If you’re like most maintenance managers, high-pressure water valves are one of the pieces of equipment on which you hate to go over budget. But, it’s also one thing you just don’t have time to think about…until you have to. Those two scenarios don’t work well together. What if you could add a few simple preventive maintenance measures that would make your life easier? Here are three that can help prolong your valve’s service life and will save you money and give you less stress.
- Add maintenance notifications to your Outlook calendar (or any calendar). Your valve manufacturer offers guidelines on how often you should inspect and replace certain items (i.e. seals, etc.). Schedule out the next year in your calendar so that you receive a pop-up notification when it’s time to take care of the valve. This takes less than five minutes and can have a big impact. Industry data shows that performing maintenance on a scheduled basis is three to five times less expensive than the same repair being made on a reactive basis.
- Document the preventive maintenance process. For each of your valves, you should document the preventive maintenance process and procedures. This gives your workers a reference to make sure that the entire process is done consistently each time. It should include step-by-step instructions, required parts to complete the service and any special tools needed. Photos and/or videos can be helpful. You should include a form for documentation that the process was carried out.
- Implement a Zero Tolerance policy for leakage. Contamination in the flow media is one of the biggest causes of wear on seals, gaskets, valve seats and other components. The best way to prevent contaminants from entering the system is through zero tolerance for leakage. If material can leak out of the system, then contaminants can enter through the same path.
These are just a small sample of ways to help prolong your valve’s service life, but none of them will work if it’s not driven by the company leaders and if employees don’t buy in. To help everyone understand how important it is, you may have to tailor your message. For upper management, the cost savings and impact on profitability will gain their attention. But for the maintenance crew, explaining how systems that are less likely to break down lead to fewer requests to work weekends or holidays to repair or replace the valves will have a bigger impact.
These tips will help once you’ve got your hydraulic valves in place. There are also steps you should take when selecting your valve to make sure it’s right for your system. Learn more about selecting and maintaining your valves by downloading our free guide, High Pressure Water Valve Selection & Maintenance Handbook.