Most Common Valve Lock Systems
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Valve lock systems are utilized to shut off whatever material is inside a pressurized valve, usually done so that maintenance or repairs can be performed. Locking systems are generally placed over the valve controller, or knob that controls how and when materials flow from one area to another, and they are typically used in conjunction with a padlock of some sort.
There are different types of valve lock systems, which are designed to work with specific types of valves. However, the most commonly used types of lock systems are designed for Gate Valves, Ball Valves, and Butterfly Valves.
Gate Valve Lock
This type of lock only works on gate valves. This device has an internal sliding mechanism that actually shuts off the flow of whatever pressurized substance is inside the connecting pipes. Gate valve locks are thermoplastic covers that are shaped like half circles, which go over valve handle itself. Once in place, the half circles should be closed and can be secured in place by using padlocks, or sometimes a hasp if necessary.
Ball Valve Lock
Ball valve lock systems work by keeping a valve’s handle in the off position. This device looks like a simple handle, but inside a ball controls flow. These valve locks will work on a variety of different sizes of pipes that range from one half to eight inches in diameter.
Butterfly Valve Lock
Butterfly valve locks are probably the most unique type of lock, which are designed to block butterfly valves in the off position. Similar to Ball Valve Locks, this device can be used on different sizes of pipes, but do not have as wide of a range. These can be used on pipes that are 2.5 to 4 inches in diameter.
While there are several different types of valve locks, the most important thing to remember is that you need to purchase one that will work with whatever type of valve you’ll need to be shutting off. Valve locks are not one size fits all.