How Does a Pressure Reducing Valve Work?

How Does a Pressure Reducing Valve Work?

A pressure reducing valve creates and holds a downstream pressure set point. 

Oil and gas producers use a pressure reducing valve (also called a "pressure reducing regulator") as a suction controller or recirculation valve on a compressor, or to supply fuel gas.

Here's how it works:

  • Adjust the set point by either tightening or loosening the adjustment bolt on top.
  • When it's tightened, this will compress the spring
  • The spring then pushes down on the sensing diaphragm assembly, which positions the internal pilot plug.
  • The pilot plug allows gas from upstream to flow under the motor valve diaphragm. The pressure is controlled under this diaphragm, which positions the plunger to protect against changes in flow conditions.

If the pressure exceeds the set point, the upstream pressure pushes up on the sensing diaphragm assembly.

This closes the pilot plug. The underneath of the motor valve diaphragm vents gas which regulates the downstream pressure. And this sets a constant downstream pressure.

Because the diaphragm has a larger surface area than the plunger, the same pressure can hold the valve in a closed position.


To speak with an expert about how to get the most out of your pressure reducing valve, reach out to your local Kimray store or authorized distributor.

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