Valve users looking for a portable power tool to help with the task of operating the valve often describe their needs as a ‘valve drill’. Some have even attempted to use a drill to turn a valve wheel with some improvised adaptor to connect the drill chuck to the wheel.
These efforts should be applauded as innovative but don’t overcome two key reasons why such improvised attempts may fail.
- Typically drill speeds are very high. If the device manages to turn the wheel, it’s likely to spin way too fast.
- There is no mechanism to protect the operator when the drill encounters a tight spot and the valve comes to a halt. Mechanical principals will show that, in this situation the drill will snatch around in the opposite direction to the required valve turning motion. It’s likely that the operator might suffer some injury.
Many readers will remember the amusing clip in the animated film “Grand Day Out” when Gromet is attempting to drill some holes. (Skip to 0:39). The effect illustrated here is based on some reality!
The latest portable valve actuator from Modec is a highly effective device based on a battery powered Bosch drill but cleverly adapted with a gearbox which serves to reduce the spindle speed of the drill while at the same time significantly increasing turning torque. The system also incorporates a torque management system which would have prevent the scenario in the above movie clip.
Also known as reaction device or anti-rotation bracket, it is anchored to some fixed structure either on the valve or close-by the valve.
Like all other models in the range, this product package is highly portable and adaptable to any valve wheel rotation requirement.
For more information, contact Total Lockout (Safety) Ltd