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How do pressure reducing regulators work?
Pressure reducing regulators monitor the downstream pressure and do not need any external power or air source to operate. Instead, they work by force balance. There are 4 main parts to a pressure regulator:
- Set screw
The compressed spring and diaphragm are the two opposing forces and the plug acts as the balance between the two. The set screw is used to show the regulator how much pressure we want by turning it to compress the spring. A compressed spring generates a force causing it to push down. This opens the plug and results in more flow (of water, air, or other media).
If there is a change in the controlled pressure, the diaphragm will be forced to move. For example, the pilot plug will allow upstream gas to flow under the diaphragm where the pressure is controlled by the position of the plunger. If any pressure exceeds your set point, the pressure below the diaphragm will be pushed up, closing off the pilot plug.
Benefits Of Using Pressure Reducing Regulators
Some benefits of using a pressure reducing regulator include:
- Pressure regulators are much faster in response time because there is no need to go back to the controller.
- Regulators can respond immediately to changes in the controlled pressure.
- Regulators are usually easier to maintain and are cheaper to install.
Applications For Pressure Reducing Regulators
Our sliding gate pressure reducing regulators are ideal for steam, liquid and gas media applications. However, we also see use cases for the following applications:
- For the food & beverage industry
- For high-pressure applications
- To reduce pressure
- For fuel and oil burner control
- For fuel and oil atomization
- For natural gas applications
- For precise pressure control for low-pressure tank blanketing
Contact us for more information on the different applications of our pressure reducing regulators.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I choose a pressure reducing regulator?
How you choose a pressure reducing regulator depends on why you need it. There are five things you need to have to choose the right pressure reducing regulator with the right flow coefficient (Cv):
- Upstream pressure: The supply pressure or inlet pressure going into the valve.
- Outlet/Downstream pressure: The outlet is the pressure downstream of the regulator.
- Pressure differential: The difference between upstream and downstream pressure is the pressure differential.
- Flow range: Used so you don’t undersize or oversize the valve.
- Fluid type: Is it a liquid, gas, or steam? There is a big difference between saturated steam and superheated steam.
After you have correctly sized your regulator, you’ll then need to know the line size, material, type of connection, whether it’s a shutoff or not, and if it’s either direct or pilot-operated.
However, the most important things you’ll need to know in selecting a regulator for a specific application are what the flowing media is and what the desired flow rate is, and what the inlet and outlet pressures will be.
We have sizing software available to help with sizing a regulator so you know exactly what you need.
2. Does a pressure regulator reduce flow?
No, a pressure reducing regulator won’t reduce flow, you’ll need a control valve for that.