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I bought 2 solenoid valves. I'm looking to turn them on/off using my relay. However, I'm not sure what the best way to power them would be. Do I plug them directly into the wall (after attaching a wall connector to the wires)?

I know wall outlets are 120V. So does that mean I need to get a converter?

EDIT: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00827FP26 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S1V2

Those are the solenoid valves I'm using.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Rule for projects, do not plug anything directly into the wall. At some point you'll know when you can break the rule. \$\endgroup\$ – Samuel Nov 20 '13 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hard to answer your question without knowing more about the solenoid valves. Post a link to the datasheet, please. \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev Nov 20 '13 at 3:31
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That is listed as 12V DC solenoid so you definitely don't want to try plugging into AC mains directly as fire and/or death may follow. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to mention the coil current, if you have a multimeter you could set it to the 10A range and connect it to a car battery with the meter in series to measure.

But otherwise I have a solenoid of fairly similar size (although a gas one) and I just measured it as around 1.5A. I'd hazard a guess those would be under 2.5A so I think a 12V DC power supply with a current rating of 5A would be sufficient for the pair of them.

As you've already sorted out controlling a 5V relay using the Arduino it sounds like a power supply is all you need. They are available from most electronics stores, e-bay etc in many styles but here's an example on Amazon.

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You're trying to control the solenoid from an Arduino? Or from the wall outlet? Is this 12V DC or 120VAC. Do you have a datasheet?

If you want to control a 12V solenoid from the Arduino, you'll need to get a GPIO to switch a 12V supply for you. You can do this thru a transistor (smaller arduino IO voltage controlling the base of a MOSFET that's switching a 12V source).

Do you have a spec on the solenoid? Also, have a look here at the switching circuit. Plenty of information out there re: solenoid switching.

http://www.electronics-tutorials.ws/io/io_6.html

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    \$\begingroup\$ Incidentally, the flywheel diode is important. A must have. Also have a look at this post. It's designed around arduino: bildr.org/2012/03/rfp30n06le-arduino \$\endgroup\$ – DoubleE Nov 20 '13 at 1:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, I should have been more clear. I want to use a 5v relay controlled by an arduino to turn on/off the solenoid. I just need a way to supply 12v DC to the solenoid. I'll post the links to the products in my original question. thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthew Berman Nov 20 '13 at 6:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ EDIT: If you're going to use a relay, scrap the bit below about the MOSFET and use that. The rest (below) still stands: <snip> Ok...well that's easy. :) You need the MOSFET circuit to switch the thing using the GPIO on the Arduino. So that part still stands. Now you need a 12V supply. If you have a 12V wall wart you can use that. Have you checked out this post yet? Discussed the topic nicely. electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/78068/… <snip> \$\endgroup\$ – DoubleE Nov 20 '13 at 8:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ ...And again, the diode is not optional. Read up on Flyback diodes and inductive loads. \$\endgroup\$ – DoubleE Nov 20 '13 at 8:31

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