5 Great Ways To Think About Choosing A Valve

If the liquid you were working with was at the ideal temperature, within the perfect range of pressure and unlikely to damage anything if it leaked, only one valve would exist in the world! However, real life is rarely that simple. All liquids come with issues. And to process them you need to know how they work. Therefore, choosing a valve for your application is an important task, one that involves advanced knowledge on how pumps work and what the properties of the liquid you need to move are.

An appropriately selected valve (or indeed any piece of equipment that comes into contact with fluid) can mean efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

Here Are Five Things To Think About When Selecting Valves.

1. Think about conditions
Be aware of your process conditions while choosing a valve. What are the properties of the liquid you’re pumping? Are there any compatibility issues that will impact the material selection of your pipes, pumps, and valves? Do you need a large capacity? Certain types of valves are better suited to that than others. Is your liquid extremely viscous? Is the moving substance a gas that can be compressed? Is it a control valve? Will it be closed or open? Is 2-way or more? All that impacts choice. So as we’ve said before and we’ll say again, know your playing field and that knowledge will enable the ideal selection.

2. Think about space
Process systems are typically large because the valve itself is only one component, which comes with a lot of piping and fittings. Depending on whether your pipes are welded, flanged or threaded, and how many Us, Ls and T shapes you have, the amount of space you need will vary. While this means a lot of thinking about the materials of your equipment and the way in which they are put together, it also means you need to have the space to put it in the ideal configuration for efficiency.

3. Think about speed and efficiency
Everything today happens fast. This means automation. While cost benefits might point you towards manual options, remember that will impact your ability to react quickly to changes in conditions including temperature, pressure, and flow. Today’s valves have automated control devices that can even be operated remotely. See if that makes sense for your business.

4. Think about back-ups and fail-safes
Once you’ve made a selection, despite proper planning and testing, things can go wrong in sensitive applications. Power outages, wear and tear, operator inexperience, forces of nature (like water damage or tiny critters chewing on your wires). The things that could go wrong are endless. Putting in place backup power and having a disaster mitigation plan to ensure these things don’t impact your bottom line is one aspect. The other is thinking about your environment to see if you need a valve that comes with some fail-safes to give you additional control.

5. Think about getting expert advice
There are many options and configurations available and sometimes picking one can seem pretty daunting. While the points above can help you think about your unique set of conditions, there’s no shame in bringing in people to offer you an advisory service. Many vendors will be able to review your applications and make appropriate recommendations for little or no extra charge.