What is Inline Safety Relief Valve Testing?

Inline safety relief valve testing is a high-tech alternative to the laborious, expensive process of sending out safety valves for testing. Facilities that incorporate valve testing save time and money by minimizing downtime, and by receiving real-time results and insight into how their pressure relief and safety valves are functioning in the system. Here’s a deeper look at what inline safety relief valve testing is, and how it can help your facility:

What is Inline Safety Relief Valve Testing?

Inline safety relief valve testing offers a method of testing pressure relief valves and safety relief valves without removing the valve from the system. This method of testing works to verify the nameplate setpoint of the valve, or the pressure point at which the valve will begin to vent. Using inline testing, valve technicians are able to adjust valves onsite and in real-time to ensure valves meet test criteria. 

How Does Inline Safety Relief Valve Testing Equipment Work?

There are a number of different equipment options on the market for testing. The majority of these systems are designed to apply a lifting force to the valve stem until the valve simmers, or reaches its set point. At that point, depending on the type of system, the technician can either record the results, or in the case of more advanced equipment, the system will read out the results so the technician can interpret them and perform any necessary adjustments. 

 Testing systems are generally made up of the same 5 components, with an additional software component for advanced testing systems:

    • Load rig — provides the support for the lift mechanism. 
    • Lift mechanism — either a hydraulic system or an electric motor that applies the lifting force to the valve stem. 
    • Load cell/sensors — A load cell is integral to the accurate results of the testing system. The load cell captures the amount of lifting force that is used the instant the valve vents. This number is used in the setpoint calculation.  
    • Cable harness — carries signals from sensors to control panel so technicians can easily connect the load rig and the control panel. 
    • Control panel or electronics case — The control panel, also referred to as the electronics case, houses all of the system’s electronics. This is what keeps the electronics safe and connected properly, so technicians can run tests with ease. 
    • Intuitive Software – The brain of inline valve testing equipment, the software is what controls the electric motor, processes signals, and manages the one-touch testing process. The software is really what makes electronic inline testing systems like AccuTEST so useful, eliminating human errors and freeing your technicians up to focus on the more skilled aspects of their jobs.

Is Inline Safety Relief Valve Testing Accurate?

Inline safety relief valve testing is exceptionally accurate. It offers technicians a clear picture of how valves are functioning within the system, insight that bench testing cannot provide. Electronic controls and sensors have also helped make inline safety relief valve testing one of the most accurate solutions on the market today. 

Systems that make use of an electric motor for lifting the valve stem, rather than hydraulics, are particularly accurate. Because the software-controlled electric motor does not rely on a human operator, the results are repeatable. You’ll get the same setpoint every time with an electric motor system, providing the most accurate results possible. 

What Benefits Can Testing Offer My Facility?

Inline safety relief valve testing is an efficient, accurate testing method for any pressure relief valves in your system. Just a few of the benefits of this testing method include:

  • No downtime. Your plant can remain in operation during testing. 
  • Minimal disruption to plant processes. Because the plant remains in operation, there is little to no interruption to your daily routine, which means your processes continue to happen on schedule. 
  • Reduced maintenance costs. Inline safety relief valve testing can be completed by just one or two technicians. This significantly reduces the manpower and equipment needed, since every valve need not be removed for off-site testing. 
  • Accurate results. Modern inline testing equipment provides accurate, repeatable results that offer you insight into how your valves are performing within your system at the time they are tested. 

Interested in the benefits that inline safety relief valve testing could offer your company? Get in touch with the team at AccuTEST! Our system offers superior, repeatable results that are accurate and free of the potential for human error. Contact us online for more information, or to schedule a free demonstration of the AccuTEST system at work.

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