Proper care and maintenance on all types of valves cannot be emphasized enough. If they are not maintained properly during their lifetime, they will either be highly prone to breakdowns or serve you for a shorter time than they are supposed to. If you want your valves to work at their optimal potential, consider implementing a comprehensive valve maintenance program that ensures the equipment is regularly inspected.
Here are a few tips for what to check during a pressure reducing valve’s maintenance so that you can always get it right.
Find leaking or broken pilot systems
Pilot systems are often vulnerable to damage resulting from simple accidents such as equipment or tools being dropped on them. Over-tightening of their fittings also results in small crevices that can expand over time. Inspect if there are any cracks in the systems or if there is any water leakage. Any of these things will affect the system’s overall pressure and therefore need to be fixed as soon as possible.
Check if the strainer screen is clean
A dirty filter screen is one common reason for pressure reducing valve failure. It chocks the water supply to the main valve, causing it to have trouble closing or closing completely. Check if the filter is clean, and if not, blow it down to clear the clogged dirt. You can quickly do this without removing the screen if the strainer came with a plug.
Check for air in the pilot system
If you let air remain in your pilot system, you are going to get flawed readings when operating it. Air is compressible unlike liquids and therefore should be vented out of the pilot system during maintenance. If the pressure reducing valve has a wet type position indicator, you can easily see if there is air that has collected in the system through the indicator’s sight glass. Opening the bleed valve or plug on top of the indicator will take the air out.
Inspect the main valve diaphragms
Main valve diaphragms don’t get damaged easily and can last for many years without a problem. However, that all depends on the system pressure, minerals in the water, and the valve’s usage. Test the diaphragm to ensure it’s not leaking. If it is, you will need to consider replacing it.
Check for plugged fittings
If you have cleaned the strainer but the pressure reducing valve still has problems closing or opening, the pilot line could be clogged. Check to see if the fittings are plugged and clean or replace them. Replacement is the better option in terms of time and cost-effectiveness.
Additionally, you should also undertake checks on the pilot diaphragms and ball valves, check for cavitations, and perform a simple pilot check.