All About Solenoids

It's all about that instantaneous response!

Written by
The MurCal Blogster
Published on
August 12, 2022 10:22:45 AM PDT August 12, 2022 10:22:45 AM PDTth, August 12, 2022 10:22:45 AM PDT


The term solenoid was coined in 1823 by André-Marie Ampère, a French physicist, mathematician and lay catholic who was one of the founders of the science of classical electromagnetism, which he referred to as "electrodynamics". “Solen” in Greek means channel or pipe, which is why he named it Solenoid. Ampère was an autodidact and professor at the École polytechnique and Collège de France, as well as a member of the French Academy of Sciences. The ampere, a SI unit of electric current measurement, is named after him. The Eiffel Tower also features his name among its 72 inscriptions.


A solenoid is an electric coil in a housing and a movable metal core. As the electric current passes through the coil, a relatively uniform magnetic field is created. This magnetic field can be used to generate a linear motion with the help of the metal core. Solenoids convert the electrical energy into action instantly. Therefore, these work decently for those applications which require immediate action, like the starter in any vehicle or a valve in a sprinkler system.


Many types of industrial solenoids are available for a wide range of applications. Each solenoid is unique and suitable for a specific application, depending on many factors, including but not limited to: voltage (AC or DC), frequency, stroke, linear, mounting configuration, stroke length, rotary, stroke direction, push or pull force rating, type of interface to connected load, etc.


Q: How Do Solenoids Work?

A: A solenoid converts electrical energy into mechanical work. Composed of a coil of (often copper) wire, a moveable plunger, and housing, when a solenoid picks up an electrical current, a magnetic field forms around the coil, drawing the plunger in. The housing concentrates the magnetic field generated by the coil. The moving plunger does the mechanical work so that an on or off task can be completed.

Q: What Are Typical Industrial Solenoid Prices?

A: Industrial solenoid prices run from $60 to just under $300.

Q: Can Solenoids Be Repaired?

A: Sometimes. Unscrew a solenoid counter-clockwise to remove. If the plunger doesn't move smoothly, it can’t be repaired. Applying oil or lubricant to the solenoid plunger won’t help. A sticking solenoid is not repairable.

Q: How Long Do Solenoids Last?

A: Solenoids typically last from one to three years.

Q: How can I extend the life of my Solenoid?

A: Solenoids are of course designed to operate with given voltages, frequency, and so on but the magnetic field/circuit of the housing is also important. Check your mechanical linkage. A plunger that does not seat into the housing properly translates into excessive heating. Excessive heat can damage coil insulation and will shorten the life of the solenoid.

Here at MurCal we carry Trombetta’s Industrial Solenoids & Enovation Control DC Solenoids, and they are characterized by a push or pull motion and fast response time. They are typically used to push or pull something from point A to point B or used in general locking and latching applications.

Industrial devices that require holding, locking, positioning, pinching, rotating, diverting, valve operation, and more depend on solenoids. This part is also integral to air and water flow equipment because it actuates valves. Most Trombetta industrial solenoid applications include mobile and stationary equipment, including lawn and garden equipment, compressors, generators, and construction equipment.


MurCal can work with you to customize any products to meet specific requirements so you can have them built to your specifications. Options include various voltages, mounts, rods, boots, spring returns, connectors and plunger surface finishes.

Our large inventory of Trombetta industrial work solenoids help OEM, agricultural, municipal and oil field clients keep their equipment working efficiently with fewer failures.

MurCal has been distributing Trombetta products for more than 20 years. Our dedication to robust customer service, low prices, and ease of ordering has helped us win a 4.7 / 5 average score from over 175 reviewers on TrustPilot. We are proud to use our decades of industrial expertise to support businesses dependent on powered equipment.

Trombetta Industrial Work Solenoids | MurCal

We’ve been working with Enovation Controls since 1950 and can answer any questions you may have about implementing these excellent products.

Murphy by Enovation Controls DC Solenoids & Rack Pullers | MurCal

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