Do you know what safety valves are and what they do? They are essential in a great number of devices, especially where a problem with the system has the potential to seriously harm people or the surrounding infrastructure.
What is a safety relief valve?
A safety valve or relief valve is a defensive mechanism that is installed in water heaters, electric boilers, gas boilers or water pipes, for example. It is essential in all devices that work with oxygen, gas or pressurized water, as they are susceptible to leaks or even explosions that can be very dangerous to health and human life.
Function and importance of safety valves
Relief valves are essential in industry, since they safeguard both people’s lives and the integrity of facilities. It it important to remember that pressurized water and gas can pose a major hazard if not properly treated.
Safety valves are used to prevent pressurized water and gas from reaching a temperature above the boiling point. They prevent a buildup of steam pressure that could cause the system to explode. They can also be used for different industrial processes, keeping system pressure within optimal parameters.
In short, these valves avoid catastrophic accidents if pressure rises, since they are the only way that the pressure can decrease. They make it possible for people to work around the system safely.
➤ Compare safety relief valves, pressure regulators and gate valves — they are not the same!
What are the parts of a safety relief valve?
Safety valves have various parts:
- Nozzle: Lets steam into the valve
- Disc: Opens and closes depending on boiler pressure. Usually located at the top of the nozzle
- Spring: Essential as it is the part that regulates pressure
Types of safety valves
Safety valves are classified into several types depending on they way they are installed and the way they release pressure:
Types of valves according to installation
- Welded: As the name suggests, these are heat-welded to provide the highest safety standards.
- Threaded: Installed by means of threaded piping. One of the easiest to install
- With flanged elastic seal: Sealed by a retainer and two O-rings, which form a triple seal with a long service life
Types of valves according to release mechanism
- Electronic: The most modern. These have a transducer that sends a signal to open the valve and relieve excess pressure or temperature at the right moment.
- Mechanical: These are opened by means of a plug. As soon as the pressure is released and the temperature stabilizes, it closes again.
- Electric: This type makes it possible to control the opening and closing periods of the valve when necessary.
How do I know if a safety relief valve is working properly?
Quality safety valves that function correctly and optimally meet a number of requirements:
- A lever to open the valve manually. Essential in case the system fails at any time
- Built to withstand temperatures above those that the system or device itself is rated for. This ensures good performance in extreme conditions.
- Seals are in good condition and do not expand or accumulate grease.
Standard pressure rating more than 110% of the unit’s internal maximum service
ULMA has more than 30 years of experience in forging. We are committed to the quality and excellence of all our products and parts. That is why we guarantee that our forged components for valves meet the highest quality standards, providing a failure-free operation, even in adverse situations, together with a long service life.