The Pressure Release Valve: Explained

What if a single engineering part could make or break an entire building?

In many ways, this describes the pressure release valve. This valve helps keep everyone safe and productive. Unfortunately, many people don’t know enough about what it does or how it works!

Do you want a full explanation of how the pressure valve works? Keep reading to discover our comprehensive guide.

What Is a Pressure Release Valve?

First, it’s important to define how a pressure release valve works. And in many ways, the definition is built directly into the name!

The valve serves as your first line of defense against pressure inside your pipes or other vessels. In short, the valve is what keeps pressurized liquids or gases from pouring out at any time.

How Much Is Too Much?

The pressure release valve keeps unwanted pressure from releasing. But how do we know what amount of pressure is “too much” for the valve?

Each valve is built with a specific maximum allowable working pressure (or MAWP). As long as the pressure does not exceed this amount, the valve is safe and intact.

To play it safe, many businesses get valves with a MAWP that is 10-15% higher than their intended pressure. This means that minor overages do not threaten the valve or the employees.

Old School Cool

Pressure valves have been around a very long time. You might be forgiven for wondering why they haven’t been replaced with some newer kind of technology.

Ironically, other fluid control systems have evolved very much. Things like hydraulic and electronic systems help to regulate fluid throughout our buildings each and every day.

However, there’s a “catch.” Because each of these fancier systems relies on electricity, it means that they will go down in the event of a power outage.

Meanwhile, the humble pressure release valve works with no electricity at all. And that means when other systems go down, this little valve can be all that stands between you and disaster!

Kinds of Valves

The basic pressure release valve technology has not changed much. However, there are still different types of valves available to suit various needs.

First up is the spring-loaded valve. These valves use a spring to hold back the flow of pressure. When the valve lifts up, enough liquid comes in to help provide system pressure.

That pressure helps the valve achieve a full lift that helps fully control the liquid inside the pipe.

Sometimes, the pressure inside the pipe is more variable. A balanced piston design helps deal with unpredictable superimposed backpressure.

Such a system uses a vented bonnet and a piston to expose pressure areas to atmospheric pressure. This helps provide fluid control and also offers a visual signifier if there are any unwanted leaks.

Pressure Release Valve: Your Biggest Ally

Now you know more about why the pressure release valve is so important. However, do you know where to find the valves you need?

We offer engineering solutions for businesses of every size. To see what we can do for your own business, contact us today!