The purpose of a steel gate valve is to stop the flow of liquid; usually in an emergency. You will find a steel gate valve installed in many things. The most common is found on your outside water spigot. You turn the knob to open a valve which allows water to flow through the hose. You close it again to stop the flow. A steel gate valve lowers a disc or plate which blocks the pipe which effectively stops the flow of water or other liquids. It is important to keep these valves maintained so that they do their job when needed. The following article will share with you several tips on how to achieve this.
1. Silicone Tape
When you are dealing with a steel gate valve in the home you are dealing with plumbing issues. Sometimes it becomes necessary to shut off the water in the home during plumbing work or due to a broken pipe. Where the steel gate valve is installed is actually a point of weakness as it exists between two other pipes that screw into either end of the valve. These areas are a point of weakness in case there is a blockage or frozen pipe. To maintain this connection you should wrap the threads with silicone plumber’s tape and you should update it every year.
2. Use Lubrication
Over time a steel gate valve can begin to stick. If a problem were to occur and you need to shut the valve it may not be possible to do so. To prevent the valve from sticking you need to periodically lubricate the post of the valve wheel. Any type of spray lubricant will work. In the winter it is a good idea to lubricate the wheel and post once in the beginning of the month and once at the end of the month.
3. Be Wary of Rust
Rust is always a problem on metal valves, especially outside of the home. Inspect the valve regularly for rust. If you spot some you can use a wire brush to scrape the rust off of the metal. It is also a great idea to paint the steel gate valve with paint that protects metal against rust. You need to remove the rust before you paint it though as the rust can continue to spread.
4. Use the Valve
A good way to keep one of these valves working efficiently is to use it. All you need to do is turn the knob to the left to close the valve and then to the right to open the valve. Doing this occasionally will prevent the valve from sticking inside the pipe as well as keeping the wheel loose.
5. Tighten the Nuts
The steel gate valve is assembled with a series of nuts which attach the valve to the pipes and the wheel knob to the post. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten all the nuts to the right every year or so. This helps to maintain the pressure when the valve has to be used.