Isolation valves are a type of valve used to ensure that a certain liquid or material from one part of a system is kept separate from another part of the same system.
An isolation valve ‘isolates’ the part of the system that needs isolating from the rest. This stops the flow of water to that area. Usually, isolation valves are kept open on a day to day basis, and are only closed for emergency, maintenance or servicing requirements. To use a common example, an isolation valve can often be engaged to stop the flow of water when there is a leak further along in the system.
Let’s place this within the household for demonstration purposes. If the tap at the sink was leaking, an isolation valve fitted in the correct area can spare you from turning off your entire water supply. This then allows you to use taps in other parts of the house while you find an appropriate professional to fix the issue.
An isolation valve can also be engaged during repairs. Depending on the pump system in place, an isolation valve may allow a business to keep running while maintenance is undertaken on certain parts of a pump system. This may allow ‘the show to go on’ while repairs or replacements are undertaken, without disturbing business.
However, some jobs may require the entire water supply to be shut off. If this is the case, disturbance can be minimised by trusting in a 24/7 after hours pumps service to undertake the job at a suitable time after hours.
In some instances, the role of the isolation valve is reversed. For example, in the case of a fire, the fire brigade will often turn off an isolation valve, to allow water flow from a fire hydrant. This demonstrates the diverse, and often complicated, roles of isolation valves within pump systems.
Isolation valves come in many shapes and sizes. There is no one set type of isolation valve. Rather, any valve that performs the task of isolation within a system is referred to as an isolation valve.
Types of isolation valves include rocker valves, diaphragm valves, and pinch valves, just to name a few. Depending on the type of valve, how it is turned on and off will differ. It may be turned on/off with a flathead screwdriver, a spanner, or even by hand in domestic applications.
Maintaining and replacing your isolation valves
Not all pump systems are created equal. As your local Sydney pump service knows all too well from servicing pumps they did not install, sometimes inferior types of isolation valve are fitted, or they are not used to their full potential within pump systems including your storm water pump, sewer pump, domestic pumps and commercial pumps.
As time goes in, it is natural for isolation systems to require maintenance. Regular pump maintenance will ensure your system is running and that, in the event of an emergency, your isolation valves can be engaged effectively.