Many oil refineries, chemical plants, gas pipelines, and even air conditioners use reciprocating air compressors to release gases from one point to another at high pressure. This directs gas flow and is the key behind the transportation of gases or their release for various other applications. The most important part that helps in gas flow regulation is the piston compressor valve or air compressor valve.
The significance of air compressor valves
Valves are very important to regulate gas flow and hence, it has to be in optimal condition always. The compressed air will then be distributed very equally and smoothly. Valve failure can be very harmful to the effective distribution of the gases and can interfere with the progress of the system. If you need a more thorough explanation, click here to find out more.
Troubleshooting the cause of a bad valve is very important. The valve, also called a check valve, keeps pressure on a few parts and allows a unidirectional airflow. A check valve has many parts: the seat, body, and the top cover. There are other parts too like a spring, disc arm, and a hinge pin. Maintenance or repair of this is very important. However, before that, you have to recognize the fact that the valve is bad. How do you do this?
1. Check for any air leaks
When a valve is shut tight, it is important to make sure that there isn’t any air released. If there is some detectable airflow measured, it means it is leaking. You should remember that a check value should completely seal airflow or else if even a slight pressure is applied, the valve opens.
If this is faulty, then the valve turn would be loose and it would open without any application of force. This can lead to air leaking from the pipes or canisters. This could be very dangerous if it is a chemical or harmful gas that is leaking. Sometimes a few gases have a smell that is added to understand when there is a leak, this could be a tell-tale sign of leakage.
2. Check for reduction of air pressure
If the compressor is not divulging enough pressure, it means there might be some undetected leakage. This should be a sign that there is some problem with the valve as the valve regulates the pressure. If the valve is defective, then the release of pressure there leads to an overall reduction of pressure. Hence, the compressor would take more time to generate enough pressure.
3. Check for any noise near the valve
There might be a whistling sound near the valve, like air releasing. Sometimes there might be some buzzing sound too, depending on the volume of air escaping. It is important to recognize these sounds to understand that the valve has a defect.
4. Periodically test the check valve
This maintains the health of your check valve and if you test regularly, any blockage or issues with the check valve can be rectified. Check both the intake and the exhaust port. There might be a blockage in both or any one. How it works is that air should pass really quickly through the intake port when you blow air.
In the exhaust one, however, no air should flow when you blow. If the valve is defective, then air will flow into the exhaust port. This is one major way of troubleshooting defective air compressors. Excess air flowing through the check valve can damage it, even reverse flow can affect it adversely.
What are a few ways to fix the faulty check valves?
Understanding how to assess a faulty check valve helps in rectifying or fixing it. There are many solutions to fix the problem. The check valve can be fixed in numerous ways like cleaning it thoroughly with soap water, removing any dust or grime that has built up in it. Wipe the valve with a dust cloth often to avoid dust particles from accumulating. The area under the cover often has massive dust buildup which can seep into the seat. After cleaning, test it yet again to ensure continuous airflow.
Replacing a part can be done if the valve has a broken part. When even a single part of the compressor valve is broken, it is wise to replace the entire thing to avoid further mishaps. This is safer too, as certain valves that regulate chemicals or flammable gases have to be strong and well-functioning. Knowing your air compressor valve is bad allows you to brainstorm about what you can do next to fix it. Hence, recognizing signs of it has saved a lot of damage.
Do not take excess stress about check valves malfunctioning. Periodic checking, good maintenance, and replacement of defective parts can keep it working flawlessly. Depending on the nature of the gases contained in the containers or pipes, choose a secure and high-quality valve.
Valves can be the one thing that can ensure complete safety in certain situations. It makes sure that the air flows unidirectionally and you can even regulate the pressure. There is an internal disk that allows air to pass forward and this disk is manipulated by the cover.
The disk regulates airflow speed too. There are various ports also that don’t allow any backflow of air. There would be some amount of pressure required to transport the air or gases through the pipes or cylinders hence, valves help in doing that. Valves apply a specific amount of pressure on specific parts of the air compressor. There are times that the check valve may fail or cause problems and this can be observed by any strange noises like whistling or there would be detectable air leakage.
There would also be a very slow pressure buildup and massive pressure variations. If you come across any of these problems, blow through the valve or clean it thoroughly with soap water to remove any unwanted dirt. It is very important to get the air compressor valves repaired or replaced to keep the systems smooth-running.