Check valves can become clogged by physical debris in the product and require periodic cleaning in order to ensure proper operation. A dirty check valve can cause an intermittent feed rate of product into the evaporator, manifesting as a sinusoidal swing in vacuum pressure during the first pass. This can cause irregularities in system performance, so periodic preventative cleaning is highly recommended.
The check valve can be easily removed, disassembled, and soaked in a suitable solvent such as ethanol for proper cleaning.
Best practices for preventing the accumulation of debris within the product include:
- use of proper extraction temperatures
- maintaining proper cleanliness in the lab
- keeping containers of extract covered
- pouring crude into the feed tank through a fine wire sieve
- ensuring proper heat transfer and mixing during the decarboxylation and devolatilization process
More information can be found in SOP – Check Valve Clean.
If you need additional assistance, please call technical support at +1 (206) 452-1130.