Ball valve cleaning issue

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Bru

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I have a stainless steel ball valve welded to a stainless steel kettle which has become stuck with burned sediment that I can't get out.
Ive tried brushing and hot caustic solution which helped but not entirely.
The ball valve can't be removed or dismantled.
Any ideas ?
 

killian

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I think I would fill the kettle with water bring it to a boil then open the valve and drain. as soon as the liquid stops running hit it with the brush. That might loosen up the gunk
 

boo boo

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No great help to you now, but did you weld the valve itself onto the kettle, or did you weld a fitting there that the valve attaches to?
If the fitting is welded, then you can replace the valve if you can't clean it to your liking.
Me, I don't think I would worry about it much as long as it is in effect sterilized when the wort is boiling, and anything that would come out after the boil would drop out before you rack to a fermenter if you wanted.
 
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Bru

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Ive tried water and then brushing - didn't help much.
The valve is welded to the kettle.
The biggest problem is Ive been having to dump the entire kettles contents into the fermenter because the bv doesn't drain properly.
Im hoping someone has a miracle aggro cleaner I can use.
 

Hawgbranch

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Find a bull plug and screw into the outside of the valve and then open it. Then fill kettle with water and a lot of Oxy Clean and stir. Then leave it alone for several days and see what happens.
 

springer

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are you sure the ball valve doesn't come apart? if its like mine I can take it apart to clean. This is the one I have and can be disassembled ..You need two wrenches and some muscle but they will unscrew. How would they get the guts into the valve if otherwise?

stainlesswf.jpg
 
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Bru

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Im going to try Hawgbranch's idea with a strong, hot caustic soda solution.
Ive even tried a high pressure hose from both sides :confused:
Any other suggestions appreciated. What eats carbon deposits ? Where all the science nerds ?
I may even try a hydrochloric acid solution unless someone knows a reason I shouldn't.
 

conpewter

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For carbon deposits you can use oven cleaner, I don't know if it would hurt the inside of the valve though. Make sure to really clean it afterward.
 

BargainFittings

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Its stuck open? Sounds like you have burned wort all the way around the ball and in the valve body. If you can't take it apart the caustic most likely will never reach inside between the ball and the body of the valve.
 
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Bru

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Not stuck open but it would leak slowly when closed. I did the hot caustic thing last night - its not leaking anymore but not completely clean.
Im going to try a thin brass firearm barrel brush.
 

Dog House Brew

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I'm building my new rig and am down to the valves. When I took my old ones off they were full of crud. I guess from being near the heat source and scorched it in the ball valve. I guess I'm going with the 3 peice valves on the bottom drain on my BK. At least I can take it apart to clean. I could not believe how nasty they looked on the side facing the kettle wall. Wow!
 

springer

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All ball valves can be disassembled even the cheap ones from HD . I do it after 2 or 3 brews . You don't have to buy 3 piece valves of course they are nice but pricey. I would have the valve removed and have a coupler welded in this way you can remove the valve for cleaning
 

TrickyDick

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Necro Post here:

how do you disassemble the 3 piece ball valves? Took off the four nuts and bolts, and came into 3 pieces, but want to remove the ball themselves as well. Removing the handles was a PITA, and I assumed would permit removal of the ball, but this didn't seem to do the trick either.

And by the way, for folks who don't regularly disassemble and clean their ball valves, just do it once to one valve and see what your beer is exposed to. I was rather shocked at the amount of crud that I saw.

TD
 

mo_feezy

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You carefully pry the seals from the middle piece of the 3pc valve and turn the handle and the ball should fall out.
 

brewkinger

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Im going to try Hawgbranch's idea with a strong, hot caustic soda solution.
Ive even tried a high pressure hose from both sides :confused:
Any other suggestions appreciated. What eats carbon deposits ? Where all the science nerds ?
I may even try a hydrochloric acid solution unless someone knows a reason I shouldn't.
Hydrochloric Acid would be a NONO. It will degrade the SS valve, make it possible for it to start pitting and essentially render your welded on ball valve worthless and therefore your kettle.
 

TrickyDick

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I eventually got them all cleaned out. Removing the handles was a PITA and gonna be another PITA to get back on.
The ball part were difficult to pry out, impossible by hand. More easily replaced but required some mechanical intervention. Wish I hadn't taken the handles off first. I think I ruined a seal for the valve-stem.

TD
 
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