1. Function: Valves can serve many different purposes—control of flow, regulating pressure, on/off, temperature regulation, and many more. Each function requires different valves and configurations.
2. Process: What is the process medium in the application your valve will be servicing? For instance, if a valve is on -320 F liquid nitrogen, it requires different seats, seals, and bonnets than a valve that is used for 70 F potable water.
3. Size: This may sound quite elementary, but many people think the valve they need should be line size. Sometimes purchasing a valve that equals line size makes a lot of sense, but other times you can specify a smaller (less expensive) valve that will do the exact same thing as a valve that equals line size.
4. Automation: Do you need your valve automated? What type of actuation— pneumatic, electric? Double-acting, fail-open, fail-close? If pneumatic, how much air do you have available for actuation—60 PSI or 80 PSI? Would you like a solenoid or limit switch?
All of these questions (and more) are questions you should consider while specifying and purchasing your valves.
Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared on ValveMan.com and has been adapted with permission.