Don’t do it tough select the right trough valve

Don’t do it tough select the right trough valve

30 January 2018

A hot, dry summer might be ideal beach weather for some, but for farmers it also places extra pressure and demand on the farm’s water system.

To safeguard your water system’s reliability, consideration needs to be given to maintenance. It’s good practice to regularly service your trough valves as they are a key component in your overall water system.

In addition to servicing and maintenance, take the opportunity to assess the suitability of your water system and whether it is meeting the needs of your current farming operation.

If it’s necessary to replace existing trough valves, replacing like with like may be a perfectly sensible approach. However, it’s a good time to assess whether your existing trough valve is actually fit for purpose and if there’s a better option available.

The days of the brass ballcock or trough valve being the only option are long gone. Along with the traditional brass trough valves, you can now choose from plastic options, high flow, medium and low flow valves, armless valves, diaphragm, plunger and piston designs as well as trough valves that are camlock compatible (for easy connection to portable troughs) and there are trough valves designed specifically for thin-walled plastic tanks. But with so much choice and variation in performance, picking the correct trough valve is more important than ever. That said, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options available and selection can be difficult. The rule of thumb is the trough valve should provide flow equal to or slightly more than, the maximum potential demand at the trough. Obviously farm type has a major bearing on this. For example, a lactating cow will typically consume 70 litres (L) per head per day (over a five-hour period), whereas a non-lactating cow only requires 45L per head per day (consumed over a six-hour period).

However, selecting a trough valve based solely on the highest flow rate (which may well exceed the maximum required flow rate) could have unintended consequences if the pipe has not been sized accordingly. When so much water goes to a single demand point on a farm, it can be at the expense of another demand point and could create negative pressure in a pipe line. In a worst-case scenario, this vacuum can cause the pipe to collapse.

A well-functioning water system can deliver real benefits to the wellbeing of your stock and, if done correctly, any investment in improving your water system can deliver tangible returns.

For advice on best practice around water systems or for help with trough valve selection, talk to your local Farm Source Technical Service Rep.

Article supplied by Hydroflow