Thursday, August 16, 2007

Aquamatic Valve Selection and Pricing

A common inquiry we receive at Res-Kem is a customer looking for a price and delivery on an Aquamatic Valve. We, in turn, ask the customer the following:
  • What kind of Aquamatic valve is used on the equipment?
  • Is the valve normally open, or is it normally closed?
  • Does it have a limit stop or a position indicator?
  • Is there a Spring Assist Open or a Spring Assist Closed option?

    Knowing the type of valve allows us to properly provide an accurate estimate and insure you receive the correct valve for your application. In most cases, it's hard to identify a valve because the equipment is old, corroded, and/or there is no longer a parts list for the system. So, where does one go from here? We hope to provide some insight into ways you can determine the type of valve you have in order to get the correct price and valve.

    The best way to identify the valve is to know the Aquamatic Valve Model Number which is a 13 digit number that describes the valve.

    A GE Aquamatic Valve Model Selection Guide helps determine the valve type and some options. Each valve series has its own Valve Model Selection Guide. Customers more than likely do not have this number because, again, it is an older system with no parts list. Typically, Aquamatic valves will have the valve series cast or molded into the valve body. For example, a V42 series valve is the common cast iron Aquamatic Valve. If you look closely on the body of the valve, you will see a 3 digit number, such as, 421 or 424. The 42 would indicate the series, and the 1 or 4 indicates the size.

    GE Aquamatic V424 Series valve showing metal indicating tags

    The Aquamatic Composite Valves are the K52 & K53 series. Again, on the body of the valve, you will see a 3 digit number for these valves, 521 or 535. The 52 and 53 specify the series, and the 1 or 5 represents the size.

    GE Aquamatic K524 Series valve showing molded in valve description

    Now that we have figured out the type of valve, lets take a look at some ways to determine the configuration of a valve.

    Is it Normally Open or Normally Closed?
    The most common Aquamatic Valves have two ports positioned on the top portion of the valve cap and along the side underneath the cap. They are usually an 1/8" or 1/4" female NPT port. If the NPT port on the top of the valve cap has a a pipe plug, the valve is a Normally Closed Valve. If there is no pipe plug at all on the ports, the valve is Normally Open.

    Limit Stop or Position Indicator?
    Limit Stops and Position Indicators can be easily identified on valves. Limit Stops are adjustment screws or bolts which limit the valve stroke. They are primarily used to control the flow rate. Position Indicators are small rods attached to the main valve stem which are used to show the position of the valve. One thing to note: if you have a valve with a position indicator, you will not have a Spring Assist Closed Valve since those two options cannot be combined.

    GE Aquamatic K53 Series valve showing a position indicator and marking of SAO (Spring Assist Open)option

    Spring Assist Open or Spring Assist Closed?
    These options are typically used to assist full opening or closure in the absence of line and control pressure. It is also difficult to determine if one has this option because the springs are inside the valve cap. With the composite valves, the valve caps look the same if there is a spring option or no spring option. If you look closely, the letters SAO or SAC are usually marked on the valve body of the composite valves; however, that mark tends to wear off over time.

    The Spring Assist Closed option can easily be identified on the metal diaphragm valves because the valve cap is noticably different.

    GE Aquamatic V42 Series valve showing a Normally Closed Valve and Spring Assist Closed option

    These valves also come with metal tags that indicate the options. You can find these tags secured to the valve cap hex screws. The tags could get broken off, so you do need to check to see if there was a tag on the valve cap. If all else fails, the best way to determine if you have this option is to remove the top cap to be certain.
  • No comments: