09 Apr VALVE TESTING – FIVE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Fisher Price, CALDER Product Line Manager, focused on CALDER Advanced Valve Testers, has been working in the valve industry since 2004. Spending much of his career with Nuclear power companies, Fisher has held several roles machining, welding, testing, and repairing valves, as well as, providing expertise and consultation to companies providing valve testing and repair services. We caught up with Fisher and asked him to highlight some frequently asked questions with regards to valve testing equipment. The questions and responses are below:
Q1: We have a press style valve tester, and sometimes a valve will pass a hydro test in our shop but when it makes it to the customer, it leaks. Is there a better process for this?
FISHER: You can get false positives on many ball valves and false negatives on gate valves when applying cross-pressure on the body. The pressure can distort the gate seats and make a good valve leak, while the pressure across the body of a ball valve can compress a gasket and hide a leak there. This is why we designed and produce the CALDER HYDROPRO™ Universal Flange Valve (UFV) tester. The UFV clamps onto the flanges so that no cross-pressure gets applied to the body of the valve.
CALDER Testers are brilliantly designed. With every pressure component certified to work at or above the advertised testing pressure, operators and owners can rest easy using CALDER products. When safety, accuracy, time and dependability matter, the CALDER Testers are the right choice.” – Fisher Price, CALDER Product Manager
Q2: Blind flanging our valves is very time consuming, we are having trouble deciding what size valve testers to look at.
FISHER: First of all there is nothing wrong with blind flanging, other than all the bolting, lifting, and time lost looking for the parts and tools to flange a valve up. Most flanges only accommodate one size valve. CALDER Testers have very large ranges. For example, 2 – 12 inch (50.8 – 304.8 mm) is a very common target range for our customers. The key is to target the largest part of your business. Roughly 75% – 80% of the valves you work on will fall within a certain range. Blind flanging is still a good option for valve sizes that aren’t tested as frequently. A lot of valve shops take this approach saving them time, money, and floor space.
Q3: What kind of testers do you offer and what do each of them do?
FISHER: We offer four types of valve testers:
- UNIVERSAL STRAIGHT VALVE (USV) – This is our press style clamp fixture that is designed for speed and performance! It can be configured to test any valve with a straight body no matter the end configuration.
- UNIVERSAL FLANGE VALVE (UFV) – This is our claw style clamp fixture that is designed to clamp onto any valve with flanges no matter what the body configuration is (90°, 45°, 30°, etc.). Or just a straight bodied valve that isn’t designed for cross-pressure.
- TURN-AROUND-TESTER™ (TAT) – This is our mobile, in the field tester. Designed for the bed of a pickup truck, capable of 6,000 psi and can be easily upgraded with a vessel and gas capabilities for relief valve testing.
- SAFETY RELIEF VALVE (SRV) – Designed for relief valves specifically. Comes in either 3,000 or 6,000 psi with a 5 gallon vessel and 1-inch (25.4 mm) j-tube.
Q4: Will CALDER modify their existing products or build-to-suit?
FISHER: A good portion of my time is spent working with customers to modify an existing solution or customize a new one. This is a big percentage of our business, and something I believe CALDER does better than all the others. Ultimately, the process is pretty simple. I will work with the customer to identify their needs and understand their procedures. Together we come up with the solution that’s right for their business and operation.
Q5: Where are your testers manufactured and do you have a rep in my area?
FISHER: Our manufacturing facility is in Newberg Oregon. We also have several regional and training facilities all over the world including Houston TX, Cleveland Ohio, Baton Rouge Louisiana, Düren Germany, Stockport UK, Dubai UAE, Dammam Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Africa. We also have sales and service people spread over 93 sales facilities in more than 50 different countries around the world.