The Team/Occlude insertion valve is known within the industry for its recessed valve seat. While Team claims that they have a superior insertion valve product because their gate seats on a fresh casting just like a standard valve, the truth is far from positive. What they do not describe accurately is that the recess is almost 3” (76.mm) deep on the 4”/6” (100mm/200mm) valves and about 5” (127mm) deep on 12” (400mm) valves.

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Debris will tend to collect in a recess and render a valve useless over time. Experienced water professionals have recognized this design flaw for decades.


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It is a proven fact that depressions can, and often do, collect stones and other debris that prohibits the resilient wedge gate from properly closing. Not only does the Team valve include this debris trap, but they have also made it deeper than prior discarded designs -- designs that did not meet with success in the valve industry. The current Occlude design with a recessed valve seat is not a new wave of valve insertion configuration. The concept was implemented and discarded many years ago.

Future failure is almost inevitable with the Team valve. It is not a case of will it happen, but when will it happen.

The Occlude Team has a slick animation and their resilient wedge gate seating on the casting instead of the host pipe seems attractive. This would be acceptable… except for the very deep recess. The result: in theory, the Team valve sounds great; in practice, it hasn’t worked well and does not compare favorably with EZ™ Valve performance and long-term operation.

Debris will fall and collect in the recess during day-to-day operation of a distribution system including general usage, main breaks, fires, hydrant flushing, etc. This propensity is why no other major valve manufacturer uses a recess for sealing. In the mid 1980’s, when RW valves were first introduced, every one of them had a recess. In response to problems with sealing and complaints from customers, all major manufacturers redesigned their valves and removed the recesses.

All it will take is for a Team valve to be backed out (opened) three-quarters of a turn to render the valve as “not sealing”. Three-quarters of a turn can equate to approximately 3/8 of an inch (9.5mm) of debris in the recess. With 3/8 of an inch (9.5mm) opening (not sealing), there will be as much as a half the ID of the pipe filled with water blowing out.

For any valve that is clearly a Big, Big Problem.

The Solution

The EZ™ Insertion Valve/Line Stopping equipment completely avoids the potential for this type of critical failure by having our patented gate seal against the inner surface of the resident pipe (even in heavily turberculated pipe).

EZ™ Positive Results
• No Built-In Trap
• No Debris Collection to Block Closure
• No Worries about Future Failure

The Results

Think about it. Even if a debris trapping valve works the first time, what about subsequent uses? Additionally, a pipeline manager knowing there is a valve inline would have hope (and confidence) that he could control the line with that valve. With the high rate of failure of the Team valve, this becomes a false hope that could lead to a dangerous situation. Also, any time after the excavation is closed and the site is restored, a blocked or damaged non-sealing valve will require major expense to correct. Based on the high potential for debris related failure this becomes a false hope.

EZ™ Needs No Correction.

It was designed and built right the first time.
Compact, fast to install, reliably designed and with tuberculation-busting ruggedness, the family of EZ™ insertion valves has tens of thousands of successful installations worldwide to back its claims. EZ Valves have documented applications for a wide range of pipe materials including many with irregular geometries. Many of the largest and most respected valve installation companies in the world have come to rely upon the EZ™ system.

There are municipalities that will no longer allow the installation of the Team Occlude Valve. One high profile former client of the Team Occlude Valve and now an EZ™ Valve supporter is Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, GA. After head-to-head comparative tests the Team valve has been excluded from further work at the Air Force Base. EZ™ is now their insertion valve system of choice. (See our website for a facsimile of the Moody letter describing this decision.)

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EZ CutawayIt has become common practice for the manufactures of the EZ™ Valve to take Team insertion valve equipment on trade-in for EZ™ installation equipment. Even with a controlled environment, AVT has observed that the Team Valve rarely delivers a bubble tight shut down.

The most obvious and appreciated benefit of the EZ™ Valve system is the speed of their under pressure installation. On a regular basis three EZ™ Valves are installed in a day and as many as eight have been completed in one workday.  Finally, there is the subject of thrust restraint problems with any totally severed pipeline such as the Team model. Team uses EBBA Iron Mega Lugs (a great product), but EBBA refuses to back up any claims when failures arise leaving the customer on his own for thrust restraint. Team also claims that they can seal on A/C pipe. This is in contrast with EBBA Iron as they plainly state that they do not make products for A/C pipe due to the unstable nature of that material. It is important to note that EBAA Iron will not warrant any product in association with the Team valve.

EZ™ Valve’s design advantages allow for easier site preparation, very reliable performance, and the versatility to work with most common and many un-common pipe materials in a wide range of sizes.

The unsurpassed sealing capabilities of the EZ Valve - even in heavily turberculated pipe - is one of the many reasons that the EZ™ Valve is regularly chosen over its competitors.

The officers at AVT have 75 years’ experience in the water industry and 19 patents for under pressure equipment (AVT’s personnel have an additional 100 plus years’ experience). Furthermore, AVT has had the opportunity in the past to purchase the Occlude design but declined due to the recess and thrust restraint issues.

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