Before buying solenoid valves, you need to know the basics about them. Today, we’ll go through the different types of solenoid valves, so you’ll get a general idea of what they are and how to choose the right one for your applications. 

What is a Solenoid Valve?

A solenoid valve is an electromechanical device that uses a solenoid to control the flow of a fluid or gas. When the solenoid is energized, it opens the valve, allowing fluid or gas to flow through. When the solenoid is de-energized, it closes the valve, preventing fluid or gas from flowing.

What are Solenoids Used For?

Solenoids are used in a variety of applications, including controlling the flow of water in hydraulic systems, controlling the flow of air in pneumatic systems, and controlling the flow of gas in automotive systems. They are also used in industrial applications such as control systems, locking machines (for door locks), hydraulic systems, etc. 

How Does a Solenoid Work?

A solenoid works by using magnetic force to control the flow of fluid or gas. The solenoid is made up of an electric coil that is wrapped around a metal core. When the coil is energized, it creates a magnetic field that attracts the metal core. The metal core, in turn, opens or closes the valve, allowing or preventing fluid or gas from flowing.

Types of Solenoid Valves

There are several types of solenoid valves; the most common types are: 

Direct-acting solenoid valves

Direct-acting solenoid valves use a solenoid to directly open and close the valve without external pressure. They're good for hazardous locations and are in high demand because of their ability to work in negative-pressure circuits.

Pilot-operated solenoid valves

Pilot-operated valves use pressure differences to open or close the orifice. A plunger activates the pilot opening, which allows line pressure to open or close the valve. They only require full power when opening and can maintain the open position on low power, but they require electricity to function.

Two-way solenoid valves

These valves have two ports and are used for the release and restriction of media in a variety of industries. They're versatile, can easily switch flow, and are used in applications like air compression machines.

Three-way solenoid valves

Three-way solenoid valves have three ports. They usually have one inlet, one outlet, and one exhaust port.   

Four-way solenoid valves

Four-way solenoid valves typically have four ports: a pressure inlet P, two cylinder port connections (A and B), and an exhaust port connection (R). They're often used as double-acting solenoid valve actuators.

Choosing the Right Solenoid Valve

How to select a solenoid valve? Choosing a solenoid valve can be a complex process. It is important to consider several factors, including the type of medium you will be controlling, the pressure of the medium, the temperature, and the environment in which the solenoid valve will be operating.

Type of Medium

When buying a solenoid valve, consider the type of medium (fluid, gas, or air) it will be controlling and the compatibility of the valve material with that medium. 

Different valve materials, such as brass, plastic, or steel, have different chemical properties and resistance to corrosion. Plastic is suitable for various types of media but can perform poorly with hot fluids. Metal solenoid valves are better for hot fluids. The choice of material should consider the chemical properties of the medium, such as acidity or alkalinity. And brass is a common material for solenoid valves.

Flow Rate

The flow rate is an important factor to consider when choosing a solenoid valve. The flow rate refers to the amount of fluid or gas that will be flowing through the valve. The solenoid valve should be able to handle the required flow rate efficiently, otherwise, it may not operate correctly. It's important to choose a valve that has the correct size and capacity for the flow rate needed in your application.

Operating Pressure

The operating pressure is an important factor to consider when choosing a solenoid valve. Operating pressure refers to the pressure at which the fluid or gas will be flowing through the valve. It's important to ensure that the solenoid valve you choose can handle the pressure range required in your application; otherwise, it may not function correctly. By understanding the operating pressure, you will be able to choose a valve that meets the required specification for your application. 

If you exceed the operating pressure, then you’ll face a really big risk, since it may burst or damage the valve. 

Pro-tip: First, you need to understand the type of medium (fluid or gas) before understanding the pressure, since it may vary depending on the medium. 

Temperature Range

You need to consider the temperature range as well during solenoid valve selection. Consider the minimum and maximum temperature ranges. 

IP Rating

The IP rating or code of a solenoid valve, which is short for "ingress protection," describes the amount of defence it offers against potentially harmful objects and dangerous substances.

This typically has two digits. While the second digit shows protection against moisture or water, the first digit represents protection against components.


Choosing the right solenoid valve depends on the voltage/wattage needed. Bigger orifices require more power, so use a pilot-operated valve if high flow rates are needed with a low power supply.

Type of Environment

It's important to consider the type of environment when choosing solenoid valves because the environment can affect the performance and durability of the valve. For example, if the valve will be used in a harsh or corrosive environment, a valve made of materials that are resistant to those conditions should be selected. Additionally, temperature, humidity, and other environmental factors can impact the valve's performance, so it's essential to choose a valve that is suitable for specific operating conditions.

When choosing solenoid valves, safety should also be a consideration. Safety features, such as explosion-proof designs for hazardous environments, can prevent accidents and protect both the operator and the surrounding area. Consider the specific safety requirements for your application and choose a valve that meets or exceeds those standards to ensure the safe operation of your system.

Response Time

When choosing solenoid valves, response time is another important factor to consider. Response time refers to the amount of time it takes for the valve to open or close in response to an electrical signal. Depending on the application, a fast or slow response time may be required. For example, in a high-speed automation process, a fast response time may be necessary to avoid disrupting the flow of the process. Consider the specific response time requirements for your application and choose a valve that meets those needs.

Where to Buy a Solenoid Valve in Canada

If you're looking to buy solenoid valves in Canada, one option is Hak Pneumatic. We offer a range of solenoid valves at competitive prices, and you can easily view our solenoid valve price list on our website. You can easily buy solenoid valves online through our website, making it a convenient option for those looking to purchase valves without leaving their home or office. 

When it comes to finding where to buy solenoid valves, Hak Pneumatic is a reliable and cost-effective option for our customers in Canada.

Double-check the buying guide to make the right decision when you’re in the market for a solenoid valve.