What is a PRV?

You’ve seen them in boiler systems, on pipelines, and even in your house. But what is a PRV? A PRV, or Pressure Reducing Valve, is used to reduce the pressure of steam, liquid, or gas in a pipeline. But why is that important? What happens if you don’t use one? And can they be used for anything else? Let’s find out!

What is a PRV? Why Is A PRV Important? & What Happens if You Don’t Use One

A PRV is not just known as a Pressure Reducing Valve but also a Regulator. It was given this name because without it, your entire boiler system can fail due to too much or too little pressure. Your PRV regulates the feed water/steam/gas pressure to your system to ensure it’s receiving the exact amount needed to operate correctly. When combined with a PA Pilot,you can remotely adjust the steam pressure using a small air regulator. Something as small as a pinhole leak can cause your PRV to fail and thus your entire boiler to not operate as it should. This can result in downtime throughout your entire facility so PRVs are very important pieces of equipment!

PRVs that are used in the home typically regulate all water pressure. So, if your PRV fails, you will likely know immediately after you try to use a faucet, shower, or appliance that uses water and there is no or low water pressure, or very high-water pressure. A failed PRV will also likely cause something called “water hammer” to occur. Water hammer is a phenomenon that occurs when there is a pressure surge in a piping system. This surge of pressure results in a hydraulic shock. You will know this is happening when you hear a banging or knocking sound in your pipes. Seemingly harmless, water hammer can be dangerous. It may result in ruptured pipes, property damage, and damage to your entire piping system.

Can a PRV be Used for Anything Else?

A PRV is not just used to regulate pressure. When used with a PT Temperature Pilot, they can also be used to control temperature. By precisely controlling the flow of steam, you can accurately heat other liquids. For example, water flowing in a heat exchanger or contained in a tank/vat to extremely accurate temperatures. Regulators can also be used to accurately control the flow of water or glycol to cool down a process to a precise value. When a PRV is used to control temperature, it may be referred to as a Temperature Regulator Valve.

PRVs can not only be used to regulate temperature and pressure. They can also be used for back pressure control when combined with a PT and a PP Pilot. This allows them to be used to relieve over pressure conditions in liquid systems. They can also be used to maintain the back pressure in steam systems. When used this way, they are typically utilized to protect pumps from intermittent over-pressure conditions. However, a PRV should NOT replace a Safety Relief Valve!

Interested in learning more about your boiler system process? Call our team! We are ready to answer any questions you may have.

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