A Utility in the Mid-Atlantic had recently installed a lengthy new section of 36” water main pipe. As you might imagine, this process took quite some time and was becoming a sensitive issue for the Utility & the community it serves.
In preparation for the AWWA standard for pre-flush & disinfection before putting the new large main in service, the contractor performing the installation & disinfection called the Utility with an issue on a 36’’ Butterfly Valve: “The valve is CLOSED and we can’t get it OPEN”
The Utility pulled up the specs on the 36” valve and realized that this was only three years old and had just recently been installed. With the Utility now on site and reviewing the options they had with the contractor, the Utility picked up the phone and called Wachs Water Services large valve team.
Just after noon, the Project Manager for Wachs Water Services, who was in the process of performing valve assessments for the Utility, received the distressed call for help. Wachs Water Services sprang into action and had a large valve inspection & repair crew onsite within 2 hours of the initial call.
Once on site the large valve crew was briefed by the Utility on the situation and what valves were open & closed nearby, they set up a safe work area with Confined Space Entry and preformed a complete inspection of the 36” Butterfly Valve. The overall valve & vault condition were great. The crew took a look at the valve indicator, the condition of the operating nut and the turn direction. The crew then removed the cover plate to the 36” Butterfly to inspect the internal operating components and ensure that there was no damage or nothing was out of place.
With the full inspection now complete on the 36” Butterfly and all of the valve’s components inspected and appearing to be in working condition, the Crew operated the valve in the open direction. The Wachs Water crew determined that the valve was just hydraulically locked and after closing of the previously opened valves, Wachs Water Services operated the 36” Butterfly Valve with no issues to fully open, then back closed to open again.