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How to extend the life of valves and fittings?

Preventive maintenance is the best way to extend the life of valves and fittings. When making repairs on more sophisticated valve types, you should use the available manufacturer's technical manuals. As soon as you observe a leak, determine the cause, and then apply the proper corrective maintenance. Maintenance may be as simple as tightening a packing nut or gland. A leaking flange joint may need only to have the bolts tightened or to have a new gasket or O-ring inserted. Dirt and scale, if allowed to collect, will cause leakage. Loose hangers permit sections of a line to sag, and the weight of the pipe and the fluid in these sagging sections may strain joints to the point of leakage.

Valves that have been in constant service for a long time will eventually require gland tightening, repacking, or a complete overhaul of all parts. If you know that a valve is not doing the job for which it was intended, dismantle the valve and inspect all parts. You must repair or replace all defective parts.

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