Find a power supply for a solenoid? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Find a power supply for a solenoid?

Lots of folks have trouble replacing solenoids due to not knowing what to look for and they read about solenoids that are different from what they have which boggles them.
Not too hard once you understand some basics.
You may find solenoids in several different voltages. 110 AC is quite common. It is the one that comes with a cord and plugs directly into the wall. But then there are others in 12, 15, 18 or 24 volts DC. Low voltage is safer to use in many cases. First step is to get the solenoid which uses the power you plan to use. If you want to plug direct to the wall, here in the US, that will likely be 110AC. Be sure to match the voltage of the solenoid to the supply!

But then if you do only that, you will often miss out on some real deals on great solenoids that use other power supplies. Burketts and Clippards can often be found that use 12,15,18 or 24 volts DC and they can be great values. There are often people shopping who might turn them down just because they lack the scoop on what to power them with.

Take an example of a Burkett that requires 24VDC. First match the power supply voltage by getting a power supply for 24VDC. Then figure how much power the supply needs to provide. This can be the stopper as the solenoid may be rated in watts like 7 watts and the power supplies provide amps or milliamps. You need a power supply that provides at least enough milliamps plus some to power the watts required by the solenoid.

No need to fully understand the two!!! Just call it "juice" if you like? Then go to a power conversion calculator on the web and let it do the thinking. Lots of places to find one but this is one I use:

Read the info on the solenoid and plug the info into the calc and it will spit out how many milliamps you need for the power supply. That gives you the base and then choose a supply that gives you MORE amps/milliamps than you need. For the Clippard mouse that is a very tiny number as it uses so little power.

If you've run through a bunch of electronics that failed and you save the wall-wart, you may find one in your junk box! When I don't, I often find one at Goodwill or Salvation Army for a couple bucks. I do find it much easier and cheaper if I stick to 12V rather than 24V as they are more common.

Look it over and be bold!!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-07-2013, 04:05 PM
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You really need to look at burkerts closely if its not 120ac. Sometimes they'll be low voltage but still ac. They'll say something like 24v 60hz. The 60hz means ac. The ac converts can be hard to find.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-08-2013, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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True , there are different ways to mark things for DC or AC power. Some of the ways I can think of are AC, a sign wave or line moving up and down as AC does or HZ, short for hertz. DC is sometimes also marked with just a flat line. But the key point is to look at the two items and match them. Almost all electrical items will have the power marked on them at some point.
I shy away from 24 volt in either AC or DC. There are just far fewer power supplies when you get into the weirder voltages. Right now the only 24 VAC I think of might be doorbell transformers but they are also likely to be higher priced than other power sources.
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