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Solenoid valve help


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Lawton86

Hi, first post here, been viewing all the helpful info for a while though. In need of some help though if anyone can offer some! 
Basically we had a solenoid valve and float from the cleaning warehouse that got fitted along with the whole van system. Had nothing but problems but now it’s finally had it.

The green motherboard that the wires solder too is knackered, plus the valves solder has come away. I want to create something basic that still works with the parts I have.  
The solenoid still works fine (opens up when the battery is connected to it directly). The float I’m assuming still works as that was never a problem. 
How do I connect up a simple circuit from the battery? Tried so many combinations but nothing’s working! 
I’ve been through the forum and even followed a diagram one of the members put up. Still nothing! Tried the positive to the float switch, then returned it back to the solenoid, then the negative to the leisure battery. And the other way round. Nothing! 
Can anyone give advice on how to get it to work? (In very simple terms) 😂
 To replace it is over a ton, but I’ve seen some guys set them up on their own system for next to nothing. 

Thanks in advance! 
 

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I used a ‘kit’ from IACS for the float switch. You can wire the float switch and the solenoid you have directly but I found they kept failing without the PCB ‘controller’.  You need a multimeter to test your existing parts - the float switch can be mounted either way so the circuit is normally closed or normally open. Once you’ve figured that out you can match it to your solenoid which will be either normally open or normally closed ( usually stamped on the valve body NO - NC). If you have the room (and water production isn’t booster pumped) can’t you fit a mechanical type float valve? The type you have in traditional toilet cisterns?

C888A017-9F82-45F7-BEB1-088C634A6171.png

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Lawton86

I think that’s what the problem is then, the PCB being left out. I know nothing about electronics! 
the solenoid is a NC one. 
The solenoid is fine, I’ve tried that directly to the battery and it opens and allows the flow. 
I will try ordering a new float switch as you suggested though. 
I doubt I’d be able to get a ball **** in to be honest, it’s something I’ll look at when I get an IBC tank in the shed though. 
Thanks for the help pal, appreciate it. 

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Just remember the float valve/switch will work as a NO/NC ‘switch’ depending on which way it’s installed. When I ordered and installed my last one I mounted it too high in the tank - not allowing enough room for the contacts to make when the float rose in the water 🤦‍♂️ If I’d mounted it vertically in the top of the tank it wouldn’t have been an issue. 

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Lawton86
7 hours ago, AGlassAct said:

Just remember the float valve/switch will work as a NO/NC ‘switch’ depending on which way it’s installed. When I ordered and installed my last one I mounted it too high in the tank - not allowing enough room for the contacts to make when the float rose in the water 🤦‍♂️ If I’d mounted it vertically in the top of the tank it wouldn’t have been an issue. 

Thanks for the heads up! I’ve already got one installed in the tank currently, it’s horizontal near the top. Hopefully it won’t be a problem just swapping them over. I’ll have a play when the new float switch arrives. 
Thanks 

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3 hours ago, Lawton86 said:

Thanks for the heads up! I’ve already got one installed in the tank currently, it’s horizontal near the top. Hopefully it won’t be a problem just swapping them over. I’ll have a play when the new float switch arrives. 
Thanks 

🤔

These float switches should have a microswitch inside that should be available as a spare part.

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Lawton86
1 hour ago, spruce said:

🤔

These float switches should have a microswitch inside that should be available as a spare part.

To be honest, we won’t be getting anything from the cleaning warehouse ever again. We’ve had nothing but problems with everything. Especially the workmanship when they installed the system. Now the backpack has died too. Had it two years but it’s only be used for probably a weeks worth of work in total. 
 

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12 hours ago, spruce said:

🤔

These float switches should have a microswitch inside that should be available as a spare part.

They should!!! But the majority I’ve installed are sealed units (mass produced in China for pennies!!!). A new one is less than a tenner so - unfortunately- another throw away component 🤦‍♂️

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Lawton86

By the sounds of it it’s a common problem then!? 
I can’t understand why it needs a micro switch in it? The solenoid works when the battery is connected directly. Surely the float switch just connects the circuit when down, then breaks it when it’s lifted? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lawton86 said:

By the sounds of it it’s a common problem then!? 
I can’t understand why it needs a micro switch in it? The solenoid works when the battery is connected directly. Surely the float switch just connects the circuit when down, then breaks it when it’s lifted? 

No one has stated that's its a common problem. Purefreedom fit them to their van mount systems and I don't recall many complaints about longevity; I think I've only seen one on the forums over the years.

A microswitch is generally the way to make and break the on/off switching circuit. If contact was made by two metal surfaces coming together slowly then the contact points would quickly burn due to arching.

I'm not saying this is the way it works with your float switch as I don't know your particular brand.

Here is a Youtube video on how this particular horizontal switch works. They call it a reed switch and its operated by a magnet. Its simple yet effective.

You have already ascertained that the solenoid valve is working. If you check the float switch with power connected, moving the float up and down should activate and deactivate the solenoid. If it doesn't there is either a fault in the switch or the wiring.

Replacement switches are cheap enough. The expensive part is the solenoid valve.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FLOAT-SWITCH-Fluid-Water-Level-Sensing-Switch-12v-24v-UK-1PC-BLACK-UK-STOCK-uk/183415577717?hash=item2ab46b9c75:g:YSQAAOSwZOBbjmpf

I have a float switch in my IBC tank. I have a 230v solenoid valve operated by a Machine Mart float switch. Its operated faultlessly for the past 13 years. It works like this.

On my float switch I need to remove about 250 liters of pure from my IBC tank before the float switch kicks the solenoid valve open to start the r/o.

 

Edited by spruce
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Lawton86

I thought with you saying there should be spares that it was a common problem. I must have just had a dodgey one! 

The one I had installed was was just the cleaning warehouses own brand. 


Very informative as always pal, cheers for that.

 
When I started playing about with it without the PCB, the float switch initially worked. But that was me holding the wires in place. It blew the fuse so replaced it, but it all worked. The intention was that when I knew where the wires all went, I’d solder them back onto the solenoid. When I replaced the fuse and tried it again, the float switch wouldn’t work. I even had a diagram you’d put up in the past when someone asked you a question about how to wire them up. Anyway, it doesn’t work now. So I’m assuming it’s burnt out as you mentioned. I’ve ordered a new float switch and PCB anyway so hopefully it will be sound. 


I’ll definitely look at a more substantial set up when I sort a static system out though. 
 

Cheers spruce

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Lawton86 said:

I thought with you saying there should be spares that it was a common problem. I must have just had a dodgey one! 

The one I had installed was was just the cleaning warehouses own brand. 


Very informative as always pal, cheers for that.

 
When I started playing about with it without the PCB, the float switch initially worked. But that was me holding the wires in place. It blew the fuse so replaced it, but it all worked. The intention was that when I knew where the wires all went, I’d solder them back onto the solenoid. When I replaced the fuse and tried it again, the float switch wouldn’t work. I even had a diagram you’d put up in the past when someone asked you a question about how to wire them up. Anyway, it doesn’t work now. So I’m assuming it’s burnt out as you mentioned. I’ve ordered a new float switch and PCB anyway so hopefully it will be sound. 


I’ll definitely look at a more substantial set up when I sort a static system out though. 
 

Cheers spruce

These reed switches are available from electronics suppliers. Here's an example

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/5-x-Y213-Reed-Switch-10W-Normally-Open-Magnetic-Induction-Switch-2mm-x14mm/362023716485?_trkparms=ispr%3D1&hash=item544a4b8685:g:Lw4AAOSwU4hbDoXQ&enc=AQAEAAACYIQvEcHUrT7nmUC3yY5qbPyaBN1nJEDYW8MyypsJPgXKs4ijYSTGv0%2BdOMHOyVlosHtfWEX%2BJSBEOCamZYZJk87p%2BHwy1YWYExhv6xjeaTAov85FdN1Nz%2ByN8pnynmGmsgPQywSQ1uavwORE4x9Y8fQJbfX46SZ%2FSPuK1jdxESl0AYVMym1dtU%2FX7uP%2Fo4btzxYVGkZ7IXcVs7VpZXzCtVagqJBv1Tv6AUXjPXoxHQxGAv0HLJUZCwT6U7KOlby83RCGiS1%2BUF9Vu414usQottyc3m7kEvuSXm%2BaQQWeT%2F0XleoxbcMC6Xp7VDR9ToY3LtL1waPvW6X6LbXRh9V8oZcMeis0CHaEVclIOG36aWqgGGDik7LHXkss3iksjGRdx0eHi4bi3wZiToZ%2Fjome5c%2FGYgL8OCVQ6cdDLemma39kjBih7XshXA6%2FaILoWgvupWc5NwUbE%2FWzHI4S5pF5Psv5gNtykX2pA1zTE5avgoUav%2FET3d5Dt8dSakvRckIU0vuBV5PplmrBby7fXUjnNnOHrhCqcucZABfOrtzpJPivLITlBHQ50VhtVBtW6PtPxao0HCqrtDKJxWme3OIXyAXbauh%2BmMq3ifTwsjrilkM4SBAYJB46sjBODwtBepep4cgeHW4bbzQhuIkdwNipmQBIF9GlweT3QYtU6UM22ylzgB3f6%2B0dlZoswM6n8pG5LKX8Bkph0%2B6JX49%2B8Ty4uZynHdecQ0ShzcDn08LAMUT6pvw%2B9a9PHLeVGkPdtFFEHsMVdVV3gCvg%2B%2BIpilrhiuxlv1o5lRapM3sfyhhHv99G&checksum=36202371648543bdf625ebe04948a55d41009b9227b3

 

I've looked through a number of listings and they all seem to be around 10 watt. This is probably why the kit also has a PCB to act as a relay. But if the unit is fully sealed then its not a part you can replace. 10 pieces for £2.45 including postage from China = £0.25p each. Amazing.

It could just be that you got a bad one. Sorry.

 

Edited by spruce
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Part Timer
5 hours ago, spruce said:

No one has stated that's its a common problem. Purefreedom fit them to their van mount systems and I don't recall many complaints about longevity; I think I've only seen one on the forums over the years.

Had my PF in the original van for over 9 years and it still works fine

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