Maintenance of Solenoid Valves
Solenoid valves are used in a variety of applications, and they are critical for the smooth operations of many machines and facilities. Because valves regulate the flow of fluid, or gas for sophisticated systems, a lack of maintenance can cause difficulties throughout the system. Due to their size, solenoid valves are sometimes ignored during maintenance services.
Like any mechanical device, solenoid valves benefit from routine care and attention to extend their lifespan and maintain consistent performance. This article will discuss why it is worthwhile to maintain them and their impact on the overall system performance.
A solenoid valve’s upkeep entails replacing old parts and keeping components healthy and clear of contaminants. Like any piece of machinery, proper preventive care and management of a solenoid valve can enhance the product’s lifetime and guarantee consistent operation.
To check your solenoid valve, first, disconnect the valve from electricity than the liquid or gas lines and then inspect its components.
Take out the top nut, ID plate, coils, and armature tubing from the armature tube. Examine the tube and valve bodies for sludge, debris, or rust. Verify that the armature/spring component inside the tube keeps moving. Check for contaminants or corrosion on the gaskets and o-rings.
Disconnect the upper valve housing and inspect the diaphragm for dirt, rips, or distortion on pilot-controlled and aided lift solenoid valves.
Components that are damaged or worn out should be changed. Solenoid valve replacement parts are available from Gould. New O-rings, hinges, a plunger, and maybe diaphragms, pistons, and other associated systems will be found in these kits. Make sure that the repair kit is suitable for the valve in question.
Basic Maintenance Steps for Solenoid Valves
- To begin, turn off the power and release the pressure in the system. Similarly, operate the machine with the safeguards required for the fluid or gas it controls.
- Examine the coil for encapsulation fractures. These can contribute to moisture accessing the coil in damp or humid situations, culminating in valve failures.
- Damaged or corroded connectors to the coil must also be examined. Never turn on an AC coil unless you’re sure it’s correctly fitted on the valve’s sleeves or stem. Precise company instructions ought to be followed for more complicated solenoid valves that use diaphragms, cylinders, spindles, and levers.
- When the coil is withdrawn, the pressure regulator is the only unit left. A feature on the sleeve will receive a sleeve removal instrument, commonly a wrench. Pinching onto the sleeve tube to detach the sleeve will lead the sleeve tube to damage or twist.
- The internal parts of the valve operator are exposed when the sleeve is removed from the valve. The plunger with a seal, the plunger returning spring, an O-ring, the sleeves, and the operators body are all included. These should be inspected for wear and replaced if necessary.
- Stretching, cracking, or overall degradation of the seals is possible. Coils that are worn or damaged should be checked on the spring. The opening in the body can be cut, or the crest can be eroded. The plunger’s head and the interior of the sleeve may also have worn out.
- Reconstitute the pressure vessel as per manufacturer specifications and rejoin the coil when all necessary components have been restored and any build-up has been cleared from the valve. Replace the newly-assembled valve into the device after that. The valve’s power should not be reconnected until all pieces have been placed correctly.
The valve does not need to be removed from the pipework for maintenance and repairs. It is possible to order appropriate repair kits. Based on the fluid or gas service and quality parameters, all solenoid valves must be maintained on a regular basis. A tiny metallic clicking can be heard as the armature works when a valve is cleaned. Extreme noise, poor performance, or leakage are all signs that the valve needs to be cleaned. It’s also a good idea to wash the strainer at the same time. The valve should be tested for leakage and functionality at least once every four weeks.
Does Valve Care Make a Significant Difference in the System?
Over time, even the most trustworthy valves can break down or collapse. A regular maintenance schedule will help you prevent costly repairs and interruptions, extend the life of your valve, and keep your application working efficiently. The three situations below show how basic maintenance can greatly cut overall costs.
Even when managing basic media like water and air, a typical valve might wear out. Dry air and rapid cycling are two of the most detrimental conditions for a valve’s functioning. Since the media passes through the valve, the lubricant does not usually stay within the valve and will need to be reapplied at different times.
The frequent pounding of the internal components without lubricating might break the parts, and the valve may have to be replaced after 100,000 cycles or fewer. The product’s lifetime can be extended by thousands of cycles with extra lubrication. Mineral accumulation can occur in valves that regulate water, a naturally occurring source of lubrication, which can deteriorate over time. Cleaning on a regular basis can simply prevent this.
Unmoderated or viscous material may have difficulties moving through a solenoid valve that is constructed with narrow orifices or gaps between moving elements, increasing the risk of sudden failure. For such uses, the valve must be designed precisely, with no dissolved particles in the medium and a filtration mechanism to help avoid contamination.
Repair vs Replace
When deciding whether to repair or substitute a valve, it’s critical to evaluate both the valve and the complete application. When compared to the expense of repair, simple designed and installed valves are comparatively cheap to replace. Disassembling the valve, replacing the parts, reassembling, installing, and testing for optimal function is often costlier than putting in a new valve.
Repairing and replacing valves with complicated designs will be pricey. From a monetary standpoint, this is a circumstance where regular care is vital. Field repairs may not be able to match the valve’s initial performance in complex systems; thus, replacement is frequently the best option.
In most cases, maintenance is only the repair of rubber parts or springs. It’s time to replace the remaining pieces if they’re worn or destroyed. If the valve’s interconnections include sweat fittings or the valve’s placement makes removal hard or risky, it’s probably best to leave the valve bodies in position and rebuild its parts on a regular basis. It’s important to check that the valve seating isn’t nicked or damaged, as this could cause seat leakage also with fresh seals.
When Is the Ideal Time to Inspect the Valve?
The ideal time to inspect the valve is when a piece of hardware is being dismantled for service. The valve must also be tested on a regular basis, with the frequency varying depending on the use and the valve’s delivery performance. Proactive steps will extend the life of the product and encourage the valve’s and platform’s highest level of performance.
Solving Issues and Avoiding Failure
You may have followed all of the correct procedures for maintaining a solenoid valve in an operation, but you are still having issues. There could be a variety of problems with the valve, such as:
- When voltage is provided, it does not activate.
- Internal or exterior leakage is present.
- When energized, it generates a chattering sound.
- It is slow or refuses to move.
- The flow output has been lowered.
Valve failure can be prevented if it is properly fitted and maintained and used within the parameters. The valve elements may be damaged if the pressure limit of the solenoid valve is exceeded. Overpressure is frequently indicated by tears in the diaphragm. High pressure might harm the valve core and armature tube assembly in extraordinary situations. The minimum pressure ratings for pilot-controlled and aided lift valves must also be satisfied in order for the valve to operate.
Dirt or particles penetrating the valve can cause it to malfunction. If seals and diaphragms are contaminated in this manner, the valve may not even be ready to close entirely. When a valve leaks, it means that contaminants or foreign substances are keeping it from properly sealing. Contamination can potentially cause valve failure by blocking orifices.
All in all, a solenoid valve is an important piece of equipment that must be cared for and maintained routinely to avoid equipment failure in the long run. Kits for safety components of a solenoid valve can be purchased through many manufacturers, including Gould.