← Back to Articles

Spears® Ball Valve Trouble Shooting Guide

Spears® True union valves are designed and produced for trouble-free operation and use. However, certain aspects of installation and application can result in valve malfunction. This guide identifies some of the more common problems encountered and their necessary corrective actions. Such problems have been categorized as External Leaks, Internal Leaks, Frozen Movements, and structural Breakage.

External leaks

LocationPossible CauseCorrective Action
At Thread or Socket ConnectionsImproper solvent cementing.Replace end connector(s) according to installation instructions.
Improper threads.Check threads for proper size; replace or reinstall.
Insufficient or improperly applied thread sealant: incompatible sealant (paste).Reinstall thread connection according to proper procedures; check paste compatibility
Over-tightened thread joint splitting connector.Replace cracked end connector(s).
Insufficient valve support splitting connector.Replace cracked end connector(s). Add supports on each side of the valve.
LocationPossible CauseCorrective Action
At Union NutsEnd connector misaligned.Check system alignment – end connector(s) must be parallel. Check for adequate valve support.
Displaced or damaged o-ring; Particles in o-ring groove.Remove the valve and inspect the o-ring for physical or chemical damage. Check o-ring compatibility, and replace accordingly. Clean and reseat the o-ring.
System contraction pulling end connectors; improper end connector spacing.Check thermal variations; anchor pipe each side of valve; install expansion loop. Correct spacing.
Loose Union Nut.Re-tighten nut.
Displaced or pinched seal carrier o-ring.Remove and disassemble seal carrier; re-seat or replace o-ring.
LocationPossible CauseCorrective Action
At StemDamaged stem o-ringRemove and disassemble valve stem; inspect for physical or chemical damage. Check o-ring compatibility, clean, and replace accordingly.

Internal Leaking

LocationPossible CauseCorrective Action
In-line Leakage Past ValveBall obstructionCheck that the valve is in its "full closed" position. If not, remove the valve and check for solids blocking the ball port. Clean and reinstall the valve.
Broken stem Remove end connectors and check for ball rotation while operating the valve. Replace as necessary.
Seal Carrier LooseTrue Union Valves – remove valve; CAREFULLY tighten seal carrier (located on the inlet end of the body). IMPORTANT: Generally only a slight adjustment is required. A properly adjusted valve should have significant resistance to operation without binding – AVOID OVER_TIGHTENING!
Teflon Seat Damage or Debris LadenRemove and disassemble valve seat o-rings; check for physical or chemical damage (nicks, cuts, scoring, etc.). Clean and replace as necessary.
Seat o-ring Displaced, Damaged, or Debris LadenRemove and disassemble valve ball. Check for physical or chemical damage. Check o-ring chemical compatibility; clean and replace accordingly. Check for excessive system flow rate.
Ball DamageRemove and disassemble valve ball. Check for physical damage (excessive nicks, scoring, etc.) at the seat sealing surface (perpendicular to the ball port). Clean the surface; replace the ball if necessary. Check for chemical damage and valve material (PVC, CPVC) compatibility.
Solvent-Cement (glue) Contamination from Installation SpillageRemove the valve and check for glue deposits on the ball and seat areas. Clean, If possible; excessive damage may require component replacement.
Thermal damage (component distortion)Check system operating temperature, external heat sources (including the direct sun), and heat generated from system design or valve placement.

Frozen movements

LocationPossible CauseCorrective Action
Unable, or very difficult, to open/close; sometimes accompanied by stem break (shear)Internal Obstructions; Sediment or Particle Buildup; Solvent Cement on BallRemove valve and check for solids, debris, or solvent cement deposits blocking the ball or valve interior. Check for sediment particles lodged around ball-to-seat contact areas. Remove the stem and check for the same. Clean and reinstall.
Over-tight Seal CarrierTrue-Union Valves – remove valve; slightly loosen seal carrier (located on the inlet end of body). IMPORTANT: Generally, only a slight adjustment is required (either valve).
Chemical Attack (generally appears as distortion, peeling, etching, or bleaching of ball sealing surfaces or other internal components)Check Valve material (PVC, CPVC) chemical compatibility with system fluids. Be sure to consider operating temperatures with this determination.

Structural Breakage

BreakagePossible CauseCorrective Action
Handle BrokenFrozen movement.
External impact.
See the "Frozen Movements" section. Replace.
Identify and correct source.
Handle strippedOverextended open/close range.
Excessive exposure to direct sunlight has softened handle material.
Replace handle.
Shield or screen valve from direct sun exposure.
Stem Sheared / BrokenFrozen movements; external impact.See the "Frozen Movements" section.
Broken Union NutNut has been over tightened to draw-up align end-connectors; external impact.
Inadequate valve supports.
Excessive internal pressure / Hydraulic Shock
Adjust spacing between end-connectors for proper valve lay-lengths. Check system alignment – end connector(s) must be parallel.
Provide system support on each side of the valve.
Check System air pressure and surge pressures; check for entrapped air.
End Connector BreakSystem misalignment; External impact.
Over-tighten thread-joint connection.
Inadequate valve support.
Check System alignment – end connector(s) must be parallel.
Install new end connector according to installation instructions.
Provide system support on each side of valve
Body BreakExternal impact.
Excessive internal pressure.
System misalignment.
Inadequate Valve Support.
Chemical attack.
Identify and correct source.
Check system pressure and surge pressure; check for entrapped air.
Check system alignment – end connector(s) must be parallel.
Provide system support on each side of the valve.
Check the chemical compatibility of systems fluids.

Certain corrective actions of this guide may not be feasible with the compact ball valve (sealed unit).

Improper system operating temperatures and chemical incompatibility can cause a variety of functional and structural failures. Be sure to use proper valve material types for both temperature and chemical resistance.

Most valve problems are traceable to improper system design or installation. Be sure to have all designs performed by a qualified Engineer and installation made by properly trained personnel.

Spears valve Installation Instructions and maintenance procedures should be followed in conjunction with all corrective actions.

Title: Spears® Ball Valve Trouble Shooting Guide
Description: This guide identifies some of the more common problems encountered and their necessary corrective actions
Published: 9/5/2008
Last Edited: 1/20/2023
2 users found this article useful. Was this article useful to you?
Share

Information disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by United States Plastic Corp. and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of materials, time or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this information.