By Marie of Flo-Pac, LLC
During construction projects involving heavy lifting and potentially dangerous tools, safety should always be a top priority. Taking the proper precautions when installing supply ball and balancing valves ensures both a successful project and a healthy crew. Control valve suppliers Flo-Pac offer these safety suggestions for valve installation:
- Always wear protective goggles while installing valves. Soldering and screwing on parts can send dangerous materials airborne, and if your system contains hot liquids under pressure the damage can be even greater. It’s important to have protective eyewear on even if you and your crew are experienced.
- Install the valve while it’s in the “closed” position. You can easily tell that a supply ball valve is closed because the handle will be running parallel to the piping.
- Don’t overheat the valve while soldering – this could damage it. Use soft solder, apply flux evenly, and clean the copper tubing before installation.
- Wait until the valve has cooled completely before trying to replace the o-ring or tighten any nuts. Do not over-tighten, as this could damage the parts or cause the nuts to stick.
- Many companies use seals made of EPDM, a rubber that’s resistant to damaging substances like glycol and detergents. If your valves use EPDM, do not use any products containing petroleum, hydrocarbon solvents/oils or turpentine.
- If you’re using a PTV (pipe tester valve), use a drain hose to collect water and water vapor. This reduces the risk that high-temperature steam will fly out.
- When venting the valve, remove the cap slowly. High pressure could send the cap flying off and allow high-temperature steam to burn you.
- Always use the pressure gauge whose highest pressure rating is greater than the water system pressure. Don’t assume that the pressure will “be okay.”