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Re: What exactly is a solenoid?

Andy Glasebrook asked:
> What exactly is a solenoid?
> I'm not really sure what a solenoid does and if I need one or not. 
> Is it worth the $50 difference.  Do you plug it into the wall? I'm
> running out of outlets already. My tank is a 75 gallon with 160 watts
> of light.

An electric solenoid is a switch that is activated by supplying
electric current, which generates a magnetic field within the device. 
The magnetic field pulls or pushes a bar that works the switch.  The
switch might be one to control electric current or some other type of
flow.  A solenoid is, in fact, a type of relay.  On CO2 systems they
are used to block or pass CO2.  Attached to a timer or a pH controller,
you can use time or pH level to turn the solenoid off/on and thereby
turn the CO2 flow off/on.  Most that I have seen are rated for 60Hz and
110 Volts AC -- in other words, you have to plug them into the wall for
them to work.

Scott H.

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