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Old 10-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #1
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Default Brew automation - solenoid vs. motorized ball valves

I was looking at JonW's thread on his brew rig and came up with a general question (I'm sure he could answer it, but I am trying to not to bother him too much since I will surely be bothering him more later ).

What would be the reasoning behind choosing between a solenoid and a motorized ball valve for hot liquids? I see that valves4projects.com sells solenoid valves that are way cheaper than the ball valves (~$40 compared to ~$230) with an operating temperature well within the ranges of boiling wort. Is there something with the internals not being food quality, or do the ball valves offer greater flexibility when it comes to opening a certain percentage, whereas solenoids are pretty much open or closed (I can handle that issue with hand operated ball valves further upstream).

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Old 10-08-2011, 06:03 PM   #2
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The main difference I see is that with motorized ball valves you can open and close the valve at different amounts. With a solenoid valve, you either have on or off. There are advantages of both though. A motorized valve requires a separate motor controller and wiring. A solenoid valve is safer though (if you use a normally closed version). If power is ever lost then it defaults to closed. I guess the question you have to ask is do you require the need to open the valve only part way? I'm not sure how you're building your system, but the only reason you might need that is if you're using flow meters and you're trying to match a specific flow rate. With solendoid valves you would just use cheap float switches to turn the valves on and off.

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Old 10-08-2011, 07:25 PM   #3
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Actually, the motorized ball valves are either open or closed. There is no in between flow settings. The main difference is that the solenoid valves use a rubber diaphram inside them and it is difficult to clean. The ball valves use all SS internals and high temp seals and are easily cleaned by just running pbw or other cleaners through them.

I use the less expensive solenoid ones for my gas lines because they are instant on/off and don't need to be cleaned for gas usage. The ball valves take about 5 seconds to fully open or close, but that is immaterial for your liquid flows.

You can pick up the ball valves for about $60 each. They are usually 12V actuated so you just simply need a 12V relay board to trigger them.

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Old 10-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonW View Post
You can pick up the ball valves for about $60 each. They are usually 12V actuated so you just simply need a 12V relay board to trigger them.
Can you point out a place to get them that cheap? My Google-fu is failing me today.
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgoolsby View Post
Can you point out a place to get them that cheap? My Google-fu is failing me today.
Would like this info also...
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:19 PM   #6
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There are a few different ones from $50 to $80.
http://www.oscsys.com/Valves/

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Old 09-14-2013, 01:10 AM   #7
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Seems this valve is rated to 90C or 194F. Anyone using it had any problems with running fresh boiled wort? I imagine the wort will only be above 194F for a short time after flame out (even more so for higher elevations).

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