Inspectioneering Journal

How Valves Flow Into Your Integrity Program - Part 1: Introduction to Valves

By Mike Pelezo, Vice President – Valve Management Solutions at TEAM Inc., and Evan M. Sparks, Director – Valve Management Solutions at TEAM Inc. This article appears in the May/June 2020 issue of Inspectioneering Journal.
This article is part 1 of a 2-part series on Valve Integrity.
Part 1 | Part 2


Owner/operators who are responsible for the mechanical integrity of valves often lack knowledge and background experience in valve anatomy, valve inspection, and valve maintenance. This may be because, at least for API in-service inspection codes commonly required for in-house inspection positions (510, 570, 653), valves are described in vague terms and leave many details up to interpretation by the owner/operator.

Valves critical to process safety should require the same attention to detail as any other fixed equipment or piping system components. Often, the responsibility to inspect and maintain valves is delegated to outside valve repair facilities. Owner/operators typically offer minimal input outside of their standard specifications. It benefits owner/operators to know and understand the details involved with valve inspection and maintenance and how it affects their world of mechanical integrity.

Even something as simple as an external visual inspection can be more effective with a basic understanding of valve anatomy and common problems associated with them. Understanding how the hardware on the outside affects the hardware on the inside adds value to the external visual inspection. It is hard to visualize what is going on inside of valves without ever having seen the inside of that type of valve or understanding how the internal parts move. Knowing what sounds to listen for, how internal seals are made, and potential leak points can help inspectors make credible assumptions and recommendations to maintain the integrity of valves.

In order to provide inspection/reliability guidance to owner/operators, we’ve written a two-part series covering the world of valves and their role in the overall mechanical integrity process. In this first article, we will discuss the various valve types, their common uses, and the governing standards and recommended practices that apply.

In the second part, we’ll discuss the common failure mechanisms affecting these valves, the potential causes of the failures, and what can be done on-line to detect and/or prevent them from happening in the first place.

Industry Standards and References

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Comments and Discussion

Posted by Andrey Yereferenko on June 27, 2020
Great article. Would be quite useful to expand a... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

Posted by John Downey on August 31, 2020
Very informative. However, could you expand on... Log in or register to read the rest of this comment.

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