Seven Things You Don’t Want to Ignore

Randy Abramovic
PumpMan Pittsburgh
September 2017

John Wooden, American basketball player and head coach at UCLA, once said, “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

This quote comes to mind with pressure reducing valves. Small increments of change can result in large effects, which can be positive and allow things to function properly or can result in catastrophic failures.

Due to budget or time constraints, we don’t always give our valves the attention they need for peak performance. But, ignoring pressure reducing valves can lead to expensive repairs. By performing regular maintenance, you can identify problems before they become costly issues.

Seven important valve maintenance points to monitor regularly:

  • Physical inspection of the valve; leaks or cracks can reduce the effectiveness of the valve. The job of a valve is to be a pilot-operated regulator, capable of holding downstream pressure to a pre-determined limit. Because they wear and are susceptible to damage, they need to be inspected on a regular basis.
  • Check for air in the main valve and or tubing; residual air will result in false readings if it remains in the system, causing failure to regulate as designed.
  • Check Strainer; check inner and outer screens for clogging, embedded foreign particles, breaks, cracks corrosion, fatigue and other signs of damage. Any of these can lead to valve failure.
  • Test main valve diaphragm; this critical moving part within the valve system can be stopped by the buildup of foreign matter or wear over time.
  • Diaphragm; if you see leakage from the pilot cover vent hole, you may have a damaged diaphragm or loose diaphragm nut. To remedy, remove cover and ensure nut is properly adjusted. If water is still leaking, disassemble and replace the diaphragm. Confirm the water is running and dry pilot with an absorbent towel.
  • Conduct pilot check; the pilot control is designed to automatically reduce higher inlet pressure to a lower outlet pressure, and should be checked for intended delivery pressure ranges. Should you need to adjust the settings, make gradual changes slowly and allow time for the valve to respond.
  • Inspection of ball valve; after a visual inspection give each of your ball valves a turn to ensure they move properly and that the valve is open and watch for leaks. After testing the movement of the ball valves, make sure you return them to their original position.

If you pay close attention to these seven important checks you may eliminate some pressure from your hectic work schedule, possibly avoiding catastrophic damage.

For additional assistance, or to schedule a comprehensive valve check, please contact PumpMan.
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