Stainless steel valves appear in all kinds of equipment from commercial fridges to home brewing systems to industrial machinery. Typically, these valves help to usher liquids or gasses from one area to another, and they are often connected to metal or rubber tubing or other components. Regardless of how you are using your valve, it can get clogged and dirty over time.
Grease, dirt, and all kinds of debris can build up in the valve and lead to issues. If you have a blockage, you may want to explore the following issues to clean your valve.
1. Clean Before Installation
To reduce the chances of blockages, make sure to clean your stainless steel valves before you install them. In shipping or storage, valves can get dusty or greasy. Pre-cleaning won't avoid all future blockages, but it does help to ensure that you have a clean slate at the beginning, which helps to buy some time before you have to deal with your first clogged valve.
2. Shut Off Flow
If you notice that you have a clog, start by shutting off your equipment. This ensures that no materials are running through your valve, and it can be essential from a safety perspective.
3. Determine If You Can Remove the Valve
Your cleaning method will vary based on whether you can remove the valve or not. Typically, threaded valves can be removed. Keep in mind that if the valve is stuck in place with putty or other sealants, you may have to use a wrench to get the extra leverage you need to remove the valve.
In most cases, socket end valves can't be removed. If you are unsure, see if you can find the manufacturer's paperwork. That should have additional instructions on how to take care of your stainless steel valves.
4. Break Down and Clean the Removed Valve
If you can remove the valve, take it apart as much as possible. Then, individually wash each component of the valve. Dry everything thoroughly before putting it back together, and make sure to use a towel that doesn't leave lint on the valve. If you can't take apart the valve, you can try to remove the clog by running water through the valve.
5. Consider Drain Cleaning Solutions
When you can't remove the valve, consider exploring drain cleaning solutions. With large valves, a drain snake may be able to dislodge the clog.
Alternatively, you may want to pour drain cleaner into the system. Before doing that, make sure your system can handle the chemicals associated with drain cleaners. You may want to consider a more gentle enzyme based cleaner.
For more information, contact a supplier who offers stainless steel valves for sale.