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Ball valve plugging with solids, alternatives ideas to fix problem?

  1. Feb 11, 2014 #1
    I am having issues with solids building up in the 10” discharge ball valves on Mother Liquor Pumps that prevent operations from being able to close the valve. I have had a few discussions regarding ways to improve or eliminate this issue which have included insuring the valve is insulated/traced and replacing the valve with a ball valve with a ball stop. I am not very familiar with the ball stops, but from a little research I do not think it would be enough to help alleviate the solids build up in the valve since the solids pack and become concrete like. Another recommendation I was looking into was replacing the valve with a gate valve, but it would need to be actuated so operators could throttle the pump during startup.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this issue or possible solutions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2014 #2


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    The main issue is the packing solids that are concrete like. What are they exactly or similar examples if possible. Sugar? Cement? Wet saw dust?

    A gate valve can get clogged up and if something is in the way it can have closing difficulties. Unless of knife valve construction. And they are somewhat slower to open/close than a ball valve.

    Could you use vibration to clear/unpack some of the material from the existing valve? This should be done while the material is flowing.
    Can you close the valve while the material is flowing? Pump safety aside.

    If going for a different type. What pressure does it need to withstand?
  4. Feb 12, 2014 #3


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    Maybe fit a jacket to the valve, then heat the ball valve with steam when it needs to be closed. That will increase solubility of the precipitated solids.
  5. Feb 12, 2014 #4
    The solids are very dense when packed and wet. Nearly like wet thick cement. Not sure if we can use vibration to clear the solids as the valve is attached to the discharge of a pump and induced vibration could be a concern. The pressure is aroun 90 psig and is designed at 150 psig. If the valve has not been cycled in some time you can not close the valve unless maintenance hooks up come alongs to get it to close.
  6. Feb 12, 2014 #5


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    Fit two identical valves in parallel. Every set time period, close, then open, each valve in succession to clean the build-up on the surfaces. To turn the flow off, close both valves.
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