Posted by Everett J. Prescott on Aug 10, 2018 11:09 AM

When you work in water utilities, there are always some valves that you want to know the position of, whether for fire suppression, frequently-exercised valves or those that require a very fast response to an emergency. One option you could consider is adding a Post Indicator Valve or PIV to that part of your system. But what is it, how does it work and where should you add it? Here's a quick overview to help get you started.

Available to work with gate valves between 3" and 24", these heavy-duty valves are used with automatic sprinkler and wet standpipe systems. When the system main valve is located under pavement or concrete, it can be difficult to tell whether the valve is open or closed at any given point. A post indicator system includes a means of exercising the valve above pavement that includes an indicator to show whether the valve is currently in an open or closed position. The handle is typically located on top of the post and is locked in either the open or closed position when not in use, creating a slim profile to prevent anything from catching on it accidentally.


When the gate valve is fully lowered to open the valve, the indicator is lowered to read that the valve is open, making it easily apparent to anyone nearby that the valve is in operation. Later, the valve is raised to close the connection, raising the indicator that shows that the valve has been closed, allowing fire department or water utility personnel to quickly verify that it has been completely closed. The locking position of the handle ensures that the valve will have been either completely opened or closed rather than being left partially open.

PIVs typically include some form of adjustment, so they can be used to retrofit an existing valve if you have a paving or construction project that is expected to impede access to your existing gate valves. They can also be adjusted to a wide range of gate valves from different manufacturers, providing that the valve adjustment head and the PIV's wrench end match, as the indicator blank can be adjusted up or down into the correct position for that particular combination. This can be accomplished in the field without too much trouble, allowing your crew to implement this type of system.

Beyond fire suppression systems, you could also include PIVs in areas where you've had frequent maintenance or breaks in the past, allowing your crew to tell at a glance whether the valve is open or closed so that they can quickly move it into the position they need without any guess work. By incorporating PIVs into your fire suppression and critical infrastructure systems, you can rest assured that at a glance, the position of the valve is instantly known. But what if you're not quite sure if it will work well with your system or if you don't know which valve to put into place for a new part of your system? The experts at Team EJP are ready to help. Please feel free to contact us today with any questions, for further details or to discover which valve is the right option for your needs.

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