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Thread: Stainless ball valve split

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Hudson NH
    Posts
    61

    Default Stainless ball valve split

    Went to boil last night, dumped the first bucket in my head tank went down to double check my stainless supply line and found my stainless ball valve had split and was leaking. This is my second year with this rig and I have broken it down the same way every time I boil and never had this issue. I assume this was frozen water that expanded and caused the failure. Has anyone experienced this? I always drain the supply line and clear the water or so I thought. I could go to a ball valve with sanitary fittings on each side and take it in each night but would rather avoid that. Is it better to leave the fitting open or closed when not in use or does it matter?

    19x48 mini pro oil fired
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds- 6 gallons made
    2021- 46 taps- 26 on 3/16 tubing, 19 buckets - All Sugar Maples this year - 12.2 Gallons made
    Two kids one patient wife
    "The days are long, but the years are short"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,549

    Default

    Some ball valves trap liquid INSIDE the ball when they are closed. If it freezes hard, they'll spit. Drill a small hole in the ball on the outside close to the bottom edge to let it drain when closed or use a gate valve instead.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Hudson NH
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Thank you, Dr. Tim. I will do that with the replacement valve.

    19x48 mini pro oil fired
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds- 6 gallons made
    2021- 46 taps- 26 on 3/16 tubing, 19 buckets - All Sugar Maples this year - 12.2 Gallons made
    Two kids one patient wife
    "The days are long, but the years are short"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Northwest PA
    Posts
    644

    Default

    I don’t remember where I heard it but I was told to leave ball valves in the half open half closed position after draining to prevent trapped liquid. I’ve tried to remember to do this and have not had a valve failure yet. Knock on wood!
    12 x 16 Sugarhouse, 12 x 16 Woodshed
    2 x 8 “The Mutt” evaporator
    Leader oil fired arch, Dallaire raised flue, Smoky Lake syrup pan and hoods with pre-heater
    5" Hand Pump Filter Press from Daryl-One of the first three!
    250 gal/hr RO from Ray Gingerich - Deer Run Maple
    Marcland Drawoff
    A Very Understanding Wife
    And Alot to Learn!
    "At any time during the day you're only 10 seconds from disaster!"

    http://s197.photobucket.com/albums/aa160/hd1937/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    410

    Default

    We (I for the blame sake) heard about drilling a hole in the ball valve to help drain the "slug" of water from the valve. It resulted in a quick change of the valve when we opened it. In our case the valve leaked through the hole when the valve was open. It was my idea I read about here and it just did not work.

    If the valve does not need to hold fluid back then I would leave it open. If the valve does and there is a potential for freeze I would plug the source and drain the valve before leaving it closed. I use this method at our storage tanks (leave the plug in the bottom of the tank) and it works well.

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,084

    Default

    On some of my set ups in the woods, if I had a valve that needed to be closed I had two valves in series. I then closed the first valve, second valve open and drain the sap completely then close valve 2 and open valve 1. That never failed to protect the valves. I never tried drilling a hole in one side of the ball. It just seemed to me that a hole there would leave a rough area around the hole to damage the seal as the valve was opened and closed. The 2 valves in series worked flawlessly.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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