Print Logo
Technical Articles

Actuated Ball Valves vs. Solenoid Valves

Comparison of features and limitations, as well as recommendations when to use one or the other:

Actuated Ball Valves Solenoid Valves
ballhead solenoidhead
  • Very high flow rates w/low pressure drop
  • Can be manual or actuated
  • High inlet pressures permitted
  • High back pressures permitted
  • Air actuated valve has fail-safe option; explosion-proof
  • Visual position indication
  • Manual Override
  • NEMA 4 type, CSA approved actuators available
  • Slower acting than solenoid valve
  • Electric actuator has no fail-safe position
  • Bulky size vs. solenoid valve
  • Electric actuator requires minimum off time to prevent overheating
  • Water hammer potential due to high flow capacity must be taken into consideration.
  • Compact size & light weight
  • Fail-safe design; normally-closed or normally-open
  • Extremely high cycle life
  • Very fast acting
  • Many power choices in AC or DC
  • High cycle capability
  • NEMA 4X, CSA approved coils available as well as NEMA 7 & 9
  • Back pressure and inlet pressure limitations based on size and design
  • Pilot-designs require pressure differential
  • Lower flow
  • No manual override
  • Water hammer potential due to rapid closure must be taken into consideration.

Please note that the unique characteristics and positive features listed above refer only to Plast-O-Matic products. For the purposes of this comparison, certain solenoid valve specifications inherent to specialized or unusual models are not addressed.