Sometimes called non-return valves, drill pipe float valves are used to prevent backflow up through the drill string. They allow fluid flow to be stopped while adding joints and making (or breaking down) pipe connections. They also prevent cuttings from entering the drillpipe, helping to eliminate plugging when connecting two pieces in a drillstring. Not only is it important to use high quality valves that will work when you need them to, it’s also imperative to use the right kind of valve for the project at hand. Finally, these valves must be installed and removed properly in order to avoid costly operational mistakes and/or damage to your equipment.
Proper Installation Procedure
Before installing any float valve, inspect the bore of the float sub or drill collar for shavings or other objects that could damage the valve once installed. If such debris is present, thoroughly clean the collar before proceeding. Next, figure out the correct size float valve. This is determined by the size and type of the connection you’re working with. Use hydraulic oil to lubricate the side seals of the float valve. Place the valve into the bore of the float sub or collar. Take care to ensure that the top of the valve faces upwards in the string. You may find that gently rotating the valve during insertion will help you to ease it in more efficiently and with less damage to the side seals. If you’re running more than one valve in the same string, it is best to keep them separated.
Removing Float Valves the Right Way
When it’s time to remove a float valve, use the right tool for the job. This will depend on the type of valve you’re working with. Float valve pullers typically have forks which are opened around the head of the valve plunger so that it can be pulled easily and efficiently. With this kind of puller, you’ll need to watch so that the catch does not touch the releasing key. Valve pullers are also used to free up tight or stuck valves. For instance, when working with F valves, there is catch that allows you rotate the float valve 90 degrees in order to place a bumper into the stop. You can use Model G valve pullers not only for valve removal, but also to aid in the installation and removal of the retaining ring when switching out a valve seal.
Proper installation and removal techniques help to ensure safe operations, and help you get back online faster. Using only the best quality float valves and valve pullers will save you from frustrating, expensive, and dangerous mishaps. There should be no compromising when it comes to the precision tools and parts needed to be successful in the drilling industry. Work only with experienced professionals when purchasing tools; a Keystone representative will be glad to explain every detail of the drill pipe float valves you need.
If your current provider isn’t impeccable in their level of service and in their commitment to quality, walk out the door and don’t go back. There is too much at stake in a volatile industry to settle for inferior products at any stage of the process.