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Does turning a solenoid on and off repeatably cause significant wear and tear? Do ph controllers typically turn them on/off a lot? What kind of interval do they typically use between on/off?

I've been experimenting with a long photoperiod of 12 hours for aesthetic/enjoyment reasons but with very low light for most of the period and a very high light burst for about 3.5 hours. To save some gas and make happier critters, I'd like to experiment with less CO2 during low light while still maxing it during the burst.

I'm controlling my aquarium equipment with a .nefmf controller and my own code including the solenoid. It would be pretty trivial for me to cycle the solenoid on/off say every 5 min(or less?) during the low light periods to reduce the co2 as I wish. I do plan on wiring a ph meter but I'm leaning towards just using that for logging so I don't have to worry about my tap water changing.

Anyways, would I wear out my solenoid by turning it off/on all the time? Is that an issue for people that use ph controllers?

Thanks!
 

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It would be my guess that a cycle would be much better than a constant on for the way we use solenoids. The solenoids I see don't wear out so much as the heat makes them fail. The heat is from staying pulled for long periods so a short cooldown might extend the life rather than shorten. If you think of a solenoid used in a factory setting like automation, you can see that a solenoid might do in a single day the number of cycles that we would have in 10-20 years.
 

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So if you have a siesta period it should help your solenoid last longer?
It's not the siesta that will help. Heat is a solenoid's main enemy and will melt the coil. A low wattage solenoid like the clippard mouse will probably last longer than something >4W only on for a couple hours each day. The point is, get a low wattage solenoid and you won't have to worry about it. These solenoids are for industrial use and the way we use them is much easier on the internals than how the industry uses it. One of the bigger problems with our use is that we're running co2 at an extremely low flow rate so the gas can't pull away enough heat and thus we want to use solenoids that consume the least power possible and therefore less heat.
When we say this or that or solenoid sucks, it's not really that they are poorly designed. Rather they are just unfit for how we use them.
 

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If a rest period gives the solenoid time to let heat drift away, then I would say yes, it would make it last longer. Any moving part made of metal needs lube where it meets other parts. In the case of solenoids, the electrical current through the coil produces heat. The more heat from higher wattage or from longer use, makes the lube quicker to fail to do it's job. Like a car running without oil as an extreme example. So if you put heat on a solenoid and let it set there for 8 hours, the oil just gets cooked on the small moving parts over time. On the common solenoid there is a small moving "slider" and a small spring. When the oil is no longer good, the slider sticks or the spring loses it force to move the slider back. Heating a spring makes it lose it's "spring". You get a solenoid stuck on or off when the slider doesn't open or close.
 

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I'll probably have a rest period once I finish my regulator since I plan on going back to my 10 gallon tank which will have higher light than my 20 so 10 hours that I have now will probably be too long so in order to have more time to enjoy my tank I'll have a 4 on 2 off 4 on light and co2 schedule.
 
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