Safety valves, when properly maintained, can last a long time—upwards of 30 years or more. Much more. Recently, a century-old valve arrived at NASVI for repair. After machining and lapping the seats, the valve went back into service.
Safety valves are designed to open only in an emergency and most are not meant for continuous use. How long a valve lasts depends on a variety of factors, but valves commonly fail for two reasons. Improper installation and/or a dirty system. We’ve seen pictures of valves in the field installed horizontally instead of vertically, or installed with the outlet piping unsupported, but our experts most often find pipe dope or some other type of debris lodged on the seating surface.
Valves are sensitive to any kind of debris and the seating surface must be clean and scratch fee in order to create the seal between the seat and the nozzle. When customers operate with a dirty or corrosive system or application, they will have to repair, and possibly replace, their valves after an “event” in which the valve discharges. It is always best to check the valve for leakage after discharge because often it is repairable, saving the expense of replacement.
There are no hard rules dictating when to replace safety valves; only many factors to consider. That being said, a company may have policies in place regarding recertifying or replacing safety valves in a particular facility based on location, industry, inspector or insurance policy.
We provide free repair inspections so better decisions can be made whether to repair or replace the safety valve in question.
Though we work hard to offer the most economical solutions for our customers, sometimes a repair may not make sense if too many parts need to be replaced due corrosion or other types of damage.
We’re Here to Help
When the pressure is on, count on us for relief with 35,000 safety valves (3,000+ varieties) in stock for expedited shipping. When there are unknowns involved, our experienced applications engineers guide you to the right valve make and model, so you can come through for your customers.