Electric Ball Valve: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Before investing in a new electric ball valve, you should read this guide.

It has all information that will help you chose the best electric ball valve in the market.

Keep reading to learn more.

What is an Electric Ball Valve?

An electric ball valve is an automatic form of quarter-turn valve that uses gear trains and motors to control flow. The gear train and motor system will open the valve when the ball’s hole is in line with fluid flow.

It will also automatically close when pivoted at 90 degrees by the handle of the valve.

Electric Ball Valve

 Electric Ball Valve

How Does an Electric Ball Valve Work?

Generally, electric ball valves convert the electrical energy into rotary force using the electric motor thus turning ball valves. It is the most efficient mode of controlling valves due to the clean electric energy and quiet mode of turning valves.

To understand it better, here is how the electric ball valve works.

Step One: Powering Up the System

First, you will switch on the electric ball valves to allow the proper flow of electric current through the system. Electric current will power the electric motor which will generate a torque transmitted by a shaft connected to the valve stem.

You will realize that the ball valve begins to rotate due to action from the shaft and the electric motor. The amount of power that you need to control the operations of the electric ball valve will vary accordingly.

You may need 12V, 24V, and 48V of direct current to help in controlling the electric ball valve. On the other hand, you may also use 24V, 48V, 120V, 130V, and 240V of alternating current to control the valve.

Step Two: Controlling the Torque

As the power flow through the motor, you can control the force that the motor will produce to rotate the ball valve. It has a system of different gears which help in controlling the shaft thus producing different levels of force.

You can decide on the gear that will produce the best of forces that can control the electric ball valve accordingly. The speed at which the electric ball valve will operate is inversely proportional to the torque f the electric ball valve.

What is the Difference Between Pneumatic and Electric Ball Valve?

You can either choose to use the electric ball valve or the pneumatic ball valve.

In order to make the right choice, here is a comparison between the pneumatic and the electric ball valve.

 Pneumatic Ball Valve

 Pneumatic Ball Valve

Power Source

You will note that one of the greatest differences between the electric and pneumatic ball valves is the driving force. Pneumatic ball valves require air pressure of between 60 to 125 PSI to complete the operations successfully.

On the other hand, the electric ball vales depend on DC and AC voltage to complete the operations successfully.

Component Size

Electric ball valves have different components that are bigger in size in comparison to the pneumatic ball valves. For instance, you will note that the double-acting pneumatic ball valves are 70% smaller than electric ball valves.

Speed

Depending on the model of pneumatic ball valves, the speed of opening and closing the valve ranges between 0.5-1 second.

Electric ball valves are slower and can take between 6 seconds and 25 seconds to open or close.

Temperature

Pneumatic ball valves operate over a wide range of temperatures ranging between -20 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will note that electric ball valves risk overheating in very high temperatures hence operate between 40- and 150-degrees Fahrenheit.

Longevity and Durability

Pneumatic ball valves have higher levels of longevity and durability in comparison to electric ball valves.

You will note that the pneumatic ball valves can cycle up to 1,000,000 plus or minus times. On the other hand, electric ball valves can only cycle to about 250, 000 plus or minus times.

NEMA Ratings

Both pneumatic and electric ball valves are designed to be environmentally friendly with pneumatic valves being explosion-proof. Electric ball valves are, however, safer with numerous NEMA ratings that push the limits of safety very high.

Spring Return

In the pneumatic ball valves, you will have the spring return which will enhance the safety of using the ball valves. You may not have that freedom with the electric ball valves due to the lack of proper implementation of spring return.

Cost

You will spend more in purchasing the electric ball valve in comparison to your expenditure on pneumatic ball valves. Despite the high cost, the pneumatic ball valve will deliver a higher value in comparison to electric ball valves.

What are the Advantages of the Electric Ball Valve?

There are plenty of benefits that you will realize when using the electric ball valve.

Here are the main advantages that you will realize when using the electric ball valve.

Easy to Operate

You will control the electric ball valve very easily from the control panel of the application system. It does not require the services of compressed air to open and close the valves thus easing the operations.

Low Cost of Operation

Due to the automatic nature of the electric ball valve, you will not hire many operators to help with the operations. You will only incur a few bills such as the cost of electricity and that of maintaining the electric ball valve.

Minimal Noise

It is also a very quiet type of valve that produces minimal noise during the main operations. In other words, it makes the working environment peaceful and free of distractions from unusual noises.

Flexible Motion Control

In addition to the above, the motion control is not only automatic but also very flexible. You can change the mode of operation such as speed just by adjusting the motor and gears from the control panel.

Slower Cycle Time

In comparison to the pneumatic ball valve, the electric ball valves have slower cycle times. Implying that, they have higher levels of efficiency that improve the output in comparison to pneumatic ball valves.

What are the Cons of the Electric Ball Valve?

Despite the numerous benefits, there are a few disadvantages of using electric ball valves.

Here are some of the disadvantages that you may encounter when using electric ball valves.

Limited Fail-Safe Options

You should also note that the failsafe options for the electric ball valves are very few thus increasing the danger.

In other words, you may not have numerous options of keeping safe in case the electric ball valve fails to work.

Expensive to Acquire

Due to the high level of automation, you will definitely spend a lot on the original purchase of the electric ball valve. Despite the high cost of purchasing the electric ball valve, you will definitely save money when it comes to operations.

Slower Cycle Time

You can also classify this as a disadvantage of the electric ball valve in comparison to pneumatic ball valves.  It will take more time before the electric ball valve swings into action in comparison to the pneumatic ball valve.

How Do You Select the Right Electric Ball Valve?

In case you have original equipment manufacturers’ (OEM) specifications, then the electric ball valve is most suitable. It is the most popular valve in applications where a shorter tie of application is required.

Other than the above specifications, it is very important to consider looking at the electric ball valve specification.

Here are the main specifications that will help you choose the right type of electric ball valves.

Power Source

Here, you will have to decide if the power source is alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). Implying that, you must know which source of power you will be using before choosing an electric ball valve.

Size Matters

You should also look at the dimensions of the electric ball valves in comparison to the application specifications. Implying that, the greater the size of the application specifications, the greater the dimensions of the electric ball valves.

Type of Materials

The main materials that most manufacturers use to manufacture electric ball valves is stainless steel. You can choose from the different types and grades of stainless steel that will fit your electric ball valve application specifications.

Brass Electric Ball Valve

 Brass Electric Ball Valve

What are Some of the Application Examples of Electric Ball Valves?

Electric ball valves are very important equipment that you will find in quite a number of applications.

Here are some of the application examples which use electric ball valves.

  • Food Service Equipment
  • Irrigation Industry
  • Vehicle Wash Systems
  • Water Treatment Equipment
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Mobile Applications
  • Heat Exchangers

Can You Combine an Electric Ball Valve and Electric Actuator?

Yes, despite the fact that electric ball valves and actuators are different parts, they can actually work together.

To ensure conformity, it is very important to get both electric ball valves and electric actuators in one complete package.

You can combine the electric ball valve and electric actuator to create an automatic system that you can control remotely.

There is a connection interface that you can use to connect the electric ball valve and the electric actuators.

What is the Difference Between the Electric Gate Valve and Electric Ball Valve?

In the market today, you will note that the electric ball valve and gate valve are most commonly used.

You can use either the electric ball valve or gate valve to control the flow of liquids and gases.

Despite working in the same field, you will also note a difference in the mode of operation. In an electric ball valve, you will depend on electric current, motor, and gears to control the ball valve.

The above features help in turning the ball valves at different angles thus opening and closing the passage.

On the other hand, the electric gate valve uses electric current, gears, and motors to control the gate valve. The above systems help in lifting and dropping the gate of the electric gate valve thus opening and closing the system.

What is the Use of the Electric Ball Valve?

The main use of the electric ball valve is to control the flow of different types of gasses and liquids.

It is part of a fluid transport system that will either allow flow or block the flow of fluids through the pipes.

It is capable of turning and opening at various angles thus allowing the fluids to flow through the pipes.

You can also control opening and closing from the control panel of the electric ball valves thus controlling fluid flow.

What Causes Failure in Electrical Ball Valve?

Well, during the operations of the electric ball valve, you may encounter a series of equipment failures. There are quite a number of reasons which may contribute to the failure of the electric ball valves.

Here are the main reasons that may lead to the failure of the electric ball valves.

Poor Design of the Electric Ball Valve

You may have a very poor design of the electric ball valve that may fail to work with the application requirements. The poor design may be in terms of poor chemical compatibility, and poor rating on flow or pressure rate.

Faulty Installation

You may also experience failure in successful operations, which may come as a result of poor or faulty installations. There may be leakages or wrong position of the electric ball valves thus leading to their eventual failure.

Improper Operations

In addition to the above contributors, you may also have improper operations for the electric ball valves. In other words, you may use the electric ball valves for the wrong operations thus leading to complete failure.

How Do You Install the Electric Ball Valve?

When installing the electric ball valve, there are three main steps that you will follow to complete it successfully.

Here are the three main steps that you can follow when installing the electric ball valves.

Step One: Piping System

First, you must make sure that you install the electric ball valve in a dry and sheltered location. It is also important to ensure that the piping is cool enough and does not exhibit too much pressure before installation.

It is also essential to clean the pipes whenever necessary as dirt may increase the wear of the valves. You will connect the pipes together using a thread sealant and the right fittings between the pipes and the valve.

Step Two: Position the Electric Ball Valve

You must position the electric ball valves in the right place and then secure them with the right type of fittings. After that, you can use a wrench to tighten the fittings to avoid stress on the system.

It is important to have the valve and the actuator facing upwards with 90 degrees maximum deviation during the installation process. You must also ensure that the ball is in the right angular position to fit the actuator before tightening the grip.

As soon as that is complete, you will proceed to wire the electric ball valve. With the help of an electrician, you will follow the wiring guidelines and make sure wires are not exposed.

Finally, you will test the electric ball valve and make sure that it is in proper working condition.

Installation of Electric Ball Valve

Installation of Electric Ball Valve

Which Materials Do You Use to Make Electric Ball Valves?

Well, the main materials that you will use in manufacturing the electric ball valve are stainless steel.

There are different grades of stainless steel that you can use and the most important one is 316 S.S.

You will use 316 S.S to manufacture the body as well as the ball materials of the electric ball valve. Apart from stainless steel, here are the other materials that you can use.

You will use PTFE with Viton O ring to manufacture the seat of the electric ball valve. Apart from that, you will use thermoplastic IP65 to manufacture the enclosure of the electric ball valve.

How Much Does an Electric Ball Valve Cost?

The electric ball valve is costly in comparison to the other types of ball valves. You will spend more on purchasing electric ball valves than what you would spend on other valves.

Depending on the size, you will spend between 25 and 150 US dollars to purchase an electric ball valve.

Do You Have Size Limitations for the Electric Ball Valve?

No, there are no size limitations when it comes to electric ball valves. In other words, you will choose the right size of electric ball valves according to the application specifications.

Implying that, there are different sizes you can opt for and you can also opt for custom electric ball valve sizes.

How Does the Electric Ball Valve Compare to Floating Ball Valve?

Floating ball valves and electric ball valves are special types of equipment that you can use to control fluid flow.

Floating ball valves are special types of valves with floating balls that help in controlling the flow of fluids. It relies on the floating ball technology that drifts and pushes against a seat under pressure thus stopping fluid flow.

On the other hand, electric ball valves depend on electric current, motors, and gear systems to control flow. You will control the movement of the ball from the control panel that opens and closes the ball valve.

Apart from that, you can also control the speed of action on the electric ball valves through the gear system.

How do you Test the Quality of the Electric Ball Valve?

As a manufacturer, you must test the functionality and strength of the electric ball valve before using it.

One of the test methods that you can use includes pressure testing methods. Here, you will install the electric ball valve in place and subject it to opening and closing under high pressure.

You will allow the fluid to flow under high pressure will opening and closing the electric ball valves. High-quality electric ball valves will be able to open and close with ease without interruption.

In case the electric ball valve is faulty the opening and closing will present a number of unexpected challenges.

You will have to take the electric ball valve with multiple failures back for proper configuration. If it passes the test, then you can proceed to package and distribution the electric ball valves.

Which Quality Standards Should Electrical Ball Valve Conform to?

As an electric ball valve buyer, you should be very careful when purchasing the equipment. It is important to have an electric ball valve of very high quality in accordance with international quality certifications.

Here are the main quality standards that the electric ball valve must conform to.

  • API Quality Certifications such as API 6D
  • ASME Quality Certifications such as ASME B 16.10 and ASME B 16.5
  • EN Quality Certifications such as EN 1092
  • TS Quality Certifications such as TS 9809 & TS EN 331
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) such as ISO 9001 and ISO 14001
  • SIL Quality Certifications

What is the Voltage Rating of Electrical Ball Valve?

Well, the voltage rating of the electric ball valve will vary according to the type of ball valve. In other words, you can either have an electric ball valve operating under a direct current and another operating under an alternation current.

In case you settle on electric ball valves operating under direct current, you can have 12V, 24V, and 48V. On the other hand, you can opt for the direct current which has 24V, 48V, 120V, 130V, and 240V power ratings.

How do you Control Electric Ball Valve?

You will control the electric ball valve from the control panel of the entire system. The control panel has a connection to the electric motor which produces the driving torque or force.

Apart from that, the electric ball valve also has a system of gears that will control the speed of the valve. In other words, the higher the gear and the driving force, the higher the speed of turning the electric ball valve.

All you have to do is determine the electric flow to the motor and running gear to control ball valve movement.

Other than the control panel, the electric ball valves have limit switches that will control the flow of electric current. As soon as the valve is open or closed, the limit switch will kick in and control the flow of the electric current.

Electric Actuated Ball Valve

 Electric Actuated Ball Valve

At Kinvalve, we design and manufacture the best electrical ball valves.

Whether you want OEM support or custom electric ball valves at competitive prices, Kinvalve offers the perfect solution for you.

Contact us now for all your electric ball valve needs.

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