It’s a no-brainer that poorly maintained equipment doesn’t live as long as it should. Lack of maintenance or poor maintenance practices often result in sudden equipment failures that lead to downtimes in operation and unexpected replacement costs. With a proper maintenance program on your valves, however, they are bound to improve their performance and live up to or even past their expected lifetime.
Here are a few simple tips to help you increase your valve’s durability:
Know your valves well
Chances are you have a variety of types of valves within your facility. These could include globe, butterfly, ball, and check valves, among others. You should start by learning about each one and getting acquainted with their specific operations. Learn the types of valves in use, their physical properties and technical specifications, their temperature and pressure tolerances, their lifetime, and other specifics. This is crucial in helping you develop a customized maintenance program that works perfectly for your specific valves.
Keep the valves clean
This is the most basic way to extend the life of your valves. It is recommended that you clean your valves at least once a year, or more if your environment exposes them to extreme dust and rust. Cleaning the valves is not a hard task. With a towel or wire brush, you can easily clean the valve’s casing to clear any dirt or rust buildup. There are also many cleaning products you can use to purify and clean your valves, especially on their interior, to kill bacteria and remove dirt.
Perform routine inspections
It is important to inspect your valves, particularly the ones that are subjected to high stress (pressure or temperatures). Valves that are constantly under stress are more likely to fail quickly than the others. During your routine inspections, such valves should be well monitored to ensure their nuts and bolts are tight enough. You also should inspect all your valves for leakages. Leaks can be identified by mineral buildup and corrosion on the valve.
Replace components when necessary
Most valves are made of various components that often wear out before the valve has out-lived its lifetime. Such parts include handles, rubber linings, and plastic parts. You should consider having a scheduled shutdown maintenance program to go over your valves by taking them apart, cleaning their insides, and replacing any worn-out or broken components. This helps the valves to go an extra mile in their service life.