What’s a balancing valve?

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Balancing valves regulate and measure pressure in HVAC and gas movement systems. They use screws to divert pressure and may release material if pressure builds too rapidly. They are made of durable materials like brass or copper and have adjustable screws and a release valve.

A balancing valve is a measuring and regulating device. Balancing valves are used in pressurized piping applications, such as HVAC and gas movement applications. A balancing valve uses a few key components in its construction to perform its function within the system.
The main purpose of a balancing valve is generally to create consistent outlet pressure to one system from inconsistent inlet pressure from a different system. This creates balance for the flow of material being moved through the pressurized system as a whole. In most cases, these types of valves are also used as a means of creating a stable flow of material within an unstable system. Sometimes, to facilitate this purpose, the balancing valve needs to release a certain amount of material if the pressure within the system builds too rapidly.

Counterbalance valves generally need to be made of materials that do not respond in any way to the material being sent through them. This means that a balancing valve must not rust, corrode, or build up residue from any material that has passed through it. Rather, valves are basically passive valves that have a set of screws within them that determine where the valve should divert pressure from the system to an external source.

Since there is a great need for durability, these types of valves are often made from brass or copper. They may also have silicone or rubber gaskets or o-rings located within them. Gaskets or O-rings help valves seal properly, should the valve need to be closed.

Valves often have an inlet port slightly or significantly offset from its outlet port. This provides instant resistance to the input material. The resistance helps the valve create a consistent outflow.
There is also usually a pair of screws protruding from a valve arm. These typically exit the center of the unit at a perpendicular angle to the valve inlet and outlet. These two screws are adjustable, which allows them to determine the allowable inlet and outlet pressures of the material.

Opposite the pair of adjustable screws is typically a release valve. This acts as a vent for the burp of material that passes through the system and is sent into the valve at too high a pressure. When the pressure set by the screws is exceeded, the relief valve opens long enough to allow enough material to escape without affecting system flow.

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