Drop It While It's High: Pressure Reducing Valves in Boilers

Drop It While It's High: Pressure Reducing Valves in Boilers

Pressure reducing valves play a crucial role in safe, efficient boiler operation. Water, steam, propane, natural gas, and even fuel oil are often at too high a pressure to go directly from the supply line to the process. In order to keep everything running safely, pressure reducing valves step down the incoming pressure to a lower level, allowing the boiler to operate properly and efficiently.You’ll find pressure reducing valves on incoming supply lines, but you’ll also find them at the process end, too.


Many applications, such as heat exchangers and kettles, need incoming steam to be at a lower pressure than the pressure of the steam supply line. But you don’t want to lower the pressure in your steam lines, because there may be other processes in the steam circuit that need higher pressures to operate. Moreover, the steam has to be pressurized for it to be able to serve every application along the line. For individual processes, then, incoming steam pressure must be lowered to the right level. That’s where the pressure reducing valve comes in.


Every pressure-reducing valve has some sort of control built into it to make sure it regulates pressure properly. In most cases, this involves the use of a pilot valve, which is a smaller valve that controls the operation of the pressure reducing valve itself. Pilot valves act as regulators, opening and closing the pressure reducing valve to the correct settings to maintain its specified pressure parameters. Pilot valves can be controlled by temperature, pressure, or both, depending on the application. Since pressure and temperature are linked by physics, changing one will have an effect on the other. The type of pilot valve will ultimately be determined by the process, and where in the boiler system it is located.


Adjusting the pressure at the process level involves making adjustments to the pilot valve, rather than the main pressure reducing valve itself. This process is typically done by making small mechanical adjustments to the pilot valve while keeping a close eye on the process-side pressure valve, until the pressure is lowered or raised to the desired level.

WARE’s online BoilerWAREhouse store carries a full range of pressure reducing valves for every application in your boiler. We also have the highly experienced technicians to install and maintain them. We’re also experts in boiler repair and inspection, too. Let us know how we can help you.

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