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Check valves play a critical role in preventing backflow and protecting sensitive equipment, pipes, pumps, and compressors. However, check valves can’t function at their best if they aren’t installed properly. Mistakes in installation can manifest in valve leakage or failure, compromising the integrity of the entire piping system.
Swing check valves, double-door check valve, or silent spring-assisted axial flow check valves, all control flow through a slightly different mechanism. Swing valves use a disc that swings in and out of the fluid stream while double-door valves use springs to close two “doors” to stop the flow. Spring-assisted axial flow valves use a disc and stem design and incorporate compression springs to close the valve before the fluid flow has reversed its flow direction. This is important because the quick closing nature of the axial flow design drastically reduces the possibility for water hammer—a dangerous malfunction where sudden pump shut down or an abruptly closing valve produces a hydraulic shock wave in the piping. In this guide, we’ll discuss ways to prevent water hammer and other common check valve problems.
When a Check Valve Is Necessary
Industry insiders call check valves the “misunderstood valves.” Many professionals simply don’t know when or how to use check valves appropriately, so they think that the entire category is unnecessary or ineffective.
So when is a check valve necessary? Typically, we recommend a check valve when there is the potential for the media being transported in the pipe to backflow, which can damage the system. Condensate pooling can also lead to water hammer. Installing check valves in condensate recovery lines prevents serious malfunction by automatically preventing backflow. In this way, the right check valve not only prevents serious problems like water hammer but also safeguards the entire process as well as the equipment installed in the piping.
Check Valve Installation
To experience the full benefits of a check valve, it’s critical to adhere to installation best practices. A simple mistake in fitting the valve can reduce efficiency at best or cause substantial damage at worst. Some key points to keep in mind include:
- Selection: Choosing the wrong valve for your piping’s size, material, pipe orientation, flow direction and flow rate will result in process inefficiencies or possible premature wear and valve component failure.
- Positioning: Pay close attention to where in the piping you install the valve. Not all check valves will work in a vertical piping run. It also includes ensuring that the valve is at least five pipe diameters away from elbows, tees, fittings or other valves which can cause turbulence
- Orientation: Ensure that the valve is oriented properly by checking the flow arrow (often printed on a tag or permanently marked the valve itself). This arrow indicates the proper positioning relative to the pipe’s flow.
Solutions to Your Check Valve Problems
Preventing check valve malfunctions like hammer pipe is critical to avoiding serious, costly damage to your pipes, valves or other expensive equipment. At DFT, we never want our clients to experience preventable system failure, which is why we’re sharing our expertise: in addition to this guide, we’ve put together a comprehensive webinar that expands on proper check valve installation and maintenance, providing expert guidance on piping design that works and lasts.
For specific questions about check valve selection for your application, contact our team. Whether you’re looking for a standard stock valve or a completely custom order, we’ll work with you to make sure you receive a functional, effective, and safe solution to your piping challenges. Meta description: A guide to check valves, the issues they present when they aren’t installed properly, when they are necessary, and what to look out for during the inst
DFT® recently held a webinar on severe service control valves. To follow up on the information we presented, here are some answers to questions we’ve received.
Are you coping with corrosive aggressive services? Which materials do you use?
Our Ultra-Trol valve is designed to withstand corrosive media with a combination of metallurgy and controlling fluid conditions. It has replaceable liners, as well as wear-resistant materials, including Stellite, 440C, and Tungsten carbide.
How soon you can deliver a valve after receiving the PO?
We can deliver a valve within 10-12 weeks of receiving an order. Depending on our factory capacity at the time of the order, we can often accommodate faster delivery times.
How can digitalization help you predict integrity damage of a valve to take preventive measures before is too late?
As a preventive measure, we recommend a series of initial inspections. This will identify the wear rate, so you can predict integrity damage.
What is the preferred range of operation of a valve?
For the HI-100, the effective range of operation is between 15-90% open. The preferred range is between 30-85% open.
How do you select a valve?
To ensure you get the right valve, they are sized by DFT® engineering. To do that, they take into account temperature, pressure, fluid type, and flow.
What type of valve characteristic curve is preferred (e.g. equal percentage, linear, etc.)?
For the HI-100®, the valve trim characteristic is linear.
What is the max CV/min CV preferred value when selecting a valve?
DFT® engineering accounts for inlet pressure, orifice size pressure drop, and valve flow path to select a trim package that will result in max CV/min CV preferred value within the range of 30-85% full open.
What is the ease provision of trim replacement in Venturi style?
The HI-100® Straight-Through Venturi Style Control Valve is an in-line repairable valve, so replacing the trim requires a few simple steps. First, remove the valve bonnet, which will enable you to remove any internal component. The trim can be removed without any special tools. When the trim has been replaced, reassemble the bonnet. Be sure to follow the disassembly and reassembly instructions in the DFT® HI-100® maintenance manual.
Do you cover also 3-way valves and angle valves? Where are they used and what are their characteristics?
For more information on valve types and sizes we offer, take a look at our website. You’ll find DFT® catalogs, including those for Check Valves, HI-100® Severe Service Control Valves, and LSV-100® General Service Control Valves.
Catalogs have information on valve sizes, types, and material options. DFT® engineering sizes every HI-100® valve based on application data provided by the end user. You can find an application data sheet on page 13 of the DFT® HI-100® catalog or download the PDF here.
Can your valves be 4-20mA or 0-10V modulated and if yes, how does it work?
The controller package in the HI-100® valve/actuator/accessory assembly contains 4-20mA modulator capability. Although DFT® doesn’t manufacture controllers, we do mount them as a part of our complete assembly package. We are able to support a number of control protocols with a range of actuator and controller packages.
How do you isolate a valve during operation?
As it is a modulating control valve, the DFT® HI-100® can achieve Class V shutoff. This is a tight shutoff which is specially designed for isolation service, but not an isolation valve. For systems that require this function, we recommend that an isolation valve is installed upstream from the HI-100®.
Is the ball in the Venturi free to rotate in any position during operation?
During the initial opening of the valve, the HI-100® ball rotates less than 90 degrees, and then it drops during valve closure. As a result, the ball does not contact the seat in the same position, which reduces wear on the ball.
How do you deal with valves operated in parallel (e.g. 50-50% or other)?
In some cases, valves must be operated in parallel, known as “split range” control. One example is a 50-50% arrangement, where two valves each handle half of the total flow. In this case, the valve positioners are configured so they will accept 4-12 ma and 12-20 ma, respectively. This adapts to situations dealing with a large range of flows.
Does DFT® have motorized control valve with fast reaction time (<1sec)?
For a motorized control valve with fast reaction time, linear actuators that are capable of driving DFT® control valves in less than a second are available.
Price-wise, what is the difference when comparing a globe valve to the Venturi style of the same size?
If you’re comparing the prices of a globe valve with the Venturi style valve of the same size, there are a few factors to consider. Venturi style control valves can generate CVs that are 2-3 times greater than a globe control valve of a similar size. As such, you would need a much smaller sized Venturi style control valve in the same environment as a larger globe style valve. Since the Venturi style valve can provide much greater flows, it is more accurate to compare the price of a Venturi style control valve that can manage the goal CVs against the price of the globe style control valve that can achieve the same CVs.
How do you evaluate the opening/closure time for critical valves?
To evaluate the opening and closure time for critical valves, stroke times are specified in the quote. They will be accounted for in the design process, and we will test them in the factory before shipment.
How do you replace the wear bushings in case of a welded end connection? Can those be accessed by removing the bonnet?
The HI-100® is an inline repairable valve. First, remove the valve bonnet, which will give you access to all internal components. The wear bushings can be removed and replaced without using any special tools. Once that’s done, reassemble the bonnet. Be sure to follow the disassembly and reassembly instructions in the DFT® HI-100® maintenance manual.
See What DFT® Can Do for You
DFT® has been offering the best in valves since 1943. If you have additional questions or would like more information about one of our products, please contact us.
Companies in many industries rely on pumps and compressors to safely and efficiently transport fluids throughout their facilities. These systems appear in manufacturing sectors ranging from:
- Food and beverage processing
- Power generation
The size and output of a pump or a compressor varies depending on the fluid that it handles as well as the amount of power required to move the media. For this reason, pumps and compressors range in size from small handheld devices to large industrial equipment. However, a few commonalities exist across all pumps that make diagnosing problems in these systems easier for facility managers.
In this post, we explore a few of the most prevalent issues encountered by pump and compressor owners, and we describe some strategies on how to overcome them.
Problems That Can Arise
Pumps are very loud when they operate, which means that they’re commonly housed in separate rooms within the facility. Pump rooms are often small in size, meaning that very little space exists between valves, fittings, and piping. This creates tight operating conditions for maintenance personnel, and it also means that any problem with the equipment can have cascading effects.
In multiple pump systems that share a common header, the sudden cessation of one pump can create problems in other parts of the system. This can be compounded by compressors, which generate pressure pulsation that can create excessive wear on valves, fittings, and piping if not properly handled.
Finding a Solution
Many facility owners mitigate these risks by installing axial flow check valves. These valves ensure that fluids flow in only one direction, and tare designed to eliminate back flow.
Axial check valves operate via a disc and spring mechanism that prohibits fluid from reversing its flow direction. When pressure builds up on one side of the disc controlled spring , the disc opens, allowing fluid to flow through the valve. However, when there is not enough pressure on the other side of the spring, the valve stays closed, preventing back flow.
These spring mechanisms reduce the risk of water hammering, which increases the valve’s longevity. Valves of this type also occupy less space than manual valves and other check valves, making them easier to install in crowded environments. Axial check valves can be installed vertically or horizontally, which allows them to be used in a number of different applications.
High-Quality Axial Flow Check Valves from DFT®
Preventing damage to your pumping and compression equipment will save your company thousands of dollars and untold amounts of lost production time. Axial check valves are often the first line of defense against reverse flow damages, and their versatility allows facility production and maintenance managers to find custom solutions to a variety of fluid-handling challenges.
If you would like to speak with our experts to determine the best axial flow check valve for your application, contact us today.
Learn more about our pumps and compressors in our new ebook “Axial Flow Check Valves for Pumps and Compressors”
Increasing the Life Span of a Check Valve
Check valves are an important component in piping used to transport fluids. A properly functioning check valve allows liquid to flow in one direction and prevents reverse flow in the opposite direction. Proper installation and preventative valve maintenance are necessary to keep check valves in peak condition.
During installation, it is essential to consider the flow capacity. Proper valve size is necessary to prevent performance issues. Oversizing can lead to vibration damage, shortening the life span of the check valve. However, if you complete routine maintenance on a correctly sized check valve, you can prevent leakage and premature failure.
Method 1: Taking Preventative Measures
The first step in valve maintenance is making sure the pipeline and valves are clean and free of debris. Filters are a simple and effective way to prevent debris from entering the system. If debris does get in the piping, flush the pipes to minimize buildup and remove settled debris. It’s essential to establish a consistent maintenance schedule on all check valves.
Method 2: Choosing the Right Check Valve
This method can improve the function and longevity of the system. Choose a properly sized check valve based on vertical or horizontal orientation, type of media, and the normally expected flow condition specific to the application—not the size of the pipeline. Incorrectly sized valves can cost more, reduce flow velocity, and cause malfunctions such as water hammer. For optimal performance, the valves must be installed correctly and used as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Method 3: Upkeep to Maintain Tight Shut Off
Sometimes a system may need proper routine inspections to maintain tight shutoff and prevent premature check valve failure. You can keep a tight shut off by removing any foreign matter.If flushing hasn’t helped, remove and completely disassemble the valve. Inspect it for scratches on the valve seat and the disc. Then, wash all parts in clean fluid that is used in the system. As you reassemble the valve, inspect the housing and trim parts for any corrosion or erosion. Replace the valve if there is corrosion or excessive roughness due to erosion.
Supporting Your Check Valve Needs
Appropriate check valve choice and regular inspections are key to preventing premature failure in any application. DFT® has been manufacturing check valves and solving any issues for over 70 years. Contact us today to learn more about how DFT can support your check valve needs.
Most manufacturing operations take a substantial amount of power to operate, often making it difficult for industry stakeholders to effectively reduce their carbon footprint. However, with improvements in solar panel technology and power storage, it is now possible for industrial facilities to significantly reduce their impact on the environment. Solar also makes more financial sense for industrial applications, as most factories, warehouses, and other facilities have large, flat roofs that are ideal for these panels.
Solar power is considered one of the greenest renewable energy sources, surpassing other options like natural gas, because its energy produces zero emissions at every stage. It has also surpassed wind to become one of the most affordable end-to-end sources of renewable energy.
DFT® Goes Solar
At DFT® Valves, one of our core company values is a commitment to sustainable operation. In pursuit of this, we have completed the installation of roof panels on our facility that generate approximately 63% of our annual electricity requirements, or 304 kilowatts per minute while the sun is shining.
Since most of our electricity consumption occurs during the day while we are in full production, we can largely offset the power requirements of the production processes. At night, when our power requirements are minimal, we can still use power from the local grid.
We’re also able to sell power back to PECO seven days a week, which provides significant savings that will help us break even on the project in the next few years. In addition, about 33% of the cost was covered through a grant from the state of Pennsylvania, and we expect to receive additional state and federal tax incentives as well. This means we won’t have to pass on any related upfront or ongoing costs to customers. We’ll also contribute to sustainable energy use in the community by assisting PECO in providing power to more than 100 homes in the surrounding area.
Your Sustainable Valve Provider
DFT® Valves provides check valves and control valves for use in a range of applications across a broad array of industries. It is our mission to provide solutions that help you avoid critical valve failures that will negatively impact your operation. The addition of solar panels to power operations shrinks both the company’s and our customers’ carbon footprints.