Woman regulating heating temperature with a modern wireless thermostat; solenoid valves creating modern homes

Top 13 Ways Solenoids are Creating the Modern Home

A solenoid is a mechanical device that converts electric energy into mechanical energy. It consists of a coil, a housing, and a moveable device called an armature or a piston. When the device is switched on, magnetic fields activate the coil enabling it to draw in the armature. When power flows through the coil, it induces a strong flux that pulls the piston. The use of electromagnets allows the device to be switched on and off. Electromagnetic solenoids are ideal for making automatic valves and switches. Solenoids have many modern home applications ranging from washing machines to dryers, stoves, and air purifiers.

Solenoid Starters

Electric solenoids are used for automobile ignition systems in motorable machines such as mowers. The starter solenoid functions as a relax that initiates contact to close the circuit. The starter solenoid gets an electric current during ignition. The magnetic field pulls the contacts and closes the circuit between the starter motor and the battery. Starter solenoids remain idle most of the time because an internal combustion system powers the engine.

Chime Door Bells

Solenoids are used in doorbells. In this case, the solenoid is activated by an electric current once the doorbell is pushed. The current pushes the piston to strike the tone bar. It is this strike that produces the audible chime, otherwise known as the knock.

Door Locks

Solenoids are used in automatic locking systems found in modern door locks. When the door is locked, the solenoid is static and does not consume power. However, the unlocking mechanism induces the coil with electrical energy that pulls the piston to unlock the door.


Solenoids are a component of the joystick controls used on gaming devices that simulate driving. Most gaming devices use latching solenoids, which hold the controls in place without needing a power source. The piston remains in a latched position relying on a specific holding force. Power is required to release the piston. Latching solenoids use DC power and are more efficient than other solenoids that require a constant power source.

Automatic Sprinklers

Solenoid valves are used in irrigation equipment, such as the automatic sprinklers used to water lawns and gardens. The solenoid valve controls the flow of water and can be set to operate autonomously.

HVAC Systems

Solenoid valves regulate the flow of hot water used in the showers, kitchen faucets, and several other installations at home. They close and open automatically to regulate the flow of hot and cold water. Most HVAC systems use pilot operated solenoid valves because they have a high flow rate.


Solenoid valves are used in most modern refrigeration systems. The valve opens and closes to regulate the passage of the refrigerant. Solenoids are also used in the compressor system of refrigerators. Typically, there is an electric motor that runs the compressor. The compressor takes in purified air, then compresses it, and sends it to the fridge. The compressor is powered by a solenoid valve which closes the circuit to keep the air under pressure. When the tank achieves the desired pressure reading, the pressure switch stops the power supply. This allows the solenoid valve to open and release excessive air.

Another common use of solenoids in refrigerators are for ice selection or ice diverting. A solenoid actuates a gate that allows your ice to pass through and out of the dispenser.

Automated Ironing Machines

Automated ironing machines use steam to iron clothes. The iron has a push button that controls the flow of steam on the clothes when pressed. A solenoid valve regulates the flow of steam to the iron when the user presses the control button. This valve allows the user to regulate the amount of steam that reaches the garment when ironing.

Solenoids in Dryers

Modern dryers have an air exchanger where incoming compressed air is cooled and dried by compressed air from the evaporator. The Freon then cools the freshly compressed air to the dew point. All these processes happen in the evaporator. The condensate resulting from the cooling process is isolated and disposed. The air-to-air heat exchanger then heats the newly compressed air before allowing it out of the system. The solenoid valve in the dryer regulates the evaporator’s temperature by preventing it from going too low and freezing the condensate.

Floor Cleaning Machines

Household cleaning machines have a rotating brush that rubs on the floor to remove dirt. The appliance contains water and a cleaning detergent. When the user presses a button, the machine releases a mixture of water and detergent. A solenoid valve regulates the flow of water and detergent from the dryer tank to the brush. The system is very efficient because the valve operates at very low pressure.

Thermo Electric Heaters

Thermoelectric heaters work by generating heat that warms the whole house through radiators located in different rooms. They also produce water for sanitary functions. You can also use them for baking or roasting food. The system generates heat by burning wood or gas to heat water for warming the house. They contain two solenoid valves connected to a hydraulic system. The first valve allows cold water into the circuit, where the thermoelectric heater heats it. The second valve regulates water flow and distributes it to different sanitary portals, such as the kitchen and the bathrooms.

Magnetic Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers regulate the flow of power in your home to reduce the risk of electric fires. Most modern circuit breakers use solenoid valves instead of fuses to prevent power overloads. When there is a power overload, the circuit breaker induces a mechanism that causes the solenoid to pull the piston, which disconnects the circuit.

If you are looking for a solenoid manufacturer who offers cutting edge technologies, Johnson Electric will make customized solenoids for you. Contact us for further consultations about your solenoid needs.

Contact Us