How to operate buried valves easily ?

28 June 2019

PVA Sector

Underground valves allow good management of wastewater, drinking water, gas or steam distribution networks:

  • By isolating parts when necessary
  • By controlling the filling rate
  • By allowing the circuits to be drained
  • By detecting leak detection.

Underground valves are generally located:

  • At the beginning to shut down the network supply
  • As soon as the length of the network becomes significant, to isolate the different parts of the network.
  • At each branch.
  • For a buried section.

Download the portable valve actuators catalogue

So how to operate buried valve easily ? They are robust, slow to operate, which is an advantage to avoid water hammer! These are expensive valves, installed for occasional shut-off, especially on reserve drains and on diameters larger than 100 mm. It is advisable for their proper maintenance to operate them at least once a year. They are normally operated thanks to a valve key that is inserted through a keyhole as you can see in this video: 


The process of opening and closing the valve is difficult when operators operate it by hand. However, when they use the valve handling aid tool, it becomes child's play! After a quick installation of the portable actuator on the valve or handwheel, it can be seen that the fountain no longer has to make any effort. The entire installation and operation can be done by one person.

Case studies : 4 portable valve actuators applications

The use of underground valves operations' assisting tools reduces the risk of accidents and pain for operators. No need to force: the portable rotary actuator does all the work! And thanks to all the torque reaction management systems, the operator can operate the valves safely, without having to fear the torque applied to him, particularly at the opening and closing of the valve (water hammer).

# Safety of people and equipment

When operating buried valves on the roadway it is important to protect operators from traffic risks. Thanks to our portable valve actuators, operators can operate the valves while remaining attentive to their environment. The operating time is controlled regardless the condition of the valve without any additional stress for the operator. The actuator is quick and easy to install. We also offer torque management systems that allow the operator to protect himself. Like the articulated arm on trailer hitch, or the support for underground valves, ideal for valves buried under the roadway.





Torque management system designed for buried valves Torque management system with articulated arm on trailer hitch


Our accessories and actuator's heads make it easier to handle buried valves in tight spaces. The angular gear head, for example, allows the actuator to be rotated 90° for optimal operator position. It then becomes much easier to operate the buried valve. Remember that it is essential to always use a suitable torque management system so that the torque is not applied to the operator. The interfaces and extensions we offer with our portable valve actuators allow us to face any situation: underground valves, valves without handwheels, etc. We have a solution for every configuration!

# Saving time and increase productivity

Modec portable valve actuators can open a valve about 10 times faster than manually, saving you valuable time. The installation of the device is very easy and quick and requires no prior preparation of the handwheel or valve. This is a real advantage in the organization of field team days, which will be much more efficient with this portable valve actuator.

Portable valve actuators are very useful tools in water and gas environments, especially when operating underground valves. It greatly facilitates the work when detecting leaks, when cutting or opening a section many times.

Modec has developed specific adapters for the water and gas industry: a telescopic fountain key that can be connected directly to the portable valve actuator, or a support for underground valves specially made for underground valves. Finally, if necessary, Modec also develops special flanges or adapters to be able to meet all the needs.

Also implemented for other industries such as petrochemicals or food processing, the use of portable valve actuators is a solution suited for all players in the water market.

Nouveau call-to-action

Damien Coissieux
Damien Coissieux

Subscribe to the blog!