration of the fluid, is vital to drastically decrease the risks of contamination-related issues.


Corrosion is a persistent threat to the longevity of solenoid valves, especially in environments with aggressive or corrosive fluids. The corrosive nature of certain substances can degrade the materials of the valve, leading to leaks and compromised functionality. Choosing corrosion-resistant materials for your solenoid valve such as Teflon (PTFE) for the sealing material and implementing regular inspections can significantly mitigate the risk of corrosion-related failures.

Electrical Issues

Solenoid valves rely on electrical currents to activate the coil and control the valve mechanism. Electrical problems, such as coil burnout, short circuits, or issues with the power supply, can result in valve failure. Routine inspections of the electrical components, checking for loose connections, and ensuring proper voltage levels, are essential measures to address potential electrical issues and reduce the risks of damage to your equipment. 

Mechanical Wear and Tear

Like any mechanical component, solenoid valves are subject to wear and tear over time. Continuous use, especially in high-frequency applications, can lead to fatigue and deterioration of its various moving parts, especially the spring and the armature tube. Regular maintenance, lubrication, and monitoring of valve performance can help identify signs of wear before they escalate into full-fledged failures. As you identify issues with the solenoid valve from wear and tear, you can alleviate that by choosing proper replacement parts sourced directly from the OEM to ensure your solenoid valve continues providing you with reliable fluid and gas control. 

Incorrect Sizing or Installation

Selecting the wrong size of solenoid valve for a specific application or especially improper installation can have detrimental effects on its performance. If a valve is undersized, it may struggle to handle the required flow, leading to overheating and premature failure. Conversely, oversized valves may experience issues with modulation and responsiveness. Proper sizing, installation, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines are crucial to preventing these issues.


Furthermore, incorrect installation can lead to severe solenoid valve failure. Ensure that you install the solenoid valve properly by identifying the arrow on the valve body as outlined in the image above. This shows you where the inlet of the valve is located, which you must line up with your equipments respective port accordingly.

There may be different indicators on the valve body of solenoid valves, such as those manufactured by UNID. For UNID valves, an arrow pointing up is placed on the port that is considered the outlet. This arrow indicates the flow of media from the inlet through to the outlet. It's important to keep this in mind when installing any UNID valves in your system.

Although there may be differences in markers between ODE and UNID, and from manufacturers across the industry, there is a simple way to identify which of the ports are considered the inlet. You can look directly into the valve body. If you cannot see into the valve body itself, then you are facing the inlet of the valve. The port that represents the outlet of the solenoid valve allows you to see into the valve body itself.


Understanding the potential reasons behind solenoid valve failures is the first step toward ensuring the reliability and longevity of these critical components. Regular maintenance, adherence to proper installation practices, and vigilance in monitoring valve performance are key aspects of preventing failures and maintaining the seamless operation of fluid control systems. As industries continue to rely on solenoid valves for precision fluid control, proactive measures to address potential failure points will remain paramount in sustaining operational excellence.

Previous article What Are The Differences Between Direct, Indirect, and Combined Acting Solenoid Valves?
Next article A Guide to Identifying ODE Valve Part Numbers.

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