A portable valve actuator for maintenance action operations on hydrants

6 February 2020

PVA Applications PVA Sector

The purpose of monitoring the hydrant fleet (also known as PEI or Point d'Eau Incendie) is to ensure that the PEIs are kept in operational condition, thus guaranteeing the permanent efficiency of the DECI (external fire defence) and hence the effectiveness of the fire brigade in fire-fighting operations. This objective is part of the search for optimum safety of people and property.

What is hydrant maintenance?

As part of the functional check or simplified technical check. The inspection body must be able to check the following parameters:

  • accessibility ;
  • signalling and/or identification;
  • the effective presence of water;
  • the good manoeuvrability of the equipment (de-icing);
  • the presence of traffic jams (fire hydrants);
  • the integrity of the coupling halves;
  • the general condition of the IAP (cover, box, leak, etc.).

The functional inspection of the IAPs is carried out once a year. The approach fits in perfectly with the maintenance operations of the operators. 

The use of a portable valve actuator enables the manoeuvrability test to be carried out as well as the de-seizing of the IAP if necessary. Equipped with a built-in torque limiter, portable valve actuators give an estimate of the actual operating torque of the valve.

With a torque of up to 1000 N.m, they can unlock IEPs that have not been handled for a long time, while protecting the operator in the event of high torque, thanks in particular to an integrated torque take-up.

They allow the hydrant to be manoeuvred quickly and effortlessly while respecting the recommendations for use during the manoeuvre: slow and progressive opening to avoid "water hammer" which could damage the pipe, and control of the number of revolutions achieved thanks to the optional revolution counter.

The ease of installation and handling of the portable valve actuators and the elimination of effort during the operation allows the maintenance of a large number of hydrants to be carried out in a limited period of time.

Hydrants are usually located far away from any kind of energy. Our modular range offers a wide choice and flexibility. Our portable actuators are available with an air motor, electric motor or petrol engine. There is no significant difference in performance, the choice is simply a matter of functionality.

The hydrants are of course in remote locations. This is where the Modec range comes into its own with the possibility of using portable battery-powered actuators (with a continuous autonomy of up to 90 minutes), or actuators with a combustion engine (in this case the autonomy is limited only by the size of the petrol jerrycan taken by the operator). 

Units with a compressor can use a particularly powerful and light pneumatic compressed air actuator, which can be ATEX certified on request. 

A simple assessment of the working environment and the tasks for which the portable actuator will be used will lead you to make the right choice.


Damien Coissieux
Damien Coissieux

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