When You Should Repair Or Replace Your High Pressure Valves

You know how important your pressure release valves are to the safety of your operation.

You can’t afford for them to fail — not even once.

So how do you know how long they will last? When should you repair them, and when should you replace them?

The safety of your facility and the operation of your pipeline system depend on the function of your valves. Keep reading to learn more about when to repair and when to replace your high-pressure valves. 

1. Check Your Valves After Discharge

Your valves may need to be repaired or replaced after they open.

Pressure relief valves are designed to open and close multiple times to relieve the pressure in your system. However, sometimes when they open, they won’t return to their exact same closed position.

This happens when debris gets into the valve seat. After your valves discharge, you’ll want to check them for any leaks. If there is more leakage than with the original settings, your valves need to be repaired. 

2. What Are Your Valves Servicing?

The longevity of your high-pressure valves heavily depends on what you’re using them for.

For example, valves used for what’s considered a “clean service” will last much longer. This includes an application such as steam.

As long as the valves aren’t operated too closely to what’s considered the setpoint and receive proper preventative maintenance, you can expect them to last 20 years, if not more.

On the flip side, if your valves are used for a service like acid, they aren’t going to last as long.

This is also true if they are operated close to the setpoint, improperly maintained, or are exposed to debris and dirt. These valves will need to be replaced much more often, probably every 10 years. 

3. Based on Government Regulations

Depending on your industry and location, you may have to repair or replace values according to your local jurisdictional requirements and regulations.

These may dictate how long your valves can be in operation before needing to be repaired or replaced. Some states require valves to be taken apart and inspected and then repaired and tested every 5 years.

If a valve becomes frozen, it may be required to be replaced by law. 

Repair vs Replacement

How do you know whether it’s better to repair or replace your valves?

Well, it comes down to which option is more cost-effective. When it comes to smaller valves, it’s often more cost-effective to replace them when you consider the cost of preventive maintenance and repair.

On the other hand, if the cost of repairing a larger, more expensive value is more than 60% of the replacement cost, it makes more sense to replace it. 

More Tips on Maintaining High-Pressure Valves

High-pressure valves are extremely important safety features that you can’t afford to lose. While it can be hard to predict the exact lifespan of a valve, we hope these tips have given you a better idea of when to repair and when to replace them. 

For more information, check out our technical resources