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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
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    Feb 2006
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    Erie, PA/ Home of Lake Effect Snow
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    Default Akron Slow Close Valves

    What are your opinions on the Akron slow closing crank valves? Currently Akron's are spec'd on our new truck, but we've never had a crank style valve on any of our trucks before.

    What about Akron valves in general?


  2. #2
    Forum Member
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    May 2001
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    Greensboro, NC USA
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    Default

    I like Akron valves the best. Their seals seem to last the longest, and our mechanics say they're the easiest to service, provided the builder installs it in a place not too hard to access.

    I assume you're talking about worn gear actuators like this right?

    I love them, they're easy to use. The mechanical advantage of the worm gear allow you to move the valve easily, even under high discharge pressures. The problem is that the shaft connecting them to the panel must be straight, because it's not a push-pull shaft, it's a mini-drive shaft. Because it must be straight, it limits your options on where you can place the controller on the operator's panel. This usually means your controls are placed in weird spots on the panel.

    Elkhart has a controller, the RC-10 – SLOW CLOSING VALVE CONTROL, that solves this problem. The control is a screw actuator, like a garage door mechanism, but the assembly mounts to the panel, and the shaft is not required to rotate. This allows the builder to bend the actuator shaft around piping in the pump compartment, allowing you to place the control in a more user friendly location than you would with a worn gear.

    The issue with the Elkhart RC-10 is that the operator's panel must be reinforced because it resists the force pushing or pulling on the valve. Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
    Last edited by txgp17; 05-07-2010 at 07:34 PM.
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
    Location
    Colmar, PA
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    Default

    We switched to Akron valves in 2000 and have had no problems with the electric or pull valves. On our 2009 KME, we added two crank valves in addition to the electric and pull valves. The decision to go with the crank valves was purely economic, original spec was all electric. So far no issues, but not much use.

    As part of the Truck Committee process we discussed the need to change valve manufacturers. The decision was to continue with the Hale Pump/Akron Valve combination for all but the 6" intake valves which are Hale.

    We recently replaced the ball in a 4" electric Akron valve on our 2001 ALF, dirt damaged the ball and caused enough friction that the shaft bent. Even though we routinely flush the pumps after drafting, we did not get all the dirt out of the ststem. The repair was done in the station.

    Hope this helps

    Mike
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  4. #4
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    May 2006
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    Bryn Athyn, Pa.
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    Default

    I got turned against Akron valves during the days when they had plastic balls. Average lifespan was one or two years. Also, Akrons were extremely difficult to open and close against our hydrant pressures (185+/-). The worst were the ones with a push pull rod operating a lever on the valve.

    But times have changed, and so has Akron. The valve with the steel balls seem to hold up quite well. The worm gear operators also work well. As our friend from Greensboro reports, they are easy to rebuild, as long as you can access them. Note also though, the newer Elkhart valves are virtually identical.

    All in all though, I still prefer Waterous valves, rack and sector for 2-1/2, worm gear for the 3-1/2. They operate well under our pressures. I rebuilt one 3-1/2 on our '89 Quality a few years ago. Other than that, I am just now beginning to rebuild the rest of the 2-1/2" valves on it. It has Akrons on the crosslays and the tank to pump. When they were plastic, they got done regularly. Now it's less so.

    The disadvantage to Waterous valves is the price. And you do pretty much have to take the entire assembly out to work on them.

  5. #5
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    Default

    I agree with CE11.

    The cost difference between going back with a plasitic ball verses upgrading to a stainless steel is around 20 dollars (I think). That is money well spend because the stainlees valve should last longer and if does start to leak all that is needs is a seal/seat kit and they are 25 dollars verses the cost of a complete kit.

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