Pressure Reducing Valve Helps to Protect the United States’ Largest Hydroelectric Dam
For 30 years, a single pressure reducing valve played an integral part of the fire suppression system at Grand Coulee Dam’s Left Powerplant. As the largest hydroelectric dam in the United States, Grand Coulee Dam must be kept safe and secure so it can continue to deliver water and power to the west. A fire suppression system is an integral part of keeping the critical facility safe.
Grand Coulee Dam, located on the Columbia River in the state of Washington, was built from 1933-1941 for power generation and irrigation. In the 1980s, a 6-inch Model 127-3 pressure reducing valve, manufactured by OCV Control Valves in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was installed in the Left Powerplant’s fire system and worked reliably for more than 30 years. After three decades of use, dam officials at the Bureau of Reclamation knew it was time to begin a replacement project as the valve, though still working, was nearing the end of its useful life.
After realizing that revamping the dam’s 75 year old plumbing system was not an option, the decision was made to replace the valve with an OCV valve identical to the previous model.
Pre-set valve pressure minimizes shutdown time
In order to replace the valve, hydropower production had to cease during the installation. For safety reasons, the generating units can not be run without fire protection on the transformers. To ensure a quick turnaround time, the OCV Control Valves team worked closely with the Bureau of Reclamation team to deliver the valve pre-set to the correct valve pressure. OCV sets all valves and tests them to requirements before shipment.
“The new valve installation took less than one day and two men to install, leaving the plant without power for a minimal amount of time,” said Ty Murray, a Reclamation hydro mechanic at Grand Coulee Dam. “It was important to switch out the valves quickly to ensure continued safety and power of the surrounding areas, due to the dam being without water for fire protection during the installation.”
Duplicate valve provides back-up protection
Though the new OCV valve is expected to provide over 30 years of service , Reclamation ordered a second valve to have one on hand as an additional precautionary measure. “The entire project was a success,” said Murray. “Being able to receive a duplicate of the original valve enabled the dam to continue generating power without having to make additional upgrades. As for working with OCV, they were very helpful. Not only did they always answer our questions and make sure the valves were exactly what we needed, but they were also able to provide us with two new pre-set valves in about three to four weeks.”
“Our customer was in a shutdown and needed a 2.5” valve immediately. OCV stepped up and was able to build the 2.5” valve in one day and ship it next day air to the customer. Fantastic work!!”
“We pride ourselves on creating innovative solutions and providing quality products to our clients in the fastest possible time frame. Sometimes that means seeking out and switching to a better manufacturer. Patty Space’s knowledge and response time won me over! And, OCV delivered in less than 5 weeks – something the competition could not do!”
“OCV and Jim Gibson are the #1 supplier of control valves in our circle of vendors. Their integrity is never compromised as they strive for Complete Customer Satisfaction. Their word is their bond and they live by it. Their intimate knowledge of their products and our industry is unsurpassed and we look forward to many years of a mutually successful relationship as we continue to grow together and discover new markets.”
“Since 1996 Dakota Pump & Control has partnered with OCV. DPC takes who we represent on our line card very seriously, and we couldn’t be happier with this partnership. OCV has a catalog that covers all our needs, as well as the support a service based company like ours demands. We look forward to whatever valve challenges are presented to us, because we have the right manufacturer that can support us every step of the way.”
“The Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma has been doing business with OCV since 1993. We have utilized them for all types of valves, as well as parts. OCV always has the answers. Working with Robert and Jarrod has been a pleasure!”
“A lot of companies preach customer service, but their actions don’t reflect it. That’s not the case when it comes to OCV. I have met many associates at OCV, from Plant to Sales to Engineering – all are focused on taking care of their customers. OCV is expedient in quoting projects and has even been known to troubleshoot valves from other manufacturers and construct valves in an emergency to get a city out of a jam. OCV practices what they preach!”
“D&W has maintained a relationship with OCV as a Rep for 30+ years. Although this industry, and even products, have gone through major transformations over that time, OCV’s dedication to customer service has remained steadfast. From a friendly voice when you call their office, to the expert advice you receive when troubleshooting a problem – OCV sets the standard and no one else comes close.”
“We represent several prominent manufacturers, but OCV distinguishes themselves with their customer focused approach. It seems as if every valve they fabricate is going to their neighbor. Their quality and workmanship is second-to-none and when you call for support, you feel like family.”
“I love representing OCV and working with their knowledgeable staff! Whether I need help with pricing, or addressing engineer comments, or following up on shipments – OCV always responds promptly and efficiently. Their level of customer service is top notch! I’ve had the pleasure of working with OCV for over 12 years now, and I’ve never had a warranty request from any of our customers – which says a lot about the high quality of their products.”
“As an inside salesman for a pump company located in Southern Illinois, I am always looking for various pumping related parts and materials. Jim Gibson and the fine folks at OCV Fluid Solutions were ready to meet my needs. The service is great and the price is even better!”
“OCV was instrumental in providing on-site technical and engineering support for the start-up of the valves.”
“OCV Control Valves delivered the products on time, made them perform as proposed and helped answer our questions. There was good teamwork all around.”
“Personally having 18 years of verifiable field experience, OCV is very easy to work with. They have knowledgeable tech support, their sales team is exceptional, and there have been no hiccups with lead times. Everyone I talk to at OCV knows the valves and know the equipment they are selling.”
“OCV was very helpful. Not only did they always answer our questions and make sure the valves were exactly what we needed. but they were also able to provide us with two new pre-set valves in about three to four weeks.”