The solenoid is used to direct a large electric current to the generator. This can be from a 12 volt or 24 volt source. The solenoid can take the small electrical current from the battery and use it to set the engine in motion. The function is the same as a transistor but using an electromagnetic solenoid rather than a semiconductor to perform the switching. When the start button is pushed a small electric current is sent through the solenoid. This causes the solenoid to close a pair of heavy contacts thus relaying a large electric current which sets the engine in motion. If the solenoid receives insufficient power from the battery it will fail to start the motor and may produce a rapid clicking sound. The lack of power can be caused by a low battery or corroded or loose cables.
Benefits of using the D4114AM1 SOLENOID
These units are cheap to replace if they malfunction. It is best to check the solenoid first to determine whether it is the solenoid at fault or the battery. The units are available in 12 or 24 volt to suit both battery sizes. Without a solenoid the battery power is insufficient to turn the motor and the generator will not start. These small components are none the less imperative to the smooth starting of most generators and alternators. Solenoids are usually used in an energised to run situation and the generator is turned on then the solenoid is energised.
Solenoid Troubleshooting Process
In order to establish whether the solenoid is functioning correctly it can be removed and bench tested or it can be tested in situ. Both methods are acceptable and it is at the technician’s discretion to determine the best approach to use. If a solenoid is especially difficult to remove and re-install it may be better to investigate other possible causes of the generator failing to start before removing and testing the solenoid. At other times, especially from the solenoid manufacturer perspective it may make more sense to bench test the solenoid and eliminate it as a source of the problem.