How To Extend The Life Of Your Valves
Over time, all valves will need to be replaced due to normal
wear and tear. However, there is no reason why valves shouldn't
have a long and healthy lifespan, and no reason why you shouldn't
save on the time and cost of replacing them. With correct operation,
installation and maintenance, your valves will last longer and
need fewer repairs. Through preventative maintenance (whether
manual or automated), you can keep track of your valves' performance,
troubleshoot factors that are affecting their lifespan, and
take care of small problems before they spiral out of control.
Here are 3 simple ways to extend the life of your valves:
You likely use different types of valves in your operations. The best way to extend their lifespan is to make sure they are used properly. You should become familiar with each and every valve, taking note of the type of systems they are designed for and how to install them correctly, the properties of the valve materials and the fittings they work with, as well as technical specifications - such as pressure, flow direction, temperature and other operating instructions. When pumps are operating at their best efficiency point (BEP), the system performs more efficiently and this reduces wear and tear on your valves.
2) Keep them clean
One of the easiest ways to maximize the life of your valves is to keep them clean. While every plant operator will schedule cleaning according to their own operational needs, it's best to clean valves once a year at the minimum (more if your plant is dusty or dirty). Use a cloth, wire brush and/or lubricant to clean all valve components, paying particular attention to the casing. Keeping your valves clean will prevent build up on the stem and other moving parts.
3) Regular inspections
Your valves should be checked and tested regularly for best results. If your valves are subject to high temperature or pressure, you should inspect them more regularly, as these conditions can cause rapid deterioration. Make sure that you check for any abnormalities on the valve, such as cracks, cuts or evidence of leaks (usually seen through mineral build up or signs of corrosion on the casing).
The mineralization process, rust and corrosion will naturally affect your valves over time. Take advantage of annual plant shutdowns to check your valves, clean thoroughly and replace worn, brittle or rotting pieces. You should also test static valves to make sure that your valve position indicator provides the correct reading. Determine which parts - if any - need to be repaired or replaced and take action immediately.
Companies spend a fortune replacing valves unnecessarily. Through
the correct operation, maintenance and repair of your valves,
you can extend their lifespan, and save time and money.