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Please see below some of our frequently asked questions regarding purchasing, solenoid and switch technical details.


How can I place an order?

Quotation requests are welcomed by email, fax or telephone.
Purchase Orders can be emailed, faxed or posted we cannot accept verbal orders.
T: +44(0)1535 661144
F: 01535 661474

Payment methods accepted?

We can accept payment by BACS, Cheque, Debit or Credit card with the exception of American Express and Paypal

What should I do if my products arrive damaged?

Contact our team immediately if you notice any problems, emailing supporting photographs of any damage will help with efficient handling of the issue.
T: +44(0)1535 661144

Is there a minimum order quantity?

Our minimum order quantities vary from product to product, contact our team on +44(0)1535 661144 or email enquiries to 

*Some standard tubular solenoids can be obtained via Amazon and a select range of open frame solenoids are available to buy through Ebay

Where do you ship to?

NSF Controls ship to customers worldwide.

What are NSF Controls business hours?

Monday to Thursday - 8am - 5pm
Friday - Closed
Saturday & Sunday - Closed

What is a solenoid?

A typical solenoid consists of the following main elements: a cyclindrical coil, a steel or iron frame or shell, a steel or iron plunger and optionally, a stationary magnetic pole/travel stop. A magnetic field is generated within the solenoid by passing electrical current through the coil. The frame or shell surround the coil, providing a flux path. In effect, it focuses the magnetic field produced by the coil. The plunger, being made of a highly magnetic material, reacts to the magnetic field by attempting to move to the centre of the coil. The plunger will travel to the centred position unless stopped by a load which exceeds the solenoids force capability, or the plunger contacts the stationary pole/travel stop. The force generated by a solenoid is dependent upon the current flowing through the coil windings.

What is the mechanical life of a solenoid?

Maximum solenoid life is achieved when the pull force required coincides as nearly as possible with the force generated by the solenoid. Solenoids which develop substantially more force than is required are subject to excessive hammering which eventually may cause mechanical failure. To improve mechanical life, the load must be in line with the plunger and side loads must be kept to a minimum. Mechanical life in DC solenoids will be increased with the addition of an anti-bottoming feature. There will be a slight reduction in force caused by an internal air gap when an anti-bottoming feature is included.

What factors must be considered when selecting a solenoid?

The following information should be determined to correctly choose a solenoid.

  • What is the linear movement needed?
  • How much force is required to perform the operation?
  • What is the space limitation for the solenoid?
  • What is the duty cycle of the solenoid?
  • What is the operating temperature range?
  • Are there any special industrial environmental concerns?
  • Is there need for additional circuit protection?
  • What size lead wire and length of lead is required?

Where are solenoids used?

Typical applications:

Pull – Pinch – Push – Dispense – Lock – Latch - Select – Reject – Index – Divert – Kick – Hold – Release – Eject –- Position

What are switch sections?

A section (or deck or wafer) is what contacts are mounted on.

What is the difference between shorting and non-shorting?

A shorting contact is also known as "make before break" and describes the action of the contact as you select your switch positions. The switch will momentarily short position 1 and 2 together when you rotate from position 1 over to position 2. A non-shorting contact is also known as "break before make". The connection is momentarily broken when you rotate from position 1 over to position 2.

What is an index angle?

An index angle is the number of degrees between each position.

When should you use gold plating?

Gold plating contacts should be used when your product needs a longer shelf life. Also if the switch will not be actuated for a long period of time after installation we recommend the use of gold plating.
Need a customised solution?

Contact our engineers today to find your custom solenoid solution - or call 01535 661144

Our Products

A wide range of reliable, superior quality solenoids and switches, which also provide a sound basis for development of custom solutions.

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NSF Controls Ltd, Ingrow Bridge Works, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD21 5EF, United Kingdom