Unclogging Plastic Ball Valves The most obvious problem […]
Unclogging Plastic Ball Valves
The most obvious problem that occurs in plastic ball valve is blockage. This is noticeable because it causes pressure drop further in the system. Blockage can be buildup of organic material, calcium buildup, or anything else that gets stuck inside valves. Cleaning out a plastic ball valve's clogs is easy as long as you can get close enough.
If you can disconnect your plastic ball valve from the pipeline, take it to a sink and run water through at as high pressure as possible. If this does not clear the blockage, use a small brush (like a toothbrush) and dish soap to loosen and push out the blockage. Use your brush and soap to scrub out any remaining bits of debris.
If you are unable to remove the valve from the pipeline, there are other ways of removing blockage. The most straightforward is by using a drain snake to dislodge debris clogging the pipeline. Another method is to use a liquid drain cleaner, but you must be careful not to use anything too harsh, as it could corrode the pipes. We recommend using an enzyme-based cleaner, which will clear blockage without being tough on the piping. Read this thread for discussion on what types of cleaners to use in PVC systems.
Cleaning Plastic Ball Valves
Cleaning a plastic ball valve is a very important step in maintaining a piping system, especially one that requires high purity. Two examples of high purity applications are chemical processing and brewing. Regardless of application, you should clean out any plastic ball valve before installation, as they can collect dust during manufacturing and shipping.
We will focus on how to clean out a plastic ball valve when it has already been in operation, as that will cover pre-cleaning as well. As mentioned before, some valves are set in systems permanently while some are removable. Real cleaning is only possible when the plastic ball valve is able to be taken out of the system. Otherwise, it is impossible to scrub out the interior of the valve and ensure that it is being disinfected fully.
The first step in cleaning out a plastic ball valve is to remove it from the pipeline. Usually this involves unscrewing the whole valve (when using a traditional PVC ball valve) or unscrewing the individual ends (when using a true union PVC ball valve). Next, take the plastic ball valve apart as much as possible. This is usually easier with true union valves, as they usually allow the user to remove the ends, ball, and stem. The diagram below illustrates how to take apart a true union ball valve.
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