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Valve Inspection 101: How to Check for Bad Valves

February 04, 2024

The valve is a crucial component in the fields of mechanical and engineering, with its significance and function being multifaceted. Firstly, valves are employed to control and regulate the flow of fluids (liquids, gases, or mixtures). By opening, closing, or partially opening valves, the flow rate and pressure of fluids can be controlled to meet the requirements of different processes or systems. Furthermore, the proper functioning of valves ensures the safe transportation and handling of fluids within systems. In high-pressure or high-temperature environments, valves act to protect pipeline systems from overload or sudden pressure changes, thus preventing accidents and damage. Therefore, understanding and correctly utilizing valves are paramount across various engineering and application domains.


Common Valve Issues


When a valve experiences leakage, compressed gas or liquid may escape from the valve body when it's closed. This leakage often results in the engine losing power because the cylinders fail to receive sufficient pressure to drive the pistons. Additionally, the engine might exhibit unstable idling due to the gas leakage affecting combustion stability, resulting in abnormal exhaust emissions caused by incomplete combustion, leading to fuel wastage and increased emissions.



Valve wear implies a decrease in the sealing performance between the valve and its seat, leading to a loss of cylinder pressure. In such cases, the engine may exhibit unstable idling as the cylinders fail to maintain normal pressure. Furthermore, decreased valve sealing performance may lead to increased engine noise, as gases may leak from around the valve.



When a valve bends, it may fail to fully close or open, resulting in abnormal exhaust. Abnormal exhaust manifests as inefficient gas flow in the exhaust pipe, potentially generating unusual noises or exhaust sounds. Additionally, due to improper valve closure or opening, the engine may display unstable idling because of unstable gas flow. Moreover, increased engine noise may occur due to the valve's abnormal movements, resulting in additional vibrations and sounds from the engine.



If a valve jams, the cylinder's pressure may be affected, causing the engine to lose power. Power loss typically occurs because the cylinders fail to receive sufficient pressure to drive the pistons. Additionally, valve jamming may lead to unstable idling as cylinder pressure remains unstable, unable to maintain normal idle speeds. In terms of exhaust, abnormal exhaust may occur due to incomplete combustion or obstructed gas flow in the exhaust pipe, ultimately resulting in fuel wastage and increased emissions.


How to Inspect Water and Gas Valves for Damage or Issues?

Shut off Water/Gas Supply

Before beginning the inspection, ensure the water or gas supply is shut off to prevent water or gas flow to the inspection area.


Visual Inspection

Examine the appearance of the valve, including the valve itself, valve body, and surrounding pipes.

Look for any obvious damage, rust, leaks, or blockages. Pay particular attention to signs of water stains, leaks, or gas leaks.


Operate the Valve

Open and close the valve to ensure smooth operation without sticking or abnormal resistance.

Note any unusual sounds, such as grinding or friction noises, which may indicate impurities or damage inside the valve.


Check Valve Seal

Open the valve to allow water or gas flow, then close the valve.

Observe for water drips, water stains, or gas leaks when the valve is closed, indicating poor valve sealing.

Gently touch around the valve to check for any dampness or moisture.


Inspect Pipe Connections

Check the connections of pipes around the valve for signs of leaks, cracks, or looseness.

Pay special attention to pipe connections for water leaks or gas leaks, which may require replacing gaskets or tightening connections.


Use Pressure Gauge for Testing

If valve issues are suspected, use a pressure gauge for testing.

Connect the pressure gauge to the valve, open the valve, and observe the gauge readings. Unstable or abnormally high pressure may indicate valve issues.


By following these steps, you can comprehensively inspect water and gas valves for damage or issues. If any abnormalities are found, it is advisable to take prompt action to repair or replace the valves to ensure the normal operation and safety of water and gas systems.


Thank you for your attention, and don't hesitate to reach out for any further assistance or inquiries.

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