Blaming the Valve

Blaming the Valve

March 4, 2019

By: Bruce Ellis

In many situations where a system starts to suddenly fail, the valve is the first suspect. This may or may not be true, depending on the issue. If a swing check valve is being used it is important to remember they are inherently noisy, so a quiet swing check is a problem. Whereas a non-slam check valve is designed to operate quietly, so if it becomes noisy, there is a problem.

Here are 3 questions to ask to help diagnose the issue causing system failure:

  1. Did the systems components change?

Simply put, is your pump or compressor working at the same efficiency (flow rate and pressure) as when it was new? Or did something change? It’s a good idea to have a pressure gauge and flow meter installed to monitor the conditions.

  1. Did something foreign enter the system?

Foreign objects sometimes find their way into a system causing damaged components, such as impellers and pistons. These objects can possibly get jammed in a valve, causing it to become stuck in the “open” or “closed” position. This can occur when intake screens become dislodged after repairs have been done, or on new installations. There have been documented occurrences where rocks, pieces of wood and even hand tools have been stuck in valves.

  1. Has there been a change in process conditions?

The media in a process can change. Is it more acidic? Does it contain more particulate? Did the specific gravity change? Any or all of the these will change how a valve operates. Increased acidity can cause failure of the spring and corrosion of the wetted parts. Increased particulate will cause faster wear of all parts and can lead to leaks and failure of a valve and other components in the system. A thicker than normal media will put strain on a pump and can slow the “close time” of a valve.

To help save money and down time, it is highly important to have an inspection and maintenance schedule to keep your system working properly and safely.

It’s all about efficiency!

Download the DFT® Silent Check Valve 6-page Brochure now!

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