A valve exercising program ensures that sediment and debris do not build up on water valves and cause them to be impossible to shut. Although most people have never heard of this, it is an important part of city and town maintenance that residents should understand.
The Process for Exercising Valves
To start, municipal workers will hook a valve exerciser up and turn the valve towards the closed position for roughly five turns. Then, they will open it for two or three turns. After that, they will move it towards closed for five more turns. They will repeat this opening and closing process until the valve is completely closed. After letting it stay closed for a minute, they will likely open and close the valve again. This lets any sentiment build-up flow away from the valve before they completely open it again.
Guidelines That Professionals Use
One of the most common guidelines a professional adheres to includes not rushing. This leads to them forcing valves open, which can cause major problems. Instead, they should operate their valve turner on the lowest torque setting available. They should also avoid using a cheater bar to get extra torque. This is only something that they will use during emergencies when they need to shut the valves quickly.
Professionals must also avoid shutting a valve on the first turn. Instead, they should use the process above to work the valve shut slowly and then reverse it to open the valve. This is because opening and closing valves too quickly could lead to a rupture in the waterline. Additionally, while performing this procedure, they should listen closely. If it is quiet enough, they should hear the flow of the water change during turning. This can help them identify if a valve is turning. Similarly, they should keep track of how many turns they make down. When they need to open the line, they should use the same number, so the water flow is not impacted.
One last guideline that professionals should follow is to notify the public before they start this process. This will reduce the number of people calling to complain about dirty water. Also, they should perform flushes simultaneously as they exercise valves to reduce their impact on public water.
The exercising process is designed to keep water valves mobile so they can be shut if necessary. There are several guidelines that professionals must follow to ensure that this process goes smoothly and that the public is interfered with minimally.