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Why Air Valves are Needed in Water Applications

Why Air Valves are Needed in Water Applications

Air valves are hydromechanical devices d...

Achieving Profitability Through Maintenance Management

Achieving Profitability Through Maintenance Management

One of the distinctions between maintena...

Control Valve Positioner Performance Diagnostics

Control Valve Positioner Performance Diagnostics

There has been discussion for some years...

Are Your Safety Instrumented Systems Proof Tests Effective?

Are Your Safety Instrumented Systems Proof Tests Effective?

Many people assume that a proof test of ...

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Industry Headlines

ITT Announces President of Industrial Process Business

23 HOURS AGO

ITT Inc. has appointed David J. Malinas as president of its Industrial Process business, reporting to Luca Savi, ITT's COO. In this role, Malinas will be responsible for delivering the strategic and operating plans of ITT's Industrial Process business, which employs about 2,500 people globally and h...

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Chesterton Expands Environmental Consulting Expertise

3 DAYS AGO

A.W. Chesterton Company  is expanding its global environmental solutions expertise with the addition of two highly experienced industrial emissions specialists, Bronson Pate and Beau Stander. Both will be joining FluidEfficiency, a Chesterton business group. Pate and Stander will serve in the ro...

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Smart Technology Transforming Oil & Gas Industry

1 DAY AGO

“A new cadre of services companies, trying to sell the energy industry on the promise of a more efficient digital age, is fighting to get smart technology onto pipes, tanks, platforms and drills, in some cases deeply discounting prices to gain market share,” the Houston Chronicle reports .

C...

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U.S. Refineries Running at Peak Levels

2 DAYS AGO

Gross inputs to U.S. petroleum refineries, also referred to as refinery runs, averaged a record high 17.7 million barrels per day (b/d) for the week ending May 26, before dropping slightly to 17.5 million b/d for the week ending June 2 and 17.6 million b/d for the week ending June 9. According to th...

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Economic Indicators Index Rises for Fifth Straight Month

-1 DAYS AGO

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.3% in May to 127.0, following a 0.2% increase in April, and a 0.4% increase in March.

“The U.S. LEI continued on its upward trend in May, suggesting the economy is likely to remain on, or perhaps even moderately above, its...

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U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Continue Strong Recovery

1 DAY AGO

Manufacturing technology orders made year-over-year gains in April according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). It was also the first month that orders showed gains year to date for 2017.

Monthly orders were up 12.3% compar...

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Water Hammer—Check It Out

Have you ever been in an area of the plant that had just shut down a pump, only to hear an explosive sound a few seconds later? The noise you heard was the pump check valve, accompanied by the water hammer, or reverse flow, that slammed it shut.

Multiple pump systems often use a check valve located between the pump and the discharge header. The purpose of this valve is to prevent backflow from the header to the pump when it is not running. Without the check valve the pump could actually spin backwards.

Depending on the system pressure, these valves can close with such force that they damage the check valve, the pump, and over time even the pump base. Most check valves require reverse flow to close the valve and once this flow momentum has started, it does not stop as quickly as the check valve closes. The result is water hammer, a very destructive force. According to Webster's: Water hammer: a concussion, or sound of concussion, of moving water against the sides of a containing pipe or vessel.

We have seen many plants overcome these laws of physics with the use of an "auto check," also known as a "butterfly check." This concept utilizes a pneumatic-operated butterfly valve, and relatively simple control logic in order to close the valve automatically, prior to shutting down the pump. This action avoids reverse flow, so that the back flow and water hammer never have the chance to develop.

The valves for these applications are typically high-performance butterfly valves with a pneumatic actuator. Accessories include a limit switch and four-way pilot solenoid with two adjustable speed controls. The speed controls restrict the airflow out of the cylinder in both directions, thus regulating the opening and closing speed of the valve.

Control logic for the auto check is simple. When the pump is not pumping, the butterfly valve is closed. When the motor start command is received, either locally or from the PLC, the pump motor is energized. Pressure builds up on the pump side of the auto check valve. A differential pressure switch senses pressure differential between the newly started pump and the header past the auto check. At some predetermined point-such as 1 psi, .5 psi. or .25 psi-the delta p switch makes contact on pressure increase. The switch is sealed in by a relay and energizes the solenoid valve, which opens the butterfly valve smoothly, aided in part by the speed control valves. When the butterfly valve is totally open, a limit switch is tripped and sends a valve-open status to the PLC.

When the motor stop command is received, the pilot solenoid is de-energized and the valve closes at a controlled rate, again aided by the speed controls. When the valve is completely closed the limit switch is tripped, which in turn shuts off the pump motor. This action eliminates water hammer by preventing any back flow from occurring.

BRUCE FENWICK is in technical sales for McJunkin Corporation, Harvey IL. Reach him via 708.225.3120 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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