5 Common Valve Failures and How to Fix Them

Valve failures can lead to costly repairs, replacements, and downtime for your business. These industrial components regulate airflow in HVAC systems, condensate lines, and feed pumps. Take them out, for any reason, and the system will grind to a halt.

Join us today, as we take a look at five common valve failures and how to fix them.

Valve Seat Wear and Tear

Valve seats are the most important component in your valve system. These rubber stoppers seal the valve, maintaining heat transfer and gas sealing for better performance.

Like any other high-stress component, valve seats are going to suffer wear and tear over time. If yours has receded or is badly worn, you may have to cut it out and replace it with a new insert.

Temperature and Pressure Issues

A valve under pressure needs to operate under the right conditions in order for it to keep working. When temperatures and pressures are outside the recommended norm, valves can become compromised.

Improper temperatures and pressures can have a negative effect over a long period of time. Unexpected pressure or temperature spikes in the pipeline can also lead to sudden failure, stressed or even burnt valves.

Adjusting your temperature and pressure can have a marginal effect on your valve performance. You may need to reinstall the valve under the right conditions. If damage to your valve is too extensive, you’ll want to consider a replacement.

Foreign Debris

When abrasive debris gets stuck in the pipeline of a valve, the damage it does can compound. This is why it’s important to maintain a closed system and to follow up with maintenance when this system becomes compromised.

It is also worth noting that water and foreign debris making their way into a plant airline can lead to a failure in pneumatic actuators. Clean out and reinstall dirty valves, making sure to keep them clean moving forward.


Cavitation is an issue occurring in control valves, with regard to liquid media applications. When localized low pressure within the system causes bubbles to form and collapse. These expanding and collapsing bubbles are aggressive and can cause a lot of damage to nearby valves and piping components.

Cavitation often results from selecting the wrong throttling device for a valve compared to its flow. Once we get into any sort of application where valves have to regulate flow, factors like cavitation can lead to serious issues.

The question of how to fix valve failures due to cavitation has three possible solutions:

  • Selecting the correct valve for your application
  • Using many valves to regulate pressure at different points
  • Installing the valve at a lower elevation to control the fluid temperature

Incorrect Installation

As with any other system, the first precaution to take against failure is to install it the right way from the start. Incorrect assembly and installation are some of the leading causes of valve failure. It is imperative to follow best practices, with this in mind, to prevent problems, down the line.

In the same vein, maintenance procedures should be carried out according to strict guidelines specific to your valve. Once again, cutting corners during maintenance can and often does lead to strain and failure in your valves.

How To Prevent and React to Valve Failures

Different types of valves vary in their longevity, installation, and maintenance. They are sensitive to debris and spikes in pressure and valve issues should be addressed as soon as they are noticed.   

Questions like “Are my valves broken?” or “Can I fix my valve?” are often life and death issues for the businesses that rely on them. For more on how to properly use, maintain, and compare valves and pipelines, visit us and discover cutting-edge valve designs, today!