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"Black" rub-off from new SS ball valve?

So, I inherited a new-in-bag stainless steel kettle ball valve kit, like the one below, and planning on using the ball valve portion, only, on the outflow of my pump.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/s-s- ... e-kit.html

The problem is that the ball valve is really tight. It’s a pain to open & close, requiring quite a bit of muscle. And then, the bigger problem (I think), is that I notice there’s some black gunk or film on the curved edge of the ball itself, seemingly being transferred from whatever is in the gap when it’s opened-and-closed. It’s hard to describe; in the following picture, I’ve colored it light blue in the mock-up, and identified the general curved area of the ball in red. It occurs on both sides of the ball, both the inlet and the outlet.

[attachment=0]Ball-Valve-gunk.jpg[/attachment]

Is this ball valve just “bad”, or is this something that’s cleanable/fixable? I’ve had it sitting in PBW for a day, and the gunk still remains. I flushed it with some hot water and put it in a fresh bath of PBW again this morning…

Thoughts? Where is it coming from? Is it a bad gasket or seal? Is it fixable? Or is it simply a cleaning issue?

Have you tried soaking it in some kind of acid like vinegar?

I had it sitting in starsan for about an hour before I tried PBW. I’ll try vinegar; it couldn’t hurt at this point.

Still haven’t tried vinegar. That’s up next. I did boil it for about 30 minutes, and while it removed the black rub-off, once the valve cooled, turning the valve encouraged more rub-off to re-deposit on the ball. If vinegar doesn’t work, I think I’m just going to toss it.

I had it sitting in starsan for about an hour before I tried PBW. I’ll try vinegar; it couldn’t hurt at this point.

Still haven’t tried vinegar. That’s up next. I did boil it for about 30 minutes, and while it removed the black rub-off, once the valve cooled, turning the valve encouraged more rub-off to re-deposit on the ball. If vinegar doesn’t work, I think I’m just going to toss it.[/quote]

Send it to me… :roll:

Take it apart and clean it.
It’s not as simple as the ball valves you see that are bolted together, but it will come apart!
If, after re-assembly it’s still hard to cycle, mess with the “gland nut” adjustment around the valve “stem”, as that’s what usually causes a valve, ( any manual valve, gate type, ball, etc…), to bind.
If after that the gland nut leaks, snug it some, and live with it.

Or send it to me…I mean, it was free, right?.. :mrgreen:

It’s not only that it’s really snug, but that there’s a black goo of sorts rubbing off from the teflon or whatever else is forming the seal.

So… how do you take apart a ball valve like this?

You should be able to put a wrench on each side and wrench it apart.

[quote=“Silentknyght”][quote=“Stealthcruiser”]

Take it apart and clean it.
It’s not as simple as the ball valves you see that are bolted together, but it will come apart!
If, after re-assembly it’s still hard to cycle, mess with the “gland nut” adjustment around the valve “stem”, as that’s what usually causes a valve, ( any manual valve, gate type, ball, etc…), to bind.
If after that the gland nut leaks, snug it some, and live with it.
[/quote]

It’s not only that it’s really snug, but that there’s a black goo of sorts rubbing off from the teflon or whatever else is forming the seal.

So… how do you take apart a ball valve like this?[/quote]

You shouldn’t get anything black from teflon.

If you have one, put the hex on the body in a vice. The other side is threaded in. It should have Loctite on it, so it won’t be easy. Don’t crank too hard on the vice, or you’ll distort it.

Inside will pretty much look like a three piece valve.

No joke; it was unopened, so I have no clue what it is or how it got there. I’ll try the two-wrench trick, as I have no vice.

Yes, they covered it all on the disassembly …Or send it to me… :cheers:

I got faith in ya’, you’ll get it apart “double wrenching” it!

You better!

I took another look at the ball valve, and you have got to be kidding. This is supposedly able to be wrenched apart at this seam?
[attachment=0]image_741.jpg[/attachment]

Holy buckets, that’s going to be difficult.

Yep.

And… Yep. :wink:

“If it was easy, everybody would be doing it”.

Send it to me.

No kidding, I’ll take it apart for ya’.

Do you have some wrenches that will fit it, ideally “box end” wrenches"?

If so, slide the appropriate size over each end, to engage the flats, and “index” them a few degrees out from each other, going in the appropriate directions, set it on the floor, and stand on the wrench setup to break it loose.

This, after removing the handle to get it out of the way, and insure the stem is pointed so as not to dig into the floor…Or the foot!

You can do it with a couple of DECENT adjustable wrenches, but it WILL be more difficult!

Com’on! Put some muscle in it!

Failure. I can get the entire valve body to twist, but I can’t loosen the two pieces one bit.

I’m just going to try to clean the heck out of it with extra scrubbing and see if it eventually goes away. And even if it does, I still don’t know if I’ll trust it, so I’ll probably end up buying a new one anyhow. Bummer.

Edit: I purchased two new SS 3-piece valves from proflowdynamics.com. Their prices are equal to bargainfittings.com, for those who wonder, but they have expedited (albeit more expensive) shipping options.

If you know someone with a vice, you can get it apart. You can also put a bit of heat to it, not enough to melt the seal.

It’s hard to hold them steady with two wrenches. I’ve taken apart 1/8" to 4" valves with a vice and pipe wrench. We scrapped them, so damage wasn’t an issue.

I’m just curious what would cause black streaks.

Send it… :cheers:

I’ve never found these sorts of ball valves to be terribly difficult to get apart. maybe there is something weird about this one. You are using 2 wrenches, right?

star san caused the black coating from to long of a long soak.
Are you positive the ball is truly stainless and not a plating?

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