The Valve Chronicles: Replacing Aging Infrastructure of Control Valve Vaults in the U.S.

Robb White, Regional Sales Manager at ESI Fab Systems, broke down the aging infrastructure of control valve vaults in the United States and detailed the process of fixing the issue.

White said the problem is widespread across the United States from coast to coast. “These control valve vaults are underground; they’re in concrete structures,” White said. “These vaults are not something that you typically go into unless you’re having an issue, and so things get left untouched for years and years until there’s a potential failure or something stops working. Then we have to go down in them and have to maintain them.”

The very nature of control valves is to let them do their job and not mess with them. But sometimes, that hands-off approach means there can be some playing catch-up when issues do arise. “In particular with control values, people don’t usually address them until there’s a failure,” White said.

And sometimes, the problem goes beyond the control valve if the value’s infrastructure is damaged and needs repair or replacement. “We go in and assess what’s operating and what needs to operate properly in a control valve vault, and that’s the start of the process for us,” White said.

Once a determination’s made on the infrastructure replacement strategy for inside the vault and all appropriate parties have signed off on the plan, it’s time to make the necessary fixes. White said that they take measurements and render auto-cad drawings before replacement efforts get underway.

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