Drawing Valves


This document describes how to draw valves using SpoolFab.

Drawing a Buttweld Valve:

  1. Draw a length of pipe in the BW size range.
  2. Click on an open end to bring up the fitting menu, and select BW size Valve.
  3. Choose Ball Valve, Check Valve, Gate Valve, etc. depending on the desired appearance. For now, do not choose Angled Valve.
  4. A dialog appears like the one shown below. Choose from the list of previously-drawn valves, or enter a valve description, weight and dimension. Half of the dimension will be applied to each arm of the valve. (You can adjust dims later.)
  5. If you had to modify the description, and you would like to use it again in the future, click Add as New Description.
  6. Click Accept.
  7. Press the spacebar if needed to switch to the preferred image orientation. Note that the the check valve has more orientations than other valve types.
  8. Press Enter or the left mouse button to finish drawing the valve. Note that the valve’s buttweld ends are not added until this final step.

Dimensioning to the Valve Center

If you need to dimension to the valve center, you first need to place a dimension to its end. To do this, click on the end of the valve, select Joint, and place the dimension. You can enter the value of this dimension (including the full length of the valve) immediately, or leave it as “Don’t know yet” and fill it in later.

After placing the dimension to the end of the valve, click on the end again, and select “Move Dimension to Valve Center”.  Note that if there is not yet a dimension to the valve end, this option will be grayed out.

To draw a valve handle, click on the valve center, select Standard Detail, Valve Handle, and choose the desired image. You can reposition the image using the arrow keys or resize it with Shift-Up or Shift-Down.
Press Enter when done.

Adjusting Valve Dimensions

To adjust the dimension of a valve without redrawing it, select Tools, Custom Fitting Dimension, or press Ctrl-F. The cursor changes to a vertical arrow. Click on the middle of the arm whose dimension you want to change, remembering that each side of the valve has its own dimension. The arm whose dimension you are adjusting will be indicated in red as shown below.

If the adjustment affects an existing dimension, a message informs you as shown.

For example, if you change the dimension of the left side of the valve from 4 inch to 4.5 inch, the cut length of the adjoining pipe will be reduced by 0.5 inch in order to maintain the overall dimension of 8 inches.

Socket Weld Valve Dimensions

Dimensions for valves with buttweld or flanged ends reflect the overall dimension of the valve. For socket weld valves, the end of the valve is assumed to occur at the shoulder of the socket, so the valve dimension will usually be shorter than its overall length by an amount equivalent to the depth of two sockets.

Editing Valve Descriptions

To edit the description of a valve that has already been drawn, select Tools, Change Quantity, or press Ctrl-Q. The cursor changes to a hand. Click on the tag of the item whose description is to be changed. Edit the description as needed, then hit Done. This same dialog also allows you to change the weight of the valve and its surface area for painting.

Adjusting descriptions using this dialog is available for all miscellaneous items such as valves, inline accessories, bolt sets, or attachments. It cannot be used to edit the descriptions of non-miscellaneous items; those descriptions are based on the master file lists.

Suppose you want to show the valve on the drawing but you don’t want to include it in the bill of materials. You can do this by hitting the Set to Zero button in the Quantity frame. Normally the item will then be displayed in green, but you can override this by selecting Omit from Prints or Print Black. <cf>

Drawing an Angled Valve

  1. Start by drawing the angled valve as if it were straight. Note that it must use code VW-X, VS-X, or VF-X for BW, SW or Flanged angled valves respectively. In the Master Files, the end image numbers should be 4139 for BW, 4998 for SW,and 4126 for Flanged. The valve image should be 4119 for all three.
  2. Add an elbow to reach the desired direction of the second arm of the valve, and place the dimension to the dimpoint of the elbow.
  3. Add the same valve again, but in the new direction.
  4. Click on the end of the second valve and select “Convert to Angled Valve”.
  5. The resulting angled valve includes Arm1 of the first valve and Arm2 of the second valve.

Note that when you use this technique to draw an angled valve, it does not matter what kind of elbow you use, because the elbow is removed as part of the conversion to an angled valve. For example, for a flanged valve it is OK to use a BW elbow as shown below.

Three-Way Valves

If you occasionally need to draw a 3-way valve, here is a flexible approach.

Select Flanged Valve, Block Angle and draw a straight valve as shown below. A flange and pipe have been added as well.

Click in open space, select Draw Pipe and Fittings here, and draw another angled valve, parallel to the one you already drew. Add another angled valve to represent the drain as shown below.

Click on the lower end and select Convert to Angled Valve

Now you have an angled valve as shown below.

Press Shift-F11 and select Item Appearance. Press the right arrow key until the focus reaches this angled valve.

Change the circled end image number to the same as the center image (in this case 4124), and click Refresh Item.

That leaves you with an item representing a partial valve as shown below.

Move this item so as to represent part of a 3-way valve or a drain, as shown below.

Finally, press Ctrl-Q, click on the tag of this item, and change its description to BLANK. That will prevent it from appearing in the BOM.