Different Types of 3-Way Valves

Solenoid valves are used to help control the flow of different liquids and gases. These valves are extremely important for the safe use of these materials. Because these valves are used for a variety of reasons, there are different types of valves that are used for different functions. One of these types includes 3-way valves. Three way valves have three pipe connections instead of the normal two, making it easier to stop and start the flow, regardless if it's energized or de-energized.

There are four basic types of 3-way solenoid valves. Each of these different types is used for different purposes. Two of the main types include 3-way normally closed and 3-way normally open. These two valves vary simply by the fact that one has a normally open passageway, while the other has a normally closed one. If the 3-way valve is needed for more complex functions, either the 3-way directional control or the 3-way multipurpose valve can be used.

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3-way Normally Open Solenoid Valves

A 3-way, normally open, solenoid valve has 3 pipe connections: the cavity port, the body orifice port and the stop port. It has 2 orifices: the body orifice and the stop orifice, one of which is always open. This allows for 2 paths of flow. When the power is off the plunger is raised which seals off the stop orifice and opens up the body orifice allowing flow through the valve from the body orifice port and out the cavity port. When the coil is energized the plunger is down, sealing off the body orifice and opening up the stop orifice allowing flow through the valve from the cavity port and out the stop port.


3-way Normally Closed Solenoid Valves

A 3-way, normally closed, solenoid valve has 3 pipe connections: the cavity port, the body orifice port and the stop port. It has 2 orifices: the body orifice and the stop orifice, one of which is always open. This allows for 2 paths of flow. When the power is off the plunger is down which seals off the body orifice and opens up the stop orifice allowing flow through the valve from the cavity port and out the stop port. When the coil is energized the plunger is raised sealing off the stop orifice and opening up the body orifice allowing flow through the body of the valve from the body orifice port and out the stop port.


3-way Directional Control Solenoid Valves

A 3-way directional control solenoid valve has 3 pipe connections: the cavity port, the body orifice port and the stop port. It has 2 orifices: the body orifice and the stop orifice, one of which is always open. This allows for 2 paths of flow. Energizing the valve raises or lowers the plunger. Raising the plunger seals off the stop orifice and opens up the body orifice directing flow through the body of the valve. When the plunger is down it seals off the body orifice and opens up the stop orifice directing flow through that port.


The following infographic gives you more details on the different types and functions of 3-way valves. Continue reading to discover which valve might be right for you.

Different Types of 3-Way Valves

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