By Admin on Fri 10 February 2017 in Troubleshooting
The small yet robust solenoid valve is a powerful electromechanical gatekeeper. It has the important task of controlling the flow of fluid, air, gases or particles for a larger system. Yet even the most reliable of valves can fatigue or become inoperable, thus shutting down or affecting a system’s performance. Some users wonder how maintenance of such a small component can be worthwhile, or what difference upkeep can make to the system. There are also questions regarding the appropriate time to repair versus replace a valve. (See our Repair or Replace? article). As with any mechanical apparatus, proactive maintenance of a solenoid valve can extend life and ensure consistent operation.
Often, a valve’s issue may be simple enough to identify and fix on your own. The nemesis could be the valve’s environment, the media or even the application. Valves that have to work harder often have a shorter lifespan — about 1-3 years. Through regular maintenance, users can extend the valve’s lifespan and keep operations on track.
Solenoid valve maintenance first focuses on identifying areas of wear and tear, and then replacing the affected components. In addition, the valve’s components are checked to ensure they are clean and free of material build-up that can affect the energizing and de-energizing of the valve system as a whole.
When to Maintain a Solenoid ValveAs a rule of thumb, when machinery is being taken apart for servicing, this is the best time to complete a valve maintenance procedure. A proactive approach can extend product life and create the best possible performance of both the valve and overall system.
The following is a checklist of exploratory questions to consider:
- If the valve fails at an inopportune time, what is the opportunity cost?
- Is there a risk for safety hazards when a valve fails?
- What is the financial cost of a total valve failure? Figure into the equation the costs for lost productivity and any work that requires replacement.
- What is the cost for servicing a valve? Include time and resources.