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BERMAD Fire Protection Blog

Deluge Valve Monitoring: Visual Indicator vs. Pressure Sensor

Noy Zalts
By
Noy Zalts 02 May 2017

They say knowledge is power. And that is certainly true in fire protection. Knowing exactly what is going on in your fire protection system at any given time gives you vastly greater control. Reliable indication of the state of a valve can help diagnose problems, reduce system maintenance time, and improve performance and response time during a fire event.

One of the main problems with most elastomeric fire protection valves is that it’s impossible to see from the outside what is going on inside the valve. Does it work, Is it fully open? Is it fully Closed? Partially engaged or does it still move? You can’t have any direct indication for these questions.

Deluge valves on offshore refineryTrue, the use of a pressure sensor will give you a secondary indication for, only, the possible state of the valve, but it’s by no means as reliable and as true as the direct, connected to the actuator, indicator! Therefore the indicated information may sometimes be a faulty one! In a fire situation even a fraction of faulty information can increase the chance of damage to property and/or human life, which is significant.

BERMAD’s 400 series valve is the only deluge valve on the market that features a visual indicator for instant disclosure of valve status. Big and visible enough to be readable from a distance of 50 meters, it is like having a pair of eyes into the valve itself. 

Generally, Equipping a typical elastomeric valve with a direct indicator is impossible because the twist that occurs within the elastomer itself during operation will cause the indicator to stick and the valve to fail. The Bermad elastomeric valve’s unique design, allows the elastomer to move in a straightforward, up-and-down motion that does not interfere with indicator movement.  

Deluge Valves

The BERMAD Valve: Instant Visual Valve Status Feedback

Unlike a pressure sensor, the BERMAD valve’s dial/straight indicator shows the exact physical position of the valve, whether it’s closed, open or part way—and by how much. A pressure sensor simply gives you the result of the valve’s status, which can be misleading. In contrast, the indicator gives you direct knowledge of exactly what is happening inside the valve, in real time. For instance, a slowly closing valve may not appear to be changing status until well after the fact, since the water pressure may still read quite high for a while. A quick look at the indicator, though, can provide reassurance that the valve is operating as intended, freeing the operator to move on to other tasks.

In addition to the dual color/straight, position indicator beacon visible on site, the Torrent valve indicator can also be equipped with a limit switch or microswitch, for remote indication in the control room. This makes possible quick and reliable remote diagnosis in a fire event. With a reliable indicator, you can easily control your system directly and immediately from the control!!! 

Making a Good Idea Better

Deluge valveThe BERMAD Deluge Valve was first developed using a linear indicator. While this solution worked, it was not ideal due to the fact that this type of indicator utilizes mechanical moving parts. In a water-containing system, this can cause leaks.

BERMAD’s philosophy is to eliminate mechanical moving parts when possible, in order to avoid such issues and reduce down time. The solution in this case was to switch to a rotary indicator design. Instead of pushing outside of the indicator body, this type of indicator simply rotates in response to the movement of the diaphragm. This keeps the seal tight and eliminates friction and sticking during operation, for the ultimate in reliable valve performance.

Contact Us to Learn More

BERMAD’s Valves indicators and limit switches empower fire protection system operators with reliable, real-time system feedback. To learn more about how the BERMAD 400 series can help you achieve more effective and reliable performance and/or reduce maintenance costs to your system, contact a BERMAD Fire Protection representative near you, by clicking here.

Download the FP400Y Torrent Deluge Valves Brochure Now!

Topics: Fire Protection

Noy Zalts

Written by Noy Zalts

Fire Protection Division Manager

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