Valve Repair Services: When, How, and Why

technician performing valve repair services in the field
Valve repair services help restore malfunctioning valves.

Keeping your valves in good condition is essential for safe, effective operations. Valve repair services help you address worn out, malfunctioning, or failed valves that negatively impact your processes. We’ll discuss when you need valve repair, why it’s cost-effective, and how repairs work. 

Signs You May Need Valve Repair Services

There are many reasons you may need valve repair services. In some cases, you may have planned maintenance to repair valves by replacing parts that typically wear out. In other cases, you may notice certain symptoms of impending valve failure. Ignoring these signs you need valve repair can lead to eventual failure and major downtime in your facility. Instead, keep an eye out for these potential issues so you can contact your valve field repair technicians as soon as possible. Early detection of valve damage may save you significantly in time, product, and money.

Valve Leaks

One of the most obvious signs you need valve repair is that your valves are leaking. Valves should be leak tight, whether you’re using them as isolation valves, control valves, or throttle valves. Therefore, if you notice leaks, it’s time to get a certified technician in to inspect your valves. 

Valve leaks can occur internally or externally. Internal leaks are frequently due to worn out interior components. For instance, the seals are a common culprit for valve leaks. External leaks are less common than internal leaks, but certainly still happen. External valve leaks often point to larger issues in your maintenance program or more extensive damage. 

Sudden, Severe Noises

Another bad sign is if your valves suddenly become noisy, which might include noises becoming louder or beginning abruptly. In other cases the noises might sound differently when valves wear out or experience damage. Getting valve repair services as soon as possible may help prevent further wear or damage that can lead to valve failure. 

Just like many other valve issues, noisy valves may be due to a wide range of issues. Some of the most common issues that cause noisy valves include mechanical problems with the valve or actuator. Product buildup inside the valve and objects stuck inside the valve are also issues that might cause noisy valves.

Valve Jams

When valves get stuck or jammed, this is also a pretty clear sign you need valve repair services. You might not be able to open or close the valve at all, or you might have a partial jam where you can’t open or close the valve all the way. In any case, it’s time to get valve professionals to find and fix the problem.

Jammed or stuck valves are typically caused by buildup of material in the valve or by corrosion inside the valve. For material buildup, the valve may need a thorough cleaning and stripping to allow for free movement of the valve components. With corroded valves, repair might involve replacing corroded parts or removing the corrosion and applying a special coating to the valve components. However, it’s important to keep in mind whether valve repair is economical based on the problem and solution for the damaged or malfunctioning valve.

Valve Repair Services are Economical

In many cases, investing in valve repairs is a much more cost-effective option compared to simply replacing valves every time something goes wrong. The phrase “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” comes to mind for those who always opt to replace malfunctioning valves. Valve repair is a great way to save costs and get the most ROI out of each individual valve. 

Valve Repair Services Help Valves Last Longer

If your car breaks down, you don’t replace the car, you fix the part causing the problem. This is because a new car is much more expensive than most repairs. Junking the car is a huge expense and totally unnecessary except in very specific situations. This common sense argument also applies to your valves. In many cases, valve malfunctions are caused by small issues that are more economical to repair compared to replacing the entire valve. You can achieve long-term savings by carefully considering when repairs make the most sense from a money standpoint. Of course, this includes looking at not just the costs of repairs versus replacement, but also associated costs like downtime. 

Planned vs. Unplanned Valve Repair Services

Generally speaking, you want most valve repair services to be planned. Planning repairs in advance as part of a preventative or predictive maintenance program is naturally  a more attractive option in practically all cases. This allows repairs to take place during scheduled downtime, often for a large number of valves at a time. 

Unplanned valve repair is typically a reactive service to an unexpected malfunction or failure. Unscheduled valve repairs are typically more expensive and complex. They also may come with more risks for pressurized systems. Therefore, you want to avoid them as much as possible. Of course, sometimes they are inevitable, but a good maintenance program can help prevent problems before they need unplanned repairs. 

When to Replace Instead of Repair Valves

Of course, in some cases it may be more economical to replace valves instead of repair. That’s why it’s critical to conduct a thorough cost analysis. For instance, if you have aging valves that are likely to need frequent repairs, then it may make more sense in the long-term to replace the valve. Also, in some cases it may save time to replace instead of repair the valve. However, for the most part, repairs are typically the more economical option for most situations. A good rule of thumb to consider using is to choose repair if the cost is about 50% of the cost or lower of a replacement, though this depends on many factors. 

How Do Valve Repair Services Work?

When you need valve repair services, there are basically two options: off-site repair on on-site valve field repair. These services work a little differently and which you choose really depends on your process, valves, and the situation that requires valve repair. 

Tear Down, Inspect, and Repair

Tear down, inspect, and repair valve services are typically reserved for scheduled downtime or for valve repair on valves that aren’t necessarily critical. This is because this typically involves removing the valve, inspecting it for damage or wear, and repairing it off-site, often at a CNC machine shop in Texas near your facility. This option often costs less than on-site repairs, but it does involve transporting your valves elsewhere, so this is something to keep in mind. 

Valve Field Repair

Valve field repair services involve technicians coming to your facility and repairing the valves while they are connected to your system. This is common for unexpected malfunctions or failures, as it can help reduce downtime. It’s also often the standard option for welded-on valves, which are often more difficult to remove from the system. These services tend to be more expensive because they are on-site and require a lot of logistical strategizing, but can help reduce downtime and interruptions.

Get Expert Valve Services from Leverage Mechanical Services

Our team at Leverage Mechanical Services is here to provide specialty services for all your process infrastructure. We offer valve, machining, mechanical, and millwright services for a wide range of industries. With years of experience and leading the industry throughout Texas and Louisiana, we are a trusted source for comprehensive, cost-effective services. Get a quote today for your facility.