Butterfly valves are used in various industries for their reliable, efficient, and cost-effective flow regulation capabilities. They are mostly found in pipelines carrying liquids, gases, or even slurries. The valve gets its name from its unique design that resembles the wings of a butterfly. This quarter-turn valve has a circular shaped disc placed in the middle of the pipeline that rotates, allowing it to regulate the fluid flow. Their simple design makes these valves easy to install, operate, and maintain. In this blog, we will discuss the butterfly valve installation and maintenance procedure, ensuring their long-lasting performance and efficiency.
Butterfly Valve Installation Procedure
To ensure that butterfly valves function efficiently and provide long lasting service, you must follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation procedure that covers all necessary steps. This section will guide you through the entire installation process, starting with pre-installation preparation such as valve sizing, compatibility check, and safety review. We’ll then move on to the actual installation steps, including valve orientation, flange gasket installation where needed, bolt torquing, and final testing. By following our detailed instructions, you can ensure that your butterfly valves are installed accurately, reducing the risk of potential failure, leaks, and downtime.
Before installing butterfly valves, undertaking these preparatory steps can help ensure that the correct valve is installed for the application:
- Ensure proper valve sizing: The size and design of butterfly valves play a critical role in their performance in various industrial applications. Proper valve sizing is a prerequisite for optimal valve performance because it directly affects the flow regulation capabilities of the valve. The size of the valve determines the amount of flow that can pass through it, while the pressure drop across the valve is affected by the valve’s geometry and design. If a butterfly valve is not sized correctly for a specific application, it may not be able to handle the required flow rate, leading to increased pressure drop, reduced efficiency, and potential damage to the valve. Selecting the appropriate butterfly valve size and design based on the specific application requirements helps ensure that the valve operates efficiently and effectively.
- Check valve and piping compatibility: Butterfly valves are available in different materials and designs. The compatibility of the valve with the piping system is critical because it can affect the valve’s performance, longevity, and safety. For instance, if the fluid is corrosive, it’s important to select a valve made of materials such as stainless steel to prevent premature failure of the valve due to corrosion. Therefore, before installing the valve, carefully consider the materials and specifications of both the valve and the piping system to ensure compatibility and prevent potential issues such as leaks and corrosion.
- Review installation manual and safety guidelines: Before installation, always review the manufacturer’s installation manual and safety guidelines. This will help you understand the correct installation procedures and safety precautions to take, reducing the risk of installation errors and ensuring that the valve is installed correctly and safely.
The installation process
The installation process of a butterfly valve involves the following steps to ensure the proper functioning and reliable performance of the valve:
- Proper valve orientation and positioning: Butterfly valves use a disk to regulate the flow through the valve. For the disk to function effectively, it must be positioned perpendicular to the direction of the flow. Incorrect positioning can lead to reduced valve performance and potential damage to the valve. Additionally, manufacturers specify whether to install the valve with the drive shafts positioned horizontally or vertically, and deviating from these specifications can also affect valve performance and lead to premature wear and tear. The disk of a butterfly valve should be slightly open when installing the valve to ensure that any stresses that may act on the valve do not result in the disk damaging the seal. Therefore, proper valve orientation and positioning are critical to ensure it operates efficiently and effectively.
- Installation of flange gaskets and bolts: Depending on the design of the butterfly valve being installed, it may be necessary to install additional flange gaskets between the valve and the adjacent pipe flanges. Butterfly valves that have a resilient seal fitted to the internal surfaces of the body typically have the resilient seal overlap the flange faces of the valve, thereby acting as an integral gasket. Proper installation of flange gaskets and bolts is crucial for the leak-free operation of butterfly valves. Flange gaskets help create a seal between the valve and flanges to prevent any fluid leakage. Bolts hold the valve to the adjacent pipe flanges, compressing the gaskets to create a tight seal.
- Torquing bolts to recommended specifications: During installation, the flange bolts must be tightened in a specific sequence and torqued to ensure proper gasket compression. If the bolts are not tightened correctly, the gaskets may not be compressed enough, leading to leaks, or the gaskets may be over-compressed, leading to deformation and potential failure. Therefore, following the recommended torque specifications and installation procedures is essential to ensure that the valve operates effectively without any leaks.
- Final checks and testing: After installing the valve and its components, you must perform a series of tests to ensure the valve is functioning optimally. Operate the valve to verify that it moves smoothly and consistently, providing proper sealing and a leak-free operation. During the inspection, check the valve and surrounding piping for any signs of damage before putting the valve into service. You can do this by visually inspecting the valve, its components, and the surrounding piping for any physical damage, including cracks, dents, or corrosion. It is also critical to ensure that the valve and the surrounding piping are properly aligned and supported to prevent any undue stress or strain on the valve, which can lead to premature wear and tear. In addition, any signs of leaks, such as fluid dripping or spraying, should be investigated immediately.
By performing these checks, you can identify and address any issues before the valve is put into service, minimising the chances of unexpected shutdowns or costly repairs in the future.
Butterfly Valve Maintenance Procedure
Correct installation of butterfly valves is essential for optimal performance, but it is not enough to ensure long-term reliability. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep the valve operating at peak efficiency and prevent premature failure. In this section, we will discuss the key maintenance tasks to help extend the life of your valves and minimise the risk of unexpected downtime or safety hazards:
Regular maintenance schedule
To keep your butterfly valve operating effectively, you need to follow a regular maintenance schedule. The frequency of maintenance will depend on factors such as how often the valve is used, the environment in which it operates, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Creating a maintenance schedule ensures regular inspection and maintenance of the valve and timely execution of necessary repairs.
Visual inspection of valve components
Regular visual inspections of the valve and flange bolting can help identify any physical damage, such as cracks, corrosion, or signs of wear and tear. The recommended frequency to perform these inspections is at least once every six months or as necessary based on the usage and environment.
Regularly exercising the valve
To ensure that butterfly valves will operate correctly when required, they should be ‘exercised’ on a regular basis. This will ensure that the shafts are not seized and that they rotate freely within the bearings of the valve. It also allows for the integrity of the seal to be checked to ensure that the valve will shut off without leakage when needed.
Troubleshooting common valve issues
Despite proper maintenance, butterfly valves can still encounter issues such as leaks, improper sealing, or reduced performance. Knowing how to troubleshoot these common issues can help address them quickly and prevent further damage. As such, always keep a troubleshooting guide handy and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the necessary repairs.
Australia’s Trusted Butterfly Valve Manufacturer and Supplier
With careful pre-installation preparation, accurate installation, and regular maintenance and inspections, butterfly valves can operate efficiently and reliably for many years. As a trusted butterfly valve manufacturer and supplier in Australia, John Valves is committed to providing high-quality products and services to meet the diverse needs of our customers. Whether you need assistance with valve selection, installation, maintenance, or repair, our experienced professionals can provide the expertise and support you need. By partnering with us, you can ensure that your butterfly valves are well-maintained and optimised for their specific applications, reducing the risk of downtime, leaks, and other potential issues. Contact John Valves today to learn more about our products and how we can help you with your valve needs.