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  • Valve lubrication

    Have a tank to pump valve that is sticking. Not sure if its the linkage or internal. Will be lubing up the linkage with some lithium grease. Heard if I dump 5lbs. of Ivory soap powder in the tank and circulate, then work the valve, this will help lubricate the internal parts. Has anyone else ever done this with any success?

  • #2
    Originally posted by 3260e View Post
    Have a tank to pump valve that is sticking. Not sure if its the linkage or internal. Will be lubing up the linkage with some lithium grease. Heard if I dump 5lbs. of Ivory soap powder in the tank and circulate, then work the valve, this will help lubricate the internal parts. Has anyone else ever done this with any success?
    Haven't heard of or tried putting Ivory soap in the tank. But I would be careful about lubing the linkage with any grease or oil. Any of those will attract and retain dirt. Over time, the operation becomes worse instead of better. Then you have to disassemble it and clean it.

    Many of the common pull handle rods tend to bind up at the bushing where they pass throught the pump panel. This is especially so when they are new. If the rod isn't perfectly in line with the lever on the valve it will pass through the panel on an angle and be difficult to operate until it is well worn in.

    Best thing to do is operate it once or twice any time you pass by the pump panel. I've had limited success using dry silicone spray or mold release agent.

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    • #3
      Chief

      I thought grease sounded wrong too, but the pump manual actually recommends it. As for the handle binding at the bushing, ours is a lever that moves back and forth, so the only place it could be sticking is at the linkage points. We're going to attack this over the weekend so I'll report back next week with results. Just trying to do all the obvious stuff before calling in a pro.

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      • #4
        Go to the grocery store and where the canning supplies, the household section, get some paraffin wax.

        Extend the rod(s) out and rub the rod wit the wax and work it back and forth.

        Good for stiff zippers too!!
        Stay Safe and Well Out There....

        Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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        • #5
          I have heard of the soap thing before, but have not heard if it works or not. In the same conversation I was told to use 'mild' soap like Ivory. As the others have said oil based lube is bad. I have had the joy of cleaning linkage because someone thought that the all the linkage should be coated in oil. After a short time the linkage was coated in oil soaked dust and grime.

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          • #6
            Honest-to-God soap is made from lye and animal fat, so in theory Ivory Flakes ought to act as both a cleaning agent and a lubricant. I have not tried this, but I have constructed a long wire handle on a small brush to reach ball valves with a mixture of Light silicone grease and STP. Like others have mentioned about lubing the external operating rods... Dust build-up will give you fits inside the pump housing. The best solution we have found is operating the valves. This will not harm either the ball or the seat if operated on a regular regimin. The oftener the better. Many torn up valve balls and seats are the result of leaving valves in one position for long periods of time, and then after crusts have built up, operating them and forcing the deposits to pass across the seats or ball surfaces causing damage. Be careful not to use a detergent soap, as it has a tendency to remove all lubrication from surfaces exposed to water including the graphite from packing rings and oil from end bearings.

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            • #7
              I have yet to find an issue with using Zep45 or WD40 to spray down the linkages and valves. Dust and dirt is rarely the enemy on these. Rather, it is the rust that causes the binding. I don't recommend any type of grease/oil product though. It has the ability to build up, and make things sluggish after time.
              As for the Ivory soap, I use it religiously (in liquid form). It cleans out and lubricates the ball valves and seals. We empty one large bottle per tank, run the pump, and operate all the ball valves several times. Doing this twice a year for our pump surveys while in the shop, works well for us.

              One other note on the linkages. Some linkages are tied to a bar that changes the operation 180 degrees. The ones that have this setup, have zerks that you can grease where the bearing changes the direction. Best way to see if you have this setup, is to closely following your linkage rods. Some have it, some don't.

              FM1
              I'm the one Fire and Rescue calls, when they need to be Rescued.

              Originally posted by EastKyFF
              "Firemens gets antsies. Theys wants to goes to fires. Sometimeses they haves to waits."

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              • #8
                Thanks gang!

                I did the maintenance on the valve this weekend. Lubed the joints with silicone and added 4 lbs. of soap powder to tank for internal lubrication. So far so good. Next fire we use water should be fun, lots of bubbles! Merry Christmas to all!!

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