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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about our products.
Questions by category are on the righthand side of the page...


  1. What types of solenoids do you have?

    You've come to the right place for selection. We have about 50 of them! We have 12V, 24V, and 36V continuous or intermittent duty solenoids. We have steel or molded bakelite housings. We have plasticized housings for weather-resistance. We even have a Latching Solenoid, which is energized and de-energized by a momentary switch. We have an Electronic Solenoid rated at 85A continuous that can be used for voltages from 9 to 31. We have a 200A continuous duty solenoid, rated at 12V or 24V DC.

    We manufacture lots of solenoids!

  2. Can you use a continuous duty solenoid in place of an intermittent duty solenoid?

    Always use the component designed for the job. However, yes. You can use a Continuous Duty Solenoid, but it would have a shorter life expectancy compared to the purpose-built Intermittent Duty Solenoid.

    But you cannot use an Intermittent Duty Solenoid in place of a Continuous Duty Solenoid!

  3. Do you have UL or CE listed solenoids?

    Oh yes, we sure do! Just search for 'UL' or 'CE'.

  4. How much current does the control circuit in a solenoid draw?

    Generally, the control circuit for a continuous duty solenoid rated at 12V DC draws about 0.70 of an ampere.
    The control circuit for a 24V DC continuous duty solenoid draws about 0.34A.
    An intermittent duty 12V DC solenoid draws about 2.73A, and the 24V DC about 0.83A.

  5. My continuous duty solenoid gets hot. Is something wrong?

    The coil circuit (control circuit) in a continuous duty solenoid is usually energized for long periods of time. Under these conditions the coil will generate heat and within less than an hour the solenoid housing will become hot to the touch. This is normal. Always make sure that all wiring is properly sized for the load it is carrying, that the terminals are the correct size and have been securely crimped to the wire, that the terminals have the proper torque to the solenoid studs.

    Alternatively, you might be able to use the Latching Solenoid that only needs a one-time momentary actuation to stay in the On position.

  6. Are there any special mounting instructions for solenoids?

    Electromechanical solenoids should be mounted on a non-vibrating surface such as a fender well or firewall. They should not be mounted on a surface that vibrates such as an engine, as this may reduce the lifetime of the component.

    Continuous duty solenoids should be mounted in an area that has ventilation, as the coil circuit normally generates heat. Our research shows that it might be best to mount the solenoid dimpled end down. Electromechanical switches can over time build up deposits due to arcing. By orienting your solenoid as recommended, deposits will have a tendency to fall to the bottom, clear of the contacts, thus prolonging the life of the solenoid.

    Electronic solenoids such as 48785 are much more rugged, because they have no moving parts. They also will stand up to an incredible one million On-Off cycles!

  7. What is 'make' and 'break'?

    Make and break are terms which apply to any switching situation, but particularly to Intermittent Duty Solenoids, where the buildup of heat can cause failure of the component. Make and break are RATINGS. A particular component, such as a solenoid, may be rated for duty at a given amperage and voltage that should not be exceeded.

    Make is when the switch (or solenoid) is turned On (the circuit is 'made'), and break is when the switch is turned Off (the circuit is 'broken'). Such values would need to be checked with an instrument such as a meter. Note also that Intermittent Duty Solenoids have a limitation on the time (duty cycle) they may be kept On and the time they need to recover (to allow heat dissipation.)

  8. I just installed a 24420 continuous duty solenoid on my road bus. With no load on the secondary contacts, the can runs warm to hot when energized. If this is a normal event, then I have no problem. I always assumed that continuous duty solenoids ran cool.

    When the coil is energized continuously the heat from the coil circuit causes the can to run warm to hot. This is normal. Cole Hersee solenoids No. 24400, 24401, 24402, and 24401-01 are similar, but have two modes of continuous duty service which makes them suitable for forward and reverse systems in some applications. Without the coil energized, the contacts which are closed are rated at 35A. In this instance the can should not run hot. With the coil energized the contacts which were closed open and the contacts which were open close. The circuit that is closed is rated at 85A. When the coil is energized continuously the heat from the coil circuit causes the can to run warm to hot. No. 24400, 24401, 24402, and 24401-01 are commonly used in forward and reverse systems in golf carts, garden tractors, winches, fork lift trucks, and many other applications