Gate Valve Problems

Gate Valve Problems & Cures Information

Hi, and welcome to Gate Valve Problems & Cures Information. This article is all about leaking gate valve problems and gate valves that don’t operate correctly by Martin Smith an emergency plumber in Manchester but also an agent that covers the whole of the UK with over 400 recommended engineers national. Here are the top 14 questions that are asked when searching for an answers when it comes to your gate valve problems.
Gate Valve Problems

  • What is a gate valve used for?
  • My gate valve is seized open, what can I do?
  • Gate valve will not open?
  • How do I replace my gate valve without draining down the hot water?
  • My gate valve will not turn off properly, why is this?
  • When replacing the gate valve, should I have to drain down first?
  • Where should gate valves be located?
  • Why do gate valve seize up?
  • How do I repair my gate valve without replacing it?
  • Why do plumbers fit gate valves if there so unreliable?
  • What causes gate valves to break?
  • Is it ok to leave a gate valve partially open or close?
  • How long do gate valves last for?
  • Where do gate valve leak from?

What is a gate valve used for

A domestic gate valve is used to turn off the gravity fed water supply well a repair is taking place as a temporary way off turning the water off.

My gate valve is seized open, what can I do

If your gate valve is seized open and your unable to close it, then the only option would be to drain down. In some cases a plumber can quickly swap the valve over but this doesn’t come with risks. In most cases when you have gate valve problems, it is better to drain down if your gate valve is seized open.

Gate valve will not open problem

If you have a gate valve that won’t open, then it is normally due to the end of the spindle breaking as shown in the picture (3). The reason this normally breaks is because, when the valve doesn’t turn off due to a build up of dirty, scale or other, the plumber or occupant tends to over tighten it leading to the thread to break. As an experienced emergency plumber Manchester, Martin Smith explains that if the valve doesn’t turn off with ease, then it is better if you drain down and replace the gate valve at the same time, saving further gate valve problems and causing more costs.

How do I replace my gate valve without draining down the hot water

The best way to replace the valve without draining down is to freeze the pipework and then replacing the valve. The only other way, is to turn the gate valve off and disconnect the bottom pipe. Once you are left with the top nut with the supply pipe, you may be able to very quickly swap the valve over, this must be done by a skilled emergency plumber.

My gate valve will not turn off properly, why is this

The reason the valve doesn’t turn off properly, as shown by the closing mechanism as shown in the picture (4)¬†is because, as the gate valve gets older, you will find that the dirt or scale will built up, which stops the closing mechanism from correctly shutting. The best way to solve this is to either clean the valve out completely or to replace the gate valve.

When replacing the gate valve, should I have to drain down first

As explained in one of the above paragraphs, to replace any valves, you don’t always have to drain down, as long as you have the experience and the tools to do so, which may include the electrical pipe freezing machine.

Where should gate valves be located

Gate valves are normally found on both upstream and downstream of most electrical valves and also appliances such as the hot water cylinder and the header tank.

Why do gate valve seize up

Gate valve seize up because in the water that circulates via the pump around the central heating system, eventually builds up of iron and scale deposits, as well as other deposits that circulates, this includes hot and cold water systems. All the deposits tend to stick to rough areas more than smooth areas, which tends to be valves. The deposits get in the mechanisms causing the moving parts to jam up rather than move smoothly.

How do I repair my gate valve without replacing it

If you want to repair the gate valves rather than replace it, as long as the valve spindle is not damage then all you need to do is take the valve away from the gate valve body and clean it up fully making sure there is no deposits left. Once the gate valve is fully clean, then you will need to greece the gate valve up, so that there is no friction between brass wear.

Why do plumbers fit gate valves if there so unreliable

Plumbers fit brass gate valves because there is no other better fittings out there currently and is found to be a bad habit rather than an educated buy. Martin believes that the market is still wide open to improvement when it comes to gate valve and there operational use.

What causes gate valves to break

The cause of gate valves breaking is because there is too much pressure put on turning the gate valve off due to the valve being to fragile (3), as shown in the picture. The spindle thread doesn’t go that deep enough into the valve and therefor, if too much pressure is placed, there is not much in place to stop any resistance. It’s a bit like snapping a delicate twig than snapping a stick.

Is it ok to leave a gate valve partially open or close

If you leave the gate valves partially open or partially closed, there are a view disadvantages to this as listed below.

  1. A ripple effect being sent through the water, causing a noise or vibration.
  2. Restriction of flow.
  3. More chance of catching dirt.
  4. More wear to the gate valve than usual.

How long do gate valves last for

The average valves would last about 25-years, but if the central heating system is well looked after and the hot or cold water has low water deposits in the sense of scale, then the chances are, the valve may last for a longer time. It is always a good idea to make sure the valves are greased up by taking them apart and greasing them saving any future cost but for some it is seen as you might as well replace them if there easily accessible.

Where do gate valve leak from

Gate valve mostly leak from the gate valve gland. This is due to a build up of deposits against the seal and the seal getting a bit displacement. To stop the leak on the gate valve gland, all that need to be done is just to tighten up the gland nut as shown in the picture (1). The second most likely area for the gate valve to leak is, the main valve to the body connection (2), which can either be fixed by unscrewing and placing PTFE on the thread and doing back up or placing a new fibre washer on the seating area. The third place for a leak to occur is at the nut and olive area.

Information about Gate Valve Problems

If your looking for an emergency plumber in Manchester or anywhere else in the UK then call Martin Smith the agent who can recommend you an engineer or get you a plumber to you within 30 to 90-minutes or if your a plumber that would like to be on our emergency list of plumbers then please send us an email to emergencyplumber@me.com. We have currently have over 420 registered engineers to date on a 24 hour call out system to recommend to you in your hour of need.

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