I recently purchased a 110VAC solenoid and wanted confirm the best way to power it (see link below):


The solenoid has a 12W power rating. Would I be alright if I powered it from a typical 120V wall outlet? Would the using a 120V power source for a 110V solenoid have any negative consequences? From what I have gathered, AC solenoids self-limit the amount of current they draw once they open. Is my thinking correct? I am only planning to open the solenoid for a short duration each use (<5 seconds).

I am sure this is a very basic question for someone with electronics experience, but I would certainly appreciate any responses to either direct me or put my mind at ease. Thank you for your time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Think logically. Why would you think they have chosen 110VAC? Because this is the mains voltage. Now 120 or 110 won't make any difference. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 13, 2017 at 11:55
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That's a silly thing to say, @MarkoBuršič - the OP has made it clear they're just not certain and want answer from someone with experience. They have thought logically. Between sticking something into the mains and asking, they asked. Good thinking, OP. \$\endgroup\$
    – TonyM
    Apr 13, 2017 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


Your questions can only be definitively answered by the datasheet. Find the manufacturer and model number, then get the datasheet from the manufacturer site.

If you really need to be sure, don't buy a solenoid that doesn't come with a datasheet.

However, all that said, almost certainly a solenoid rated for "110 VAC" in the title is intended to work with line power in the 110-120 V range, like anywhere in North America.

The issue with using too high a voltage is that it will cause more heating. The heat power goes with the square of the voltage. 120 V will therefore cause 19% more heating than 110 V. For something like a "110 VAC" solenoid, this has almost certainly been taken into account by the manufacturer.

Your low duty cycle will also help. Just from the picture, it looks like the solenoid won't get to steady temperature in your 5 second on time. For a solenoid of this size, repeated 5 seconds on 5 seconds off is close to equivalent to half power. This would not be the case if the on and off times were 10 minutes, for example. This is just a guess based on the apparent size from the picture.

No, solenoids don't somehow self-limit the current they draw one engaged.

Again, however, only the datasheet can give you definitive answers.


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