Stock watering solutions made easy with Philmac - Elders Rural Services

Stock watering solutions made easy with Philmac

Water is the single most important input in any livestock enterprise, so it is critical to regularly check over your stock watering systems.

Trough valves that are not opening, or not shutting off, that are corroded, showing signs of stock damage, or simply are just not delivering a sufficient volume of water to meet your livestock demands need to be replaced. Ideally, float valves should be matched to meet the water demand of the stock.  Rather than considering the maximum flow of the valve, selection should be based on the pressure the float valve operates at the trough. Quite often this may only be around 100 kPa (15 psi).

Dealing with a variety of water pressure on your property is a common problem. Farmers are faced with having a range of different float valves on hand to enable them to deal with the high and low water pressures they encounter. The Philmac MegaPHIL High Flow Float valve solves this problem as it comes with a high pressure adaptor. This float valve delivers very high flow at both high and low pressure, meaning you only need to carry the one float valve with you no matter what the pressure at the trough you’ll have it covered.

To assist with float valve selection, Philmac publish the flow at different pressures. This is normally measured as the number of litres a valve discharges in a minute (L/min). As the inlet size of the valve increases you can generally expect a higher flow rate. But some valves, such as the MegaPHIL High Flow Float Valves, have been designed for high flow rates. For example, a MegaPHIL with a two-inch inlet operating at 100 kPa has over double the flow compared to a UltraPHIL Brass float valve with the same inlet size.

It is also important to choose a float valve that will shut off and not leak. Float valves at the bottom of hills or on mains water supply will probably need to shut off against higher pressure. Shut off pressure is measured in kilo-Pascals (kPa) and is the maximum inlet pressure at which the valve will remain closed. Above this pressure, the water at the inlet will overcome the force being applied by the lever and float, and begin to open.

Many farmers are now installing additional troughs to ensure stock do not have to walk as far for water, but also to optimise feed utilisation within a paddock.

Your trough valve maintenance program should start with checking that the lever arm moves freely up and down. If there’s any stickiness it could be due to debris, a bent pivot pin or, in the case of a sleeve valve, a dry O-ring.

If the valve weeps, it is likely the seal is worn or clogged with debris.

Once the valve is disassembled, it’s easy to check for wear in the seal, and that the valve is clean. Fitting a new seal to a Philmac MegaPHIL float valve is as easy. Simply prise it from the flapper, in most cases, you can turn the seal over and reuse it. When replacing a Philmac VersaPhil float valve seal, it is recommended that the O-ring on the plunger be re-greased with rubber grease.

Philmac float valves have proven designs and are made from high quality materials that provide strength, reliability and high performance, as you expect from Philmac, a company that has been designing and manufacturing valves for Australian conditions for over 90 years. Don’t put your trust in unreliable or low flow trough valves to supply the most important resource to your livestock. Now is the time to update your float valves around the property to ensure reliable, trouble free, fast fill of your troughs leading into the warmer months.

Elders offers a range of Philmac products.

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Article written by Philmac for Seasons magazine.