A water main on picturesque Mackinac Island needed emergency work and Advanced Valve Technology was given the task. There was something very special about this 10" (250mm) EZ insertion valve project – tools, crew, valve fittings and support components needed to step back in time and use the methods of a bygone era.

The quaint Michigan tourist destination island is the home of about 400 permanent residents who, at the height of vacation season, can host as many as 15,000 visitors per day. Situated on Lake Huron just east of the straits that connect it with Lake Michigan, Mackinac Island retains many links to a gentler time including a restriction on motor vehicles. Only emergency and selected support vehicles are permitted leaving horse-drawn vehicles, saddles, bikes, and shoe-leather as the preferred choices for travel.

To reach the install location for a needed valve, the AVT team, their components and toolkit caught one of the many scheduled ferries that cross the waters from the mainland to a shoreline dock. From there it was time for Dobbin. A flatbed wagon drove the payload and the two-man crew a few miles to the work site. Once there, due to the efficiency of the EZ Valve™ system, everything went according to plan.

The local water department had completed the excavation that exposed the host pipe at the desired install point. Fortunately the EZ Valve™ system is very compact and needs a much smaller excavation than other systems. Preparation of the section (cleaning and marking the gasket locations) was typically quick and easy. Placement of the lubricated gasket sets on low-friction tape bands applied to the pipe preceded the installation of the valve body castings. Once the body components were assembled the milling machine and control equipment were temporarily attached to the body and a milled slot was cut into a 120-degree arc across the top of the pipe. This and other installation procedures are completed under pressure and with the complete removal of all pipe chips. After the slot-access created the entrance for the patented resilient wedge gate, the valve bonnet was attached and the job finished.

The milled slot-access design of the EZ Valve™ system means that no special pipe restraint is required, and therefore, no additional digging and prepping for, now unnecessary, concrete work. Host pipe integrity is never compromised, as the line is never severed by dropping a coupon. Finally, a big, big advantage of the EZ is its built-in isolation gate that allows for easy under-pressure installation. No bulky, costly and hard to manage separate isolation component is needed that requires additional lifting equipment and much more time. Also, when used as a temporary line-stop, the valve's bonnet may be quickly removed for reuse elsewhere and a blind flange installed in its place. The EZ Valve™ system converts quickly with only a few simple hand tools.

Conditions in a deliberately quaint environment like Mackinac Island highlight some of the very important advantages that make the EZ Valve™ system valve so valuable. Many time-consuming and costly procedures required by other valve systems are totally eliminated and a location that restricts motorized vehicles emphasizes the major savings the simplified installation delivers.

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Core & Main LP
Ken Jensen
440 West 40th Ave • Anchorage, AK 99503
Ph: 907.563.3315

Curb Box Specialists
Spencer Stone
420 N. 17th Street • Billings, MT 59101
Ph: 406.652.5523 • 877.652.5523 
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Lincoln Winwater Works
Eric Leatherman
515 NW 27th St. Suite #2 • Lincoln, NE 68528
Ph: 402.438.2988

Ferguson Waterworks
Rod Briggs
740 Cape Horn Dr. • Henderson, NV 89011
Ph: 702.564.2087

Tap Master
Don Hardin
8414 W. Farm Rd. • Las Vegas, NV 89131
Ph: 702.672.2320

Guterman S.A.R.L.
Luc Bade
26 Rue Des Chasseures,
F-67300 Schitigheim
Ph: +33-0-3-90-22-27-40 • Fax: +33-0-3-22-27-49

8" (200mm) EZ Valve™ installation on cast Iron pipe. The pipe was approximately 80 years old and was the main feed for the water treatment plant for Ingweiler, France.

Everyone was quite pleased and impressed with the outcome and plans were made to do more EZ Valve™ installations.

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AVT representative for France:
Luc Bade of Guterman S.A.R.L.
26 Rue Des Chasseurs, F-67300 Schiltigheim
FR 01533468245, France.
Ph: 33-0-3-90-22-27-40.
Fax: 33--0-3-90-22-27-49.

A unique insertion valve design has made a big difference for crews that work on iron, plastic, ductile, AC and other common pipe materials. Preparation and install times have been reduced and total cost per valve has been improved by a tested and efficient concept: a slot access resilient wedge gate that doesn't sever the line, doesn't cause restraint problems and provides a simpler and easier procedure.

Until recently this slot-access insertion valve hadn't been applied to a steel pipeline (in sizes over 12" (300mm)) due to the differences in OD of steel sizes as compared to most other pipe materials. A simple solution was devised by manufacturing custom steel saddles to create a welded-on "sleeve." The sleeve is composed of half-cylinder sections that bring the OD dimension into agreement with other pipe materials and permits the use of standard gaskets sets.

Once the new enhanced diameter section is completed, the valve insertion process takes three simple steps. First, the pipe section is wrapped with low-friction tape, the gasket set is thoroughly lubricated, and the valve castings are secured to the pipe section. Second, the temporarily mounted milling machine, guide controls, and chip-flush system are attached and used to create a 120-degree access slot in the host pipe. Third, the temporary equipment is removed, the valve bonnet is attached, the fittings are torqued to final values, and the valve is actuated as needed. If used as a line stop, the valve bonnet may be easily replaced with a blind flange at a future time. The bonnet is then available for other use.

The entire process may be completed under pressure and with no interruption of service. An internal isolation slide valve that is built into every EZ Valve™ avoids procedures common to other insertion valve designs. These include the need for a bulky and costly separate isolation system, the heavy-lifting equipment needed to repeatedly apply and remove the isolation device, plus the extended time required for the multiple change-outs.

Steel pipeline insertion valves can now be installed with the economy, speed, convenience, and reliability that other pipe materials have enjoyed. Typical valve install times are about one hour for smaller sizes (up to 12" (300mm)) and four hours for 14" (350mm), 16" (400mm), 20" (500mm), 24" (600mm). As is true with all other pipe materials, costly restraint operations are avoided due to a design that maintains the integrity of the pipe by not requiring dropping a coupon that totally severs the host pipe.

For details about slot-access insertion valves, contact Advanced Valve Technologies, Inc (877-489-4909 or www.avtfittings.com) and ask about the EZ line of valves serving 4" (100mm) through 12" (300mm), 14" (350mm), 16" (400mm), 20" (500mm) and 24" (600mm) nominal sizes.

This sleeve was developed to adapt 16" (400mm) steel OD pipe (16.00) to DI OD pipe 17.40. It is welded to the 16" (400mm) steel pipe, making the OD 17.40. This allows us to use our standard gaskets.

Our first three installations (2 on steel pipe and one on ductile iron pipe) have performed perfectly.

Now steel pipelines can benefit from a tested and advanced insertion valve design that has become the favored choice of water professionals.

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Left to Right:
Sleeve is welded to existing pipe; Valve body is secured in place; 120° slot is cut across top of pipe; Cutting tool is removed and bonnet is lowered into place; Bonnet is secured onto valve body.