The manufacturers of valves test each valve under hydraulic pressure before it is sent out from the factory, yet they frequently leak when erected in the pipe lines. This is due to the misuse of the erector in most cases. The following are the most noteworthy bad practices to be avoided when fitting in valves:


Screwing a valve on a pipe very tightly, without first closing the valve. Closing the valve makes the body much

more rigid and able to withstand greater strains and also keeps the iron chips from lodging under the seats, or in the working parts of the valves. This, of course, does not apply to check valves.


Screwing a long mill thread into a valve. The threads on commercial pipes are very long and should never be screwed into a valve. An elbow or tee will stand the length of thread very well, but a suitable length thread should be cut in every case on the pipe, when used to screw into a valve. If not, the end of pipe will shoulder against the seat of valve and so distort it that the valve will leak very badly.


The application of a pipe wrench on the opposite end of the valve from the end which is being screwed on the pipe. This should never be done, as it invariably springs or forces the valve seats from their true original bearing with the disks.


Never place the body of a valve in the vise to remove the bonnet or centerpiece from a valve, as it will squeeze together the soft brass body and throw all parts out of alignment. Properly to remove the bonnet or centerpiece from a valve, either screw into each end of the valve a short piece of pipe and place one piece of the pipe in the vise, using a wrench on the square of bonnet; or if the vise is properly constructed, place the square of the bonnet in same and use the short piece of pipe screwed in each end as a lever. When using a wrench on square of bonnet or centerpiece, use a Still son or Trimo wrench with a piece of tin between the teeth of the jaws and the finished brass. It may mark the brass slightly, but this is preferable to rounding off all the corners with an old monkey wrench which is worn out and sprung. As the threads on all bonnets or centerpieces are doped with litharge or cement, a sharp jerk or jar on the wrench will start the bonnet much more quickly than a steady pull. Under no circumstances try to replace or remove the bonnet or centerpiece of a valve without first opening it wide. This will prevent the bending of the stem, forcing the disk down through the seat or stripping the threads on bonnet where it screws into body. If it is impossible to remove bonnet or centerpiece by ordinary methods, heat the body of the valve just outside the thread. Then tap lightly all around the thread with a soft hammer. This method never fails, as the heat expands the body ring and breaks the joint made by the litharge or cement.


The application, of a large monkey wrench to the stuffing box of valve. Many valves are returned with the stuffing boxes split, or the threads in same stripped. This is due to the fact that the fitter or engineer has used a large-sized monkey wrench on this small part. , VI.—The screwing into a valve of a long length of unsupported pipe. For example, if the fitter is doing some repair work and starts out with a run of 2-inch horizontal pipe from a 2-inch valve connected to main steam header, the pipe being about 18 feet long, after he has screwed the pipe tightly into the valve, he leaves the helper to support the pipe at the other end, while he gets the anger ready. The helper in the meantime has become tired and drops his shoulder on which the pipe rests about 3 inches and in consequence the full weight of this 18-foot length of pipe bears on the valve. The valve is badly sprung and when the engineer raises steam the next morning the valve leaks. When a valve is placed in the center of a long run of pipe, the pipe on each side, and close to the valve, should be well supported.


The use of pipe cement in valves. When it is necessary to use pipe cement in joints, this mixture should always be placed on the pipe thread which screws into the valve, and never in the valve itself. If the cement is placed in the valve, as the pipe is screwed into the valve it forces the cement between the seats and disks, where it will soon harden and thus prevent the valve from seating properly.


Thread chips and scale in pipe. Before a pipe is screwed into a valve it should be stood in a vertical position and struck sharply with a hammer. This will release the chips from the thread cutting, and loosen the scale inside of pipe. When a pipe line containing valves is connected up, the valves should all be opened wide and the pipe well blown out before they are again closed. This will remove foreign substances which are liable to cut and scratch the seats and disks.


Expansion and contraction. Ample allowance must be provided for expansion and contraction in all steam lines, especially when brass valves are included. The pipe and fittings are much more rigid and stiff than the brass valves and in consequence the expansion strains will relieve themselves at the weakest point, unless otherwise provided for.


The use of wrenches or bars on valve wheels to close the valves tightly. This should never be done, as it springs the entire valve and throws all parts out of alignment, thus making the valve leak. The manufacturer furnishes a wheel sufficiently large properly to close against any pressure for which it is suitable. If the valves cannot be closed tightly by this means, there is something between the disks and seats or they have been cut or scratched by foreign substances.