When you are out in an oilfield, an equipment malfunction means you have to stop working and fix or replace the part. Not only will you be losing money due to lost production, but the expense of having a technician come out to do the repair will also reduce your bottom line. While it would be impossible to have valves that last forever, there are a few things you can do to get the most life out of them as possible.

Protective Coatings

A valve that is out in the field is going to end up with dirt, grime and grit throughout it that can – due to the friction as the valve moves -- wear or corrode a valve. Once damaged, the valve may not move the way it is supposed to or seal properly, and the end result could be major damage to the whole machine. One way to prevent this from happening is by applying protective coatings to all the valves. Applying a protective coating such as a tungsten carbide thermal spray will reduce the wear on the valve while protecting it from corrosion.

Run the Machine

Do not let any equipment sit for too long without running. Any grime or grit that sits in the valve could cause the valve to stick. Turning the machine on will keep the valve lubricated and stop the grime from hardening and causing the valve to stick or seize. It is a good idea to lubricate the valves before running a machine that has been sitting. This should be part of the regular preventive maintenance routine; be sure to do it to all equipment, even the machines that haven't been used in a while.

Proper Use

Know the limits of the valves and make sure you operate the equipment with these limits in mind. Trying to force more fluid or movement out of a valve than it is capable of will only end up ruining the valve. If you know a valve is good up to 90 percent but push it to 95 percent, you are asking for trouble.

The valves in your equipment keep things running. Without them you would not have the hydraulic capabilities. The drills would not operate, and you would not have any lifting or pumping power. Perform routine maintenance to extend the life of the valves. If you do have a problem with a valve, be sure to call a technician from a company like Warman Advantage Valve Maintenance Ltd. to repair or replace the valve so you do not have to replace more expensive parts of the equipment.