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Thread: True Union ball valve installation

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    moodymike's Avatar
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    True Union ball valve installation

    I recently purchased 14 2" true union ball valves.
    For the sake of simplifying this discussion, lets refer to the inlet side of the valve as the side where water flows into the valve form a source, such as a pump, filter, gravity, etc. The outlet will be the side of the valve that water flows out of the valve back to the pond.
    I always assumed when installing true union valves, you want the adjustable block on the outlet side.. so if you need to adjust it, you can close the valve, and remove the outlet side to adjust the block (assuming you can move the outlet pipe). This would mainly be in the case of gravity flow.. for instance on a bottom drain line. You cannot remove the valve completely to adjust it because your pond would drain out, but you can close the valve and remove the outlet side to adjust it, and it would still hold the pond water in.
    Well, the new valves I bought have a arrow to indicate the direction of flow, and they indicate the water should flow in the side of the valve where you would adjust the block, essentially making it impossible to adjust if there is any water or pressure behind it.
    Is this backwards... or does the direction flow arrow on the valve really not important, and am I correct above in assuming how they should be installed?
    Thanks in advance for the help
    MM

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    No, I think you're right. I'm not sure what the heck the arrows are pointing to... maybe true North.

    Here's mine... and I originally had them BACKWARDS and was told in no uncertain terms the error of my ways.

    Flow is from left to right on the tpr's back to the pond...
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    Having an arrow on a single union valve really doesn't make sense. Installed directionl will depend on what side of the valve you need to block flow off from if removing plumbing/pumps for maintenance/repair.
    MN Mike

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    ruhkus is offline
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    Does it really make a difference which way the union valves are put in. At the flow rates we are talking about it shouldn't matter, I thought.

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    It's probably more about being able to change the valve body if necessary and not about needing to close off the circuit when you take one end off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kent Wallace View Post
    It's probably more about being able to change the valve body if necessary and not about needing to close off the circuit when you take one end off.
    Yes. You need to think about what will happen when you want to mismantle. Not sure about the model you have, but I have double union ball joints and if pointing the wrong direction, the pressure from the pond will push the ball out of the socket if you take one end off.
    Farmer Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by avorancher View Post
    Yes. You need to think about what will happen when you want to mismantle. Not sure about the model you have, but I have double union ball joints and if pointing the wrong direction, the pressure from the pond will push the ball out of the socket if you take one end off.
    Good point. I have 3 or so different brands of double union valves and they stay together with both couples off. But the single unions I get from Lowes, will come a part with the coupler off So that single union style would be of no use if you want to shut flow off and then disassemble some plumbing/pump. You would need to add another union to keep the valve in place and not blowing it's insides out. Or start off with ball valves that stay together when un-coupled.
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    These are double union valves (I should of pointed that out). They stay together with both couples off. I know the advantage to these is being able to change the valve body without having to cut or re-glue parts...
    but the other advantage is that the block is adjustable (you can tighten or losen it to adjust the tension it takes to open and close the valve). I am not really concearned with the 2" ones, as if I need to remove them, I just shut off flow from the pump, nexus, or whatever is feeding them. It is the 3" ones on my dottom drain circuit that I am concearned with. Once these are installed and the pond is filled, there is no removing them without draining 5000 gallons.... But if they get tight and need the block adjustment, shutting the valve should hold back the water. Then removing the outlet coupler, you are able to adjust the block. But like I said, the valves are marked with an arrow and the word FLOW pointing into the block adjusting side. If installed that way, you have to drain the pond to get in there and adjust the block.
    Im sure most people have never, and never will have to make that adjustment, but I want to have these in correctly, just incase I ever have to adjust it I dont have to drain 5000k gallons of water to do it. Maybe they just messed up in the mold and put the arow in the wrong direction? I will try to take a picture tonight and post it so you can see

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    These sound a lot like my double unions... they also have a block adjustment from one end... but they don't have an arrow pointing to the flow direction and if you remove the adjustment ring, the ball assembly comes out in that direction so you can replace the seals if needed. I suppose I mounted mine backwards because I was concerned about the pond draining. Ignorance is bliss.

    Just thinking... using them in a pond setup is different than a "normal" setting because the flow changes direction when the pump is shut off (assuming the valves are beneath the water level like mine).
    Farmer Steve

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