Time served!

Valves running continuously for 75 years!

The time-served valve and its diaphragm (right)

The time-served diaphragm
When Heap & Partners London office received a call for some spare diaphragms it seemed like a normal and fairly unremarkable sales call. However following the usual questions regarding duty, it soon emerged that this was far from normal.

The Saunders diaphragm valves in question have been in continuous service for 75 years! They have never had their diaphragm changed and have never given any problems. Indeed the customer stated that they felt the one valve that now needed a new diaphragm only did so because two years ago they had decided to run the valve in the partially open position.

Whilst the duty of chlorinated water might not be the most aggressive or arduous duty a diaphragm valve has ever been asked to handle (after all they can handle any known fluid within their temperature and pressure envelope) there are very few valves that can boast that length of service. Furthermore how many products delivered in the 1930’s still have spares available today? It is a testament to the original design that it has never been bettered. So whilst materials have improved and bonnets have changed (slightly) a spare diaphragm today will still fit a 1930’s valve. One of the diaphragm valves many strengths.

PK Saunders invented the diaphragm valve in 1929 whilst working in the gold mines of South Africa to reduce compressed air losses. When he returned to England and set up the Saunders Valve company he turned to Heap & Partners to provide funding and a sales outlet for his new product. In the early days Heap & Partners were a shareholder and their biggest sales outlet.

It seems very appropriate that today Heap & Partners were able to provide the necessary spares, from stock, to hopefully keep that valve running for another 75 years, before its next service.

Heap & Partners Ltd
Tel: 0151 488 7222

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 24

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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