Companies whose operations depend on effective fluid flow in pipelines consider check valves as key ingredients to effective and efficient pipeline transport.
Check valves are one-way valves that allow fluid to flow in only one direction in a pipeline and prevents opposite directional flow. The hydraulic pressure of flowing water in a pipeline is what acts on the valve mechanism to make it open or close.
Mining companies, water companies, oil and gas companies, Pharmaceutical companies, food processing companies, etc., use check valves extensively for effective flow operations. This is because reverse flow in pipelines can cause damage to some operational equipment.
Knowing the common factors that cause check valve failure and knowing how to prevent them is imperative and very crucial for productivity. The most common factors that affect proper check valve functioning include,
Pressure Surge: This results when a fluid in motion is suddenly forced to stop or direction changes abruptly. Pressure surge, otherwise known as high-pressure shock or water hammer can result in severe pipe rapture, destruction to pipeline fittings, excessive noise and vibrations.
Reverse Flow: This results when there is a two-way flow in the valve system, i.e. the check valve allows water to flow backward to the upstream side of the valve. This can result in severe damage to water pumping machines.
Poor installation and maintenance: When check valves are poorly installed, maintained or assembled, they result in frequent failure of the valve system which further results in costly damage to water piping systems. Priority must be given to flow capacity, positioning and location when check valves are to be installed, assembled or maintained.
Debris: This can cause clogging in check valves. When this occurs, fluid will not flow efficiently in the pipeline and pressure will build up in the upstream which can cause pipe rapture, explosion and damage to pump machines. Debris in check valves can also cause the valves to break and dislodge. This would allow more debris to flow in the downstream section of the check valve.
How to Prevent Check Valve Failure
The most important approach for preventing check valve failure is to ensure proper installation, maintenance and assembly.
Provision of filters and covers where necessary and regular flushing of Pipelines can keep piping systems free from debris that can cause clogging.
Minimizing friction via consistent lubrication of all moving parts of the check valve system can prevent premature failure of check valves and prolong their life. It also facilitates efficient flow operations and prevents damage.
Hpe Solution For Preventing Check Valve Failure
Non Return Check Valve
HPE Non Return Check Valve is a very strong performing and efficient tool that is designed to help in minimising pipeline pulses (water hammer), generated by a pump trip out, by closing rapidly in the reverse flow direction. It is mainly used with Pump Control Valves in mine dewatering applications.