The Ultimate Guide to Keeping Valve Components Safe in Cold Weather

Oil extraction facilities, refineries, and buildings have a weak link. The weakest link in any extraction facility is its valve components. Because when it’s cold outside, it’s not unusual for processing plants, oil extraction facilities, and other like industries to weatherize their plant.

Many people used to call the weatherization process heat tracing. But today’s engineers know it is essential to take care of valve components in preparation of any weather extreme. It takes much more thought than ever before to implement any winterizing process.

The informational guide below will go over the best ways to keep the valve and valve components safe from the cold.

Valve Components

You already know that valves have globe valve symbols which are designed to help you prepare your entire plant’s system design plans. Your facility’s design documentation includes criteria you need to know and follow for valve component isolation.

The set-up design documentation should include:

  • Requirements for intrusive plant operations
  • Requirements for access into equipment for inspection and maintenance
  • Details on valve isolation arrangements as well as valve types, spacers/spading points, and more

It’s during the design set up you want to include your test points, drains for venting, and any valve purging that may be needed during extreme situations.

Valve Function

You may already understand the importance of valve components in a pipeline system. Valve functions along a pipeline system are to control the rate, speed of flow and the pressure of various content. It is the valve function that gives facilities added information on the process conditions.

Valve Protection 

The ultimate goal when you’re treating valves that need heat trace or process heating during cold weather is to protect the valve. You need to protect the valve components and the valve’s function too. When you use heat trace you are maintaining the heat within a pipe, valve or component.

Process heating is when you maintain a targeted temperature as you drive heat processes towards your valve and valve components. This may entail preventing condensation or even providing extra heat in flow lines.

To-Do-List to Keep Valve Components Safe from Cold

Frigid weather and freezing fluid in your control valves can shut down your facility. Here are some helpful tips to prevent your valve and valve components from freezing. The list includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Breather plugs on back pressure regulators or any equipment you use for production that uses breather plugs are face down. This helps prevent freezing moisture get inside the valve components.
  2. You can inject methanol into gas streams to help prevent freezing of valves and valve components.
  3. The body of your valve is especially vulnerable to the cold. Using a flameless heater keeps the body of the valve warm. Flameless heaters have hinged doors so you can access the valve when needed.

You want to make sure your treater valves have the needed tubing, and it runs downhill. Also ensure the tubing and line are no more than a 90-degree slant.

Valve Assistance 

No two industries have the same needs from their valve components, yet efficiently winterizing can save all industries an interruption in their services or product. You now know how vital your valve components are and how to keep them from freezing up and disrupting your operations. If you need any information or have questions about your valves or the weatherization process, reach out to us.

Our services help maximize your profit in healthy uptime.