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Valve Locking: What It Is (With Valve Locking Device Examples)

Valve locking is an integral aspect of any piping and plumbing systems. Interestingly, it is also related to the concept of lockable valves. In this post, we will discuss these two terminologies, their applications, and how they actually relate to one another. Learn more about locking valves in the following sections. 

A locking ball valve
A locking ball valve

Image Source: XHVA

What Is a Locking Valve

A locking valve is a valve that is designed to lock in a specific position. This type of valve is often used in applications where it is necessary to prevent accidental or unauthorized operation of the valve. Locking valves can be operated manually or automatically, and they are available in different forms, such as lockable level valves and lockable flow control valves. 

Lockable Ball Valve

 A standard locking ball valve
A standard locking ball valve

Image Source: XHVAL

A locking ball valve is a valve that uses a ball as a closure element. The ball has a hole in it that aligns with the flow when the valve is open and blocks the flow when the valve is closed. 

Specifically, locking lever ball valves are used in applications where it is important to prevent the valve from being opened or closed inadvertently. The ball is held in place by a stem that is connected to a handle. Meanwhile, the handle is used to open and close the valve. 

Different dimensions are used for these locking ball valves. Below are some examples, but you can check other setups here:

  • 1-inch locking ball valve / 1 lockable ball valve
  • 2-inch lockable ball valve  2 lockable ball valve

Magnetic Lockable Ball Valve

A trunnion ball valve with magnetic cap
A trunnion ball valve with magnetic cap

Image Source: XHVAL

A magnetic lockable ball valve is a type of valve that uses a magnetic field to keep the ball in place. This valve is often used in high-pressure applications, such as in the gas and oil industries. The ball in the valve is held in place by a series of magnets, creating a seal resistant to high pressure. This type of valve is often used in pipelines or any applications where there is a need for leak-proof seals. 

Brass Lockable Ball Valve

Brass lockable ball valve
Brass lockable ball valve

Image Source: XHVAL

A brass lockable ball valve is similar to a typical ball valve except that it is made from brass. Brass is an excellent material for plumbing due to its durability and corrosion resistance. This type of valve is designed to be installed in a system where there is a need to control the flow of water and prevent backflow.

Lockable PVC Ball Valve

PVC ball valve
PVC ball valve

Image Source: iStockPhoto

A PVC ball valve is a common amenity used to control water flow in residential and commercial piping systems. The ball valve is a type of quarter-turn valve that is operated by a handle that is attached to the ball. The ball has a hole in the center that is aligned with the flow of the liquid when the handle is in the open position. Closing the handle will also block the hole. In turn, the flow of liquid stops. 

Lockable Ball Valves for Water

Lockable ball valves for water
Lockable ball valves for water

Image Source: XHVAL

This particular ball valve is ubiquitous in industrial, residential, and commercial plumbing systems. It has a spherical disc that controls the water flow by opening, closing, or partially obstructing the flow path. The ball valve is open when the hole through the sphere aligns with the water flow and closed when it’s perpendicular. 

Locking Gas Ball Valve

Lockable ball valves for water
Lockable ball valves for water

Image Source: XHVAL

Locking gas ball valves are designed to prevent unauthorized operation of natural gas lines. This type of valve is equipped with a locking device that must be released before the handle can be turned to open or close the valve. Locking gas ball valves are typically used in natural gas, resource extractive, and power generation systems. 

Lockable Gate Valve

 Lockable gate valve
Lockable gate valve

Image Source: XHVAL

A lockable gate valve is optimal for blocking the flow of liquids or gases. The valve is operated by a handle that is connected to a gate that opens and closes the valve. The gate is usually made of metal or plastic and is connected to the valve’s body by hinges. A padlock can seal the  gate valve with a lock in the open or closed position.

Lockable Hose Valve

 Lockable hose valve
Lockable hose valve

Image Source: iStockPhoto

A lockable hose valve is a mechanism for regulating the water flow of a hose or similar medium. It is often used in gardens and other indoor / outdoor areas where there is a need to control the amount of water that is being used. A standard hose bib valve lock is usually located at the rear portion of the hose; it has a handle that turns the valve into your desired position.

Lock-up Control Solenoid Valve

A lock-up control solenoid valve
A lock-up control solenoid valve

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Similar to other valves here, a locking solenoid valve is for regulating liquid and gas flow. It is often used in hydraulic systems but can also be used in pneumatic and other types of systems. The fuel lock-off solenoid valve is actuated by a solenoid. Meanwhile, the solenoid is a wire coil that generates a magnetic field when there’s electricity. It is used to open and close the valve, which allows or prevents the flow of fluid.

Lockable Needle Valve

Lockable needle valve
Lockable needle valve

Image Source: iStockPhoto

A locking needle valve is essential for tampering prevention of the pipes. Furthermore, it is often used in applications where a high degree of precision is required, such as in laboratory settings. The valve consists of a needle that is inserted into a chamber, which is then sealed. By turning the needle, the user can control the flow through the valve.

Lockable Butterfly Valve

Lockable butterfly valve
Lockable butterfly valve

Image Source: iStockPhoto

This quarter-turn valve is for regulating fluid flow. It comes with a butterfly-shaped disc that is attached to a rod that goes through the center of the valve. The rod is connected to a handle on the outside of the valve. When the handle is turned, the disc either opens or closes, depending on which way the handle is turned. A butterfly valve lock is common in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and oil and gas industries.

Locked Open Valve & Lock Close Valve Symbol

 lock open lock close valve symbols
lock open lock close valve symbols

Image Source: ISA Interchange

In industrial documentation, LO means Locked Open, while LC stands for Locked Closed. These symbols apply to various valves, such as butterflies, balls, globes, gates, and others. 

Activating either Locked Open or Locked Closed valves are needed for operation safety. Both of these mechanisms ensure that critical valves are in their designated positions while operating. In most cases, manually running these valves is essential to ensure their structural integrity.

Valve Locking Mechanism

Locking valves is a critical safety measure that prevents unauthorized tampering or operation of the valve. But how do you lock a valve in the first place?

There are many different ways to lock a valve, depending on the type of valve you have. But the safest and most effective method is to follow the instructional manual of the valve itself. Each valve has its own locking mechanism or procedure. Special tools are often needed, as well. Hence, it is integral that you strictly follow the instructions for fool-proof operation. 

Common Valve Lock Device Types

The following are some of the locking devices commonly used to lock specific valves. Without these locks, sealing the valves might be difficult or impossible. 

Air Valve Lock

No-handle valve lockout  for valves
No-handle valve lockout for valves

Image Source: Brady

Air valve locks are devices that are used to restrict unauthorized access or operation of air valves. 

 Locks for air gate valves
Locks for air gate valves

Image Source: Brady

These locking gas ball valves are used in commercial and industrial magnetic lockable ball valves. They can also be used to secure both manual and automatic valves.

Water Valve Lock

A lock for water gate valves
A lock for water gate valves

Image Source: Brady

A water valve lock is a mechanism installed on water valves, such as lockable pvc ball valves, to prevent unauthorized use. These locks are applicable in industrial and commercial setups. However, they are usable in residential applications. 

Four-legged ball valve lockout
Four-legged ball valve lockout

Image Source: Brady

Lockable ball valves for water are available in a variety of designs. You can customize them to meet your specific requirements. 

Gas Valve Lock

Gas valve lock
Gas valve lock

Image Source: Brady

A gas valve lock is a locking device that is used to secure a locking gas ball valve  in a closed position. It is typically used in residential and commercial applications to deter unwarranted access to the gas line. 

Adjustable gate valve lock
Adjustable gate valve lock

Image Source: Brady

For example, you can install this device over the handle of a brass lockable ball valve. This prevents the handle from being turned to the open position.

Hydraulic Lock Valve

Gate valve lock for hydraulic valves
Gate valve lock for hydraulic valves

Image Source: Brady

Hydraulic lock valves are used to prevent the flow of hydraulic fluid in a system. They are typically used in applications where it is necessary to prevent fluid flow under high pressure, such as in a hydrostatic testing system. 

Universal ball valve lockout
Universal ball valve lockout

Image Source: Brady

Hydraulic lock valves are often used in industrial applications where there is a need to maintain a constant pressure. They can also be used in high-pressure lockable ball valves for water. 

Summary 

Locking valves are an important safety measure in many industries and related applications. Being able to lock the valves prevent unwanted tampering or operation, ensuring the structural integrity of the valves and their entire lines. 

If you are looking for a reputable lockable ball valve manufacturer, contact XHVAL right away. Our company specializes in the production and distribution of industrial-grade valves. 

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