Valve Maintenance Systems

Our Valve Maintenance Systems are designed with water delivery, water distribution, and operator safety in mind and are vital to any Valve Maintenance Program. Turning valves by hand can take a lot of effort, causing physical discomfort and unnecessary injury over time to members of a valve maintenance crew. Our valve maintenance trailers and skids feature powered valve operators that automatically exercise the valves using our VITALS software. This specially designed software works the valve back and forth, removing build-up, rehabilitating the valves, and extending their life. This system also improves the crew's productivity since they no longer turn valves by hand. VITALS can determine the size of the valve, the valve position, the valve turning direction, record the exact GPS location of the valve, and more.

Our valve maintenance systems are also designed to keep the valve crew out of traffic. The vacuums, pressure washers, and exercisers are all accessible from the curbside or rear of the units. Whether you choose a trailer, skid, or our purpose-built valve maintenance truck body, you’ll see noticeable improvements in your water system and your crew.

Valve Maintenance Programs

A valve maintenance program is vital for the security of the water delivery network. Knowing where valves are located and ensuring that they operate as designed and work during emergencies are essential to any municipality or water utility. Exercising valves regularly will extend their service life. In an emergency, having valves that work as expected can reduce water loss, minimize damage and flooding, and prevent customer disruption.

When deposits from water and iron form on a valve, it can make the valve difficult or impossible to operate with hand tools. If a valve hasn't been turned regularly, it can require replacement, making it a liability for the water delivery system. If a valve is stuck in the closed position, it can prevent water delivery when necessary. A stuck open valve can cause additional damage during a water main break or other emergencies.

For cleaner water and to prevent valves from sticking, Wachs, Valve Manufacturers, the AWWA & EPA all recommend a valve maintenance program where valves are operated on a set basis, depending on the size and volume of water flowing through the valve.

  • Critical and transmission valves should be exercised often, while smaller valves should be operated on a less frequent schedule.
  • If a valve is lost, it's no longer being exercised. If it fails, it can bring down part of the system, causing customer disruption, damage, flooding, and unnecessary expense. Keeping track of valves is vitally important.
  • Valve boxes should be cleaned out to maintain access to the valve.
  • To operate these valves, a gradually increasing rotational force should be applied to the operator nut in a back-and-forth motion to clean and free the valve stem and gate, breaking off and flushing obstructions and debris into the system.
  • The following information should be recorded for each valve:
    • number of turns a valve takes to operate
    • the size of the valve
    • the valve's close directionality (clockwise or counterclockwise)
    • the type of valve (gate valve, butterfly valve, etc.)
    • the location of the valve (in the street, next to the road, latitude/longitude, etc.). Also, sometimes valve boxes can be inadvertently covered by landscaping or paving. A lost valve can be as bad as a broken valve.
    • the last position (open, closed, etc.) should be recorded. If a valve is found in a different position than it was left in, or if it requires a different number of turns, it could indicate a problem with the valve.
    • Valve condition (does it function correctly, is it leaking, condition of the operator nut, etc.)
    • Valve box condition (is it full of debris, is the lid missing, is the vault centered properly, is it paved over, etc.).

Wachs and Your Valve Maintenance Program

Wachs can help start a valve maintenance program for your water delivery system. For more information, reach out to your Wachs Valve Expert™, e-mail us, or give us a call today at +1-847-537-8800.

Be sure to ask about scheduling your free, no-obligation refresher on proven valve maintenance techniques for your valve crews.